running, travel

The Backpacker Chronicles – Week 1

Well hello there, it’s been a while, hasn’t it?

Just a quick update on me- since the last time I wrote, I have:

  • quit my job
  • moved out of my flat
  • packed a 10kg backpack
  • run away to Central America

Big stuff, right?

Anyhow, this life change means that the focus of this blog is going to change too. Firstly, I now have much more free time in which to write; and secondly, the focus is going to shift to my experiences, successes and failures at maintaining a healthy balance whilst travelling the world. Exciting stuff!

So without further ado, lets jump on into my first week:

My week started with a pretty long journey – almost 24 hours door to door – from my London flat, to Isla Mujeres, off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Isla Mujeres was a place I had been to before, and loved, so seemed a fitting start to my trip. Given that I’m on a long trip, I decided to take the first week or so as just some time to relax, reset and recharge my batteries.

On the island, I quickly fell into a glorious routine of sunrise yoga on the hostel’s beach, followed by a day spent in the shade of the palm trees on Isla’s famous Playa Norte, and then an evening run along the seafront. My running route had been recommended to me by the hostel’s resident yoga teacher – it went along the seafront for about a mile, before turning inland onto a not-so-abandoned military airstrip, complete with helicopter and armed soldiers standing guard. Thankfully however, I wasn’t the only runner there – several local runners came to use the helpfully marked airstrip to run 1000m repeats. Slogging away in the balmy evening heat, we quickly came to be on friendly smile-and-wave terms.

I wasn’t joking about the helicopter!

If running brought me a welcome sense of routine and grounded me in what could easily have been an overwhelming experience (it’s not every day you quit your job and run away to the tropics), then yoga was the thing that balanced me out, both physically and mentally. In only a week, I came to love my morning yoga sessions, and even started doing my own self-led practice on the seafront at the end of my runs. Practicing yoga whilst the waves roared into shore from Cuba and the west coast of Africa – that was something truly special.

Being on a Caribbean island, there was thankfully no shortage of fresh fruit and vegetables, and most days my meals consisted of a large (free) breakfast at the hostel, consisting of tropical fruit, peanut butter on toast, and copious amounts of black coffee. Lunch was generally fresh fruit on the beach, whilst dinner was either veggie tacos, pico de gallo with chips, or on one occasion, half a cantaloupe. Having such an abundance of fresh fruit around me definitely helped me adopt a more relaxed attitude to my nutrition – a far cry from the control freak I’ve been in previous years.

Following a few nights in Isla Mujeres, I hopped on a ferry back to the mainland, with the intention of crashing for one night in Cancun, having a hot shower and a decent night’s sleep. Nonetheless, I somehow managed to pick a party hostel on the first night of spring break, so my night was definitely less than restful, as I spent the night trying to block out the loud music that played ’till 5am!

My week ended on Sunday with a bus journey to Bacalar, a small but beautiful town on the edge of a glorious lagoon – I quickly decided to settle into the groove of things and take a day off working out, sipping a tequila sunrise by the lagoon, and watching the sun go down in a blaze of colour.

So there you have it, my first week as a semi-fit, healthy backpacker girl!

So tell me, do you like to keep active on holiday? Do you have any tips for staying healthy on the go? I would love to hear them in the comments below!

Lots of love,

Pippa

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10 thoughts on “The Backpacker Chronicles – Week 1”

  1. Wow! I’d love to quit my job and move to a new country. Good for you. Yeah, I always stay active on vacation. I love running on the beach! The sand adds a whole new challenge. Or, if nothing else, I like to find a nearby gym. Have fun and be careful!

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