Monday, 24 August 2015

How to keep fit whilst travelling and on a budget

I know the feeling. You've been travelling for a few weeks and although it seems like you've walked for miles, it just doesn't cut it. You need a gym, you need weights, you need to get back into shape...

I have been in Sydney for five months now and honestly, I haven't felt so big in my entire life! I thought coming to Australia would make me lose weight. How wrong I was! I guess I have to accept the fact that my body doesn't agree to zero exercise. I can eat (oh my I can eat) and so the only way to shed those calories is if I work out. This isn't to say that I have a unhealthy diet, not at all. I eat small but often to keep up with my busy lifestyle. However, in order to maintain my toned physique, my body requires at least three intense workouts a week.

Luckily for me, I find it as easy to shed those extra inches as I do to put them on. For the last month I have been training hard at a local gym, but this isn't sustainable if you're not going to be in one place for longer than a couple of weeks (which you're most likely not when you're on the road). So I decided to come up with some tips for those of you, who like me are travelling and want to remain in shape, but wish to do it on the cheap (cus every traveller loves a good bargain).

DO - look out for local deals. If you know you're going to be in one place for longer than a couple of weeks then get yourself on to Groupon or do a quick search on the Internet. You'll be amazed at what you can find (even in the more expensive cities like Sydney)!

DO - make use of local parks, ovals and so forth. You'll be surprised at what you can do with a set of stairs, a bench and some grass... Time to put those gym exercises into practice in the glorious sunshine ladies!

DO - try and walk, jog or run as much as possible. I love walking but sometimes I will run to and fro places to increase the intensity from day to day. 

DO - watch what you're eating. It's easy to grab a takeaway whilst you're travelling for the sheer convenience. However, this is not good for your waistline. Cook your own food instead - it's much cheaper and will save you piling on those extra pounds. Some great snacks which I often eat on the go here in Australia include cornthins (similar to rice cakes but made with corn) topped with avocado and tuna, nuts (I prefer almonds, walnuts or Brazilian nuts but any nuts will suffice as long as they're unsalted/unflavoured), boiled eggs, dried fruits, muesli bars and just plain old chopped up fruit or veg. 

DO - get some other fitness fanatics involved. Motivation is a big factor in keeping fit. I prefer working out on my own but it's easier said than done when you're staying in a hostel and most of your roommates are passed out from the night before. That temptation to stay in bed increases just slightly...

DO - take photos of your progress. It's easy to forget how you used to look. 'Gap fat' is a thing I'm afraid!

DONT - give up after a week. Change doesn't happen over night. You have to make exercise part of your lifestyle, regardless of how different it is to the one back at home. Yes you're travelling and want to enjoy yourself but what harm is half an hour out of your hectic schedule going to do? You'll thank me once you return home and step on to those scales trust me...

DONT - set unrealistic goals. This is about keeping fit, not shedding pounds which would be impossible on the road I would imagine. You don't want to be worrying about what is going in your mouth every second of the day. Travelling is about embracing the experience. Just remember, it's okay to grab a quick Mcdonald's whilst on the go, just as it's okay to indulge in a few alcoholic beverages (if that's the type of experience you're going for). Just be aware when this becomes a regular thing.

I am now in my fifth week of training and I feel heaps better already. Just remember it's easy to lose what you already have after a few weeks off, but it's also very easy to gain back. That first workout is never going to be easy so why delay? 

I will soon be on the road and will somehow have to try and maintain what I already have. This will be my biggest challenge to date as I won't know where I will be in say, two months time. Maybe I won't have access to a park or certain healthy foods which I like to eat, but I'll give it my best shot! Keep your eyes peeled as I willl be updating you with my day to day fitness and healthy eating regime here on my blog and across my other social media platforms.

Are you a finess fanatic with a passion for travel? How do you manage your busy schedule whilst on the go?

Thursday, 20 August 2015

A little taste of paradise

So my holiday within a holiday so to speak began on 5th July in Nadi, Fiji. A holiday I couldn't really justify, but nevertheless seemed only fitting seeing as I was on this side of the world. When else would I get the chance to visit some of the worlds most beautiful islands? I am a travel and lifestyle blogger after all...

As I walked off the plane, I was struck immediately by the heat and humidity, not forgetting the sound of the locals singing. What a welcome - it surely topped any other welcome I've had on previous holidays. 'Bula Bula' they sang. 'Bula' we chanted back at them. Because 'Bula' means everything in Fiji - literally everything. 

As I was travelling alone I was hoping to meet some other likeminded travellers and my luck was in - at the airport, I met my first buddy. Her name was Laura so evidently we were going to be best friends! After some quick introductions, we were greeted by our airport transfer, a rather pleasant Fijian fellow who took us to our first stop on the trip, smugglers cove, a pretty little thing situated right on the beach. Talk about being thrown into the deep end. Along with a quick supermarket sweep (because apparently the water was going to cost ten dollars a bottle on the island), we also discussed the possibly of grabbing some weed on route too (don't worry - we didnt go along with it). Only in Fiji...

