When I share my summer adventures with clients and friends, they frequently ask me how I accomplish so much while on vacation. I appreciate my adventurous spirit through activity, so I call this “active traveling”.
This summer was amazing! I stepped away for about 6 weeks and traveled to the Baja Peninsula, Lake Powell, Sawtooth mountains, Glacier National Park, and San Sebastian, Spain. I love traveling, especially by bike. Cycling lets me cover a good distance within a reasonable amount of time, while allowing myself the time to take in the beautiful scenery. Bike packing around Glacier National Park and mountain biking with Basque MTB were especially amazing to me because I was riding so much.
If you would like to do something similar, here is my how-to list for an active vacation:
1. Commit to a goal. I knew very little about Glacier National Park. It felt unexplored to me because it is so far away and I knew only a few folks who had been. I researched the park online, mostly looking at pictures. This helped me dream and fantasize about myself cycling in and around Glacier National Park.
2. Keep it simple. On my Glacier park trip, I did not plan anything other than getting to the park. (I know, I know, it is easy for me because I do not have any kids or a steady partner, but there is something to be said for keeping it simple. If you must plan your lodging ahead then do so, but I do enjoy flying by the seat of my pants.) We have incredible access these days. The ease of apps like Hotel Tonight, have made my travel experiences all the better. Campground reservations are sometimes necessary depending on where you go. I did not make any campground reservations, thinking we will figure it out along the way. . . which we did. Now, when I went to Spain, friends had already planned and booked lots of the trip months in advance. For larger groups, planning is essential. People that love to plan also like to have company, so getting in on an existing itinerary is another simple way to go.
3. Commit to an activity. What do you love to do? I love cycling, so I biked. If you love surfing, plan trips around it. Pick an activity, then make that activity the important staple while on exploring your journey.
4. Travel on your own, and with friends. Sharing your experience with a buddy or group of friends is fantastic. Within those moments, take the time to be present and allow yourself to take it all in.
5. Show up! Commit to your goal by getting on the road!
6. Make it fun. This is the most important item. Leading up to my Glacier trek, I worked several long days in a row, piled on clients, and slept little. So on the first day of my break, I picked up my buddy in the morning and told him I felt like having a burger from my favorite joynt—the Nugget in Reno. So we high-tailed it out of San Francisco at 4am in order to arrive in Reno and choke down my favorite burger, the Awful Awful. Just because I’m having an active trip doesn’t mean I can’t indulge in a little Elvis-style breakfast. So don’t miss a chance to live it up like you are on vacation, because you are!