I understand more than most the difficulty of staying in shape during vacation. After I started working in New Zealand, I realized that my life for that year was like a vacation and I had to find a solution to this problem. As a personal trainer, I had to stay in top shape because I had to set an example for my clients. To work in the fitness industry, one should practice what he preaches. The first few weeks of traveling throughout New Zealand, I started out doing workouts outside and on the beach but eventually travel and inconsistency took over and before I knew it, I had gotten out of shape and lost years of work I’d put in.
My fitness low point occurred when I started living in Queenstown–a city with a heavy drinking and partying atmosphere. I was living in a house with twenty people! It was like a college frat house–party every day. Always some special occasion. Someone moved out, someone moved in, this person’s birthday, a holiday, etc. I was having the time of my life but my fitness was at an all time low! Everything is Queenstown was expensive but I managed to indulge too often in all burger joints, pizza places, and sweet shops that offered delicious budget food. In about four months I managed to gain nearly 8kg (15lbs)!! I’m only 5 foot tall so this was a lot for a small woman. This weight gain was my inspiration to complete seven of nine great walks. I was carrying my 15-20 kg (25-30lbs) backpack up and down hills and through mountains. I walked 30k in just one day– about ten hours! The next day I got up early and began again. It was a race against the sun because no one wants to walk through a scary forest in pitch black even if there is nothing dangerous. I could still trip on a root or get lost.
Hiking several of these Great Walks helped me get back in shape as well as drinking less and eating healthier. After my year of experimentation with gaining and losing weight and maintaining a healthy body while traveling, I think that finding a gym, walking, and hiking are the best solutions. You will see my blogs on each country which include my favorite gyms, activities, and places to work out during my travels based on country. Hopefully this information will help you also stay fit during your holiday to whichever country or place you go!