Guest post form Erin Prickett who is an experienced traveller.  She spent five months traveling in Europe and lived in Mexico for a summer.  Also former athlete, Prickett enjoys combining her love of travel and fitness.  She recommends using a Travelocity promo code to save on flights for your next adventure abroad

Erin tells us: I’ve never been a huge fan of congested gyms, where muscle men flex in front of mirrors and show off for spandex-clad women furiously burning calories on the elliptical.  Richard Simons’ home work-out videos never do it for me either.  Maybe if I took speed I could keep up with that little leprechaun!

Call me old fashioned, but I enjoy the simplicity of outdoor adventure.  It’s much more exciting and liberating!

I’ve done some traveling in my day and discovered that one of the best ways to explore a new city and make a trip more memorable is to incorporate physical activity—something unique to that location which requires athleticism and audacity!  I’ve hiked the Cinque Terra coastline trail, completed a 20-mile bike ride through the Tuscany hillsides, snorkeled in the Gulf of Mexico, and scaled the pyramids of Teotihuacán.  That being said, my travel days are far from over, and I’ve created a ‘to-do’ list of future adventures.  You might add these to your travel list, as well!

Canyoning in Interlaken.

I have never been to Switzerland, but it’s at the top of my list.  Located between lakes and surrounded by gorgeous mountains, Interlaken is one of the oldest and most popular tourist resorts in Switzerland.  Visitors are drawn to ‘canyoning,’ or traveling in canyons using a variety of techniques, such as walking, climbing, jumping, abseiling, and swimming.  Canyoning in Interlaken is an awesome way to get in touch with nature, work out, and just have a blast.  I highly recommend searching for a YouTube video to witness canyoning.  A few friends of mine have done this activity, and they said it was the best part of their European travels. 

Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage

While living in Madrid for four months, I learned all about Spanish history and culture.  One Spanish tradition, which has existed over a thousand years, is a pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, northwestern Spain.  Every year, people from all over the world make the Christian pilgrimage to visit the Cathedral, where tradition has it that the remains of the apostle Saint James are buried.  There are a number of routes that lead to the Cathedral, the most popular being Camino Fances, which stretches nearly 500 miles from France to Santiago.  Clearly, this is not a task for the weak.  The journey requires mental and physical stamina.  I would love to participate in the meaningful adventure. 

Toboggan down the Great Wall of China

My older brother traveled to China with his Business School classmates a couple years ago, and one of his favorite activities was tobogganing down the Great Wall of China.  Ascending the Great Wall is a journey in itself- a rather long, physically demanding walk through history.  Once you reach the top, you reflect on the grandeur of this world wonder and admire the scenery.  You then have two choices: descend by foot or by toboggan.  I’ll take the latter for 500 please, Alex??  There are three main sections of the Great Wall: Badaling, Jinshanling, and Mutianyu.  The toboggan ride is unique to the Mutianyu section. Passengers can ride down the German-built steel toboggan track, which winds through the forest in a series of twists and turns. Each toboggan carries one person and has a hand break for adjusting speeds.  Without a doubt, I want to ride down the Great Wall someday.

In order to get physical abroad, you first need to figure out how you’ll get there.  Look for cheap flights on Travelocity.com.  I recommend using a Travelocity promo code to save money on your airfare.  You can find coupons at CheapSally.com. So pick a place, search for flights, and start thinking about the outdoor adventures your destination has to offer.  Time to get cultured AND physical!

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