Why I Went to Byron Bay For My Birthday

I’m sure if you follow my social media pages or vlogs you would’ve seen an excessive amount of birthday photos and videos already.

I don’t know what happens to me around the time of my birthday, but somehow as much as I (really) love celebrating it, I always find growing older quite an overwhelming feeling. With the anxiousness comes a subconscious yearning to be spontaneous and do something out of my comfort zone. Last year, I jumped out of a plane – literally! This year however was a little more tame and mellow yet crazier in a whole other way.

As a January baby, I’m born in a season of celebrations and holidays. I’m not American, but I consider the celebrations beginning on Thanksgiving in November and going all the way until Australia Day which is on January 26th. Within that time frame, we also have Hanukah (I celebrate everything!), Christmas, New Year, my Jailiversary (click this link to find out more) and my birthday.  It’s a hectic seven weeks to say the least.

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But after a crazy and unsettled 2017, I knew I really needed to prioritise slowing down in 2018. Late last year, I asked some of my closest girl pals if they were interested in going away to Byron Bay for my birthday. I honestly didn’t expect them to all say yes to my crazy idea! I mean, I wasn’t paying – I was asking them to use their hard-earned money to come and pretty much give me three days of attention – (which if you know me, is a lot to ask!)

But as the weeks went on and we got talking, I realised it wasn’t just me feeling overwhelmed and immensely exhausted, it was all of us. So, with that knowledge, I made sure that our three-day getaway was no longer all about me, but a relaxing trip away that we all so badly needed. This meant no plans, no stress - nothing but laughs. But with that said, I did have something low-key in mind. Like I mentioned, I love an out-of-ordinary experience on my birthday - enter Ninja Academy Byron Bay. (Click here to read about our amazing time)

The other thing was that these seven friends were all from different groups. We don’t hang out altogether on an everyday basis, in fact, some hadn’t even met and others maybe for one hour at a previous birthday of mine. So, I knew if this trip was going to work, the first day/night had to be dedicated to bonding and getting to know each other – just like an old school camp.

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I really did feel somewhat in debt to my friends for making the trip out and going along with my crazy Ninja idea, but I had the perfect way to win them all over and ensure they knew how much I appreciated their friendships and celebrating with me. I always envisioned this perfect beach setting with the sunset and a cheese platter on a Moroccan style blanket. Cheesy maybe, but I was going to make it happen. Enter the beautiful Ashley from Platter Me Beautiful. I won’t go into much detail here, but it just made everything perfect. Yes, we were rushed for time and just made the sunset, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. (Click here to read about the most incredible platter you’ve ever seen).

This all happened the day before my actual birthday so we all joked the 20th was going to suck comparatively! But somehow, the day was just as perfect. A slow morning saw us doll up and head to brunch at Folk café. Standard Byron – organic, plant based where you sit on the ground – A.K.A. Annita’s perfect place.

There, I ordered the best nourish bowl ever – I’ve never felt so nourished in my life! The stages post nourishment saw us enjoying a slow 40 minute walk back into town to digest and just breathe in fresh and pure beachside air.

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We then got into two teams and played a little scavenger hunt game (just me again trying to hold onto my youth again and relive my 13th!) before enjoying some window shopping and beach swim. Couldn’t have asked for a better day with more perfect weather.

When we got back, my beautiful friends graciously surprised me with a selection of clean vegan cakes and flowers before we got ready for a night of Mexican food.

I’ve always been an early riser so Sunday saw Anita and I head off to the famous lighthouse while the rest of the girls enjoyed a nice sleep in. It was another chilled morning before we headed back to Sydney in the late afternoon.

Again, I have the most amazing friends and I wouldn’t change them or their individual personalities/strengths for the world. I’m lucky, I’m blessed and I’m appreciative to be surrounded and supported by some of the strongest women out there – to that I’ll be forever grateful for.

The trip couldn’t have gone any better and reminded me to literally stop and smell the roses. I feel relaxed, refreshed and refocused so here’s to 2018 and the year of being 24!

Annita xx

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