I am on a runner’s high from all the love I experienced, shared and witnessed at the Boston Marathon. The most famous race in the world brought together talented runners and their fans. I was beyond proud to cheer on my Dad as he slayed another marathon and lived his dream of conquering the challenging Boston course.
My love for running comes from my Dad’s passion for the sport. For as long as I can remember, my Dad has been obsessed with hitting the pavement. Growing up, he would often go for long runs with my neighbor and attend weekly runs with his YMCA crew. When I matured into a young lady, I tried the activity and… well, didn’t love it. Running for me was painful. I was slow and uncomfortable. The only reasons I even bothered with it were to lose weight and please my Dad. However, my Dad was born to run.
My Dad pleasantly recalled that he was always the fastest kid in the neighborhood. About 10 years ago, my Dad ran his first marathon that runs through New York and Canada – the only race to take place in two countries. My Mom and I rooted for him at the finish line, where he immediately fell over as soon as he crossed. I remember rubbing his legs for blood flow and how his skin was as white as Canadian snow. It was scary, but he managed to limp to the car and eat some poutine.
Since then, he has grown into a truly phenomenal runner. It’s funny how society tells us to grow old and tired, while my Dad has grown old and energetic. His zest for life and determination to keep going are the traits I admire most and hope to inherit. On Marathon Monday, he crushed the course with his commitment, optimism and straight up physical greatness. When I saw him turn the corner to finish the damn thing, his legs were like angel wings. He was so fast!
The Boston Marathon is a one-day organic community of love. I cheered for the family members of those around me. I high-fived the marathon warriors as they pushed for the finish line. I saw runners stop their journey to help others finish theirs. I witnessed people that attacked the race, despite their physical limitations. I teared up when I saw an older woman with bad-ass pink hair stop to kiss her husband who snapped about a hundred pictures of her in action. The Boston Marathon runners are my superheroes, champions and stars. They showed me that everyday people, with hard work, can transform into untouchable gladiators.
My love for the sport, like a marathon, has been long and unpredictable. In college, I began to finally enjoy the practice because it allowed me to just be. Since then, running has made me feel strong and limitless. When I am having a bad day, I lace up my sneakers and my mood instantly lifts. I have learned it’s hard to feel bad about yourself when your body is pumping and gliding you through the beautiful streets of Brooklyn.
The Boston Marathon reminded me that no matter what pace or distance, we were all born to run.
Last month, I embarked on my first ever solo adventure from start to finish. Disclosure: For those that know me well (most likely the only people reading this), I visited Wales and Scotland last year, which was only half solo.
Travelling solo is extra special because it’s a little treasure you give to yourself. When I booked my holiday to Bermuda in December, it was because I was scared. I realized I had absolutely nothing to look forward to in 2017. At the time, I was going through a health issue that rocked my world. My self-esteem suddenly dropped and I wasn’t feeling at all like Bridgit. It was the first time in my adult life that I experienced not wanting to live life out loud. I began to find ways to ditch social plans, the gym, calls with my Mom. I was dodging life and who I am. That’s when I knew, in my heart, it was time to go travel.
My love for travel stems from my study abroad experience. Once I went abroad, I developed a genuine obsession for visiting new places, learning how other people live and the rush that comes with exploring.
After I graduated college, I experienced how fricken’ easy it is to lose a grasp on your personal goals and hobbies. This really scared me and still does! As young Americans, we work so much it’s disgusting and shameful. In fact, Americans work more than anyone in the industrialized world. In order to at least keep my love for travel in action, I vowed to go on one big trip to a new place each year. For me, this goal is financially attainable and realistic.
This year, I selected Bermuda! I picked Bermuda for the following reasons:
1. Weather! This winter I forgot the sun existed.
2. Price! My roundtrip flight was $160. That’s cheaper than my roundtrip train ride to Rochester!
3. Trends! Each year, I devour the hot list of places to visit, and 2017 announced Bermuda was the it island.
4. Different! I have never been to any tropical island and wanted to explore a whole foreign country, lifestyle, culture and people.
Instead of listing all of the amazing activities and places I visited while in Bermuda, I would like to share the frequently asked questions I hear when I told/tell people about this solo holiday.
