Welcome to The Blair D.C. Project, Blair Guilfoile's weekly blog about her experience being a fall intern for BRAVO!. We love our intern blogs and hope you enjoy following Blair!
October 5 - October 9, 2015
“We all get so caught up in the moment of what we're doing every day, it's hard to hit that reset button and get pulled away from all that and see life from a different perspective.” –Tony Stewart
Playing off the same theme my fellow interns Madison and Tracy wrote about this week, I too want to talk about perspective. This past semester my life has consisted of mainly two things: DC and events. As a result, my mind tends to connect the two and what I experience in one realm, tends to teach me something about the other. This past weekend I had yet another one of those “ah-ha” moments when my friend Kaitlyn came to visit.
Kaitlyn and I had been planning her trip to DC for a couple of weeks. She was only here for the weekend, so I wanted to make sure that her trip was well worth the plane ticket she spent flying here from TCU. Naturally, when you think of DC and what to do here, you think of monuments and museums. However, Kaitlyn had already visited here before and done all the “touristy” stuff, so I couldn’t just fall back on the typical National Mall excursions. The only insight she would give me was she wanted “to go on adventures”. Yeah… not much to go on.
When planning our weekend out, I figured I had to look at DC in a way I hadn’t considered in the past. I couldn’t look at this 48 hour experience from a first time tourist perspective because Kaitlyn had already “been there, done that”. I also couldn’t’ look at it from my own perspective, since I was currently living in the city. While I by no means consider myself a “local” (although I correctly and proudly gave directions to some tourists the other day) my life in DC does have some routine to it: work, eat, sleep, repeat (with a few brunches and exploration trips mixed in on the weekends). Not exactly a worthwhile experience for someone who is only in DC for 48 hours. Basically, Kaitlyn wanted the best of both worlds. She wanted an experience of being a local, but still maintained the excitement and discovery elements of a being a tourist. Knowing that forced me to rediscover my new home in a completely different light.
So, in my attempt to walk the line between local and tourist, I first took her to Eastern Market, an extensive flea and farmer’s market near the BRAVO! office. We then picked up some of Ted’s Bulletin’s gourmet poptarts and explored some off-the-beaten-path mural graffiti art down the street. On Sunday, we ventured out to Theodore Roosevelt Island to get break from the city and explore one of DC’s lesser known memorials. I can honestly say this by far was one of my favorite places in DC. I love how it is a small nature escape tucked away in a lively city. However, I would have never have thought to go there if Kaitlyn hadn’t come to town.
In some ways, I looked at Kaitlyn’s trip in the way we at BRAVO! would prepare for providing a live experience for one of our clients. Just like Kaitlyn didn’t want the “guidebook” DC experience, we’d be letting our clients down if we gave them a “guidebook” gala or typical conference experience. Clients, don’t want the guidebook you provide for every client- they want their own custom tour, tailored to their needs and brand.