Hawaiian pro big-wave surfer Garrett McNamara, 44, has officially made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for his November 2011 ride on a 78-foot wave (previously recorded as being 90-feet). McNamara was towed in on a jet ski off the coast of Nazare, a fishing village north of Lisbon, and absolutely killed it gliding down the face of this monster. Don’t try this at home, kids.
At home I’m a health and fitness nut working out six days a week and eating a diet high in nutritional value. While this can sometimes be hard to maintain on the road, it isn’t impossible. To help you stay in shape while traveling, here are some tips.
Stop Thinking You’re On Vacation
Many people often have this idea that when they’re traveling they’re “on vacation,” meaning they can eat whatever they want. Unfortunately, your body doesn’t know you’re on vacation and your metabolism isn’t going to all of a sudden be put into overdrive. While you should absolutely sample all the local foods, do it in moderation. For example, if you’re in France and want to sample one of their amazing chocolate croissants, have a small one or cut one in half and have it with fruit. And remember, while different regions have delicious desserts and rich entrees, they have healthy delicacies as well.Cut Your Bread In Half
When traveling, sandwiches are a very convenient meal on the go. Moreover, most buses and airplanes that serve food will often give you a bread-heavy meal or a roll on the side. While you don’t need to cut bread from your diet completely, you also don’t need to eat the top and bottom of a foot-long sub. I usually take off the top slice and eat the meal as an open-faced sandwich. Additionally, if you’re in a place where multi-grain bread is accessible, get it.
Just being outside makes most people naturally want to move around more. Not only that, but outdoor activities are energy and mood boosters. Explore the landscape through hiking, biking, horseback riding, jogging or whatever way you enjoy. Not only will you move more, you’ll eat less because you’re busy and not sitting around.
Pack Healthy Snacks
My friends always joke that I’m perpetually afraid of starving to death. Whether I’m in a metropolitan city or the middle of nowhere, you can bet I have fruit and granola bars in my purse. It’s not that I think I’m suddenly going to find myself stranded for days without food – although if that did happen, I would be prepared – but that I don’t want to be forced to buy a greasy sausage or an unhealthy bag of chips if I’m hungry. Not only does this tactic help me stay slim, it also saves me money.
Instead Of A Bus Tour, Opt For A Walking, Biking Or Running Tour
For most bus tours, there is usually a more active option. Almost all cities offer walking and cycling tours. Sometimes these are even free, such as when taking a walking tour with SANDEMANs NEW Europe in various European cities, BA Free Tour in Buenos Aires, Free Tours by Foot in New York and I’m Free in Sydney. There is also something called “sight running,” which allows tourists to view a city through jogging.
Exploring local markets is a great way to get to know a culture and a city. They’re also great because they sell fresh foods. If you’re in a place where you’re nervous about eating the fruits and vegetables, opt for produce with a peel, like bananas, avocados and oranges. Wash your hands after peeling to remove any germs from the peels.
Take A Cultural Class That’s Physical
Classes aren’t always about sitting, reading and listening. In fact, there are many classes that allow people to gain insight into a culture in an active way. Try Tai Chi in China, tango lessons in Argentina, samba in Brazil or yoga in India. You may even discover a new hobby to take home.
Learn To Read The Nutrition Facts
Just because a food’s energy may be written in kilojoules instead of calories doesn’t mean your body can’t tell the difference. You can easily Google the conversion and figure out how to read the nutrition labels in the place you’re visiting. Furthermore, make sure to check if the nutrition facts are written per serving, package or 100 grams, as this will make a big difference in how much calories and fat you’re actually consuming.
If your hotel has a gym or pool, make use of it. If you need to motivate yourself a bit more, think of it as getting the most for your money. Bonus points if you specifically book an accommodation because it has a fitness center.
If You Have A Smartphone, Make Use Of Diet And Fitness Apps
With our technologically advanced world, there are tons of apps available now to help us stay on track with our diet and fitness goals. No matter where you are in the world, you can have access to calorie counters, exercise trackers or workout programs via your mobile. Some of my favorites are Lose It!, which helps you count calories; My Fitness Pal, which tracks your food intake and exercise and has an enormous food database; and Daily Full Body Workout, which gives you a 10 to 30 minute exercise routine each day.
Keep A Healthy Mind
Being away from home, while exciting, is stressful at times. Make sure to set aside time to really relax. Spend a day in bed reading, rent a movie, visit a spa, or nap in a hammock on the beach. While each city offers many things to do and see, remember that you can’t see everything. Don’t be too upset if you can’t do it all, as it’s just another reason to re-visit the destination in the future.
Days at the beach are, for many, the most righteous execution of freedom beneath the summer sun–especially if that beach is in a place like Fiji. A lot of people spend their summers doing something that I haven’t yet learned how or even tried to do: surf. Somewhere along the line, I realized that the ocean is kind of terrifying and that the sun can cause skin cancer. I’ve since let these fears usher me under shady beach umbrellas while admiring the surfing folks beyond. But when those surfing folks are little girls, I feel a bit outdone. This video of these little girls surfing in Fiji uploaded by Sean Hiller has not really been seen. With 6 total views on Vimeo as I write this, I think these courageous and adorable little girls deserve a little more attention than they’re getting. (My new mantra: this summer will be the summer I try surfing, this summer will be the summer I try surfing. My new goal: surfing in Fiji).
The area of East Java in Indonesia is home to beautiful and diverse landscapes that include beaches, volcanoes, mountains, plantations, lakes, natural reserves, and a lot more. There are also many natural, cultural, and adventure activities to partake in, like scuba diving, hiking volcanoes, surfing, witnessing traditional ceremonies, hearing folklore stories, learning the cultivation process of tea, and photographing wild animals like zebras and cheetahs.
