Some simple everyday tips to add to your trip without sacrificing your experience.
You may have read my previous post “Gaining Weight While Abroad”. Looks aren’t everything, but feeling good while you’re traveling is. An easy way to feel good, combat stress and sleep well is to stay active while adventuring into the world.
Here are 5 enjoyable things to incorporate in your travel itineraries.
1. Walk or Bike Everywhere… unless you absolutely have to take a train, subway, bus or if the area is unsafe -check with locals. By doing this you will experience new cities in a more intimate way. In most cities, especially throughout Europe, bikes are available for rent on almost every corner. It can be really common to feel the need to see everything on the “must do” list in the quickest way possible. Focus on the top things you really want to see and let yourself stumble upon hidden gems you would have missed otherwise. (I highly recommend biking through Amsterdam)
2. Eat Local Food…something everyone should experience. What shocked me about eating abroad equating to fitness, especially in Italy, was the quality of the food! At home I typically steer clear from really cheesy pasta dishes and heavy meals however in Italy, the Gorgonzola Pasta became one of my favorites. Quality food in Europe is satisfying, very unique and made with fresh ingredients that your body will love! I could eat entire plates of pasta, appetizers and mains at 9pm at night (normal dinner time?) and never get the
“food coma” feeling. Before and after dinner prepare to walk about town for a bit. This is a win win. Don’t skimp on food in Europe, you will regret it. (I highly recommend trying pear pasta, you can find it at a few different restaurants)
Also a side note: Try not to be too obvious about taking food photos. I am a super foodie but some places in Europe do consider it rude to have your phone out at dinner, try to be considerate 🙂
3. Find the Best City View…and walk, take the stairs or hike the mountain. Chances are, you will be doing a lot of daily exercise just by experiencing new places, transporting your bags or playing pick up sports. It does pay off however to engage in these activities to strengthen your muscles, increase your aerobic capacity and sleep well at night. By taking the stairs instead of the elevator or hiking your way to the top of the city, you will have seen amazing things and be able to fall asleep in the noisy hostel room that you booked for the night. (If you get the chance I highly recommend the 900 step mountain climb at Stoltzekleiven, Bergen)
4. Go to a Music Festival..or a “Dance in the Dark”. There’s nothing better than good music and dancing. This is a time to really let yourself enjoy a variety of performances with good music and better people. Make sure to get plenty of sleep beforehand though – we ‘left early’ and got home at 7am. (I highly recommend checking out “Woralks” live performances, they were insane at “We Are Together” Music Festival in Marseille, France or a dance in the dark at Leeds Uni…Contact the Good Vibrations Committee ;))
(video does not do justice)
5. BYOB…bring your own bottle, and fill it with water. This is one of the biggest things and it will make a HUGE difference in how you feel and what you’re able to accomplish. When you travel actively your body will need more water than you are used to consuming. Unfortunately this cannot be replaced with espressos, bottles of wine or Bavarian beer. You will NEED water. I learned this the hard way and at one point became completely delirious, dehydrated and exhausted. Fortunately for me it was not severe, but your body
will just shut down without it. Also keep in mind if you are traveling through Europe, you will have to pay for most public bathrooms (they are mostly clean though which is nice). Make sure to keep coins on you to avoid getting stuck. (I highly recommend buying a 1L bottle from any convenience or grocery store. You can throw this out and buy a new one every week or so)