LOOK: Reality TV star Bridget Marshall shares her favourite travel memories
Reality TV star Bridget Marshall may have been unlucky in bagging that final rose in season two of M-Net’s “The Bachelor SA”, but she’s richer from all her travels.
She admitted: “My life has changed a lot. Not only have I grown so much as a person, emotionally, but I have had so many incredible opportunities to work with such great brands. Despite the turn out in the finale of the show, I am so grateful for the journey I went on because it made me who I am today and I am the by far the happiest, strongest, more confident and determined lady then I have ever been before.”
Now based in Cape Town, Marshall is happy in love with beau Kobus de Kock, and recently started her own travel agency, TravelB.
On being exposed to the world of travel, Marshall recalled: “My mum used to work for KLM Airlines before I was born in their old Head office in Durban and I was privileged enough to travel with my family once a year from a young age. I just fell in love with it and I got so excited planning holidays and talking about all the wonderful places we can go visit.”
As such, she found herself in the industry, too, working as a travel consultant for 13 years now.
When asked about her travels prior to Covid-19 grounding everyone’s plans, Marshall said: “I try to travel internationally once a year, sometimes more for work. Funnily enough, I had planned a European holiday to revisit some of my favourite cities and explore Portugal for the first time in March this year. Unfortunately, as Covid struck, I had to cancel Paris and Barcelona, cut Portugal short and head back to SA before the borders closed.”
We put the seasoned traveller on the spot by asking her about her fondest trips, where the memories of the food, hospitality and culture, continue to linger.
She laughed: “Wow this is a tough one, I have travelled to so many incredible places. To name a few I loved seeing the Northern Lights in all their glory. London will always have a very special place in my heart, I lived there for two years and I have been back numerous times. My heart almost skips a beat every time I land at Heathrow.
“To answer your question, though, it would be: Italy, the food is just phenomenal as is the culture.
Portugal, for the people and sights, which are beautiful. France for skiing. And, I mean, who doesn’t love Paris!
The Dominican Republic, the sand was like baby powder, it was too good to be real. Hong Kong, because I love getting lost in cities. New York, need I say more.
“I could go on for hours about all the memories I have and I really loved every place I have visited.”
In SA, Marshall was asked about her top three spots to visit.
She replied: “Locally, I love Franschhoek, the bush (anywhere in SA) is great and Hermanus.”
With the travel ban lifting, albeit with regulations still in place along with restrictions to certain countries, Marshall was asked about starting a new venture in tough times for the country’s tourism industry.
“For me, it was the perfect time to start TravelB and to get my name out there. It has also allowed me ample time to build my brand, focus on my website, which will be launching within a month, and to do a refresher on all the world has to offer.”
Are South Africans jumping at the opportunity to explore destinations and perhaps unwind at some island escape?
Marshall shared: “At the moment, with a few countries lifting their bans for South Africans, I have been focusing on the Seychelles, Maldives and Zanzibar. A lot of South Africans love Mauritius over the festive season so I am holding thumbs it will be the next to open up.”
“Bookings have been a bit slow but a lot of enquiries which is great, I think a lot of us are still a bit hesitant to travel but I can assure everyone that all airlines and hotels have gone above and beyond the standard protocol to keep everyone protected,” she added.
As for her summer plans, she said: “Unfortunately, this festive season I am keeping it local and heading to one of my favourite hotels, La Residence, for a night, then I might head to Hermanus and, of course, home to Durban to spend Christmas with my family. I do have an amazing trip I am planning in April with Kobus. We are heading to the USA and Costa Rica.”
HER TOP TRAVEL TIPS
“I am a planner, always have been. I like having all my ducks in a row and a pretty clear plan of what I want to do in each city I visit,” she revealed. “I am a firm believer in making the most of your trip but for what suits you. I am not one to go and visit all museums for example, I would much rather go and get lost in the towns and taste all the delectable treats of offer.”
Below are her useful suggestions for travellers:
- Always pack a jersey and a change of clothes in your carry on (I have had my main suitcase get lost before and it wasn’t fun).
- Patience is important. Don’t sweat the stuff you can’t control. As much as I am a planner, sometimes things change that I can’t control, so just go with it and savour every moment.
- Make a list of all the things you want to do in each spot. Remember, at the end of the day, this is your holiday and you’ve worked hard to pay for it so go for it. Don’t hold back!