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We’ve always loved those crazy ideas that make the world a brighter place to live. The Cronut. The longboard stroller. Those doors that can be folded down into ping pong tables. Baby grows that have dust mops attached to them. Sleeping bags with arms and leg bits. Slippers with LED torches on the toe bit that are perfect for those 2am bathroom trips in the middle of winter. The Cronut, again.
Going on holiday and working out aren’t two things you’d stereotypically lasso together but, as it turns out, fitness holidays are so on point right now. It’s wanderlust meets wellness or, as we like to call it, far-flung fitness.
And to prove this cheeky little number deserves a spot on our list of inventions that had no right becoming reality, we’ve pulled together a list of fitness-slash-travel experiences that are a) super-fun and b) super-good for you. Happy travels, you lovely lot.
1. My Big, Fat Greek Swim
We’re pretty sure taking a dip in the sea is something everyone does on day one of their holiday (unless you’re doing a Baltic beach vacay). So, why not take it a little bit further by pulling some flippers over your feet and indulging in a spot of open-water swimming around a bunch of Greek Islands. Swim around the deserted beaches and dramatic cliffs of Crete, doggy-paddle around the Princess of Dubai shipwreck that’s just off the Volcanic coast of Milos, head to that gorgeous gaggle of islands known as the Sporades for a bit of a splashing session, or say hello - by blowing bubbles - to a bunch of awesome fish in the Ionian Sea. Oh, and we almost forget the best bit: when you’re not relaxing on a beach of chillaxing on a yacht, you’re free to wander about the quiet Greek villages, pop into authentic tavernas to see which serves the best gyros, and hit up a cabana to sleep off that swim-induced exhaustion.
2. Midnight Sun-Run In Norway? Yesway.
Bucket List Entry No.21: Find your way to the Norwegian city of Tromsø in June for the Midnight Sun Run, which is the. best. marathon. ever. We’re not saying the New York Marathon isn’t cool, or the Big Sur Marathon isn’t epic, we’re just saying they’re not as cool or epic as heading to 400km inside the Arctic Circle, getting your jog on in the evening and crossing the finishing line at midnight… when the sun is still up. It’s just so awesome. There are coastal bits, bridge crossing bits, breathtaking vista bits and there’s a crazy-high chance you’ll see the Northern Lights do their thang, which has to be one of the best bits of all. As far as gentle jogs go, the Midnight Sun Marathon scores a solid 10 out of 10 on the life-affirming-o-metre. So, whether you do a full marathon, half of one, a 10k or just the 4k mini-marathon, the payoff is totally worth it.
3. Wilderness Workout In Spain
Wildfitness lets you get back to basics by living, eating and exercising wildly. Residing amongst the olive and citrus trees of this Balearic island, you’ll be getting healthy in a super-sustainable way. You’ll chomp on nutritious, delicious and unprocessed meals made up of locally caught fish, veg pulled from local soils, and fruit plucked from local orchards, and you’ll get fit by climbing trees, paddleboarding, kayaking, doing some dancing and saying “yes” to yoga sessions. And then, in your downtime, you get to explore as much of the 200km coast as your cavemany legs can manage (or just enjoy the boutique accommodation and pool, which isn’t very cavemany, we know, but even cavepeople need a spot of pampering).
4. Not Your Normal Yoga In Portland
While a lot of cities are happy to sit around, twiddling their thumbs, Portland has been uber-busy making a name for itself as one of the most virtuous places on planet earth. In fact, Portland’s gastronomy-scene should learn how to speak Swedish because this city deserves a Nobel Prize for its vegan-friendly movement. Seriously. Finding a plant-based plate of food here is easier than trying to find the colour red in a Where’s Wally book. But while Portlanders love a bit of #eatclean, it’s their yoga scene that’s stealing the most headlines thanks to a couple of crazy new classes that have popped up. The first one is called Yoga + Beer, and it’s really put the fun back into Friday fitness sessions. It’s basically 75-minutes of yoga done in different city breweries where you get hot n’ flexible and then end on a cold one. Or, if you’re more about a bit of booze-free detoxing, you can always take the beer part of the equation and swap it for some goats. Yup. Goats. It’s just like normal vinyasa yoga, except you have goats making it extra hard to keep your balance by jumping on you. Fitness-holidays + goat-yoga = crazy-invention double-whammy.
5. Triathlon? You mean, Thaiathlon.
Phuket is a smorgasbord of things that will make your jaw hit the floor. It’s a gorgeous island getaway covered in palm-lined beaches where you get to slurp down a gorgeous, hot, steaming bowl of coconut-curry noodle soup for breakfast and not be looked at weirdly. It’s the best. But it’s not just the perfect place for making your taste buds smile while sunning yourself on a hammock - it’s also the perfect place to do a cheeky little triathlon or, as we’re coining it, a Thaiathlon. It’s paradise for multi-sporters - swimming, jogging, and cycling, with massages thrown into the experience as a nice, muscle-relaxing bonus. Oh, and it’s not just for those who can’t contain the competitiveness either. There’s coaching, transitional training, forest-lined trails for a spot of scenic practise and, if you pick the right place, free Muay Thai classes too. And then there’s all that other stuff you might, maybe, possibly, definitely be a little bit interested in: beaches, jungles, temples, shrines, otherworldly limestone rock formations, world-class scuba diving spots - that sort of thing. It’s pretty cool (read: super-awesome).
6. A Mega-Moroccan Adventure
As far as fitcation adventures go, it doesn’t get more challenging than joining a gaggle of madcap misfits and voluntarily deciding to mountain bike, orienteer, kayak and trek your way across the Agafay desert and into the topsy-turvy landscape of the Atlas Mountains. So why not just throw all sense to the sandstorm and let your sensibilities get tickled by one of the most awesome fitness adventures to be found anywhere between Toronto and Timbuktu, and stay in a few Berber camps along the way. Your fitness will be tested, your Instagram will be boosted, you’ll make buddyships you’ll never forget and air-punch the Moroccan sky at the end of each phase, taking in a deep lungful of warm air (and possibly dust) as you mutter the words, “Hello, euphoria,” the finish line getting closer and closer with each step, cycle and pull of a paddle.
And with all that adventure said and braved, what are you waiting for? Go and get your pulse-thumping, your eyes-popping and your heart beating through your towel poncho like never before.
Thanks for reading. For more travelspiration and far-flung adventure ideas, follow us on Instagram and Facebook and, you know, don’t forget to grab yourself the most awesome towel ever made… and some shorts… and a hair wrap... and probably a poncho too. After all, everyone looks good in stripes.