Before Joanna came to lululemon (you know her as the quick-witted writer responsible for one-liners like this) she could be found serving cocktails at 30,000ft and reminding us that the captain has turned on the seatbelt sign. With limited time between landings and take-offs, her favourite way to see the world was by foot (and sans a Lonely Planet).
run the world
Not only does running help combat jetlag, it’s a great way to get a fresh perspective and explore a city incognito (no fanny pack or giant map required). I love nothing more than waking up in an unfamiliar city, mapping out a route, picking a playlist and letting the city introduce itself. Here are my top five towns I think you should meet on the run.
london - run before you (pub)crawl
There are hundreds of reasons to run in London: gin, fish and chips, the Harrods Food Hall, Pimm’s and Marks and Spencer All Butter Shortbread are among my top five. I love running down Oxford Street before the shops are open; Hyde Park on a sunny day is a close second. There’s nothing like throwing on my Bridget Jones playlist, tearing down the London Bridge and hoping I bump into Colin Firth.
montreal - on y va
Before I head out on the prowl for poutine and smoked meat I like to run the streets of Montreal and develop a plan of attack. My usual route includes run-by browsing the windows at Simons, exploring the McGill University Campus and a cruise through the Old Port. If you’re looking for a view, running the trails of Mount Royal is an incredible way to uncover the beauty of this historic Canadian city.
san francisco - a san francisco treat
A morning run through the fog in San Fran is a great way to practice presence - living in the moment is easier when you literally can’t see what’s in front of you. I love to head down California Street, along the Embarcadero to Fisherman’s Wharf and then jump on the Powell-Hyde Street Car to get back to home base (not everything needs to be an uphill battle).
new york city - these streets will make you feel brand new
Before you slide into your Manolos and take a bite out of the Big Apple, run the streets of New York to get a feel for what’s to come. With over 800 acres of running playground, Central Park is really a no-brainer when it comes to mapping my NYC route. The energy of the city keeps my pace up and the bagel carts and pizza shops make for easy carbo-loading on the way back.
vancouver - there's no place like home
If I could click my heels together and end up anywhere, it would be Vancouver. Snow-capped mountains, ocean waves and miles of seawall make Vancouver my favourite place in the world to run. There is nothing (and I mean nothing) like a sunny day, some good tunes and the smell of sea salt to charge me up. If you’re looking for a life changing experience run over the Burrard Street Bridge, through Yaletown, the Olympic Village and into Granville Island. I’ll save you a seat on the patio at the Granville Island Hotel. Shameless editor’s plug: if you’re intrigued by this route you should check out the SeaWheeze Half. Just sayin’.
Writing this blog post brought new meaning to “I run because I really, really, really like to eat” for Joanna – but hey, when you have access to the world’s best cuisine how could you not develop a love affair with food. Have any favourite discoveries you’ve made on the run?