1. Why did you go solo?
I went solo because I love to do things by myself! Right now I am in this great café, Kos Kaffe in Brooklyn, writing and enjoying my own company. All day long, we’re surrounded by people and prioritize everyone but ourselves. Doing things on your own allows you to check-in on the first person who matters, YOU.
2. Why didn’t you go with your boyfriend?
Because I’m an independent woman! Joking… somewhat. My Dad asked me this question and it really pissed me off. Just because you’re intimately attached to someone, doesn’t mean you need to go on holiday with them. Mic drop.
3. Were you scared to go alone?
Yes, of course! However, before I embarked on this trip, I had already dipped my toes into solo travel. I also live and work in NYC, which has developed some fearlessness in me. However, when I first arrived I was nervous! I panicked that I hadn’t planned my trip enough and feared that maybe, just maybe, something bad would happen to a single female traveler. But guess what? Everyone I met was a pure delight and helped me. When I was boarding the plane back to NYC, I was devastated to leave the island that gave me such an incredible week.
4. Do you think it’s important for women to travel solo?
Absolutely. At a young age, women are taught to never go anywhere alone, even in their neighborhood. Hell, we infamously all go to the bathroom together. It’s so, so vital for women to boldly explore the world around them. After my trip, I had never felt more empowered and capable. I came back to my “reality” beaming with pride that I created an unforgettable holiday for myself! For both men and women, trying new experiences on your own increases your confidence, communication skills, problem-solving thinking and overall knowledge.
5. Did you meet people?
Yes! I strongly believe when you travel solo you’re more approachable, it’s like when you go to the bar with just one friend instead of your squad. People are more likely to come up to you when it’s just you instead of a huge group. I was blessed with great Airbnb hosts that introduced me to their family and friends. I also spotted a flyer for a women’s mediation class, where I met local ladies who offered me inside travel tips. I am following most of the women I met at this class on Instagram now! #Instafriends
6. What did you do at night when you were in Bermuda?
I didn’t go out to the bars because I didn’t want to find myself in a shady situation with strangers. Instead, I went to a yoga class, meditation class, read and wrote. If I had gone out, I would have spent more money and felt tired. My goal with this trip was to feel refreshed, balanced and inspired. Drinking doesn’t make me feel that way. Again, mic drop.
7. Did men hit on you?
I realize this is insulting to men out there, but women did ask me this one, and I totally get it. Women are sexually harassed almost daily and we fear being catcalled in strange places. Honestly, I didn’t have a problem.
8. Where did you stay?
I stayed at two amazing Airbnbs that were budget friendly and had great accommodations. I am friends with both my hosts on social media now and we have even messaged each other since I left! I highly recommend using Airbnbs while travelling solo because you get to meet the locals and have someone you can reach out to in case of emergency.
9. Was it expensive?
Bermuda is actually a very, very classy and expensive island. However, I stayed at Airbnbs, took the buses, visited free sites and cooked all of my meals. Also, my Airbnbs were near cool areas, but not in them like the hotels, which brought me closer to affordable grocery stores.
10. What did you do by yourself?
Exactly what I would do with friends or family! I checked out Bermuda’s beautiful beaches, caves and towns. I saw the country’s authentic Gombey Dancers shaking it and mediated for the first time at a local yoga studio. Since I was solo, I was able to see everything I wanted.
11. Was it relaxing?
YES! I didn’t have to rush or ask someone, “Hey, what do you want to do today?”. I began each day with a lovely run, ate a homemade breakfast, explored Bermuda, practiced yoga, read and reflected in bed. That makes me a relaxed and balanced woman!
12. Would you recommend going solo?
YES! Any person and more importantly, any WOMAN debating about travelling solo, just do it. You’re smarter and braver than you think! Take the leap and get out there, you will not regret it!
13. Where are you going next?
First, I want to remind everyone that travelling is a state of mind. Anytime you’re experiencing a place or activity with fresh eyes, you’re exploring. That’s the mindset of a traveler. I am dying to go to Mexico City this fall and am looking forward to a few upstate New York visits.
If you’re thinking of adding Bermuda to your travel list, please send me a note! I can share all of my magical spots.
This is the real me: what I love, what makes me happy and what makes me buzz.