Culture Trip: My Month Long Adventures
Three years ago a good friend of mine asked me to meet her in Spain for a few weeks during her European vacation. I said yes on a whim without even thinking about it (travel is one of my favorite things in life). The trip was incredible - we adventured, partied, experienced the local culture, ate tons of delicious food and formed a bond that only exists when you travel with someone for a month. After Spain we both knew we’d like to travel together again, but I don’t think either of us knew whether or not the stars would align.
The next Spring we decided to go to Greece together in the Fall (she was invited to a wedding in Santorini, providing us with the perfect excuse to cross it off our bucket list). We traveled for a month and visited Athens, Milos, Mykonos, Naxos and Santorini (see my vlog here). After this trip I realized spending 3-4 weeks in a location is a great way to experience the culture, food, people and self growth. So I decided to try and make a habit of it while I’m able to. Each time I return from traveling I feel like I leave a part of myself behind and gain a better understanding of the world and of myself. There’s something extremely valuable about experiencing how people in other parts of the world live, and realizing that it can be so vastly different but also, in so many ways, exactly the same. It’s humbling, eye opening and educational.
This year I’m traveling with a different friend in Thailand and Bali. I wanted to come to Bali for a fitness retreat, and I had my eye on Active Escapes for a while - thankfully she wanted to go as well. The retreat is six days in Uluwatu, Bali. I decided if I was going to travel across the world, I might as well take my time, so we’ve visited Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Ubud and are now in Uluwatu about to begin the retreat. We will end in Canggu before heading back home to LA.
Recently I’ve had a few people ask me questions about traveling:
“Wow - that’s a long time. Don’t you get homesick?”
Yes, a month is a long time. And of course there are things that I miss like my healthy food, the convenience of filling up my reusable water bottle with my water purifier at home, my people etc. However, I don’t really feel attached to a PLACE. I love home. But in some ways I feel at home when I’m on the go. Yes, it can be exhausting and trying at times (especially when you’re in the Balinese traffic or in Europe and have to pay $800 for water), but overall I love experiencing things that are outside of my norm.
“How are you able to do that with work?”
I realize that I am extremely lucky that I’m able to travel the way I do with my work. I work for myself and thankfully, up to this point, my clients have been understanding about my month long trips. Of course there is always the chance that a client leaves me because I’m gone for a period of time, but - travel or no travel - there’s a chance a client could leave for various reasons. I absolutely love what I do and feel like my clients are family, and I think they can see that, so hopefully they stick with me!
How do you stick to a workout routine while traveling?
This one can be tough, especially if I’m changing locations every few days. But I do make it work because I don’t feel like myself if I don’t move my body. I like to pack exercise bands because they fit easily in a small space and I can get a super effective workout with them. Also - you can run, do bodyweight exercises (squats, pushups, planks, etc) and practice yoga anywhere, so those are always great options. I didn’t exercise a lot in Thailand other than some yoga because we were on the go every second. Since we’ve been in Bali I’ve exercised every day (thankfully we had a great gym in Ubud) and I’m about to be exercising 3-4 times/day on this retreat.
Where else do you want to go?
There are so many places on my bucket list, but I really want to go everywhere. Right now, the top places on my radar are the Amalfi Coast, all over Italy, Portugal, South Africa, Morocco, Japan, Madagascar, New Zealand and the Maldives. Gonna need a lot more time to get to all these…
Traveling isn’t all glamorous. There are plenty of times when I feel exhausted, don’t have WiFi, have to figure out different currencies, get ripped off and end up paying way too much for a taxi, or just miss my healthy homemade meals and the ease of my exercise routine. But I’ve learned to understand that nothing is permanent, and if I’m in a frustrating situation, I can and will get myself out of it.