Dawn’s Story – life begins at… 13,000 feet!

Dawn's Story - life begins at... 13,000 feet!

They say life beings at 50, but for Dawn our Fifty Things To Do When You Are 50 box has given her experiences she never expected.

We LOVE hearing from you – our wonderful customers – about how you take the inspiration in our boxes and run with it. When we heard from Dawn we had to share – please read, this is a truly inspiring story…

Standing by the open door of the plane, 13,000 feet up and about to jump, Dawn Lewis could hardly believe that she was about to make her first skydive. And facing her fear of heights in such a dramatic fashion was just one of the many adventures that made her 50th birthday year one to remember, with the help of our Fifty Things To Do When You Are 50 gift.

From a cocktail brunch to a city break and from rowing a boat to a hot air balloon ride, opening the little envelopes in her birthday box inspired Dawn to celebrate her 50th in style, and make unforgettable memories along the way. She explained:

“I’d originally planned an 80s themed fancy dress birthday party, but Covid restrictions meant that it couldn’t take place. I’d really missed seeing friends and family during the pandemic, and the ideas in the box seemed like a perfect opportunity to catch up with everyone and to celebrate turning 50.”

Dawn also had a poignant reason for wanting to celebrate her 50th birthday; her dad Alan had died suddenly aged 50, and this was the perfect way to remember his spirit of adventure.

Dawn said: “It was a shock when my dad died and I still miss him every day. He was in the army and he loved travelling, experiencing new places and trying new things. He would have enjoyed the idea of me sharing 50 adventures with the people closest to me.”

Dawn ordered the birthday box for herself after seeing it advertised on Facebook, and decided to start making her 50th birthday memories as soon as it arrived. Husband Andrew was persuaded into a rowing boat trip with Dawn. She said: “I had never rowed a boat in my life, but the card said ‘take a boat trip’ so we decided to go for it.”

The couple enjoyed a leisurely paddle along the River Stour from the picturesque village of Dedham in Essex, and followed up that adventure with a break to Norwich, accomplishing the card which suggested Dawn ‘visit a city she’d never been to before’.

But her biggest adventure came nine months after her birthday when daughter Hannah picked the ‘do something scary’ card and booked the pair in for a skydive.

Dawn said: “I’m terrified of heights, I even get wobbly when I climb a stepladder to put up the Christmas decorations. But I wanted this to be the year of saying yes, so I agreed.”

On the day of the jump Dawn waited anxiously as the plane climbed to 13,000 feet, and then edged towards the dropzone strapped to her instructor.

She said: “My heart was in my mouth and I couldn’t believe I was going to do this. Then the time came to jump and suddenly I was freefalling through the air. It was such an amazing experience. When I watch the video back now I can’t believe that it’s me. I feel really proud of myself, and I know dad would have been proud of me too.”

And the adventures don’t stop there, as Dawn has a sunrise hot air balloon flight with her sister Diane planned, which will also celebrate Diane’s 30th anniversary of a lifesaving kidney transplant.

Dawn said: “I really would recommend the birthday box to anyone who wants to enjoy a year of new experiences and making memories with their friends and family.

“This time last year I would never have imagined I’d have jumped out of a plane, but opening the cards has given me such a sense of adventure. It’s exceeded all my expectations, and my 50th birthday year really has been one to remember.”

Thank you Dawn for talking to our resident storyteller Jenna, we are truly inspired by your story and hope you are too. You can start your (or someone else’s) adventures by buying the box here – we have other ages too, it’s never too late:

50th birthday present

Fifty Things to do when you are 50
This is a small box, with a big impact. Surprise your loved one, with 50 fun ideas they can do over their 50th year whatever their gender. The sleek black gift box contains 50 colourful envelopes, with 45 surprise ideas of activities to mark their milestone year. They can be done with family, friends, or alone if they want a bit of peace and quiet. We’ve also included five blank cards so you can add your own ideas to personalise the present.
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