After five years of sprints, squats and step curls – give or take a few weeks on travels when there hasn’t been a group cycle class to jump in on – a fellow fitness enthusiast recently asked me “Why do you exercise?”
Honestly, I had never contemplated this question before. In five whole years I had not thought about why I put my body through rigorous lobster-face inducing workouts. As we were lying in our dormitory on an adventure through Western Australia, I had to really contemplate my answer. Was it because I loved the freedom of wearing crazy neon vest tops and printed leggings? Was it the weight loss? Was it because of the endorphins? Was it because I suddenly had a whole new group of friends who were all as mad about exercise as me? Or was it the competition with myself?
Going on holiday is synonymous with three of life’s purest pleasures: eating, drinking and relaxing.
So if, like me, you’re someone who enjoys the sadistic ritual of regular exercise, then you are a prime candidate for succumbing to ‘Travel Bulge Syndrome’ – TBS – where you feel you’ve earned the right to relax your diet and exercise routine a little, so you go ahead and eat your bodyweight in patatas bravas and chorizo all day every day. And follow it up with gelato. And a beer. Because, you know, you earned it, right?
The highest peak in North Africa appears to be a well-kept secret amongst trekking enthusiasts, making it all the more enticing for those who are willing to walk through the breathtaking scenery of the Ait Mizan Valley to reach Mt Toubkal Base Camp.
Intrepid’s James Ingham tackled the climb in winter, when it’s a more icy and dicey affair, but even the frosty conditions didn’t detract from his Morocco adventure…
Emily Mitterhuemer knows firsthand that trekking in Patagonia really puts you through your paces, but reaching your goals in this awe-inspiring region of South America has the greatest rewards…
“I know that hiking up a mountain is not for everyone, but bear with me for a moment. The feeling that you get when you have slogged your way up the toughest part of the trail and the perfect lookout point appears from over the ridge, is a particularly special one. It gives you a sense of accomplishment, not to mention privilege, to be in a hard to reach place that is difficult to achieve any other way. Patagonia is a particularly rewarding place to test your endurance and get back into shape (like you have been promising) with the added bonus of breathtaking scenery and the cleanest air imaginable.
The astounding ruins of Machu Picchu remain one of the world’s most remarkable archaeological discoveries and as Intrepid Express reader Henrietta Grant experienced, retracing the steps of the Inca to reach this ancient site is a wonderful way to explore Peru…
“Whilst I on holiday in Tanzania, one of my travelling companions spoke so enthusiastically on numerous occasions about her experiences of walking along the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, that I decided what better way to visit the South American continent for the first time but to do this trek. So six months later, I found myself on day two of a three day trek at the highest point of the Inca Trail, Dead Woman’s Pass. The views from both sides of the Pass were staggering and I found it an awe-inspiring holiday experience to look down to the valley far below where we had started our journey the previous day.