It just depends how much you want it, so basically the same answer to everything else that’s fitness related. This summer I was fortunate enough to travel on 3 different occasions: Barcelona, Israel and then Amsterdam & Switzerland (in one holiday).
Firstly, I gotta tell you guys that I had the best time. If any of you are unsure where to go for your next holiday destination then I recommend all of those beautiful places. I started eating clean and becoming active on a daily basis around 4 months ago so my life based in Edinburgh and London had been pretty smooth sailing when it came to my daily routine. There were no ‘hurdles’ (I hate myself for describing a holiday as a hurdle, but you get what I mean) in the way for me to eat clean and get to the gym. I had a gym membership and was 5 minutes away from fresh fruit and earthy foods at any given time. So keeping healthy was actually pretty easy.
Before I went away I was definitely nervous about how I was going to keep up my routine, on previous holidays I was used to stuffing my face with holiday ice cream and moving only to top up on sun cream every hour or so. So yes, I was nervous about my holiday. Especially because I don’t tend to like doing exercise outside in the heat so finding a gym was an essential.
Before I went away I made sure to find a good, cheap gym in every location. I was usually at one specific place for about a week so I wasn’t planning on buying into over priced monthly gym memberships. Even if you do your research and find a gym make sure they have day passes so you don’t have to get a membership.
The least likely place I thought I would have worked out was on a short girls holiday to Barcelona. The combination of drinking and the sun makes you so much more tired than usual, but if you’re really dedicated to gymming you gotta make time for it. There really are no excuses, if there were trust me I would have used them on this holiday. Before I arrived in Barcelona I found a gym 5 minutes from where I was staying, boom! okay, no excuses on the working out front. I also looked up info on clean restaurants in Barcelona, luckily enough I didn’t really have to use these as there are buckets and buckets of beautiful fresh fruit everywhere, and for so cheap! London, I love you but why must you be so expensive all the time.
So, with my gym targeted I made sure to get up and go everyday. Bearing in mind we went out till early in the morning every night I am pretty damn pleased I managed to stick to this. One of the things I was mainly worried about was my drunken self. This sounds pretty hilarious but put drunk me next to a cake and we’ve got a problem. Well, I thought we had a problem! When I used to go out and come home a bit waved I would munch on everything, bread, ice cream, pasta gimme. So this was a big worry for me. I hadn’t been going out as much as I used to over the last few months so I hadn’t really experienced this in a while. If you’re also a bit worried about this then BIG TIP ALERT: fill your fridge with healthy, high protein things you can munch on. This doesn’t mean yogurt and granola. I mean boil some eggs before you go out and leave them in your fridge, ready to eat. Slices of turkey was also a huge saviour for me, they taste great and are high in protein. You can’t have too many either or will probably end up feeling a bit sick from a meat overload.
If you are planning on going out and drinking a bit but want to keep your sugary drinks to a minimum my best advice would be to go for vodka, sparkling water and lemon. I started University in September 2014 and would drink about 3/4’s of a bottle of rose or white wine whenever we went out. SAY NO TO WINE. Especially if you’re young and your palette hasn’t even adopted to like the taste of it yet. If you enjoy a glass of wine, then by all means every now and then as a treat knock one back. But if you’re specifically drinking to get drunk, like I was, (sorry mum and dad) then a few vodkas with sparkling water will do nicely. I am the biggest enemy to counting cals that there is, but just to make it clear: a vodka lime and soda amounts to roughly 76 calories a glass (131 if it’s a double). A glass of red wine can contain up to 300 calories, so stay clear of the vino gals. If you’re drinking and going out then you’ll probably end up dancing away the cals from your vodka soda, hold on, that’s gotta be one of my favourite phrases: ‘dancing away the cals’. Yup, that ones a keeper.
Just to clarify, I was in Barcelona for only 4 days and went out for 3 nights (just in case some of you think I went for 2 weeks and am a total binge drinker). Each one of those mornings I woke up hungover and feeling pretty gross. That kinda gross where you’ve got sleep in your eyes, a frizzy bun and mascara down your face. But hey, no excuses right? I got up, with roughly 5 hours of sleep, got my kit on (no point showering as I’m just gonna get more sweaty) and headed to the gym. I got lost a couple times on my way but it’s all part of the fun of being a tourist. I loved getting up early when the gals were asleep and having a little explore of Barcelona. The walk to the gym always allowed me to wake up a bit and even if I was feeling a bit grotty if you tell your mind your excited, then you sure as hell get excited.
