It comes as no surprise that my favourite way to see a city is to get up at the crack of dawn and give it the runaround. There’s simply nothing quite like waking up alongside a city; whether it’s skirting around delivery vans dropping off fresh baked goods for the start of day, or darting businessmen and women hustling to get to work on time, taking an early-morning run while traveling is by far my favourite way to discover a city. You never know what you’ll see before the sun creeps up! Rising early to hit the pavement has led me to discover a Canadian cemetery in the North of Wales, and accidentally join a 5km while spending an anniversary weekend in Pittsburgh and been yelled at by a fellow hostel guest in Geneva who must have dreamed her alarm went off and blamed it on the early risers, or, I suppose I should say runners.
While I’ve had my fair share of fabulous runs to kick-start my travels around the world, here are my top 5! If you’re ever in the area, don’t miss out on the chance to take in the fresh air, the beautiful landscape and hit the ground running:
1. Stanley Park, Vancouver, B.C
Starting at Canada Place and ending at English Bay, the approximately 12 kilometer run through Stanley Park is the most amazing and memorable runs I have done to date (the fact that I ran it alongside one of my best friends was totally just the icing on the cake). Next to cyclists, joggers and walkers galore, you’ll weave in-between greenery set directly net to a never-ending coast-line in one of the most beautiful parks in the world. Check out more about Stanley Park and other things to see an do in Vancouver in my blog series on Beautiful British Columbia.
I didn’t enter into motherhood with a plan; I wasn’t keen on reading hundreds of books, my labour plan consisted of one sentence that said “do not show me the epidural needle”, and I insisted on keeping an open mind – whatever will be, will be, and that sort of thing. I had always said that I would love to try breastfeeding (when else do you have liquid enough to sustain another human being? I mean, how cool is that?), but if it didn’t work, I wasn’t opposed to switching to formula. The thing about motherhood is that regardless of how you envision your approach, things never quite work out according to plan.
Having a baby is a big decision, and while you ought to be prepared to give it all up in an effort to be the perfect mama, saying goodbye to those precious moments of respite you savour when trying simultaneously to juggle a career, a household, a rockin’ bod, a social life and a full refrigerator (unless your husband actually does the groceries?) isn’t always as easy as it seems. Once your little one makes his/her arrival, all your minutes are instantaneously redirected towards feedings, diaper changes, doctors appointments, and bouncing up and down like a maniac trying to soothe a crying baby. They say this will only last for a little while (I’ll let you know in another month or so).
The point is, people don’t really tell you what exactly you’re giving up as a woman once you decide to have a baby (and it’s a good thing, otherwise human procreation would surely come to an alarming and immediate standstill). This is of course because the pay-off (a super cute, loving, minion sized bundle of joy) is totally worth at (and because woman have a biological component that deletes the trauma of birth and the time that immediately follows). Whatever the reason, there are a few things I wish I’d known before taking the dive into motherhood – not that I wouldn’t have done it anyways, but at least I would have had a better idea of what the first few months had in store. So, here it is; the stuff that every woman should know before dropping the pill and pinning their legs against a headboard in the hopes of sending swimmers to meet their mate. Do these things while you can ladies, and savour them for all of us.