Why I went to Florence all by myself for my Birthday

Geez. This headline sounds heart-breaking, doesn’t it? I turned 25 this week. Yes, 25. That’s a quarter of a century. And I happened to be in Florence, Italy, on my birthday. Doesn’t seem that bad, does it? Well, the thing is: I went there without any friends or family. That’s sad, huh? Spoiler: It was anything but! So put away your tissues, this is not going to be a tear jerker.

Before we proceed, here’s a fun fact: There is one thing I have in common with US president Donald Trump, revolutionary Che Guevara, actress Lucy Hale and serial killer Edward Edwards. We were all born on June 14. This may or may not be something you can be proud of. Anyways, I’ve always wanted to celebrate my birthday abroad. Given that it’s right of the end at the semester, though, I never could. Mid-June is super stressful in Austrian schools. Usually, I had a test or a quiz either on my birthday or the day after. Not the best time to travel to another country, right? And at university, the situation was pretty much the same. Good thing I graduated last year.

This year, I knew it was going to be different.

So this year, I knew it was going to be different. If you know me personally, you’re probably aware that I get bored easily. I’m constantly searching for opportunities that broaden my horizon and keep me occupied (which is yet another reason why I started this blog, btw). So when I found out that the Center for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF) was giving away scholarships for a summer school, I couldn’t help but HAD TO apply. Only later did I realize that classes took place from June 11 till June 15. But I probably wouldn’t get a scholarship anyway, would I? Turns out I did get one!

A birthday present I got for myself

Given that the scholarship didn’t only include tuition fees but also transportation, accommodation and tons of food, I considered this a birthday present I got for myself. Besides, I love travelling. Thus, I was super excited to go to Florence and I didn’t worry about the travelling alone part either because (a) I’ve been solo tripping for a couple of times already and (b) I knew that I was going to meet tons of other people in class.

I didn't spend my birthday completely alone. Obviously, someone took this photo of me!
I didn’t spend my birthday completely alone. Obviously, someone took this photo of me!

About Aging

Before I continue the tale of my 25th birthday, let’s talk about aging really quick: Adults tend to be very indifferent about their birthdays, or even worse: They dislike the fact that they’re getting older. Why, though? We can all be proud that we’ve made it that far! Pro advice: Start counting your age in “levels” instead of “years”. This way, it sounds more badass. Like: I’ve just reached level 25 in that game called life. Which level are you?

Anyway. The whole point of this post is to say thank you to everyone who congratulated me – whether it was in person, via WhatsApp, via messenger or snail mail (yes that still exists). I spent the day learning about journalistic developments and hanging out with people I just met but got along with really well. And, of course, we went to get aperitivo in the evening which is pretty much the best thing ever you can do in Italy! Looking back now, I wouldn’t want to have spent my 25th birthday any other way.

It was amazing. Still, I can’t wait to eat out with friends tomorrow. And have a BBQ with my family on Sunday. And, who knows where I’ll be spending my 26th birthday? For all I know, life has many surprises in store!

Where did you celebrate your birthday? Also: Which level are you? Leave a comment or drop me a message!

2 thoughts on “Why I went to Florence all by myself for my Birthday”

  1. What a fun way to spend your birthday! I really want to go to Italy and what a fantastic way to do it for you having expenses paid! Congratulations 🙂 I am totally kicking your butt and just conquered level 41 on June 3rd. June birthdays rock!

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