Fun Facts About Me: 26th Birthday Edition

by Melissa on November 20, 2012 · 48 comments

Seems to me that the thing that us bloggers tend to do on our birthdays is open up and share a little bit more about who we are outside of the travel and blogging worlds.  In honour of my 26th birthday (or the 1st anniversary of my 25th birthday as I prefer to call it), here are some fun facts about me!

1.  While growing up I put all of my extra time and effort into figure skating.  I was quite competitive and even competed three times at the Canadian Synchronized Skating Championships – resulting in two bronze medals.

figure skater

2.  Knock on wood – I’ve never broken a bone.  Despite being known as “Little Miss Clusterf**k” I’ve only ever sprained, strained, twisted, required stitches, and bled profusely.

3.  The first time I ever went camping was when I was 24 and traveling through Australia.  In the span of 3 weeks I camped around the Southwest Coast with three backpackers I randomly met, as well as bush camping along the Nullarbor Plain – with the Nullarbor Traveller tour– and further east as I traveled along the Great Ocean Road in a station wagon with two Frenchmen.

meet mickey and minnie
4.  I’ve been to Walt Disney World in Florida 10 times – the most recent being when I was 23.  It had been 10 years since my most recent visit.  I’ve never been to any of the other Disney theme parks around the world, however.

5.  When I was six weeks old I had an asthma attack and code blued (my heart stopped).  Apparently they were ready to pronounce me dead but one young doctor kept trying to revive me and I eventually came right.  That doctor went on to be my pediatrician until I was 16.

6.  I only ever had one boyfriend in high school – an older boy that I had a crush on for over a year- and that relationship lasted a month.  When he broke up with me I thought it was the worst thing in the world and moped around for months.

7. I’ve had very strange celebrity encounters.  Brad Pitt elbowed my boob.  Morgan Freeman tripped and I caught him.  Colin Farrell denied me a photograph with him because he thought I was the paparazzi.  Ryan Gosling predicted I would get sick.  I was talking with my hands and accidentally smacked Elizabeth Banks across the chest as she walked by.

ryan gosling

8. I have probably THE worst luck in relationships.  I now repeat the mantra “Melissa, look at your life, look at your choices” before entering into any relationship.

9. Once in high school, while out drinking with my friends, I went to pee behind a building  (classy, I know) and in my drunken stupor saw some people in the distance walking towards me, so I quickly tried to pull up my pants, but fell in my own puddle of pee.

10.  When I was 16 I cut off most of my hair – it was down to my butt, and I cut it into a short bob.  I then donated the hair to the Twilight Foundation – where they make wigs for kids with cancer.

donate hair for kids with cancer

11.  I worked as a private investigator for a year.  Realized it wasn’t for me because I had ethical issues with the job – so I quit.

12.  In elementary school I wet my pants.  Numerous times.

13.  When I was little I wanted to be a whale trainer after watching Free Willy.  Then I became obsessed with horses and wanted to be a jockey.  That was of course, up until I realized that at the age of 12 and being 5’5″ I was probably already too big.

14.  I was screwed out of a lot of money by someone who I once considered to be a good friend of mine.  When I was going to Australia in 2010, my ‘friend’ backed out 3 weeks before the departure date and is still yet to pay up her share since I was stupid enough to book the plane tickets on my credit card.  I’d really like my hard earned $1100 back.  As a result, I will NEVER, EVER, EVER loan money to anyone, no matter what.

15.  I’ve been invited to participate in an unusually large number of threesomesNOTE: have politely declined all invites.

16.  I have really long arms.  I affectionately call them my ape arms.  They’re not really knuckle-dusters, but Kate (from CanucKiwiKate) likes to think they are and she enjoys taking advantage of my height and long arms combination.

17.  If you choose to go overseas – chances are I will come visit you.  I have been known to travel the globe to visit my friends in faraway lands.  Some of my overseas stalking has included visiting Lindsay in Scotland, Kate in New Zealand THREE times, my friends Sara and Bradford in two different places in Australia back in 2009, Jill in Sweden in 2010, and Katie in Hong Kong in 2011.

girls in edinburgh

18.  When I was young I would often spend my summer holidays living (for weeks at a time) at my maternal grandmother’s house.  I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to spend as much time with her while she was alive and have those memories of her teaching me how to cook authentic Sicilian dishes and watching the Young and the Restless with her.

19.  When my family took a trip to Italy when I was 13, I shocked them by being able to tell them which direction we should be going in while we wandered around Rome.  They were amazed at my incredible sense of direction – which to this day, hasn’t seemed to fail me yet.

20.  I wore blue coloured contacts from the time I was 14-21.  When I was 22 I had laser eye surgery – I know what burnt eyeball smells like.  Inquire within.

post laser eye surgery

21.  I cannot waterski.  I also cannot ski on snow.  Nor can I rollerblade.  All of these facts, people are astonished to learn since I was a figure skater for so many years.

22.  I absolutely loathe the gym.  I hate working out.   I would much rather do an activity like swimming, figure skating, horseback riding or something a little more mentally stimulating than lift weights or run on a treadmill.

