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Woohoo my birthday is just around the corner. I will be 40. I love birthdays no matter how old the person is, including me. It will be a big birthday and one I am proud to reach. As a result I decided I wanted to do something big to commemorate the special event. Just what to do? Then it hit me, a holiday overseas.

It has been a long and tedious task in trying to find the ideal location for my 40th Birthday holiday. For two years we have wanted to go to Fiji. Other than going on a cruise with my mother for her 60th birthday two years ago, I had never travelled outside of Australia. In fact even on that cruise, I had never flown outside of Australia. I had only ever travelled within Australia itself. Although I have seen many of the sights (not that many really) I wanted more. I wanted to explore what other areas of the world had to offer. I never wanted to travel when I was younger but now I have the bug and it has a very strong hold on me.

I decided this time that we would go to Fiji finally, however there was a catch, well two catches. Firstly was the cost to fly and stay during the January peak season  and school holidays. It completely blew out our budget, bugga. Second issue was that eventhough January was the hot and dry season in Australia, it means wet season in Fiji and surrounding islands. Until I began researching into this so called ‘wet season’, I had no idea that it meant a possible 300mm of rain for the month and high humidity, yuck. I like dry heat thanks. I tried to accept this difficult situation but was adamantly against it when I heard about the cyclone warnings that would occur. I found a website that updates them daily. Nope, no way and not happening. That was it, we were not going to Fiji for my birthday, bugga again.

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It was time to brainstorm some other ideas. The holiday was going to happen, but where would we go? I woke up early one morning and began thinking about what we would do. No matter what I came up with it was dictated by cost and weather. I have never been interested in travelling to Bali or Thailand. After going on the cruise I was in love with the Pacific Islands. The cruise was not that great but the islands were magnificent, heavenly. Instead of trying to fight these two issues – cost and weather, I decided to incorporate them into the holiday, so to speak. I researched into the weather and found out the best and worst times of the year to travel. I concluded that to travel to the islands, such as Fiji, the best weather times as well as the cheapest times were June and September. Mum’s birthday is in September. But what about my birthday? Why should I miss out? I then decided to see what locations were the best to travel to in January. Local places were most ideal such as anywhere near Australia including Tasmania and New Zealand. Tasmania and New Zealand have both interested me but I have never travelled to either. I made the decision that for my birthday we would travel to New Zealand and for mum’s birthday we would got o Fiji. Done. I had made up my mind.

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The next dilemma was the price. Both of our birthdays fall smack bang in the middle of school holidays, therefore peak times and higher costs. I do not have any children hence I am not restricted to travel during these times. I researched again into average prices for accommodation and flights. They are both much cheaper if we move my birthday holiday to one week after my birthday and one week before my mothers birthday. Ideally it would be better to be away on our birthdays but it would roughly save us $1000.00 each time if we change our plans by just one week. In the end I was happy with this. Mum and I have a tradition every birthday that we take each other out for tea. We could still do this on our actual birthdays and travel one week after and before. This way we both get spoilt with an extra meal and we get a holiday overseas. It’s a win-win.

New Zealand, here we come xxx