OLA! FROM WHERE YOU'D RATHER BE! WHY ADVENTUREFIT?
Keeping fit and active is something that has been entrenched within me ever since I can remember. It is something I deeply enjoy, and to some degree, is almost relaxing. It provides a sense of calmness on one side, yet also allows me to challenge myself in many different ways. Throughout my youth on school trips or family holidays both interstate and overseas, I found it difficult to comprehend other people's lack of enjoyment in training or keeping fit. It never made sense to me that just because we were on holiday that it meant all forms of fitness training were out the door.
People tend to do the things they enjoy. Why did no one else enjoy working out? It didn't have to be in ridiculous amounts either. Maybe just a kick of the footy or a run along the beach on an island half way across the world? Something? The thing with me was that whilst I loved to maintain my fitness level, I also loved to train. With all the trips to family Christmases and whatnot, I found it difficult to do both. How could I mix travel and fitness in one? No one else seemed to want to stay fit yet also travel at the same time. Well, when I came across AdventureFit, it seemed my prayers had been answered. There was no question that this was something I wanted to be involved with.
I believe my love of travel coincides with my love of discovery and curiosity in the world. I guess it's what makes us human, in a sense; trying to figure out things and seek out new horizons. The AdventureFit trips mix the concept of discovery and add an element of fitness. Not only will you find yourself in truly amazing places over the world, you'll also find yourself doing things you may not have normally planned for – scuba diving, weightlifting, yoga, meditation, paddle boarding and hiking, to name a few.
I contend that having a trip already planned and set up is a great way to really allow yourself to relax. Personally, I have often found myself worrying that I am not making the most of my holiday experiences and end up wasting time researching things to do. The AdventureFit experience takes care of that for you. 'Yeah but what if I'm too hungover or can't be bothered to go scuba diving tomorrow?' Don't do it! Hey, it's your holiday too. It's all about having fun and seeing what the world has to offer.
This sets an AdventureFit trip higher than any other Contiki tour out there. You are more than welcome not to participate if you do not feel so inclined. We organize the coolest trips possible. It's your choice what you'd like to do and what you'd rather skip. If you feel like hanging out at the beach every day, then go for it!
I am someone who loves to meet new, like-minded people, train and maintain a general level of fitness, discover new places across the world and partake in activities specific to those areas. Adventurefit allows for all this to be possible. Becoming an AdventureFit coach was one of the best things that has happened to me and I have complete confidence in the fact that coming along on an Adventurefit trip will be one of the best things you'll do!
MEXICO BABY, YEAH!
Although I had already been to Mexico with mates two years prior, much of the place I had not seen so there was no question as to my excitement to co-lead the Mexico trip in early 2017. There is so much to do there and I would absolutely go back a third, fourth and fifth time.
This time around the Adventurefit trip saw me in Playa Del Carmen and Tulum in East Mexico. As soon as you step off the plane you are met with unparalleled heat yet the feeling of exhilaration in being across the world seems to drown all that out momentarily. Bill, Kiran and I caught a bus which took us to the hotel we'd be staying at before Day 1 of the trip, officially began. The hotel, Hotel Sayaab, just happened to be a short walk from the pristine Caribbean Sea. You can imagine it wasn't long before we found ourselves in the warm ocean, looking up at the stars that were, this time around, upside down. That was when it really hit me that I was indeed in Mexico. I looked up at the 'Saucepan' in the sky which now looked more like a top hat than anything else. I remember thinking to myself “fuck yeah!”
Day 1 saw the team, lead by Bill and myself, bond over a workout at CrossFit Homeless (to which I cannot recommend highly enough. The owners are truly the most generous people I have met overseas and their knowledge of movement is excellent. CrossFit or not, this place is not to be missed. Reach out to them if you ever find yourself in Playa Del Carmen!) before walking back and heading out to dinner.
I sat next to Kylie and Jared that night and found myself intrigued by how similar our views were. As I mentioned previously, these trips are great for me because not only do I find myself in amazing places across the world doing things I never thought I would, like scuba diving and paddle boarding over a cenote, but I also get to experience them with open minded people like Jared and Kylie.
In fact, everyone on the trip brought with them their own values and beliefs and there was never a dull moment; the Day 1 dinner just happened to emphasize this notion. In any case, the friendships we all created were not in any way surface based, but rather meaningful and that added to the overall experience. The buffet dinner was utterly phenomenal, too. Although I recognized Jared as an American National Weightlifter and record holder, I still do not comprehend how he was able to eat as much as he did. It was a genuine effort to say the least.