23.  I was born with a hemangioma birthmark on my right cheek and by the time I was 2 years old it was the size of an egg and very dark red in colour.  I was never really that self conscious about it – but I did get made fun of a lot.  People would ask if I got hit in the face with this object or that.  Adults were the worst; they probably assumed my parents beat me.  I had it surgically removed through 3 plastic surgeries when I was 10, 11 and 13.  As a result I do have a faint scar on my cheek, but most people don’t notice it.

hemangioma birthmark

24.  I’m a huge bookworm.  I love to read.  Admittedly I haven’t read as much as I could have in the last few years.  Looking forward to getting my new Kindle for Christmas so that I can amend that.

25. I am the eldest and 5 1/2 years older than my sister, Leanna, and we are two VERY, VERY, VERY different people.  As we’ve grown older, I think that we have learned to better understand each other and have grown closer – but I think at the end of the day we will always want different things out of life.


26.  I am the absolute happiest that I have ever been in my entire life.  I am doing exactly what I want to be doing and living my dreams.

So there you have it, 26 fun facts about me in honour of my birthday.  I’m all about being honest and open and I don’t think it gets much more honest and open than this post right here.  I hope that these fun facts about me made you laugh, cry and cringe-  I know I certainly did.  Now time to get drunk and stop thinking about the fact that I’m getting old.


{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Beverley | Pack Your Passport November 20, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Happy Birthday my love!!!! Really nice learning more about you and can’t wait to see you in December! 🙂
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Melissa November 20, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Thanks Beverley! I’m stoked to come visit you and for us to catch up and see Bear Grylls! 😀 eep!


Anne shearer November 20, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Hey…. There were a few facts posted that I wasn’t even aware of! Enjoyed reading them.
I hope you had a great birthday, hopefully we can celebrate more birthdays together….you’ve been away for the last two birthdays.

Love ya, mom. Xoxo


Melissa November 20, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Haha… yeah pretty sure I know which facts you didn’t know about.

Well it may mean that you have to come visit ME for my birthday!


pauline walsh November 21, 2012 at 4:20 am

Hi loved your bio….you are truly an all around person and it is wonderful to have you as a friend…when I am talking to people about making the best of their life I use you as an example ….go and follow your dream like Malissa has…she starts every day with a new adventure and makes sure her friends and family are included in the fun by sending pictures and full have always made us feel a part of your life and we enjoy opening e mail or facebook from you because we know you are living a true life adventure…at 26 you are an insperation to everyone….all the best and have a wonderful birthday…26 is just the begining…0x0x0x0x0


Melissa November 21, 2012 at 10:18 am

Thanks so much Pauline. I’m so lucky to have someone as positive and supportive as you in my life. And I know that the circumstances in which our lives were brought together weren’t exactly the best, you’ve continued to support me and my decisions no matter what. I can’t wait to share with you all of my adventures and stories when I’m home. Thank you for the birthday wishes. Love you xoxo


Ian [EagerExistence] November 21, 2012 at 4:37 am

Loved it.
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Ian [EagerExistence] November 21, 2012 at 4:37 am

Ps. I am homeless, so you can’t come visit me… but tell me where you’re going, and I’ll meet you there.
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Melissa November 21, 2012 at 10:19 am

Well I’m headed to Hawaii in 2 weeks… see you there? 😉


Erik November 21, 2012 at 4:41 am

Great list, both funny and touching 🙂

Have a great birthday- I wish I could even remember being 26, much less what I did on my 26th birthday…
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Melissa November 21, 2012 at 10:20 am

Hey Erik, thanks so much – I’m glad you liked the post. To be honest my day was pretty quiet but I am fortunate enough to live with Kate and she was kind enough to shout me lunch and make dinner with me last night – so it was quite special to spend quality time with her.


Lindsay November 21, 2012 at 5:05 am

I love fact number 26 🙂
You are amazing and that blog of yours is such an inspiration! Wishing you all wonderful things on the birthday, can’t wait to see you back in Toronto! Lindsay


Melissa November 21, 2012 at 9:59 pm

Thanks so much L.Doh! And did you like that you even got a shout out? 😉
I look forward to catching up with you when I’m back and sharing my stories! I also look forward to hearing all about what you’ve been up to!

Not much longer now! xoxo


Caroline in the City November 21, 2012 at 10:14 am

I am the exact opposite in that I get lost constantly. People are like, “Don’t you travel all the time?? Shouldn’t you have a better sense of direction?” Yeah..about that…

Happy Birthday!
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Melissa November 21, 2012 at 10:03 pm

Hahaha! Honestly… I must have a built in compass or something. I just seem to know where to go. Directions and finding my way seems like a logical thing to me. *shrugs* I dont get it.

Thanks for the birthday wish 😀


Lesley November 21, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Hi Melissa,

Hope you had a wonderful birthday and thank you for sharing! It’s great to get to know a bit more about you and your life philosophy by your writing; Respect!

Have a wonderful New Year!



Melissa November 21, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Thanks so much for following along with my adventure. And thanks for the birthday wishes 🙂


Nicole November 20, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Happy birthday, gorgeous!

