Year 31 - Dana Chirps

below is a glimpse of year 31 

below is a glimpse of year 31 

Another trip around the sun, and another year in the books! Year 31 was surreal. It's funny to look back each year and reflect. Never would I have or could I have predicted the events that occurred. Here are my highlights, in no particular order:

  • Went to a Bruins game at TD Garden. I had seen them play in other rinks, but it was my first time to see them play on their home turf. The atmosphere was awesome.
  • Moved to another country. This was a major bucket list item of mine. I'm not surprised that I moved to another country, but I never would have guessed it was going to be Bermuda! And I never would have anticipated that it would happen when it did.
  • I lived Bermuda. This bullet point could be it's own blog post, but I'll highlight some of the bigger events and things I got to participate in while living there! I can look back on my experience there knowing that I did not sit back and let that experience pass me by. I took full advantage of getting to live in such a spectacular place.
  • Used a pedal-bike as primary mode of transportation. I pedaled all over the eastern side of Bermuda. I hated grocery day, because I was lugging the extra weight of food in my backpack up those crazy hills. But there was something special about pedal-biking home late at night with Brett. With very few cars on the road, hardly any street lights, and the tree frogs singing their hearts out - it felt like we were the only two people on the island. I look back and feel proud to have experienced and adapted to that lifestyle change, even if I don't miss depending on a pedal-bike. 
  • Went to Punta Cana. This was a work trip, but I had time to have some fun. I'm thankful I got to go to another country (on someone else's dime!) and experience it, but I don't have any desire to go back.
  • I learned to drive a scooter, sorta. So motorized scooters, aka "bikes," are the main mode of transportation in Bermuda. I zipped around on various bikes of various sizes, and I'm pleased to say I survived. lol.
  • Attended the Good Friday Festival. This is a big event in Bermuda. And I'm SO glad I went because that was the first day I made friends on the island - and they ended up being some of the most wonderful people I've ever met. (Shout out to Bios peeps and Kickboxing peeps!)
  • Hosted friends and family in Bermuda! I pretty much singlehandedly increased Bermuda tourism with all of my visitors. It was such a treat to have them come visit, and was so much fun showing them around the island!
  • Hosted my parents in Bermuda! They get their own bullet point. It was my dad's very first trip out of the states, and it was a BIG deal. This ended up being one of my favorite weekends, ever, as in, in my whole life. I can't even begin to describe the joy I felt when I watched my parents see Horseshoe Bay for the first time. 
  • Connected with friends who were visiting. Oh my gosh, was this fun! Blast from the past type of reunions went down when my friend Meredith was visiting, and then when my friend Jaime was on the island. Nothing quite like rekindling a childhood friendship.
  • Made the MOST INCREDIBLE FRIENDS while living in Bermuda. I know I've said this like 100 times on this blog, and I'll probably say it 50000 more times, but it's true. The friendships I made on the island were unlike anything else I've ever experienced. I miss them so much, and am so appreciative of how welcoming they were. I don't know if I've ever been so quickly embraced before. 
  • Attended America's Cup. THIS was one of the best times this past year, and we were so lucky to get to experience it! 
  • Saw tall ships!
  • Went to a Cub's game.
  • Went to the Yves Saint Laurent exhibit with my mom. 
  • Took a tour of Bermuda from the sky. Such a spectacular way to see the island.
  • Represented the East side while attending Cup Match!
  • Went to Non-Mariners on a catamaran cruise.
  • Saw the glow-worms. (It's a Bermuda thing, and I totally geek out over this!)
  • Took tons of photos with my Nikon. Taking more photos with that camera was a goal of mine, so I'm glad to have accomplished this!
  • Swam in caves. 
  • Heard the tinkling at Seaglass Beach.
  • The last weekend we were in Bermuda. So during the last weekend in Bermuda, Brett and I did enjoyed all our favorite things "one last time." This ended up being one of my favorite times while we lived there because we literally did EVERYTHING over the course of a couple days. Loved every second.
  • Flew private with Brett as the pilot! 
  • Visited Charlottesville with Brett. I lived there for a year, and Brett lived there for 3-4 years. We just missed each other. Although Charlottesville is not where I'd EVER want to live again, it was really fun to go back there with Brett and reminisce and visit places we both liked.
  • Moved back to the states, to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I can't quite say this was a "highlight," but it was significant. Portsmouth wasn't the first place on my list, but I'm definitely glad we didn't end up near the last place on my list! Living up here is extremely different than the lifestyle I had in Bermuda and South Florida. But it's getting better, and I think it will continue to do so. But I'll always be a sunshine girl.
  • Wedding dress shopping for Mamie in Georgetown! 
  • Going to a UNH hockey game with my parents. 
  • Having Nana for Christmas. I loved that she decided to spend Christmas at my parent's house in VA. It was so much fun having her, and showing her some of our Christmas traditions.
  • Completed my first round of Whole30!
  • Made my own friends in Portsmouth. This is so important to me. I love and adore Brett's friends, but for the sake of nuturing my independent spirit, I knew I needed to make my own ASAP. I joined an amazing gym (Mission Portsmouth), and completed a challenge in January that essentially involved me taking 40ish classes in 3 weeks. I became tight with a few of the girls who also did this challenge. It feels so good to have girlfriends to chat with and to hang out with.
  • Went to my first Patriots game. It was insanely cold, but what a cool experience. Patriots fans are pretty hysterical, and we sat next to some wildly entertaining ones!
  • Went skiing for the first time! This is the only redeeming thing about winter. Brett took me on a "warmer" day (40 or so degrees), and I started off with a lesson. I had a pretty lame instructor. I had envisioned a 19 year old hottie that uses the word "gnarly" regularly, and ended up with a woman with the personality of a stapler. Luckily, it was only a 60 minute lesson. When it was done, Brett took me up on the chairlift, and I had a BLAST. He was a really good instructor, too. I hope I can get good enough to hold my own on wussy hills soon.

I love doing this post every year, as it lets me reflect on how much can happen in 365 days. I'm excited to see what Year 32 holds, and can't wait to begin that journey tomorrow.