Day 2 began at the Yoga Loft for an hour of Vinyasa oriented stretching and mindfulness. I think that because of this, my mind was more open to the notion of spirituality so that by the time we arrived at the Mayan ruins, I was prepared. The bus ride there was great. Everyone was energized and in high spirits. Before long, however, we all crashed, seemingly still adjusting to the local time. We all seemed to awake with the sight of a megalithic ancient pyramid looming closer. This was our first taste of ancient Maya. That memory will remain in my mind up until I die.
It was truly mind blowing. It is one thing to learn about who the Mayans were and how they operated, with close ties to religion in worshipping a serpent god (Quetzalcoatl) and the like, however, it is another to physically stand where they once did and take it all in. I think what amazed me most was the heat. It is no wonder their idea of Heaven was “eternal shade.” Mine would have been, for sure.
In more general terms, religion is deeply fascinating to me so there is no question I loved learning about the religious practices of the Mayans. Sport was also widely evident in their culture. We actually walked through their prestigious sporting stadium, led by our esteemed tour guide, who spoke about the value in sacrificing the winning team captain after each game as an offering to the Gods. This didn't make sense at first but after coming to the understanding that the Gods would only want 'the best', the sacrifice became, more or less, justified.
The game went as follows: There were five players to a team. Each player held his own bat (similar to that of Lacrosse) and chased after a single ball. The objective was to hit the ball into a small hole that was positioned way above ground level. Each team was led by a captain who stood up on a higher level, adjacent to the hole the ball was to enter. He alone could hit the ball into the hole. If any player, at one point, touched the ball, he would subsequently have his hand cut off.
Needless to say, this was a brutal game, especially considering that it was a genuine free for all in gaining possession of the ball. Honestly, this sounded more like a fight to the death than anything else. These games would last for days, weeks and even months. After experiencing heat like that, standing where the players once did, it’s not any wonder the game didn’t come to fruition. What's more is that they used to play throughout summer, too. I was sweating buckets in the middle of winter.
Day two may have been my favorite, if I am being completely honest. In retrospect, I was not expecting to gain as much of a spiritual essence as I did on this trip yet to my astonishment, the tour of the ancient Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza provided just that.
Other highlights of the trip include paddle boarding in a lagoon which was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. We were also lucky enough to have Jared Fleming on the trip, as I've previously stated. He led a seminar on weightlifting over day three, and I have to admit that my training has improved dramatically from it. These trips offer everything. What I love most is the company. It just adds to the whole experience. You really feel like you're hanging out with your close friends every day despite having known them for mere hours.
On a final note, I did want to mention Tulum. Much of the places I have visited in Mexico have endured some influence from the West and whilst there is no negativity to that statement, it is sometimes more intriguing to engross yourself in unfamiliar territory. Tulum was unlike what I'd seen before throughout Central America. Although I'd encountered traditional Mexican living to some degree, Guadalajara, Tulum, blew things out of proportion. It was incredible!
If you are thinking of making your way through Mexico, please do yourself a favor and visit Tulum.
Day 5 saw the AdventureFit crew head to Tulum. The bus ride took approximately one hour and by the time we'd arrived at our hotel, Mestizo Gallery, we were all ready to get some well-deserved rest. On a side note, the WIFI is great at 'Mestizo', so go and check it out! The night life in Tulum is awesome. You do not have to walk very far at all to find a restaurant with an ice cream shop close by for a sneaky dessert session. Although I stated before that I love to stay fit on trips, you cannot be in Mexico without an ice cream in your hand at any point in time.
Overall, the AdventureFit trip to Mexico was fantastic. Although I was working which meant I had to be a little more proactive with bus times and group coordination, I still felt like I was on a holiday and I can only attribute that to the company that surrounded me. Additionally, I wanted to say that whilst seven days absolutely flew by, the amount we were able to fit in that seven days was more than enough for me (and I think I can speak on behalf of everyone on the trip).
The trip was, by all means fulfilling and on overwhelmingly positive holiday experience attested to by all. So to those of you who made this trip truly memorable – Bill, Kiran, Kylie, Jared, Jess, Craig and Kelly, I say thank you. I regard you all as friends and can't wait to see you on the next AdventureFit trip! HOUMASS!!!