So, I take it that you’re going to come back to Australia and visit me (not Chris because he’s smelly and in China =P)

Loved learning a little bit more about you and can’t wait to finally meet!
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Melissa November 20, 2012 at 10:26 pm

I would LOVE to come visit you in Australia – especially since you’re in Melbourne… since I didn’t get to see much else but the hospital while I was there for a week.

And don’t worry, Chris lost his visit privileges when he wrote off our friendship cause his current girlfriend didn’t approve of it. In fact he lost all friend privileges with me.

Can’t wait to meet you too! Are you going to be at TBEX in Toronto?


Rashaad November 21, 2012 at 12:06 am

If you don’t mind answering, how come you’ve been invited to take part in so many threesomes?
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Melissa November 21, 2012 at 10:14 am

I actually have NO clue.


Rashaad June 27, 2013 at 7:09 am

Also, if you don’t mind explaining, how did Brad Pitt elbow your boob?
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Hayley November 21, 2012 at 12:14 am

Happy Birthday Mel – have a shot for me haha! I loved getting to know you a bit more. I am also extremely jealous of that photo of you and Ryan. I LOVE him oh so much x
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Melissa November 21, 2012 at 10:15 am

Hahaha! Aw thanks so much Hayley – and Ryan is such a sweetheart. He felt horrible that I was getting sick and said he hoped my immune system would pull through! lol


Craig Makepeace November 21, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Ha ha, fun read! And you suck for being so young! Happy b’day 🙂
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Melissa November 21, 2012 at 10:58 pm

Awww no hatin’ Craig! 🙂 Thanks so much for the birthday wishes. How was prancing around in a dress last weekend? 😉


Ally November 21, 2012 at 1:13 am

Number 9 , and 15 were hilarious. I can honestly say I have never fell in a pudlle of my own pee :), or been invited for a threesome (not sure if im happy or sad about that one – its always nice to be asked haha). But anyway happy birthday!
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Melissa November 21, 2012 at 10:15 am

Consider yourself lucky on both accounts. 😉

Thanks for the birthday wishes!


Kyle Goes Global November 21, 2012 at 6:58 am


Love this!! It was so all over the place, but touch on so many different things. I might just have to steal this idea for my 26th next month! Also, unsurprisingly – my favorite was #26 – way to be, follow your dreams, keep it up!



Melissa November 21, 2012 at 10:01 pm

Thanks Kyle – the idea for this post was stolen from Waegook Tom and Beverley from Pack Your Passport who both shared some deep dark secrets on their big days!

Look forward to reading yours. Hope Central America is treating you well! xo


Angela Allman November 22, 2012 at 11:14 pm

I love you’re honesty… it made me giggle and also think back to some of my very similar embarrassing moments. Happy birthday!
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Melissa November 27, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Thanks Angela 🙂 I’m glad you could giggle at some of the embarrassing moments 😉


Tom @ Waegook Tom November 22, 2012 at 4:22 pm

HAHAHAHAHA I love your celebrity encounters and the falling in a puddle of pee story! Please do something similar in Toronto. Maybe brush past someone’s vagina this time, or trip and fall into someone’s crotch? Someone famous, of course.
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Melissa November 22, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Hahaha! I’ll see what I can come up with!

And the falling in my puddle of pee was inspired by your unfortunate poop stories 😛 haha


Simo November 28, 2012 at 10:44 am

Happy Birthday “little miss cluster fuck”

Your a one of a kind… 😉
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Melissa November 28, 2012 at 10:55 am

Thanks Simo! 🙂


Gary November 30, 2012 at 4:48 am

Great post- very funny- happy birthday!


Melissa December 4, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Thanks Gary!


Veera Bianca August 19, 2013 at 11:04 am

I am absolutely in love with your blog and your adventures! Way to go! I also write a travel blog, but the english version of it is not ready yet 🙂


Melissa December 4, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Aw thank you so much Veera – let me know when you do get an English version out – I’d love to check it out!


Arianwen November 20, 2013 at 9:41 am

Great facts! I can’t believe you met Ryan Gosling and let him get away! Also, I too used to wear coloured contact lenses. I even went to a job interview with purple eyes once – and I got it! But isn’t laser eye surgery the best thing EVER?!!!


Melissa December 4, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Hahaha! Aww Ryan was a sweetie – but I knew even then that we weren’t meant to be the next Hollywood powercouple.

Laser is THE BEST! That being said… i think I need to go for a touch-up soon… I’m pretty sure my eyes have regressed a bit in the last few years.


Astrid Tyssebotn November 20, 2013 at 12:58 pm

haha, love it!

Happy birthday, Mel!


Melissa December 4, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Thanks Astrid! 🙂 Hope you are doing well! xo


Stephanie Arne November 20, 2013 at 2:22 pm

I loved this post! After being your travel friend for so long, it is still fun to learn weird things about you. Ps. You have an unusual connection to urine. lol! I love you and happy birthday my soul sister.


Melissa December 4, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Lol! I really do have a strange connection to urine. And if I had to put an extra fact for my 27th birthday it would be: 27) I was once peed on by a big male lion named Damisi


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