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Moving to another country? Here's what you need to know!

Tips for moving to another country - Dana Chirps

Tips for moving to another country - Dana Chirps

There are so.many.things to think about when you're moving to another country. Each country has their own set of rules, and way of doing things. You absolutely have to do your research. Below are some matters that you will want to have a plan for before making the jump and moving to another country. 

Health Insurance: When you travel internationally frequently, or are living internationally for a period of time you're going to want to be protected regardless of your actual location. Be sure to find a plan that suits your specific needs.

Drivers License: One thing I wish Brett and I understood better prior to coming to Bermuda was how to obtain our scooter license. In Bermuda it is a three step process, and none of the steps can happen on the same day. The steps were: physical, written exam, and then driving test. We also had to learn how to drive on the left side of the road, which took some practice. 

Medications: You may not be able to find the exact same medication in every country. This might not be a big deal for some, but for others, it could really be a serious problem. I recommend contacting your new pharmacy in advance to see what your options are, and then work with your provider in finding a solution if needed.

Work Permit: If you're planning on moving to another country and "figuring it out when you get there," you're in for a rude awakening. Bermuda is very passionate about hiring Bermudians... so when there is a new job opening on the island they have to post it for a certain amount of time to give Bermudians first dibs... if no Bermudians are qualified, only then can they make that position accessible to expats. I also wasn't allowed to volunteer because it could be taking away experience from a Bermudian. Thankfully, I went to Bermuda with (remote) work in place. 

It is tedious to do the research on these matters, but it is absolutely necessary! 

Like this article? Then check out the number one thing that living in Bermuda made me appreciate about the United States.  

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

My Favorite Food and Drinks in Bermuda - Review - Dana Chirps

Ok, so let me be the first person to tell you that you don't go to Bermuda for the culinary experience. You go for the beaches, and natural beauty. However, I have acquired some favorite food and drinks on the island since moving there!

Swizzle at Beach House

Tropical Drinks - Rum Swizzle and Dark n' Stormy at Beach House - Bermuda

Tropical Drinks - Rum Swizzle and Dark n' Stormy at Beach House - Bermuda

The swizzle at Beach House is my favorite on the island - which are fighting words, but I am standing my ground on this one. I like that their recipe does not taste syrupy, or like you're drinking fruit concentrate over ice. It's refreshing, light, and is guaranteed to brighten your day. Bonus: Beach House overlooks the clear blue water of Achilles Bay. For food, I recommend sticking to sandwiches (avoid the salads, unless they bring back their nicoise salad). It’s worth mentioning that they have seasonal hours, so be sure to call. But when they’re open, it’s well worth the trip. 

Harvest Bowl at Devil’s Isle

Harvest Bowl - Devil's Isle - Hamilton, Bermuda

Harvest Bowl - Devil's Isle - Hamilton, Bermuda

Devil's Isle is smack dab in the middle of town. It has a trendy vibe, and a robust menu. I swear by the Harvest Bowl. You can customize your bowl with your preferred grain, protein, and dressing… they also give you the option of serving the salad warm or chilled. I order my bowl the way people order their Starbucks. My go-to customizations are: quinoa, grilled octopus (SO good), garlic dressing, added avocado (yes, I know it's extra) - served WARM so that the kale is nice and soft. It is also worth noting that this place has the best iced coffee on the island. And the truffle fries. Mother of God, they are good.

Anything at Coconut’s

Food with a view - Bermuda

Food with a view - Bermuda

You know when you meet a guy and he’s not a total hottie, but decent looking… but then his personality makes him the sexiest man on earth? That’s basically what lunch at Coconut’s is like. I’ve had lunch here several times, and each time it has been good. But the view is what makes this place downright sexy. You FEEL like you’re in Bermuda when you eat here.

Avocado “Egg Rolls” at White Horse

Avocado Rolls at White Horse - Bermuda

Avocado Rolls at White Horse - Bermuda

Calling all avo lovers! Stop what you’re doing right now, and go to White Horse in St. George’s and order these. They are much bigger than the egg rolls from a Chinese restaurant in America. These bad boys are served up with this soy-based dipping sauce that is unreeeeeal. This is the only place where I have ever ordered “another” of a food time. And ya know what? I ain’t sorry. Not one bit. 

Curried Fish Cake Sandwich at Bonefish

Curried fish cake sandwich - Bonefish - Bermuda

Curried fish cake sandwich - Bonefish - Bermuda

This is not to be confused with the “fish sandwich.” This fish cake is packed with curry flavor which I LOVE. Oddly, they pair this fish cake with fried banana… I don’t understand it either, but it WORKS. I inhaled this sandwich at Bonefish which is a casual spot in Dockyard. If you have room after your meal, you can meander around, and get a Bermuda rum cake (I like the swizzle flavor best).

NOT PHOTOGRAPHED, BUT WORTH MENTIONING:

Artmel’s Fish Sandwich

Seriously, don’t even waste your breath in trying to convince me that there is a better fish sandwich on the island. I don’t have any photographic evidence of this sandwich because I ate it too fast. This Bermudian classic is exactly what you need when you’re craving fried food, are hungover, sober, hungry, or just feel like eating. 

Nachos at Swizzle Inn (near Grotto Bay)

I know everyone likes to hype the swizzle there, but I think the real highlight are Swizzle Inn's BBQ chicken nachos. Worth. every. calorie. They are not photogenic. In fact, they look like a messy volcano of all things good and unhealthy. So you should order them. And probably some swizzle, too.

The Sammy Roll at Beluga Bar

For those who know me, know that sushi basically takes up 68% of my personal food pyramid. The Sammy Roll is the best sushi roll on that 20(ish) square mile island, and one of the best rolls I've ever had, ever. I don't want to spoil it, and tell you why (they intentionally keep what makes this roll special off the description on their menu, too!). So you'll have to go into town (this joint is inside of the mall) and try it yourself! 

