AdventureFit Travel

AdventureFit Travel

An adventure travel company for the fitness community. Check out this site for trip options, all our blogs from our blogging team, AdventureFit Radio podcasts, and more.

 

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ADVF Goes Thailand - Mac's Wrap

Since its inception in 2014, AdventureFit Travel has been hosting hundreds of people from all over the world on adventure-packed fitness holidays, although this Koh Tao, Thailand trip was a first for the company.

Upon the private request of some crazy AdventureFitters from Emerald in outback Australia, ADVF was heading to Thailand to put on another world-class holiday featuring some special guests, such as world weightlifting champion Dmitry Klokov, and a couple of other keen AdventureFitters from the USA.

 

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The itinerary was jam packed with activities such as scuba diving, rock climbing, abseiling, Muay Thai, working out, and of course, a 6-hour weightlifting workshop with the Russian champion - oh and how could we forget the unbeatable local Thai food!

For the two Americans, Kristina and Jesse, they were very quickly welcomed into the tribe as we all battled it out in the hot and humid conditions at CrossFit Koh Tao on night one, after a day of travel to the island.

 

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How does the saying go again? Those who workout together ….. Oh, I'm not sure, but you get the point that we were sweaty and broke the ice very quickly.

As tradition tells us, the first night’s welcome dinner is always on ADVF. So naturally the guests took advantage of this and we hit up one of the best restaurants on the island, Fizz Beachlounge.

 

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Day two started with all eyes on Dmitry Klokov. With lots of muscle, skin, sweat and testosterone. No one stood a chance, walking away from the day without a man-crush.

Many of the clients warmed up ready to impress the champion with how much they could lift, although Dmtry didn't want a bar of it. Weights were quickly stacked back and only barbells remained for the rest of the day.

Wow! Who would have thought that an empty barbell could hurt so much!

 

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The importance of static holds were understandable when everyone's weakness was exposed of how little static training we did, and also how we could be utilising our legs much more effectively, making us immediately stronger.

 

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"Smash the bone" and "use your quads!" were repeated all day by Dmitry. We started to wonder if that was the only English he knew?
All in all, this was a very valuable day on the itinerary for all participants, and most put this day as their #1 experience for the trip.

To keep the body moving and to train off the soreness from the workshop with Dmitry, we started day three with a boot camp style workout on the beach.

This was beautiful! The tide was out and the sun was rising on the horizon. It was a workout consisting of body weight exercises, a sand run, and a swim - a perfect start to the day.

 

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After breakfast we headed up the hill for rock climbing and abseiling with a spectacular view of the island from the epic Fraggle Rock.

 

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It was here that some tears were shed and some adversity was overcome as a few of the crew were scared of heights and had never done or wanted to throw themselves off a rock backwards, or even make the climb.

Just like a family unit, everyone supported each other to overcome their fears and all had a very successful day and could tick another item off their bucket list.

 

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Once their feet were safely back on land, were were then taken to the water for a booze cruise.
As you can imagine, drinking and water shouldn't be used in the same sentence too often, although this was an exception! When in Rome, right? Or should it be Thailand?

If anyone knows what happened past this point, we would love for you to fill in the gaps here as many of us had too much fun! ;)

 

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Day four started very slow for all. This was a "free day" where we could all have options for what activities we wanted to do. After all it's our holiday, right?
Some opted to attend a Thai cooking class where we cooked 4 beautiful traditional Thai meals. Others opted for massages, the beach, the pool, shopping, and of course, more food!

We tied day four off with a group yoga session, the perfect way to wind down our rest day.

 

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Day five was spent back in the water. Being an island and one of the best places in the world to scuba dive, we headed out into the coral reef that surrounds the island of Koh Tao.

For most this was another first experience. And what better way to try your first dive than here.

The view underwater in the crystal clear environment was breathtaking. Lucky we had oxygen strapped to our backs!
For those who have never tried scuba diving, it's a very thrilling experience. We were taken through and had to demonstrate the safety procedures of losing your mouthpiece, how to clear your goggles, and how to equalise. We dove down to 12m where we were immersed in schools of bright coloured fish and reef.

 

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It didn't end on day five though.

