For the past 3 years, I’ve hopped on a plane once a month. My passion for exploring and seeing the world runs deep. I also live a very healthy lifestyle and own a coaching business focused solely on health and fitness. So, the never-ending question is: How on earth do I find the balance between staying healthy and jet setting across the globe?
First, I think it’s important to define what healthy means for me, and how my perspective of that word has evolved over the years. Before I moved to Hong Kong in 2014, my life was all about fitness and work. I had a corporate job in HR and was a part-time personal trainer. I lost 100lbs about 10 years ago so naturally, I became obsessed with a fit lifestyle and maintaining my ‘new look’. To most, I was considered healthy. But when I dug deep, I realised so much was missing. I wasn’t whole – Mind, Body, and Spirit.
I longed to expand my mind and feed my soul while continuing to fuel my body. So, in 2014 I moved to Hong Kong with my corporate job; this is where my love affair with travel began. Since then, I’ve become the healthiest version of myself whilst exploring over 30 new countries and 50 cities! More recently, I’ve left the corporate world and made a move to Bali to run my own business and explore full-time.
Redefining what healthy meant for me was my first step to finding the balance. Realising that travel and experiencing was just as “healthy” for me as drinking wheat grass shots and squatting heavy weights changed my perspective tremendously.
Now, while I still travel consistently I put less pressure on myself to be “fit” and focus more on finding a balanced whole life. Generally speaking, that means seeing as much of the world as feasible while still being kind to my body. When I’m not on the road, I’m at the gym 4x per week, and at yoga 2x. I normally eat 80% vegan, and I’m always focused on nourishing my body with the best possible food. However, when I’m traveling (which is often), this lifestyle isn’t feasible. So, over the years, I’ve found some practical ways to travel while not steering too far:
- I usually look for a hotel with a gym, or I try to find a local gym in town so I can be active. However, I don’t beat myself up if I can’t find either. I compromise with deciding to walk or bike the town I’m in. Because walking 30,000 steps a day while exploring is just as kind to my body as putting in 1-2 hours in the gym.
- I always make wise decisions with my meals and find the balance. Usually, that means getting an Air Bnb or hotel with a kitchen so I can prepare a healthy breakfast and lunch myself. That way, I can enjoy a local meal for dinner guilt free – regardless of the nutritional value.
- I always bring snacks along with me as I explore new cities. I visit the local grocery store and stock up on fruits and nuts so I can carry them along with me throughout the day.
- I set fun goals for myself. I aim to achieve a minimum of 20,000 steps per day while I travel and I always try to find local vegetarian and vegan dishes. I also try to incorporate activities that require me to move. Be it hiking, outdoor yoga, or beach volleyball, I just love being active and outdoors. I challenge myself to experience the nature of a new city, and be active while doing so.
These are just some tips I’ve incorporated into my travel lifestyle that allow me to experience balance. I’m not nearly as strict with myself as I used to be, but I’m happier and more fulfilled. I’m able to still be fit, but have found ways to not obsess; I’ve let balance become my priority.
Losing a tremendous amount of weight and being a personal trainer creates this pressure to look and act a certain way. However, once I ignored society’s definition of healthy and created my own version, I was able to really have it all.
About Tameika G
Tameika Gentles is an online coach, certified personal trainer, and perpetual explorer. You can follow her travels @tameikagtravels and her fitness @tameikag. You can also learn more about Tameika, and her story at tameikag.com.