Savory Kernels

I don’t even eat popcorn. In fact, I have some pretty adverse reactions when I eat the stuff. But I will pay that price for their rosemary garlic flavored popcorn EVERY TIME. The ketchup flavor is also yummy. If you like a little spice, try the jalapeno cheddar. 

Visiting Bermuda? See what my first visitor had to say, and recommended!

2 Comments

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

My Top Three Reasons Why I Love Bermuda - Dana Chirps

Near Fort St. Catherine - Bermuda - Dana Chirps

Near Fort St. Catherine - Bermuda - Dana Chirps

Who would have thought that a teeny tiny island in the Middle of Nowhere, Atlantic would have made such a massive impact on me. I've been trying to peg down exactly why I love Bermuda, and what I think makes it such a special place. 

Cooper's Island Nature Reserve - Bermuda - Dana Chirps

Cooper's Island Nature Reserve - Bermuda - Dana Chirps

  1. Natural Beauty. I think this one was sort of a no-brainer and expected. But I do think it is worth mentioning that I have had the privilege of visiting other gorgeous islands (St. Thomas, St. Martin, St. Croix, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Dominican Republic), and Bermuda still wins. The whole color scheme is brighter here. Blues are bluer, pinks are pinker. Vibrant tropical flowers that nonchalantly grow everywhere. The water is so dang blue that I continuously have to convince people I'm not filtering or editing the photos I show them. And then you see the pink sand, and it's like "Ok, Bermuda. You're just showing off now." ;)
  2. The people. I simply can't get over the caliber of person I've met and become friends with here. Most of my friends in Bermuda are other expats, and there is this unspoken and deep level of empathy of knowing what it is like to be the new person in a new country. Everyone is welcoming, and invites everyone to everything. Not to mention how fun it is to meet other people who are kind of like you in the sense that they picked up and moved to another country to live on a 20 square mile island. It's an adventurous bunch to say the least!  
  3. Simplicity. So this is something that can be adopted in the states, but it is SO much harder to do so. In the states, there are so many options, all of which are convenient. We run on consumerism, and don't blink an eye at all the things we encounter each day. However, in Bermuda, Brett and I have embraced simplicity. No TV, we pedal bike (not to be confused with "bike" which means "scooter" on the island) everywhere, and mostly spend our free time taking advantage of the island life. Our main grocery store is maybe 1000 square feet, and we purchase our meat from a guy right off the boat. Although nothing is "easy" to do, and you really have to plan your day around simple activities (because you have to allocate time to pedal bike to the store, hope they have everything you need, and pedal bike home).. the simplicity of it is refreshing.

Conversely, if you want to see what living in Bermuda has made me appreciate about the United States - check out this post!

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Number One Thing that Living in Bermuda has Made Me Appreciate About The United States - Dana Chirps

I've been living in Bermuda since mid-March, and feel unbelievably blessed and privileged to get to experience something so extraordinary. It hasn't always been easy (despite what my Instagram depicts), and has been a massive adjustment coming from South Florida. But nevertheless, it's predominantly been an inspiring, thought-provoking, and delightful experience. Living on a teeny (20 square miles!) island has certainly made me acknowledge and appreciate certain things in America that I unintentionally took for granted. So I thought for this year's Independence Day, I'd share with you what I've learned to appreciate about The United States since moving to Bermuda. (Bermuda friends, there will be a post about what I love about Bermuda in comparison to the US coming up. I don't want you all to think I'm hating, I love this island. Every place has their pluses and minuses.)

The number one thing that living in Bermuda has made me appreciate about The United States is the size of the USA. I used to see it as a hinderance, and often wish states operated independently, as their own little countries - much like Europe. I am now undecided as far as that goes. But the biggest mental shift I've made since moving to BDA, is identifying the advantages of being from a massive country...

Cost of living. You can live, do, eat, and drink SO MUCH for relatively SO LITTLE in the US. Most of everything here in Bermuda is imported, so things like groceries are way more expensive. Cars, even old ones, are expensive. Renting is pricy due to the fact that the demand largely exceeds the supply. A gym membership (decent, no-frills type of gym) is about $200 per month. Thank heavens the beach is free. 

Education. Many locals here have to leave the island to get their college education. The wealthier families send their kids to boarding schools in the North East during grade school. I'm not saying the education is bad, I honestly haven't looked deeply into it. But I have noted that trend in conversations with local Bermudians and other expats.

Traveling. As Americans, we can travel into any and every state whenever we please. Each state has its own unique flair, and most people go their whole lives without seeing all 50 because the country is just so massive, and also due to time and money constraints. But the fact we have free access to every state is amazing. I think Americans (even myself at times) forget that our own country is so worthy of traveling. 

But it's not the actual size of the US that propels this, it's the amount of choices we have in America. More land, more people, more innovative and creative minds, more education, more businesses, more restaurants, more job opportunities, more everything. The fact we can choose from so many options of everything is INCREDIBLE. How blessed I was to be able to pick up and move to South Florida (for no other reason than I liked it), choose from a multitude of paths career-wise, and then successfully pursue the career of choice, eat delectable (and affordable) healthy food for lunch, go to a boutique gym with bells and whistles, and then choose from about 30 nearby places (no exaggeration) for a swanky dinner with cocktails... all while living comfortably (3 blocks from the beach), and still having enough to put aside like the responsible adult I attempt to be on occasion. Albeit unintentionally, I took this all for granted while living stateside. Obviously, I've since reflected and have found the vast variety of options in the US to be such an empowering, and invigorating thing to think about. It's truly a country where you can do anything, and how lucky I am to get to call this country home. 

Happy Independence Day! And a sincere thank you to our military (and their families) who serve our country. We would be nothing without you.

 

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

A Must Do in Bermuda - Blue Sky Bermuda - Bermuda - Dana Chirps

Must Do In Bermuda - Dana Chirps - All of that green area is the golf course at tuckers point

Must Do In Bermuda - Dana Chirps - All of that green area is the golf course at tuckers point

I woke up yesterday to an incredible surprise. Brett brought me coffee in bed - a thoughtful gesture that never gets old (even if it's done partly out of survival, hehe). As I'm midway through my giant cuppa-joe, he says, "ok, go get ready, you're going flying." I was excited, and confused. And I'm not totally sure what I said after that (caffeine hadn't quite hit the system yet), but I was STOKED. I soon learned that I was getting to see Bermuda from the sky via Blue Sky Flights Bermuda! 

