Living in Berlin gives you access to many amazing countries, all just a short flight or train ride away. I’ve been super lucky to have spent the last week in L’Isle sur la Sorgue, a delightful village close to Avignon, and Barcelona. We attended an amazing wedding in France and carried on to meet some more dear friends in Spain.
Naturally, it was all laid on for us. Enough rosé and sangria for a village fiesta, the best cheeses I’ve ever tasted and croquetas, my new favourite deep-fried morsel of goodness. And don’t even get me started on the patisseries and boulangeries.
When you’re on holiday in another country, it’s all about new experiences and grasping those opportunities that come your way, which for many of us means devouring a whole lot more of the good stuff and not keeping up with the usual exercise routines. It got me thinking about ways to not feel too sluggish, überunheathy and heavy whilst you are exploring the world. Here are a few top tips that I’ve learned from my own travels:
Move: Exercise everyday, preferably first thing in the morning. Just get up and go for a run, walk, bike ride, swim, or do a few sun salutations on the beach. I also pack a Pilates resistance band and some yoga socks for variety, which are both light and won’t take up to much space in your luggage. This makes you feel instantly better after what was probably rather a joyous evening with the odd refreshment or three. It also means that the evenings are kept free for much of the same carry on. And repeat.
There are also lots of opportunities for incidental exercise on holidays. There is no better way to see the city than on foot or on a bike, so ditch the sweaty public transport options and do your body and bank balance some good.
Vegetables: Try to eat as many as possible so that you don’t go overboard on rich, heavy foods. I’ll often have lunch or dinner consisting of a big plate of salad and vegies, as well as some protein like chickpeas or chicken. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know that I believe that beetroot is in fact the key to life, so I’ll buy it in any form from the grocery store or village market. It means that I feel a whole lot healthier, as consuming beetroot ensures that my vitals are functioning optimally.
Snacks: You never know how much you are going to absolutely love somewhere and want to stay for longer. You could easily spend the best part of an afternoon wandering around La Sagrada Familia being utterly captivated. Having some fruit, nuts, seeds or wholegrain crackers on hand will ensure your blood sugar doesn’t get too low and you start freaking out. Depriving your body of the fuel that it needs to function means that you’ll get hangry (hungry angry) and crave instant energy, often in the form of saccharine sweet, stodgy food. After you’ve had your second slice of tarte tartin and you’re making eyes at the macaron shop, your body moves in to overdrive mode, which creates a vicious cycle of eating anything and everything you can get your hot little hands on.
Indulge, but don’t go overboard: If I know the evening will probably consist of having a few glasses of vin de pays, I won’t have a gelato in the afternoon. Heck yes, I’ll have the petit gâteaux and have yet another ohemgee Super Foodie moment, but I won’t have it every day that I’m in France. This ensures these little indulgences remain special and will long be remembered after the holiday.
To me, travelling to other beautiful countries is what summer in Europe is all about. Now is the perfect time to make your own swift exit to a place where you can’t understand the local news and be blissfully ignorant – you’ll probably find it rather liberating.