After diving, we were put through our paces at Island Muay Thai. Again, a first for many. Again, another sweat session. Again, heaps of fun!

So much respect goes to MMA fighters for their level of fitness and mental toughness.

 

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On average we did 3 x 3 min sparring rounds and wow! We had never sweat so much or worked so hard! Elbows, kicks, punches, breathing, jumping and technique work took it right out of us! We of course then indulged in some amazing food at another top restaurant on the island, Barracuda.

Day six was the last activity day, which started off with a hike up the hill and around to the other side of the island where we proved science right by abiding to the laws of gravity and throwing ourselves off a 12m cliff into the ocean below.

The highlight here was, again, the fear (False Evidence Appearing Real) that we had to break through to experience the rush of the free fall.

Not everyone challenged the 12m fall. There were also 3m and 9m drops that also tested the mind!

In the water after a big hike, we kept moving, although this time snorkelling on the surface of the water, breathtakingly crystal clear and full of marine wildlife.

 

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Now just like we opened the trip, we closed the trip with another workout at CrossFit Koh Tao, enjoying another partner workout and really cementing in the comradeship and family unit that we had on this trip.

Reflecting in the pool after it's all done and dusted, here in Koh Tao, we really squeezed every last bit of sweat out of this island.

AdventureFit is very lucky to play host to bucket list adventures and holidays, but it's you guys who make the dream come true.

We are honestly so proud of the personal achievements that have been accomplished over the last week, and if there is anyone who is looking to run any trips like this with any destination in the world, we would love to play host.

We love tailoring the trip around your ideas to make it incredibly easy and affordable, where you just rock up and we do the rest.

A huge thank you to the 11 legends who made this trip happen.

Thanks for the laughs and some seriously good times!

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AdventureFit Mexico 2017

OLA! FROM WHERE YOU'D RATHER BE! WHY ADVENTUREFIT?

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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. 

 

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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.

 

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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!!!

 

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AdventureFit Japan With Chris Strange

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I nearly died a couple years ago.

I don't normally tell anyone about my rare condition, but back in 2012 I had major brain surgery to save my life. It was the scariest and hardest thing I've ever been through - but accepting that it’s lying dormant is a constant challenge. Not knowing when it could attack again, I decided that once I regained my strength I wanted to travel and explore life - not leaving any moment unlived.

 

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Getting ready for the trip wasn't so easy!

Back in May 2015 I saw a post for the AdventureFit Travel Japan trip that was going to kick off in the first week of September. Reading over the itinerary I knew this was the journey I’ve been waiting all year for. What would be more spectacular than seeing a picturesque sunrise over the top of Mt Fuji - after all it is the land of the rising sun. I made contact with Bill, aka DOC, and paid my deposit. I was officially counting down the days until this incredible adventure began.

Three months before the trip was meant to commence and just before my 30th Birthday, I ended back in hospital with similar symptoms to those that caused me to have my surgery in 2012. Scans and tests were conducted by the Neurology and Stroke department of the Royal Women’s Hospital to see if my previous surgery was still effective.

The Head of Neurology then came to visit, to let me know the findings of my tests - my artery that supplies the blood flow to the left side of my brain was holding up and they were happy to discharge me. My only question to him was if my condition would stop me from going to Japan and achieving the summit of Mt Fuji. He looked at me and with a blank face and said “We do not know what will happen to you at that altitude”. Because of my odd question he thought the only way to assess this was by doing an altitude test in the hospital. I met with the Respiratory Scientist and he informed me of the tests they were going to perform. First they started me off walking with a facemask hooked up to a machine that was controlling the oxygen levels I was breathing. One of the doctors was watching the computer screen, whilst the other two were monitoring me in case I became unstable and had another episode.

 

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At one point the doctor examining me asked how I was feeling and whilst I said “I’m all dandy”, I was really fighting to keep my breathing pattern steady. To my surprise, the Doctor told me that the test was simulating the same altitude as base camp at Everest.

The examination was complete, I was astonished I passed and that basecamp is still in my sights to knock of my bucket list. After my stint in the hospital I emailed Doc to let him know what was happening with my health and that the doctors have cleared me for the trip. I had to keep training to a minimal and had to work slowly back into it as it could cause my symptoms to return.