So Barcelona was a success! I managed to eat clean (except my cheat day which I actually went nuts on) hello home made delicious creamy spanish ice cream. And got to the gym everyday.
My next trip to Israel was actually a lot easier, I went with my dad so there was no crazy partying. I made sure to find a local, cheap gym and go everyday. Be prepared for surprises whilst travelling. Even though I looked up a local, cheap gym and had seen pictures on their website, it wasn’t quite what I expected… The floor space was a raised stage directly above the weights room. I’m not kidding that’s exactly what it was, a stage. I got there and saw this narrow platform surrounded by mirrors sitting on top of the weights section and assumed that there had to be another space for mats. When I found out there wasn’t I was definitely a bit nervous, I like working out on my own, preferably not in a big group, so hearing that I had to work out in front of big gym hulks was pretty off putting.
This is one of those moments where you have to remind yourself that every athlete started as a beginner and no one is in the gym judging you. You all have the exact same right to be there, so walk in with confidence and do your thing.
In Israel I stuck to clean eating, although I wasn’t as strict on myself as I am when I’m back home. I allowed munching on granola and indulged in all the veggie dishes they bring you before your main, like mezze. (I know veggies is not indulging whatsoever but in the Middle East they drown everything in oil, I’m not complaining because it tastes out-of-this-world good but it’s definitely not on the food plan).
Travelling to Amsterdam and Switzerland was a bit of a change. I went with my boyfriend who is also my absolute best friend so I usually am a lot less strict on myself and kind of allow everything. Okay not everything, I made sure to eat clean as much as I could but in the centre of Amsterdam I was more exposed to ribs and fast food restaurants than anything else. (However, I’m not complaining! I adore Amsterdam and definitely loved indulging myself for a few days). Every breakfast I ate clean, this is usually a good psychological trick, start the day of right and usually the rest will follow. I didn’t eat too badly whatsoever, I’m talking more on line of sushi (which I usually avoid because of the rice), salted nuts, dried fruits and ribs. As long as you’re not treating every day like a cheat day but you’re relaxing yourself then that’s perfect, or it’s perfect for me anyway. It allows you to actually have a holiday whilst not throwing your hard work away.
(I actually apologise for putting the picture above in, now all I can think about is BBQ ribs)
I’ve gotta say I am actually so thankful I was in Switzerland for only 2 nights because the food there is too good. As soon as we arrived we were both starving and as we were in the mountains I wasn’t gonna be fussy and start looking for somewhere that served high protein, clean meals. Nah, I’ve just undergone a 9 hour over night train and 3 hour journey from the Station to the mountains, gimme pizza. The only thing the hostel had to offer for breakfast was cereal in full fat milk, meat, bread and cheese and I really wasn’t in the mood to be picky. I was having the most amazing time being away and we were going for a hiking trip which was a heck of a lot of exercise so I allowed myself to indulge in chocolate, pizza and wine (what a hypocrite eh?). If you’re going away for a couple of days to somewhere as rural as I was then I recommend just chilling out with being so strict on yourself regarding clean eating. If it’s a hassle then you don’t want it to take over your life, if they’ve got a salad on the menu, great, if not then order that burger.
As soon as you’re back I promise you’ll be feeling extra guilty for not having worked out as much (I only went to the gym once for that week that I was away) so you’ll put yourself back on track with full force. When I got home I made sure to get back into my routine again by throwing myself into a hardcore Barry’s Bootcamp session. This was really the last thing I wanted to do after my butt and legs were feelin’ killer after getting lost in the Alps and walking for about 12 hours. But sometimes you just gotta do it and stop complaining. Even though I wasn’t able to put my all in because I generally was quite tired, it was such a worthwhile and useful thing to do to remind myself how much I love working up a sweat and putting my all in.
I admire all you girls who live in hot countries and still manage to no problem go to the gym everyday, work and have a social life! This sounds a bit annoying and fragile of me and I know it comes down to what you’re used to, but it would take me a while to get into the habit of living in a hot country and not feeling a bit sluggish everyday. Praise be to air con.
I hope this blog post has given you little tips here and there on how to keep up your fitness lifestyle whilst you’re travelling around the world. Just make sure to relax and not drive yourself crazy with how much salad dressing your having.
Lots of love