Guest Post: A Dingo Ate My Birthday Cake

Summer Guest Blog Series: Favorite Travel Memories
I’ve found that some of the best travel memories can stem from days where you lease expected it. Jayne’s celebration of her 23rd birthday in Australia highlights how a bad day can turn into something fun and memorable in a blink of an eye! Or in Jayne’s case, a little Bon Jovi, chocolate cake, a hidden stash of champagne, and even a dingo!

I was in a foul mood. When I found out I would be spending my 23rd birthday, MY special day, on a sand island with no bars, nightclubs or even toilet amenities (for goodness sake!), I threw a rare and embarrassing tantrum. As we journeyed down the East Coast of Australia with the aim of arriving in Sydney in time for Christmas, unless I changed my date of birth, I was going to have to spend my birthday on Fraser Island – the largest sand island in the world. All through the briefing I remained less than impressed as the instructors described how we should ward off dingoes with sticks and bury our toilet in deep sand pits. As my team mates loaded up the jeep with snacks, booze and camping equipment I barely helped out (I told you I was being embarrassing). We piled into the back, whacked Bon Jovi on the stereo and headed for the ferry. By the time we arrived on the island I had started to sing along. As we sped along the coast, a convoy of jeeps with an endless stretch of golden sand in front of us, I started to smile. As we raced to the other end of the
island in time to catch sight of some dolphins frolicking in the surf I began to get excited.

That night we pitched up our tents and the boys of the group took charge of cooking dinner. I was told to sit back and relax. My two wonderful and patient traveling companions had sneaked a bottle of champagne onto the island without me realising, I popped the cork and whopped with joy. When they then unveiled a chocolate cake and party hats I was completely bowled over. Next came out a giant birthday card which had been signed in advance by the nine kind people in my group who had only seen me sulking thus far. I snapped out of my mood immediately. As we tucked into goon and tinnies in true Aussie spirit, the music got louder, the drinking games more raucous and slowly other campers began to gravitate towards our group. We started with just us merry ten but very soon had tripled to a cheery 30 – we partied until a dingo stole the last of the cake and our faces (literally) hit the sand!

The next day, a bit worse for wear to say the least, we set off to find the infamous Lake McKenzie, one of over 100 freshwater lakes on the island. A bumpy ride, we worried if our heads and stomachs could handle it. Thankfully we soldiered on and it was really worth it. Truly an oasis in a sand desert Lake McKenzie was a sight to behold and an invigorating dip was just what our hangovers needed. We posed for group pictures and, despite my teenage tantrum, those people became my friends for life. On reflection I can see that, even though I couldn’t shower, my 23rd birthday was my best yet.

Travel obsessive does not even cover it. Jayne Gorman loves to travel, enjoys writing about travel and can often be found passionately speaking about…you guessed it – travel! Travel blogging is Jayne’s hobby, passion and career – she recently took up the role as Social Media Specialist for Flight Centre UK. Jayne’s lifelong ambition is to visit all 7 continents but whilst she saves for Antarctica, Jayne has set herself the slightly smaller challenge of visiting 40 countries before she turns 30. Jayne is currently 26 and has visited 36. You can find out what happened in the 36 already discovered and find out where the next 4 destinations will be on Jayne’s blog, 40before30. You can also find Jayne on twitter (a lot!).

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© Connie Hum 2011

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