What was particularly awesome was the fact that the pilot of this endeavor is one of my friends - Heather! But even if it had been the kind of person you avoid eye contact with at Walmart, I'd still say it's worth it... but I'm REALLY GLAD IT WASN'T... especially since Heather is like a Bermuda encyclopedia, and a ton of fun. 

Heather runs this shop flying a small plane (Cessna Skyhawk 172). It's much like climbing into a teeny car. She was in the drivers seat, a professional photographer was in "shotgun," and I was in the backseat. That little plane gets in the air so quickly! 

She took us all around the east end of the island. The views. Sweet Lord Jesus, the views. The water is so clear, you can easily see coral, shipwrecks, the works. It was so interesting to see my neck of the woods from above - I enjoyed spotting familiar landmarks like the Unfinished Church in St. George's, Fort St. Catherine's, and a ton of other locales I frequent. We also saw the America's Cup J Class Regatta, which includes some of the most famous yachts in the world. Only ten of these boats were built, and just three of the originals are still functioning today.

Everything looked SO vibrant and lively from the sky. The pink sand looked pinker, the blue water bluer... just the colors in general... well, see for yourself... 

This experience has made me appreciate this island on a whole new level. I'm particularly awestruck over the beauty, and how enriching this country that is merely 20 square miles truly is. 

Blue Sky Flights I think best serves three types of people:

  1. Professional photographers (or avid enthusiasts). You must make a point to do this. Bring your gear, and make it happen. But be sure to secure shotgun seating. All of my shots were "reach arounds" because I was in the backseat, and I was pointing the camera without being able to see. I obviously still got some great pictures, but I would have loved the ability to shoot more strategically.
  2. Locals. To see this island from the sky gives you a whole new perspective and appreciation of your home. 
  3. Tourists. It's such a unique experience, and Heather knows this island inside and out and will give you insight you can't get anywhere else (believe me, I've tried them all).

Let me know if you end up going! I'd like to do it again, and go see other parts of the island.

 

8 Comments

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

America's Cup - Bermuda - Dana Chirps

What a weekend! Brett and I had been looking forward to America's Cup since before we moved to Bermuda. In all honesty, I didn't really know much about America's Cup, and therefor had no clue what to expect. However, I did know it was potentially a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and that the entire country of Bermuda has been enthusiastically preparing and building excitement for the event for quite some time - there was no way I was going to miss out on that action! So the other week we secured the opening ceremony tickets for Friday, and Grandstand tickets for Saturday.

On Wednesday, Brett's pilot-friend, Kieran, and his girlfriend Samantha, booked last minute tickets to join us from Philly! We were both stoked they could come! They got here early afternoon on Friday. Shortly after they arrived, there was an announcement that the opening ceremony was canceled and rescheduled for Saturday due to weather. So the four of us spent that windy day exploring the nearby beaches at Cooper's Island. It was crazy - one of the beaches that Brett and I go to all the time was filled with man-o-war jellyfish washed up on shore, likely due to the weather. Then we trekked through the rain into Hamilton where we got dinner and went out for drinks (Devil's Isle, Pickled Onion, Hog and Penny). We hit the jackpot with live music at the last two places. The band at The Pickled Onion was particularly fantastic - I was loving their Pit Bull covers (mad me think of Soflo). We all knew we had a full day ahead so we were fairly tame, and got back at a reasonable hour. 

Out in Hamilton, Bermuda - Dana Chirps

Out in Hamilton, Bermuda - Dana Chirps

The weather on Saturday was (thankfully) Bermudaful and sunny! We got up early, took a taxi, and then a ferry to get to Dockyard, where AC is being held. We weren't sure how organized America's Cup was going to be, given that such a teeny island was hosting this month-long competition. But we were all incredibly impressed. The whole thing went off without a hitch with the exception that the ferry back which was delayed with no announcement by an easy 15 minutes - but that was not a big deal at all.

The event itself was a blast. The main area dubbed "the village" boasted a variety of vendors and tents: food, drinks, swag/apparel, a really solid kids play area (smart thinking on their part!), and tents where you could learn more about sailing. There were also different tents you could pay more for (VIP) that offered different things. Getting the Grandstand tickets essentially meant that we had seats with a great view. I'm glad we got those tickets since we were there for the whole day. It was nice to sporadically sit in the shade and catch the breeze that came with those seats. But if I were only going there for a few hours, I probably would just get the general village pass. 

The racing itself was what blew my mind the most. Watching these boats maneuver in the water was 1000x more fun than I ever could have imagined. The first race was USA vs. France, and we smoked them, but it was still fun to watch (I mean, who doesn't love watching the French lose?). The race between the US and New Zealand was TIGHT and extremely intense - Brett and I were losing our minds with excitement. The US prevailed, and ended up winning, and we whooped and hollered with American pride. Brett and I apparently ended up catching the attention of the cameraman... 

America's Cup - Dana Chirps

America's Cup - Dana Chirps

After the last race Wyclef Jean performed. He did a fantastic job, and somehow connected with an extremely broad audience. He was appropriate enough for the kids, edgy enough for the teens, and nostalgic enough for anyone who grew up listening to him or the songs he covered. 

Once the concert was over, we made our way back to St. George's via ferry and grabbed a late dinner at The Wharf. We were all pretty beat from a long day filled with racing, cheering, and drinking in the hot sun. We pretty much collapsed into bed the moment we got back home.

Kieran and Samantha had a great time with us, and we loved having them! I loved having a gal pal to hang with, and it was nice to talk to another chick who dates a pilot. We're already talking about what we want to do the next time they come to visit, especially since we didn't have enough time to show them the beaches on South Shore. I've already begun to campaign for them to bring their pug, Chief, next time too. ;)  

Saturday was definitely one of the best days we've had since moving here. Start to finish, it was an incredible experience and everyone was set to have an amazing time. I am so grateful to have gotten to experience such an exciting event, in this beautiful country. Between the intense outdoor sport + fun nautical-inspired apparel + champagne tents + live music...  I'm pretty sure sailing gained its newest and most enthusiastic fan this weekend. 

