Missing Special Occasions

One of the biggest sacrifices to travelling or even relocating abroad is missing a special occasion, whether is Birthdays, Weddings or Anniversaries. You’re often faced with the difficult decision, and in my opinion nothing should get in the way of the trip of a lifetime, or a dream re-location. So what can you do about it? Well, when I first travelled a few years ago, I missed my sisters 30th birthday. I really didn’t want to, but her wedding was a few months prior so it was her birthday or wedding, I couldn’t do both. So what do you do? Here’s one idea…

About four weeks prior to her birthday, I bought a whiteboard and wrote a birthday message on it, with the sole aim to get this board in as many ridiculous places, well-known landmarks or random people across Malaysia! I’d then put them on facebook on the day of her birthday. Here’s some of the best ones.


The Langkawi Cable Car Viewpoint

The Andaman – A Luxury Collection Resort! (That I snuck into)


This looked a lot shallower from the beach, I had no idea it would be such a mission! But it was worth it in the end.

Where’s Wally!? Can you find me?

Kuala Lumpur

The Petronas Towers (possibly my favourite shot)


All that was left to do was upload them to Facebook, tag my sister and Skype home to wish her a happy birthday! They say it’s the thought that counts! What do you think? Have you missed a special occasion and done something a little out of the ordinary? I’d love to hear about it in the Comments section below.

Written by | Scottie T

Founder & Editor of Intrepid Escape, a huge lover of adventure, adrenaline, sport & fitness. After travelling to over 20 countries in the last year, Scott started to document his travels before fulfilling an important lifelong goal by starting Intrepid Escape. His dream is to be a backpacking poker-playing, videographer, photographer, presenter & writer!

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  1. Kirsty

    January 21, 2015 at 8:34 am

    What a great idea! I have sent pictures of me holding Happy Birthday banners home before, but I love the idea of taking the same one to so many different places.Your sister must have found it hilarious!

    • Scott Tisson

      January 22, 2015 at 10:13 pm

      Thanks Kirsty, yeah I think she did! I think the next time I miss one I’ll try to take it one step further and make a video 🙂

  2. Emma

    January 23, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    What a brilliant idea! Your sister must have been so happy! The thought of missing a special occasion back at home is hard when you’re travelling but making a special effort like this means the world to those back at home! And you can be celebrating in your own way 🙂

    • Scott Tisson

      January 29, 2015 at 10:36 pm

      Thanks Emma, I think she liked it. You’re right it does, always worth making the effort 🙂

  3. Francesca One Girl: One World

    January 23, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    What a cute idea!! I’m sure she was touched! I’ve missed so many birthdays and never thought to do something like this. Definitely keeping it in mind for the future!

    You should share it on Buzzfeed or something like that, I’m sure it will get a lot of attention!

    • Scott Tisson

      January 29, 2015 at 10:37 pm

      Great idea Francesca, although I’m not really sure how Buzzfeed works but I’ll take a look 🙂

  4. Nelson Mochilero

    January 25, 2015 at 10:25 am

    Nice tip dude! I’ll try it the next time I’m missing someone’s birthday.

    • Scott Tisson

      January 29, 2015 at 10:37 pm

      Cheers Nelson, give it a try 🙂

      • Charla

        April 25, 2016 at 2:50 pm

        I cannot tell a lie, that really hepdel.

  5. Francesca (@WorkMomTravels)

    February 27, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Ha, what a fun idea!

  6. Yanis

    August 4, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    I absolutely love this idea. Like a “flat Stanley” of thoughtfulness. Very sweet and fun! Thanks for sharing!

    • Scottie T

      August 4, 2015 at 9:10 pm

      Hey Yanis! Ah thank you, I’m glad you like it 🙂

  7. Ira

    October 28, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    I also used a stuffed animal or puppet (why did I have a puppet with me…well…) to represent the person and then took it with me through China. It made some very interesting photo ops and made the person that it represented, happy.

    • Scottie T

      November 21, 2015 at 2:15 pm

      That’s great Ira, if it represents that person even better! I like the idea putting it in serious photos, nice views and things like that 🙂

  8. Mike Orobona

    December 30, 2015 at 3:03 am

    Good thing no one erased the whiteboard halfway through! I almost can’t help myself around those things. It’s a good idea, but I don’t think my wife would let me off the hook on our anniversary.

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