Finally Back from the Travel Abyss!

Good evening, friends!

I am finally back from my whirlwind adventures and able to write again! Technically I’ve been back from my last trip for nearly a week, but it just took time for me to get back into the swing of things. Since late February, I have traveled to DC, Paris, Kuala Lumpur, Savannah, Cologne, Minneapolis/St. Paul, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. Almost all of it was for work, but I was able to squeeze in a few days of fun here and there.

Remember how, prior to the trip, I was doing a LOT of workouts because I was worried that I wouldn’t have control over my exercise schedule? And remember how I was nervous about gaining a few pounds because I wouldn’t have control over food? And remember how I was worried that I was never going to leave Kuala Lumpur because I didn’t get a seat assignment on my return trip until about 10 hrs before the flight? (No? Well that’s because I didn’t want to write about it, for fear that I really would get stuck!!)

Well I am REALLY happy to say that everything worked out even better than I imagined. Before the trip I took a good, hard look at my schedule – when I was flying, whether each hotel had a fitness center, what my workload was going to be – and put together what I thought was a reasonable plan. I typed it out before I left and added a sentence in the beginning: Take it one day at a time. This was to remind me that all I could do was my best, and if work/jet lag/a crappy fitness center got in the way of a good workout (more on that in a second), then so be it – sometimes an extra rest day is hardly the worst thing.

I also tried to plan a lot around food. Thankfully I had at least one day at home in between each trip, so what I did was cook a bunch of meals in advance that I could just defrost (this warded off any “I’m so jet lagged and too lazy to cook so I’ll just grab whatever is in front of me”) and grocery shop in-between, when I needed to. Over the past few years I’ve been in the habit of cutting up an apple and bringing it with me – I call it my “just in case apple.” Even though I knew that I’d be in biz class for most of my long-haul flights (and hence well fed), having the apple in my bag was so helpful when I’d land and I’d be hungry at a weird time because of the time change. So even though I wasn’t eating the apple on the plane, having it for the hotel room was clutch. I also packed protein/fiber bars, which worked super well. And I used my time-honored trick of packing chocolate – either bite-sized Peppermint Patties or the dark chocolate Dove Promises – so that if I wanted something sweet, it was right there. I have definitely been known to order ice cream from room service from time to time (actually – no one really knows that – I just admitted it!), but the candy helped offset that.

Working out was SO much better than I anticipated. I ran outside in DC, Paris, Savannah, and Vegas, and supplemented the runs with a yoga DVD and/or free yoga sessions online (there are so many options, and I could just do them in my hotel room!), HIIT workouts that I’d do in the fitness centers, and I downloaded/printed out a few workout plans in advance of the trip as well. This way I was never bored. I will say that overall the hotel fitness centers were pretty serviceable (the Paris one was especially lovely), but good grief…Kuala Lumpur…definitely left a bit to be desired. I don’t want to “out” any brands, but let’s just say I stayed in one of the world’s luxury hotels (you’d know the name if I wrote it), and it was unfortunately in the process of remodeling. So all it did was move equipment into a conference room. So right away the flooring was weird (no gym has wall to wall carpet!), but the larger issue was the ventilation. KL is hot and humid to begin with, but I got on a treadmill first thing in the morning and there was already a layer of condensation on the machine – it was gross! And the second day I went down there to use weights and there were no towels. Also gross! But like I said – overall I was really lucky.

As usual, the fitness part came more easily to me than the food angle. I did have some wins, food-wise, but I really thought I was going to lose a few pounds and I definitely did not! On the other hand, I also let myself enjoy the local cuisine wherever I went, so it’s not like I was on some rigid food plan. It was actually harder for me to readjust to being Stateside again when I got back – I’ve spent this whole week trying to get back on track with food!

Overall, it was an awesome 6 weeks of travel and my only regret was not staying longer in some of the destinations – which I think is the hallmark of a good trip! Now I’m here in Chicago for the next 3 weeks and already feeling a bit stir crazy. But travel will pick up again in May – I already have  3 trips planned, so that’ll be good!

But my BEST news will come in a separate post that I will write next! Wait for it! 🙂

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