The Right Path

When my best friend Jess came up to me and said “I really want to go to Europe, where should I start?” The ONLY reply that was nescessary was “WITH ME!”

I had been furiously working off the previous kilos I had gained on my last holiday, and the dedication and hard work paid off! I was feeling so healthy and happy, the more I focused on being healthy, the less body issues I had. Learning about fitness through my course, I was able to push myself further, and as a result started weight training, which I fell IN LOVE with! Being able to do things I’ve never felt before made me feel so strong and independent, which is hard to come by when you’re only 21.

I didn’t want this feeling to slip away from me when I did this second trip. I didn’t want to feel that unhealthy/unhappy about my body the way I did before. Not knowing what to expect, I told her I would be doing this trip a little differently, by maintaining my fitness levels and eating healthier than what the usual crazy EU trip would be for two 21/22 year olds!

She gave me 110% support every day to help me, I’ll admit there were times we bickered about small things, like if I could give the water a rest so we wouldn’t have to stop to pee every 5 minutes! But then again, we were with each other for a 5 solid weeks, and I wouldn’t change a thing about that!

Our first goal we had given to ourselves was to not take the easy way out. By this we meant; no escelators, lifts or taxis (unless they were the only option) And let me tell you, those underground train stations are PRETTY FAR UNDERGROUND! And those magnificent buildings are pretty darn tall!

So we picked up our 15kg backpacks and started climbing those stairs, 15kg doesn’t seem like much, but when you pack stupid stuff that you don’t really need, like heels and straighteners, it gets uncomfortable fast.

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(she might kill me for that photo haha!)

Our second was to be active everyday, now that might sound easy you say, seeing as you walk so much in Europe, and walking is great, super great! But remember how I said I wanted to maintain my fitness? We didn’t want to carry our bags to the park for our weight training so we had to be creative with our programs! We would explore the city by running to exciting land marks or views in the city and do some body weight HIIT (high intensity interval training) nearby. This I would almost regret when we walked up those bloody stairs in the underground the next day getting to our new destination of choice!

Lastly, was to enjoy EVERY moment and to say yes to new adventures (yes, even a few wild food choices!)
This meant choosing foods we hadn’t tried, going out for drinks with new friends and most of all seeing places we wouldn’t have seen had we stuck to a plan!
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Little Care, Lots of Love

Ah the EU, so big, so beautiful. Full of culture, history, languages and most of all FOOD!

I can say the first time I discovered Europe, I fell in love, with absolutely everything. Which is why I will always want to go back, Europe has a piece of my heart forever. This is why I was so forgiving when I came back with a few more kilos and a lot more love.

We touched down in London and flew across to Palma Mallorca, Spain, where we spent 3 full days drinking Sangria by the beach and soaking up the sun and sand. Plus after all that flying, I’d earned it right!?

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We then followed on to the La Tomatina festival in Valencia, which is easily one of the top ten moments of my life. We were escorted to a small town nearby, 100’s of tourists, packed like sardines, waiting for someone to slap the ham on top of that grease covered pole. Yep, I like this country. FOOD FIGHTS! We happily trotted our way back to the city covered in tomatoes, stinging eyes and laughable memories. The rest of Spain was closely followed by more culture, tapas galore and you guessed it SANGRIA!

Topdeck, yes a Topdeck tour. I wonder what this might entail, you ask? Well, you could probably guess. It all started with a Long Island Iced Tea, who persuaded us to trial them all around the continent. It begins the night and ends it at the same time, but fills you with laughter and confidence. In between these nights came the mornings of hell, but afternoons of bliss, when you arrive in a new city, ready to explore and try your chance at finding a place for a drink “Dove posso trvare una birra”

My one regret with this topdeck trip is that I really would have loved to experience more of my surroundings, taking everything in, instead of focusing on when the next party was. There were a couple destinations I didn’t get much of a chance to see because I wasn’t feeling well from the previous night. Don’t get me wrong, I saw and experienced a wonderful amount, but I’m greedy and I wanted more!

It was after the 5 days of Oktoberfest that I really felt it, swollen, sore, tired and grumpy all because I wasn’t paying attention to the signals of help that my body was telling me. After a few fun nights of drinking litre after litre of German bier, and doing an appalling job of not eating the bretzels we said we wouldn’t eat. (which were to DIE for!)
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This was the moment that turned for me, I had never felt so unhealthy in my life, after filling my body instead of fueling it. I had been somewhat regularly active in my life prior to Europe, it was this feeling, whilst running to a train, feeling unhealthy, puffed from those few metres, that I decided to change the way I thought about travel. I didn’t have the education behind me, so when I came back from my love, I threw myself into a new love, one that had always been with me, in the back of my mind, Health.

I still had two more weeks of traveling to do, not knowing where to start, I headed for the Internet (big mistake) full of crash diets, low carb, no carb, detoxes, fasting, the list didn’t end! So what did I decide? Well to be more active on my holiday by walking a lot more (esp at the Plitvice Lakes, Croatia, which everyone should go see!)
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But also the first Monday I got back (yes everything has to start on a Monday!) I started my journey to become a Personal Trainer, not only did I do this for myself,  but so I could share these experiences with others!
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Pictured: 2013 first day back from Europe and current March 2016