Watching America's Cup - Dana Chirps

Watching America's Cup - Dana Chirps

1 Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Happy Bermuda Day! - Bermuda -Dana Chirps

Bermuda - Blue Water and Blue Kayak - Dana Chirps

Bermuda - Blue Water and Blue Kayak - Dana Chirps

Happy Bermuda Day! This holiday was first celebrated on May 24, 1902, where essentially all the British colonies celebrated the Queen's birthday. As the colonies became independent, this day evolved into celebrating their own national identity and heritage. Over the recent(ish) years, Bermuda has treated this holiday as the start of summer. It's celebrated with a half marathon that finishes with a parade featuring Gombey dancers and other paradey-things. If it's warm enough, Bermudians will take their inaugural and ceremonious (but not really) dip in the ocean.

It is so crazy to think I've been living in Bermuda for a little over two months now. Adjusting to island life has been quite the experience. It's challenging, exciting, frustrating, and blissful - and sometimes I feel all of those emotions all at once. I definitely underestimated a lot of things prior to moving here, specifically navigating the island (logistically speaking), as well as how quiet Bermuda really is. On the flipside, I also underestimated how incredibly captivating the natural beauty is here. It's slap-you-in-the-face-kind-of-pretty. I have also been blown away by how friendly and welcoming people have been, especially other expats. 

The city life (Hamilton) is not so city like. The nightlife "in town" (local catch phrase for Hamilton) is pretty calm. There's people popping in and out of the restaurants and bars on Front Street, but that's mostly it. The last bus leaves at 11:45pm from Hamilton, so I haven't done any super-late nights in town, but I wouldn't anticipate the wee hours of the morning would be that much different. Everything in general closes very early in this country. But there are some seasonal festivities that are starting to kick into gear now that it's warmer outside which I'm excited for.

Logistically speaking, I've been getting a better handle on getting from Point A to Point B using my pedal bike, bus, and two feet. Most of the time I don't mind the physicality. Brett recently convinced me to get an entry level road bike which I'm warming up to (still getting used to riding in "hunchback" position and all that). But there are occasional days that I just want to have a good hair day,  and wear some heels, which pedaling in the island sun while wearing a helmet inhibits. There are also parts of the island that just aren't feasible to get to without a scooter or car, but for the most part I can figure it out. It's been an eye-opening experience to learn how much I value convenience as far as transportation goes. 

My social life is starting to grow, which is wonderful! I work from home, and live in a pretty secluded section of the island. When I first got here I was pretty lonely, especially when Brett left and was away for 30+ days working in another time zone. But ever since Good Friday, my social life has been on the uptick. I take kickboxing class every Wednesday night with a lot of the people that I met at the Good Friday Fest. It is an absolute blast, and without question the highlight of my work week. Every weekend (usually Saturdays since practically nothing is open on Sundays) I make a point to go to town, and usually grab lunch with a friend that I've met through Brett's office who has introduced me to other lovely new friends. I've also met and befriended a lot of people that work at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences aka "BIOS." I love that my new friends here are from all over the world - that was something I really appreciated in South Florida and am glad to experience in Bermuda, too. I'm constantly amazed at how inviting and warm everyone has been. I feel so fortunate, and thankful.

This weekend is the start to America's Cup, which is going to make for a very exciting month! More to come on that, but for now Happy Bermuda Day to all of my Bermuda friends, and to those who are following this adventure. 

 

 

2 Comments

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Visiting Bermuda? See what my first visitor said about her trip! - Dana Chirps

I recently had my first visitor, my friend Laura! I met her last spring while traveling through Hungary, Austria, and Czech Republic. Leading up to her arrival, I was bound and determined to figure out as much as I could about the island so I could be a proper host. It was a good motivator to get out and explore on my own, especially after Brett left for his 30 day rotation. For this post, I figured instead of a standard blog format, that I would do a Q&A with Laura!

But before I get to that here is a quick rundown of what we did in a span of 4 nights/5 days: Biked to St. George's, ate at Wahoo's in St. George's, Clearwater Beach, Cooper's Island Nature Reserve, Biked to and across then causeway, found Blue Hole, Crystal and Fantasy Caves, Swizzle Inn, Explored and had lunch in Hamilton, Fort St. Catherine's, Gates Fort, Tobacco Bay, Dockyard, Rode the ferry, Rented scooters and zipped around the whole island, Elbow Beach, South Shore Beaches, Horseshoe Bay, The Unfinished Church... and a few dark n' stormies in between! We accomplished an insane amount, especially considering the lack of car. It was a grind, and I'm pretty sure neither of us would have had it any other way! Anyways, here's the Q&A!

Why did you choose to visit Bermuda?

A friend of mine, Dana, who I met while traveling through Eastern Europe last year, moved to Bermuda and I went to visit her. This was a great opportunity for me to explore a new part of the world I had never been to before. 

Was there anything you did to prepare for this trip that you'd recommend for other people to do?

  • Dana and I were great travel partners in Eastern Europe and have a similar travel approach to a new place - explore as much as possible, which sometimes means exploring until we drop! So, because I knew pedal biking was a main method for transportation in Bermuda, and that we both liked to explore, I joined a spin studio for a month ahead and took several classes. This worked great for me because my body was used to biking by the time I went and it made it so much easier to cover ground on the island (and boy did we cover ground!) 
  • Joining a spin studio may be a bit much for most Bermuda visitors, so if you know you are going to be doing a lot of hiking or biking or walking, getting a few more steps in the weeks leading up to the trip will help condition your body and make it easier to adjust to the activity levels. 
  • I also did some basic searches on things to do in Bermuda so I knew ahead of time what my must do's were. This helped because you can't always do it all.

What were your trip highlights?