After the good news, I went through my hiking gear and realised I had to pick up some new equipment to make sure my stay was not only going to be comfortable, but strong enough to endure the conditions of the expedition ahead. I set off to my local store, K2 Basecamp in Brisbane. The crew there provided amazing customer service and their confidence in what they are selling was beyond reassuring. I was excited to use my gear, and kept working on increasing my fitness - my training at CrossFit was stepping up to the next level and I was impressed on the results I was achieving.

The day finally came. I was dropped off to the domestic airport in Brisbane and walked my way through to get to my gate for boarding. I had a short relaxing flight to Cairns where I exchanged to the international airport to head to my destination. Arriving in Osaka was a stunning sight, and I was ready to hit the ground to investigate my new surroundings. I spent the next few days exploring my new neighbourhood, visiting to Universal Studios and walking around the city, taking in the beautiful Japanese culture.

 

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I made it to Japan alive.

After my days alone I had to find my way to Kyoto to meet up with Doc and the rest of the crew from AdventureFit. I jumped on the JR train line and headed towards Kyoto. It was great to see the communities along the train line. Everything was so neat and compact to fit in as much infrastructure as possible. As I arrived I was admiring the buildings when I heard a couple of American accents - it was Jackie and Dave the other leaders of the trip. I introduced myself and we had a good chat as we were walking towards our hotel.

 

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After we all got settled in Doc took us all out for dinner to get to know each other a bit better. The atmosphere of the group was awesome – with everyone talking and getting along so well. Throughout the whole stay in Japan with the AdventureFit team, it was really humbling to have the rest of the travellers so down to earth and eager to get out and experience all the adventures Doc had planned for us. Every day was a day I'll never forget from riding bikes through the streets of Kyoto, standing in awe of the bamboo forest, paying our respects to the towering temples, a training day with CrossFit Games athlete Denae Brown, white water rafting down the rivers of Minakami and becoming a Samurai warrior. There was a lot more that we all got to experience but the two days that made the trip for me was the incredible ascent to the summit of Mt Fuji.

 

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Mt Fuji – Day 1 – 10/9/15

I awoke feeling refreshed and ready for the long walk ahead. Although the accommodation was a small capsule hotel in Tsukiji Tokyo, having the sound of pouring rain the whole night made it one of the comfiest sleeps I had whilst being in Japan. We began our trip with a quick train ride to Shinjuku to exchange onto a bus. As we were cruising southwest down the highway I was sitting back listening to music when in the corner of my eye I saw our

3,776-meter challenge ahead. It was incredible to see the mountain from a distance and to think in a couple of hours I’d be hiking this monster. Its magnitude cannot be grasped until you see it with your own eyes.

The bus pulled into 5th station to drop us off at the starting point of the hike; this is where we refuelled with a traditional Japanese lunch and quick grab of keepsake souvenirs. At this point most of the team was putting on extra layers as the temperature dropped and we all started to feel the cool atmospheric change from the past few wet humid days we experienced in Tokyo. We started the ascent in the afternoon and everyone was very keen and enthusiastic to begin the initial leg of our hike. We all huddled around and got a big group photo of our smiling faces that were all about to be turned into sweaty frowns. The first couple of kilometres had green shrubs and trees surrounding us until we reached a point where you could tell that this old girl was a true volcanic mountain. The brown red rock and dirt seemed like we were on Mars and once the beauty of the green disappeared you felt the altitude hit your chest and my long strides become smaller and smaller.

 

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After a while we saw our first checkpoint and everyone was ready to stop to drink while the others caught up. At the start of the hike I purchased a walking stick that I could get stamps burned in at every station for 200 yen. This gave me a little longer resting time, but I had to walk faster to catch up to the Hang Strong boys; who kept a damn good pace the whole way for their first ever mountain hike. Every time I’d catch up my breath was getting heavier and my legs were starting to burn out but I was able to keep the rhythm going to stay in the group. At one point we all stopped for Tom to do a handstand on rock wall - and I must say it was pretty impressive. At this time a few of the others caught up and as we all had a brief timeout and the clouds that originally coved our heads started to disappear to reveal the stunning landscapes beneath us. On the other hand, when you looked up all you could see was the steep incline of zigzag trail ahead of us.

