Kazakhstan: Party Like It’s Your Birthday!


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Asia » Kazakhstan » East Kazakhstan » Almaty
February 24th 2019
Published: February 27th 2019
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Well, that is easy to do since it is my birthday!

When I was growing up, birthays were exciting and magical. They were predictable, but they were also special. My birthdays were sometimes over the top and sometimes more low key, but every year my parents went out of their way to make me feel special.

There were cakes and favorite dinners. There were gifts and special activities. There were family dinners and there were parties with friends.

One year there was the huge surprise party. Other times there were slumber parties and pizza deliveries. For my 18th birthday, my parents rented out the skating rink for an epic time. There was always Granny’s famous lasagna and angelfood cake. And regularly, there were joint celebrations with my aunt who’s birthday is one day earlier than mine.

No matter what was going on around the time of my birthday, there was always time, energy and money to acknowledge my big day. There were always “I love you’s” and “We are so happy you are here’s” and, of course, there was the “I remember this day, X number of years ago we were in the hospital and the doctor said you were the cutest baby he had ever delivered.”

Yes, I was loved as a child. And I still feel that way.



But in adulthood, birthdays feel so different than when we were young. The birthday attention I loved, now feels like too much attention. The effort to celebrate, now feels like too much work. The parties, now look like “where do you want to go to dinner tonight?” None of this is bad or good, just different. I think it is called being an adult.



I read a travel blog written by a writer I really appreciate and she mentioned taking back her birthday. She talked about celebrating her birthday and she did it by planning a trip each year and turned it into a regular adventure that she looked inevitably forward to. Any adult looking forward to turning one year older? Hmmm...this sounds like something I could get behind.



It is so no secret I have been wanting to go to Kazakhstan for quite sometime. That is no big surprise since my Travel To Do List is about as long as any list I have in my
Birthday Party in My Hotel RoomBirthday Party in My Hotel RoomBirthday Party in My Hotel Room

Cookies from SYDYK, KZ wine, a little birthday gift I purchased at the boutique across the street and the birthday greetings I found waiting in my room (from hotel management).
life. But I have been particularly interested in Almaty, Kazakhstan since some camel-loving Facebook friends of mine shared their trip almost a year ago. The first thing that caught my eye was a restaurant they visited that was completely focused on using camel milk in their products and the camel milk they used came from a gigantic camel dairy near Almaty.

I know it sounds ridiculous to zero in on a city because of a restaurant, but it really caught my attention. I became a little obsessed to say the least.

I talked about it with my husband. I told him about the restaurant and the dairy and my friends’ trip and he listened politely. He does not share my enthusiasm for camels or anything related to them, but he does have enthusiasm for me.

He couldn’t get excited about a trip of this sorts, but he could get excited about spoiling me for my birthday. He booked my airline tickets and metaphorically tied a big old bow around a day that had lost it’s sparkle. It was exactly what I wanted. It was what I needed and it was the perfect fit. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

I rediscovered the childlike magic of birthdays...it had been hiding in Almaty, Kazakhstan.


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27th February 2019
Birthday Lunch at SYDYK

Lunch at SYDYK
Happy Birthday, Valerie!
27th February 2019

Happy birthday!
I've been doing birthday trips for years as I had the same joy as a child. Keep traveling... make your day special. Except now as I'm older I celebrate the entire month... not a day.
27th February 2019

Birthday Destination
Great place to spend a birthday. Although I've not yet been to Kazakhstan, it isa place I'd really like to go. Good for you for travelling alone in the winter months to these super-off-the-beaten-track places. Thanks for sharing...
1st March 2019

HappyBirthday cousin!
1st March 2019

HappyBirthday cousin!
1st March 2019

How to celebrate birthdays
I admire your husband even though I have not met him. You say, "He does not share my enthusiasm for camels or anything related to them, but he does have enthusiasm for me." He bought your airline tickets and feeds your obsessions. Sounds like an extraordinary guy. My wife for her 50th did not want a celebration. Instead she wanted to go to Thailand to do cooking courses. She treasures those times and came back with some incredible stories. Then we met in Kuala Lumpur so we could share her return. Sometimes you need to step out on one's birthday and do what YOU want to do. Here's to you for doing that!

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