This is not the first time I’ve celebrated my birthday abroad, it is in fact the third and each time has been totally awesome. First, France when i turned 12, secondly my 22nd birthday in America and now I’ve reached the grand old age of 26 (ancient according to Iain) whilst in Panama. While being abroad on your birthday can be hard, not seeing friends or family, I’ve found that its always a memorable occasion and the friends that you have around you manage to make it a special day.
Thankfully my fantastic friends and family have managed to make my birthday this year very special. Most of my family have sent e-cards and money which I have put towards things in Panama to make the trip a bit more special.
In Costa Rica we missed out on ‘glamping’ (a more upmarket type of camping for those who don’t know). Luckily I didn’t miss out on much, instead of a typical 2 person tent with a blow up matress in the town of La Fortuna, we found safari style tents at Palmar Tent Lodge practically on the tropical paradise Red Frog Beach in Bocas del Toro. We had a proper bed as well as a fan and lamp, as i’m sure you’ll agree from the below, it was gorgeous. Thanks Mum and Dad!
Those who have read my blog will know I’ve recently learnt to Scuba Dive, so my second treat for my birthday was to go Scuba Diving with Scuba Coiba in Coiba National Park. I’ve been wanting to practice my newly learnt skills and what better a place! Coiba is an island linked to the Galapogos by an underwater mountain range and so has similar types of aquatic life. On my arrival, despite a bit of trepidation on the divemaster’s part at how few dives I’d done, we set off to my first dive below 18m. Despite a strong current, it was amazing. We saw White Tip Reef Sharks, a Turtle, Morays, Frogfish and Lobster to name but a few. We then got to chill on the beach eating a yummy packlunch nicely provided for us by La Buena Vida. Whilst there we also got introduced to the beastly 7ft long Tito the Saltwater Crocodile, thankfully at a safe distance. Our second dive was just as good, thankfully no current and even more fish. I just want to say thanks Grandma, Richard, Nanny and Grandad for contributing to this.
Finally, thanks to my wonderful boyfriend and his Mum I got to stay in my first ever 5* hotel and currently the tallest building in Latin America. I was treated to stay in the Trump Tower in Panama City for 2 nights. This was partially a treat for my boyfriend as well, we’ve been staying in hostels for the last 3 months so we were in desperate need of a bath – luckily we got one in the middle of our bedroom! Most of the time we enjoyed chilling in our room with an awesome bed (I need one like this all the time now) with the comfiest pillows and robes ever.
When we managed to drag ourselves outside we were by the pool deck where there are several infinity pools with great views over Panama City and the Pacific Ocean.
Luckily my treat didn’t end there, I was brought a cute little birthday cake from the hotel staff – yummy!
My boyfriend Iain treated me to the most awesome dinner, Sauteed Sole in Peanut Satay Sauce, luckily he didn’t mind that this has surpassed his cooking to be my best meal ever! Sorry Iain.
Finally to finish the occasion off, we managed to convince the Azul Deck Manager, Gonzalo Calderon and his wife (who was also celebrating her birthday) to take us to the Penthouse (currently under construction) on the top floor for a great view and some photos of Panama City.
Thanks to everyone for my birthday wishes and presents, this has been one of the best birthdays ever, despite being half way across the world from my family.