  • The BEACHES were by far my favorite part of the island. The colors of blue are simply amazing and the sand is unbelievably soft. 
  • One of my favorite spots to enjoy the beaches were on Cooper's Island. It was walking distance from Dana's house and had alcove after alcove of beaches, most of which were empty and had amazing views. For over an hour on the first full day I laid on a beach which I had all to myself and listened to the soft crash of the waves. It was amazing. 
  • Another highlight was the Crystal Caves and Fantasy Caves, my preferred being the Crystal. The natural beauty of the crystal formations is remarkable and it was fun to hear about the story behind the caves.  

Did anything surprise you during your trip?

  • The brilliance of the colors of the water surprised me, it almost at times looked like the water was being illuminated from below. My cab driver from the airport told me that it's a lot of work every morning to dye the waters and make them so blue. ;) 
  • How friendly the locals were and how proud they were of their island. This was evident in the conversations we had with cab drivers, cashiers, locals on the bus and everywhere in between. 

Any advice or lessons learned for future visitors of Bermuda?

Bermuda is small but it's not the easiest island to get around. To have the most access to all parts of the island with flexibility, the best transportation is your own 2 feet or 2 wheels (either pedal bike or scooter). This can be physically demanding. Our days ranged from 26,000 steps with lots of walking/biking/exploring to an easier day of 3,000 steps and laying on the beach and getting around by scooter. 

Also, if you are relying on public transportation knowing the schedule is key. One day we thought we could just "zip" out to Dockyard on the ferry but when we got to the Hamilton station, we realized we had just missed a ferry and the next one would be 1.5 hours later! And if we waited for that one, it would be the same ferry that was the last one to return back. So, we instead took an hour bus ride out to the Dockyard and had just enough time to explore the area before catching the last ferry back. So, if your days or activities revolve around public transportation - make sure to check the schedules! 

On the same thread, it's important to know the hours of operation for places you are visiting. Many things close early at night (5 or 6), and may not open until 10am. Several places are closed on Sundays, and some places have seasonal hours. We also found that several websites were out of date, so trusting the online information was not always dependable. 

What's the number one thing you'd tell people who were coming to visit Bermuda to do? 

I think one of the biggest draws to Bermuda is the beaches and the water, so my number one recommendation is to spend time at the beach! And explore as many beaches as you can, because they all offer something unique and beautiful. 

On your next trip, what do you want to do? 

This was something Dana and I discussed, since of course I will be back!  There are three things that I think I would like to do on my next trip:

  1. Snorkeling or Scuba Diving - there are so many great spots around the island that you can pretty much pick anywhere and see something. 
  2. Dockyard - I would want to go back here and spend more time meandering through the shops and enjoying the scenery. Given our bus/ferry situation, we were a bit limited on time here. 
  3. BEACHES - you can't get enough of these, I think I would try to explore other parts of the island we didn't before and find new private beaches to enjoy 
Laura and I in Fantasy Cave - Bermuda - Dana Chirps

Laura and I in Fantasy Cave - Bermuda - Dana Chirps

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Better Than Good - Dana Chirps

Happy Easter! I've always loved the cheerful nature of this holiday. 

So I've lived in Bermuda for just a little over a month now. Brett left April 3rd for his rotation (and will be gone for about 30 days), so I've been on my own since then. I wouldn't say I've been "homesick," but I have really missed having a thriving social life. This city-people-culture-chaos-loving girl coming from South Florida, now living in a secluded section of an island with no transportation has been enduring a bit of a culture shock. And with my partner in crime (Brett) gone, I was beginning to feel lonely and isolated. When you're feeling like that, it amplifies anything remotely negative. All too quickly I was relating to Tom Hanks in the movie "Castaway," only I didn't have a Wilson.

TomHanksWilsonCastaway - Dana Chirps

But God and the universe works in wonderful ways at times. It's like it knew I was in need of human connection. Brett's coworker reached out to me to tell me about this Good Friday event happening up the road from me. All I had to hear was that there were going to be other humans present to be sold on attending myself. So after I wrapped up work for the day, I walked a little over a mile to the end of the gokart race (because that's what they do). There was a massive crowd, all in good spirits. I was delighted to see so many people, even if I didn't know a single soul. After the race, the crowd broke out into a parade of sorts. Drummers and Gombey dancers came out of seemingly nowhere. Everyone (including myself) followed them until we ended up at this field where there was music, booze and food vendors, and kite flying. Kite flying is a big thing to do on Easter weekend - kites were being flown all over the island. But I have to say the Gombey dancers were my favorite, especially the kids. They were GETTIN' IT. I loved seeing children in the crowd bravely jump in and start dancing with the performers! It was so fun to watch.

At the Good Friday Festival (I'm not even sure if that's what it's called, or if there was even a name for it), I brought my Nikon to keep myself entertained, and talked to anyone who intentionally (or unintentionally) made eye contact with me. I finally ended up meeting a few folks who looked to be around my age. Most of them work as oceanographers (how cool is that?!). It was a mix of friendly expats and Bermudians, I was stoked. I grabbed the phone number of one of the girls I was chatting with and hope to take a workout class taught by one of the guys in that group later this week with her. I also bumped into Brett's coworker there, who introduced me to a few other people. It was a good time!

Then on Saturday (yesterday) I got up and biked to the bus stop, where I took a bus "into town," which means the city of Hamilton. It was my first bus ride in Bermuda, and it was a lot easier than I expected, and quite a scenic ride. I got to Hamilton in about 30 minutes (I'm told normally it takes 45), and met up with a girl named Heather that Brett introduced me to that is also a pilot, but for a different company. We went to a fun coffee shop, and a couple of her girlfriends joined us. It was such a blast! The conversations were hilarious, and it felt so good to hang out with a bunch of gal pals! From there, Heather and I met up with one of her other friends for a late lunch at this fantastic cafe. After lunch we walked around a bit, and then Heather had to head home. I walked around on my own for a little while, and got some groceries since there was a store near the bus stop, and commuted back to my part of the island via bus then bike. It was a wonderful day. As I told Heather, it was the first time I actually felt optimistic versus convincing myself to be optimistic with regards to having a social life on this beautiful island.

