Where my personal habits and healthy lifestyle comes with me onto the wide open road. Come along for the ride as I propose my “My Dream Fitness Vacation in Colombia,” from the perspective of my profession – which is also my passion: writing and travel.
My Dream Fitness Vacation in Colombia
What does it take to create habits that last a lifetime? It takes more than just “30-day challenges” and temporary initiatives. It requires a lifestyle focused on preventative health and athleticism. Where my goals are more important than what others might be thinking, even when I am on the road traveling – let them wonder who this motivated gal is. The one who does 10-15 minutes of Tai Chi and Jump Rope cardio every single day!
Every self-discipline junky will tell you how they overcame “x” fitness or weight loss challenge to become the person they are today. What they don’t tell you is that for everyone out there, it’s a little bit different – from our own unique perspective. And it all started with creating habits, doing 30 day challenges, and overcoming personal limitations to expand our minds and grow intellectually too.
I recently did my own 30-day challenge where I worked on mind, spirit and body goals. I was successful in two of the three goals I created. #1: I began a daily devotional habit which has changed my life over the last few months, and helped me find greater inner peace. #2: I also increased my cardio fitness level in preparation to take a tour group out to the jungles of Colombia’s Pacific corridor of the Andes Mountains.
On the other hand, I failed in creating a daily Tai Chi habit and my karate practice has been intermittent. In August and September some stressful situations brought all my good intentions to a screeching halt right when I was getting going. Because that is part of the process of being a human.
Now I am greasing the wheels of progress to fulfill a new vision:
My Dream Fitness Vacation in Colombia
What if I gave myself a second chance? Isn’t that the beauty of life? Our ability to start over again! This time I am going to combine my fitness goals and my travel dreams into one vacation. I want to tour Colombia while creating and maintain better habits which will help me achieve my fitness goals. I will take the good habits I already have, and combine them with new desired behaviors and habits I want to create. This has been an issue for me in the past.
It’s easy to travel while allowing our habits to slip. Too easy. The central goal of My Dream Fitness Vacation in Colombia, is to maintain my present habits, create a new healthy fitness habit that goes wherever I do, and to experience the adventure travel opportunities in a few regions I am dreaming of seeing and writing about!
Where Would I Go As I Work to Maintain My Healthy Fitness Habits?
There are a few areas in Colombia which have caught my eye for Dream Fitness Vacations in Colombia:
- The Eastern Llanos: home to a large percentage of the beef production and cowboy culture, this region is still little known and limited on safe zones to visit. Those limits I will explore and seek to experience from horseback as I try my hand at Coleo and Colombian style cowboying.
- The Pacific Coast: The savage paradise of El Chocó, is a place of raw and untouched beauty. Roaring waterfalls, coastal rivers, and whales off the coast are only a few of the natural attractions. This is a great department to explore if you enjoy swimming, hiking and horseback riding.
- Valle de Cauca: Discover the sugar cane plantations, the salsa scene of Cali in some high energy classes, or learn the feel of the local Kung Fu school. Hike to the peak overlooking the city for a spectacular birds eye perspective. Visit a famous Colombian winery, or even camp at Lake Calima – on the road to Cali.
- Huila: Discover the off-beat destination of San Augustin. Raft or kayak the river, experience hiking tours of native archeological sites and protected areas. Visitors can also fall in love with the beauty of the horse breed called Paso Fino Colombiano. There is also a beautiful desert where I can see clear night skies and intense sunny days. I want to take a swim in the thermal waters at Rivera and rediscover the cacao fruit on a plantation tour.
- Nariño: A large department with 3 completely different ecological environments: Coast, Mountains and Amazon. The pacific coast of Narino is a great place to take a class in Paddle Board Yoga or Sup Yoga. In the central part of this department, visitors can experience the Andean Mountain portion with river attractions. Here you can shoot the rapids of the river, or rio Guáitara. Accessible via kayak or raft.
How Will I Keep My Energy High?
The idea is to keep my energy high and my body moving. To maintain my own level of fitness while seeing new places and trying new things. Every day I will start with Tai Chi to warm up my body. A protein drink to ensure the best nutrition possible (plus tips on how you can do your own protein drinks anywhere you go!), then off to explore!
Lunch must be high in both protein and calories. I need the best fuel source possible as there will be adventures and activities to try! Dinner will be preparation for the next day. Protein and carbs but nothing too heavy or difficult to digest before bedtime. At the end of the day it is time for some cool down qi-gong or breathing exercises. These are simple activities which ensure I receive better recuperation and rest while my body recuperates.
How Will I Pack?
The athletic traveler must be able to move easily, walk for long periods of time, and survive any element they pass through. Clothing which is light, easy to wash, dry and pack. I need to think about things like protection from hot, cold and of course the sun. For footwear I need riding boots or rubber boots, aggressive hiking tennis shoes and watershoes/athletic bike sandals.
Everything goes into a backpack plus a tent style hammock for camping out in while eliminating the added weight of a tent. A yoga mat is essential must-have gear of any active traveler. They are great for stretching, meditation/tai chi/qi-gong AND to insulate a hammock on cool nights.
Injury Prevention & Recuperation
Remember, if you are injured, your vacation is over. Prevention is key, but sometimes recuperation is necessary. The 30-something athlete can maintain a high level of activity through careful meal planning. We can ensure proper recuperation and exercises like Tai Chi or yoga, which can help prevent injury. Everything else is a question of situational awareness. Even as my body begins to tire, my mind will fight to stay sharp and focused to avoid careless mistakes.
This isn’t the most detailed dream vacation. To me, almost every time I pack my bag – I have the opportunity to experience the trip of my dreams. Some of these locations I have planned for future posts, others are on my “dream list”. If you want to help me visit one of these locations, email me to find out how you can sponsor one of my adventures at firstname.lastname@example.org, and thanks!
Stay with me as I tell you the story of my adventuring life in Colombia. I am a single mom and a career woman who writes and teaches English in Colombia. My goal is to chase my dreams, while being mindful of the great responsibility I have to form my son to be a good person and strong individual. More to come on the expat mom topic soon!
Sources for My Dream Fitness Vacation in Colombia:
Destinations in Nariño http://nariño.gov.co/turismo/turismo-de-aventura.html
Destinations in Huila http://turismo.huila.gov.co/destinos
Colombia Travel Resources http://www.colombia.travel/es/descubre-colombia