There were some parts of the day where you thought your legs were not going to move, and though I’ve done a heap of multiple day hikes back home and have never had an issue, this was challenging. The continuous incline was really something. Some hikers had little oxygen bottles to give them a full breath as the altitude was affecting their ability to keep moving. Arriving at the stations was a blessing as you regained your breathing and you got to eat some food to keep your body replenished. The best treat was having a cup of hot noodles and a sneaky hot chocolate to keep you warm. As we got higher and higher the unfriendly cold was getting a little harsh so I had to layer up and put on my jacket and gloves to keep my body warm.

 

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We were walking into the night as the sun sunk low behind the mountain releasing a silhouette over the land behind us. Reaching the final hut and our resting place for the night was such a relief. It meant we not only got to eat, but lay down and rest our exhausted legs. After dinner we got our sleeping arrangements sorted and what I thought was going to be a great sleep turned into a night of listening to men battle in a screaming snoring duel. Not even my headphones could drown out the sound. Throughout the night I went outside and stared up at the stars and looked over the moonlight land that surrounded the mountain to clear my head and to get some peace and quiet. I got some deep thinking done out there, as sleeping was no option. I finally headed back in and lay down in between Bryce and Jackie, only to be snuggled by both of them, which kept me extra warm.

Mt Fuji – Day 2 – 11/9/15

After being awake the whole night it was coming up to 3am and it was time to get ready and start the final accent to the summit. The room was full of people getting prepared and putting on their layers; the cold breeze was coming though the crack in the door which meant the wind chill was going to be exhilarating. As our team gathered together we decided to break into groups and meet at the top to share the spectacular view.

I joined the trio from Hang Strong and off we went with our headlamps burning into the night sky. After overtaking quite a few people, we all of a sudden hit a bottleneck and became part of a slow moving line towards the top. It was actually a pretty insane view as all you could see up and down the mountain was everyone's headlamps looking like extra bright glow worms. After a couple of hours, we finally made the summit of Mt Fuji and we secured a spot so the other AdventureFit members could join our excellent position for the sunrise.

 

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Being all-together we got to share the experience that none of us will ever forget. It was a mesmerizing and beautiful event to witness the sunrise through the clouds as it was glowing the most incredible colours into the sky above us. After a while of sitting there and taking it all in Kelly and myself were curious to see what the mouth of volcano looked like and to get a grasp of this strange place that naturally developed many years ago. We both stood there and felt very small compared to the surrounding walls. Before we left we both grabbed a couple of rocks to keep as a memory of our achievement.

On the descent a couple of the others and myself spoke about our lives and what we needed to change to better ourselves. I’m not sure if it was the sunrise or the journey we were about to complete, but it was like we all agreed on how beautiful and precious life is and how we wanted more from it. After a few hours walking down and trying not to fall over we arrived back at 5th station. We stood there and spoke about the last 24 hours whilst we were waiting for the bus to take us home. We all caught up on some sleep on that ride home and you could see in everyone’s faces that they were exhausted but proud for conquering the last two days.

 

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I had been waiting for this journey all year, and it was sadly coming to an end. I have to say that Doc, Dave and Jackie gave us the experience we all hope for, and honestly so much more. All of the members in our group were all such amazing people. I made close friendships that will allow me to travel the world to meet up with them once again. If you’re ever thinking about going on an expedition with AdventureFit I say do it. It will change your life. Experience a trip you’ll never forget and build friendships that will last forever.


I am ADVENTUREFIT…

 

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Chis Strange is the head of Customer Service at Again Faster Australia / NZ. Check out the original article here.

 

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Today I Learned - BASE Jumping

BASE jumping is what we call it when people parachute, or go wingsuit flying, from the top of a fixed structure or cliff. BASE is an acronym which stands for the four categories which one can jump from: building, antenna, span and Earth.

Get a load of this amazing footage from National Geographic as they go BASE jumping and learn the hard way that the "B" in BASE jumping doesn't stand for "badass".

 

 

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