Ahhh, this weekend was a good one. Better than good.  

 

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Bermuda Cheat Sheet - Dana Chirps

Here's a list of some quick facts that are quite handy to know about Bermuda.

  • Bermuda is a 21 square mile island that is east of North Carolina - meaning, it is NOT in the Caribbean. It has a subtropical climate, so it's not quite as hot as South Florida. Today is 70 and perfectly sunny. Though, 70 here feels warmer than it did in the US. 
  • Bermuda is owned by the British, which makes the Bermudian accents pretty rad. This also means people drive on the left side of the road which was terrifying at first. But I've (mostly) gotten the hang of that.
  • The island is broken up into 9 parishes. I live in St. George's, which is known for it's teeny historical town.
  • The only source of fresh water in Bermuda is rainfall, which is collected on roofs and stored in tanks. That is why the roofs look the way they do here with the cascading lines.
  • The currency here is the Bermudian dollar, but every place I've been to takes US dollars. 1:1.
  • Gosling's is the local Bermudian rum. Bacardi also has HQ here.
  • Dark 'n' Stormy = Gosling's rum with Barritt's ginger beer. Barritt's ginger beer (in my opinion) tastes sweeter, and has less of that ginger-bite.
  • Swizzle is the Bermudian rum punch that people can get at the infamous Swizzle Inn, as well as other restaurants... or, if you're daring, you can create your own variation in your own kitchen.
  • Wahoo is the fish of choice here.
  • Wahoo on toasted raison bread with slaw is the local "fish sandwich."
  • America's Cup is taking place in Bermuda this year in May and June - prices are going to be crazy.
  • 0% unemployment - they are very big on hiring their own, and nearly impossible to get work here without a proper work permit.
  • We are 1 hour ahead of east coast time.
  • No corporate income tax, insanely high consumption tax. 
  • People honk to say "hello!"
  • Most people use scooters to zip around the island. 
  • Cost of living is batshit insane here. Goods are easily double (if not more) than what they are back home. 
  • Everybody knows everybody. In a way it forces people to police themselves a bit more, since word travels extremely fast on this little island. 
  • You greet everyone you come across with "Good morning/afternoon/day/evening/etc." I love that this is the norm here. It feels so human.
Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Grocery Shopping in Bermuda - Dana Chirps

Snap shot from the bike ride to the grocery store.

Our first grocery shopping experience can be summed up in two words: holy.shit.

Last Sunday, shortly after Brett and I got to Bermuda, Brett’s boss (who has a car) offered to take us to the grocery store. We were so appreciative of this since we don’t have transportation other than our own two feet and borrowed bicycles. We got what I would deem to be a normal amount of groceries plus a handful of essentials (like toilet paper, a big thing of laundry detergent, a few toiletries, etc.). Honestly, the only “extras” we bought were booze: two bottles of mid-shelf wine, 6 pack of beer, and a bottle of local rum - roughly $85.

However, after the cashier ran our bill up, I became quite confident that this store is named Harrington Hundred’s because you end up spending hundreds. It was a $485 rookie “mistake,” as we later learned it was the second most expensive grocery store on the island. It makes me shudder to think there is a grocery store here with higher markups. 

To give you an idea of prices:

  • Digiorno Frozen Pizza (this was the cheapest frozen pizza) - $14.99
  • Heineken 6 Pack - $16.60
  • Container of Foldger’s Instant Coffee - $16.99
  • Milk (One quart) - $3.19
  • Skippy Crunchy Peanut Butter (28oz) - $8.99
  • Honey (the kind in the shape of a bear) - $7.09
  • Jar of Classico Pasta Sauce - $8.19
  • Chobani yogurt - $2.49
  • Dozen Eggs - $4.69
  • Pint of Ben & Jerry’s - $8.49

I’d also like to mention that I saw a jar of Almond Butter for sale for $26.99… those who know me well KNOW how intense my obsession is for nut butters. But even I have my limits! I don’t care of Jesus himself crushed the almonds with His own two hands, I’d never pay that amount for any nut butter. 

I had asked for ideas for healthy recipes that require minimal (and NORMAL) ingredients on Facebook the other night and got some really good suggestions. Using minimal ingredients helps for these reasons: 

  • More money for adventures.
  • It’s logistically more convenient because all of the groceries we buy we have to load in our in backpacks, and then bike back to our apartment with.
  • They don’t sell things like tears of a newborn unicorn (or equally as unusual ingredients) on the island.

If you have any suggestions for simple healthy meals, I’d love to hear them!

I'm also delighted to report that since our first round of grocery shopping, we have found a "normal" grocery store, The Market Place. We went there and stocked up, and spent less than half as much as we did during the first shopping trip (thank heavens). We do have to bike 5 miles each way to get there, but it's a GORGEOUS ride, and a killer workout. Additionally, a local friend of ours also told us about this meat stand that sells fresh-frozen meat. It's right up the road from us, so we walked there and got a bunch of good stuff like 3lbs of wahoo for $25 - yum! 

I hope to find some local farmer's markets next!

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Settling In - Bermuda - Dana Chirps

So Brett and I got here on Sunday and we’re getting settled in quite nicely! We kicked off our first night with excited smiles, frozen pizza, and Gosling’s rum. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

But as excited as I've been, I'll admit that I did get a teeny bit nervous. Essentially I had a day or two of slight panic because I felt like I had cabin fever, but quickly realized I just needed to learn my way around. Since then I’ve been “practicing” walking and biking to places from our apartment.

The part of the island that we live in (St. David’s, within St. George’s parish) is more secluded than the other parishes. But I have figured out how to get to the hanger (where Brett works out of sometimes), a pizza/sub shop, the bowling alley, the police station, an ice cream shop, the bus stop, downtown St. George's, and of course the beach. Major progress is being made, and I’m feeling good! Next on my list is learning how to catch the ferry into Hamilton. 

