>> Over the years I noticed travelling had an immensely positive impact on me. Especially solo travel can push us out of our comfort zone and teach us many aspects of our personalities. It highlights our strengths and weaknesses and helps us develop tools to live a richer & more fulfilling life. I knew I wasn’t the only one who reaped the benefits of travelling for personal development.
This guest post series introduces you to others who have, in one way or another, travelled for personal development: be it to learn a new language, to mend a broken heart or to overcome an anxiety. Hopefully it will encourage you to travel more yourself and perhaps even help you to overcome barriers. <<
Meet Shannon who tried to lose weight by starving herself and exercising hours at the gym. She felt she wasn’t getting the results she had hoped for. Then an opportunity arose and she decided to quit her job and travel to Chile. A weight fell off her shoulders. In every sense of the way. Read on to learn more about this inspirational lady.
How to Lose Weight While Traveling?
It sounds ridiculous – traveling to lose weight? Right…
But it’s true!
Before you ask me how to lose weight while traveling, let me give you the backstory: about a year ago, I was sitting at my desk, staring at Microsoft Outlook on my computer, sipping on some green juice. It was my third juice cleanse in 3 months, and I was starved! Next to my feet on the floor was my gym bag, staring back at me. In 9 hours, I’d be headed to the gym, right after work. My enthusiasm was minimal just to say the least.
I really wanted to lose weight! In the past three years, I had gained 50 pounds. 50 POUNDS!!! How did this even happen? I was heavy, lethargic, tired, and still always hungry. And, surprisingly, no gym membership or diet could reverse this. As the scale revealed higher and higher numbers to me, I began to panic. What was wrong? Why couldn’t I lose weight when I was doing everything right? I had to do something drastic – for my health and for my sanity.
So, when an unexpected opportunity arose, I quit my 9-5 job and traveled to Santiago, Chile.
The first two weeks in Chile were a little difficult; I had none of my comfort foods (pasta, pasta, pasta!) readily available to me. I had to walk everywhere – to the school where I was brushing up on Spanish, to the mall, to the store, and to the sites. But, something miraculous happened: I lost 10 stubborn pounds relatively quickly! My pants buttoned again. My shirts weren’t so tight. The long walks weren’t so difficult. I felt the literal and figurative weight fall off my shoulders.
Overall, I lost 20 pounds while in Chile. How did losing weight while traveling work so well?
>> Well, first of all, I allowed myself to sleep for longer on the days when I needed to! While, back at home, I was sleeping 5 to 6 hours, at most. In Chile, I had no alarm clock and slept as long as I needed. Sleep, how I had missed you!
>> Also, eating food was a mindful experience in Chile. I had never tried pebre, pastel de choclo, or charquicán before, so I chewed and ate more slowly. I actually tasted my food! Plus, I headed to La Vega (a large local food market) regularly to buy fresh fruits and vegetables – the variety and the fact that everything tasted so much better than back at home, encouraged me to eat more healthily.
>> Let’s not forget about the exercise! I wanted to see Isla Negra from the rocky hilltops, so I climbed them. I wanted to see all of the colorful buildings in Valparaíso, so I walked even farther to see them. I wanted to see the sunset from atop Cerro San Cristóbal, so I walked up those steps. I danced freely during my salsa and bachata lessons, walked excitedly to the best sites, and ran happily to the bars where my friends were waiting for me. I did all of this exercise, because I was happy to do it! Whereas I had always dreaded going to the gym back home.
Looking back, I am so grateful that I had no access to a scale during my entire trip. I wasn’t able to monitor every tenth of a pound I gained or agonize over every “bad” decision that I had made. I finally gave myself a break! As soon as I stopped blaming myself, I stopped gaining! It was really as easy as that.
Most of all, I felt like I was being true to myself. I was doing what I truly love to do – travel! And for some reason, whenever I feel that I am living what I’m called to do (my life purpose), my weight falls off effortlessly.
How do you lose weight while traveling? How has your life improved during your trips abroad? Comment below!
Shannon Marshall and her twin sister, Jessica, have ‘spoken their way’ through Mexico, Spain, and Chile. They help travelers, like them, make the most out of their trips abroad by having confident conversations in Spanish. Before your next trip, get the word-for-word phrases that will have you talking to Spanish speakers as soon as you land. Click here to find out more.
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