After a rather unpleasant night seep in my thirty bed dorm and one stung foot later, I realised why people don't really rate Nadi. The beaches weren't very clean, and for some reason I didn't feel safe enough to go venturing out on my own. Luckily this was only a stop over before our tour really began. 

The next day we were dropped at the Marina for boarding (Denarau) where we got to see the real Fiji - the hundred or so islands on offer. We boarded our ferry and made our way to South Sea Island, the smallest of the Fijian islands, and small it was! You could literally walk from one side to the next in less than five minutes. Yet, funnily enough this island had everything you could possibly need - a pool, lots of sun loungers and a very friendly set of staff. Again, we were greeted by the singing of the locals and lots of Bula chants.

Unfortunately for me, the first few days of my holiday didn't get off to the best start. After a fair few restless nights sleep prior to this trip, it appeared my body had reached breaking point. I think a mixture of sun stroke, sea sickness and exhaustion had set in. Plus new foods never go down too well with me. Rest was in need and rest I got. I ended up in bed both nights before 9pm!  

Despite this, I got to enjoy two days of dreamy weather along with a very cool trip to where the Castaway movie was filmed, before heading to my next destination - Barefoot Kuata, which wasn't the easiest to pronounce I must say! I also got the chance to visit a traditional Fijian ceremony and try some of what the locals drink. I'm never one to say no to an alcoholic beverage but this was an acquired taste to say the least! It tasted and looked a lot like dirty dishwasher water but it would have been rude to have said no. 


After an extremely rocky boat ride, a wet rucksack and some rather sea sick passengers, we arrived behind schedule of course (Fiji time). Despite the unruly weather we were greeted again by the islanders and got ready for lunch. I didn't think anything could top the previous island but it seemed anything is possible here in Fiji.

Located in the Yasawas, a two hour journey north from our previous island, Barefoot Kauta was much larger than the previous island. Again, our dorm was situated right on the beach, along with everything else you could possibly look for in paradise; a small bar area with three pools, lots of walkways off the beach, clear blue sea and beautiful golden sands, not forgetting the unbelievable staff. You truly are spoilt when you come to Fiji. Unfortunately the weather wasn't the best during our stay on Kuata, but we made the most of the little sun there was. 


During my time on this island I took part in my first ever summit walk which saw me walk to the highest point on the island (it was much more fun than it sounds). I nearly didn't make it after a few scrapes and slips, but I powered on through despite the humidity. I also got the chance to take part in the traditional welcome dance which was heaps of fun I must say. It was here that I met my next set of friends, two groups of English girls who unfortunately I had to leave for the next stop on my tour - Barefoot Manta. 

Of course, me being me I got chatting to another couple of girls on my boat who happened to be staying in the dorm next to me. Funnily enough they were from Australia which meant we had heaps to talk about. Out of all the islands, Manta has to be my fave. The beach was beautiful, the food delicious, and the staff - amazing! The guys from the dive shop were particularly great, so if you ever find yourself staying on this island, make sure you say hello! Even though we were hoping for manta rays, it seemed we had come at the wrong time of year. However, we did get the chance to snorkel on a pretty awesome reef site on the morning before heading on to my final destination - Nabua Lodge, the last stop in the Yasawas.

After some quick goodbyes, I boarded my final transfer all alone which made me doubt my final destination, and right I was. The staff weren't as welcoming and there wasn't an awful lot to do there. However, I made the most of my time by catching up with some fellow travellers who I had met previously on the trip, not forgetting two more final activities before jetting back to Sydney, these activities being my favourite ones of the trip so far. My first activity was a visit to the Sawa - I - Lau caves which involved another half an hour boat ride of course. Evidently I was bricking it, as I'm not a huge fan of water or confined spaces, but I was all for facing my fears on this trip I must say! 


However, somehow during the trip I had managed to misplace my final two activity vouchers which nearly cost me my place on these two trips. Rest assured, I argued my case with the rather rude receptionist and managed to jump on the next departing vessel that morning. I wasn't paying again that's for sure! The next day it was another early morning wake up call via the island drums, before a trip to the famous Blue Lagoon where I got to swim with hundreds of fish during feeding time. 

After one last lunch, it was time to board the yellow boat just one last time before heading back to Smugglers Cove in Nadi. Of course the boat was running behind schedule which meant a late return to the mainland. 

Overall my lasting impression of Fiji remains a truly positive one. The people are exceptionally friendly and the atmosphere is so chilled. It truly is paradise! If you like the feeling of being miles away from home, then this is the place for you. For me, possibly not the best resort as a solo traveller. However, least I know what all the fuss is about now. I would definitely consider coming back, maybe in a couple of years or so when I can finally face the thought of stepping on to another boat, and maybe with a close friend or a partner. 

What makes Fiji really special are the variety of islands available for you to enjoy, all of which are extremely unique. I for one certainly didn't realise how many islands they were, and how far apart they all were. There is certainly more to Fiji than meets the eye.


Have you ever been to Fiji? What was your favourite island?


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