I have a work trip March 22-26th and then Brett leaves at the very beginning of April, so we won’t get a scooter until he gets back from his next rotation (he’ll be gone for about 30 days). Until then, I’ll be getting brutal leg workouts with running and biking up and around these steep hills. Luckily, these hills provide spectacular views.

Yesterday we got our cable and internet installed in our apartment. It’s perfect timing as work is about to pick up for me!

It’s been in the 60’s since we got here, which we’re told is atypically cool. But seeing as though we left Boston when it was 6 degrees - we are enjoying the weather quite a bit, and we both look forward to “summer!”

I'm also unbelievably stoked that one of my friends, Laura, has booked her ticket to come to Bermuda to visit me in April! I met her while traveling to Budapest, Vienna, and Prague this past spring. We are great travel buddies, and I can't wait to comb every inch of this beautiful island with her!!

1 Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

The Most FAQ About My Move to Bermuda - Dana Chirps

As promised, I've compiled a list of questions that multiple people have been asking me about my move to Bermuda.

"Why did you move to Bermuda?" My boyfriend got a job based here. He's a pilot, and flies private charters all over the world, mostly in the Middle East. With much discussion, we agreed that this was a once in a lifetime kind of opportunity that we had to take advantage of.

"Will you be working?" This question always makes me laugh. My answer is yes, of course. I don't post a ton about work related stuff in general, but I assure you there's a lot of grinding in between my beach pictures. ;) 

"What will you be doing?" Marketing - forever, and always! I had started a contract earlier this year that ended up not being a great fit (they wanted someone local, and I wasn't exactly crazy about what I was doing), so I have since expanded a contract with a company I've been doing work for (primarily branding and copywriting) for a while. I'm pretty stoked because I know the players and love working with them. I'm also doing some sporadic event marketing which should yield some pretty exciting trips and experiences. I'd love to add another (part time) marketing contract to my plate, so I'm keeping my eyes and ears out. I'm a girl who likes to stay busy! :)

"Where will you live?" Brett and I are renting a furnished one bedroom apartment in St. David, which is located in the parish of St. George. It's bright, and lovely. We secured it site-unseen, and it ended up exceeding the expectations we had formulated based off the photos we received from our landlord. So we are quite happy!

"Will you have a car?" Nope. Bermuda has a strict limit on the number of cars they allow on the island. We will be walking, and biking until we get a scooter (and scooter licenses). There is also bus transportation throughout the island which I'm sure we'll use on occasion.

"Are you nervous?" Honestly, the only things that make me nervous about this experience is getting around. Many places (like our apartment for example) are not on Google maps, and the roads are not clearly marked with signage that Americans would be used to. So learning my way around, and eventually learning to ride a scooter is what makes me nervous. Other than that, I feel excited, and optimistic. 

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

The Plot Thickens - Dana Chirps

Whew! So many unexpected happenings (like that positive spin?!) have occurred in the last couple of weeks. 

Originally, I was going to be moving to Bermuda with Brett on February 4th. He ended up having to start his 30 day rotation (that means he is working 30 days in a row) practically right after moving me out of my place in Fort Lauderdale. We also weren't expecting that he'd be doing full (30 day) rotations, but that seems to be the case. We'll miss spending Valentine's Day together (not a huge deal to either of us). But we're also going to miss spending our anniversary together which is a bummer in my book. I wasn't looking to do anything remotely extravagant, but I was hoping to cheers to a great year with a beach picnic. We might miss his birthday (March 1), but we aren't not sure yet. He doesn't care about missing his birthday, but I'm a big believer that birthdays are meant to be celebrated! This experience definitely has given me an even higher level of respect for military couples who are regularly apart (a lot more than we are, and often under much more dangerous circumstances).

We're also getting the hang of the time zone difference - he's a pilot and flies to places like London, Paris, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai. I don't have as many distractions as he does (he's getting the hang of a new job and gets to explore when he lands for longer periods of time - as he should), so I think he is having an easier time adjusting than me - but we are both trying to truck through it.

I also had to decide if I wanted to still move to Bermuda on February 4th, and get there by myself. I decided not to since I wouldn't have a means of transportation, and a lot of places aren't on Google Maps. Plus it would give me a chance to spend a lot of time with my family, and visit some close friends - something I haven't gotten to do without a massive sense of being rushed in years. 

It's a very good thing that I ended up choosing to stick tight at my parent's place in VA while Brett finishes his rotation because the apartment we had signed a lease for very unexpectedly fell through. So we are on the hunt again! Although I was eager to get to Bermuda, I can't help but think this is one of those "everything happens for a reason" moments. And excitedly, we are finding some pretty fantastic alternatives. 

And then there's work. I don't really talk specifics about work on my blog. But I will say that although I started off optimistic, I have a feeling my gears are going to be shifting aggressively quite soon. But more on that later.

Ok, enough about the less than ideal happenings. Here are some of the positives that have occurred in the past few weeks:

  • Getting to spend significant amounts of time with my family, and dog!
  • Seeing friends, and their munchkins. My God, my friends have made some cool little babies.
  • To keep myself fit (and sane) during this month I signed up for 30 classes for $30 at Burn Boot Camp Short Pump. I go with one of my life long best friends, Emily, but have also made some new friends there! It's a warm and inviting bunch varying in skill levels. The workout is 45 minutes - each day has a different focus. It's a blast, and a solid sweat sesh. FYI to local mom's in the area - they provide free childcare during several of their class times. 
  • Although Brett and I haven't signed a new lease just yet, I feel very confident that we are going to come out on top of this situation. I'm really excited to see where we end up!
  • So we are missing a bunch of holidays together, but we aren't missing my birthday or cancer-free day, which is nice.
  • I've done an amazing job not shopping. Ok, fine. So I went shopping once. And I bought stuff only because they were amazing deals (we're talking a $16 bikini, people!). But I've been practicing self restraint like nobody's business. Packing those 3 measly suitcases of belongings is just around the corner. 
  • It's been so refreshing to experience the general friendliness of Richmond. It's cool to see people going out of their way to help other people.

All for now!

 

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.