To get to East Java you can fly into its capital, Surabaya, via their international airport, Juanda Airport (SUB).
If you’d like to explore East Java from the comfort of your computer chair, check out the gallery below.
Pambula is located on the Sapphire Coast of Australia and is a great weekend getaway for people who want to get out of the big city of Sydney for a few days and explore nature. The name Sapphire Coast stems from the areas clear, sparkling oceans, which you will be able to experience first-hand through adventure sports like surfing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, and diving.
When I went, I took a Premier Motor Service coach bus from Sydney Central Station right to Pambula, which takes about 6-7 hours. Another option is to take a Regional Express (REX) airline to Merimbula, which is also on the Sapphire Coast and only about 10-15 minutes away.
Where to stay
While there are a few hotel options in Pambula, my recommendation is to check out the Holiday Hub Beach Resort. What’s great about this accommodation is that it has something to offer every kind of traveler. For people who are looking for luxury and comfort, the resort offers villas, apartments, and cabins with full linens, televisions, and kitchens, as well as an on-site spa and heated pool. When I stayed here I chose the more rustic option of camping out right next to the beach in a tent. At night, my friends and I would roast marshmallows over a camp fire, play games, and stargaze while in the morning the salty sea air and scratching of kangaroos trying to get into our food would give us a unique wake up. While cabins and villas range from $100-$220, you can get a powered camping site for about $40-$70 and a tent for around $40. The tents are a decent size and you can comfortably fit 2-3 people inside.Eat
Because you will be experiencing the best that nature has to offer, outdoor BBQ’s and beach picnics are a must. If you stay at Holiday Hub, they provide free BBQ’s, which I used for 85% of my meals. However, if you’d like to go out to eat, there are also some great restaurants in the area.
My favorite restaurant that I ate at was in the nearby Merimbula and was called Wharf Restaurant and Aquarium. My friends and I explored their basement aquarium, filled with beautiful as well as odd-looking sea creatures like moray eels, catsharks, and sea pens, before we sat down to eat. The restaurant has fantastic seafood and on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 11:30 AM there is also a fish feeding you can participate in.
PB’s Cafe is a waterfront restaurant that serves awesome burgers and fries, allowing for a laid back lunch in a beautiful setting.
The Original Fix
The Original Fix is well-known for its homemade ice creams and chocolates as well as their specialty teas and coffees. You can also order a filling lunch for under $10 with many gluten-free options. Their lasagna is delicious and you can even sit outside while you enjoy your purchase.
There are a range of other specialty and budget-friendly options, like the Broken Oar Bar and Grill which is right in Pambula Beach, the Tura Beach Tavern which has delicious $10 pizzas, and the Cantina Tapas and Wine Bar for a drink and small plates in an ambient atmosphere.
Do and see
There is a lot to do and see in Pambula, especially in terms of exploring the outdoors. Here are some of my reccomendation:
I spent an hour and a half horseback riding through fields, forests, and rivers with Oakland Trails Rides. I had never been on a horse before, and although choosing one and climbing up onto its back was a little unsettling, the instructor was extremely helpful. Surprisingly, even when the horse decided to start sprinting, I didn’t fall off thanks to the tips and tricks she gave the group beforehand. Their number is 0428 957 257 or you can contact the Sapphire Coast Tourism Board.
Tour Ben Boyd National Park
Encompassing more than 25,000 acres, Ben Boyd National Park provides endless opportunities for hiking, fishing, canoeing, and swimming. There is a lot to explore, such as folded sandy beaches, lush forests, rocky outcrops, historical lightstations, and set trails, such as my favorite, the short coastal walk from Pambula River to Severs Beach. For those with some time and energy, there is a 3-day “Light-to-Light” trek you can do that stretches from Boyds Tower to Green Cape (about 18 miles). Although a bit long, the hike is very easy as well as scenic with a variety of landscapes and even opportunities to see migrating whales. Click here for more information on Ben Boyd National Park hikes.
When I was in Pambula, I went sea kayaking with Ocean Wilderness Sea Kayaking. The day began with a lesson on how to paddle the kayak and what to do if it tips over before exploring Pambula Bar and Pambula River, enjoying mountain scenery, and stopping on the beach for lunch. One thing that I will never forget is at one point my group and I noticed some pointed fins sticking out of the water and swimming right towards the kayaks, cuing the “Jaws” theme-song to play in my mind. We all started panicking about the oncoming shark attack when all of a sudden the animals began jumping out of the water. Turns out, it was actually a friendly group of dolphins.
There are some great diving spots along the Sapphire Coast, and although not directly in Pambula, the town of Merimbula is less than 10 minutes away. Merimbula Divers Lodge is a reputable company that allows participants to do boat dives, shore dives, cave dives, and dives of historical shipwrecks like the SS Empire Gladstone, the Tasman Hauler Wreck, and the Henry Bolte Wreck. Divers will also get to experience some of Pambula’s unique and extremely colorful marine life, like enormous hot pink crabs, blindingly white sea slugs, and neon yellow weedy sea dragons, which look exactly like a cross between a leaf and a sea horse.
My friends and I took a surf lesson with Coastlife Adventures when we were in Pambula and found the experience to be really worthwhile. The tutorial we received before actually going into the water was thorough and the instructor had us all mimick the steps to get from laying on our stomachs to standing with our boards on the beach. Once in the water, most of our group of 10 made it the standing position while riding a wave, which is definitely an exciting feeling especially if it’s your first time surfing. The company has also recently added stand up paddle boarding to their list of featured activities, which is also a really fun and interesting water sport, especially while in the sparkling Sapphire Coast waters.