Travel Dream. Dream Travel? In Your Dreams?

By Marina Aagaard, MFT

If you can dream it, you can do it, says my husband, and no point in aiming too low either, he adds! As it is, he has overcome many seemingly impossible tasks just by believing it could be done, so he should know, what he is talking about.
So be it: To me travels great and small embody fitness and wellness and if they can be plentified just by dreaming, then here it goes.

Having travelled to 50 countries and states for business and pleasure, but many, many times to the same countries, as “too much of a good thing can be good” (Mae West), I have to move on and see some more (new) world and wellness.

So, on my new upgraded travel bucket list there are now places, which I have not seriously considered before, as they are kind of far away in more ways than one.

If I could just pick and choose? What would you pick? Think about it for a moment, it is quite hard: Where to, if you could go, wherever you wanted?

There are so many exciting places, it is almost impossible to choose. But in my fitness and business practice, I have found, that the moment you verbalize your visions and write them down, they are a whole lot closer to being realized … so with a friendly push from my hubby; here I go, practising what I preach, only now in the leisure time department!

From a handful, Top 5, of destinations-I-would-really-really-like-visit, a town on the other side of the globe, a town voted one of the ‘Best Places to Travel in 2014’ by Travel + Leisure, comes to mind:

Cape Town (Kaapstad in Afrikaans) 

origin_377949
St. James Beach. Damien du Toit.

Where to stay? 

If money was not an issue, I would probably stay at:

Cape Grace Hotel, because it has a fitness centre, free wi-fi, is excellently located at the waterfront and looks very cozy … or maybe the Blackheath Lodge, a minute friendly looking place … or somewhere else? There is a plethora of hotels in Cape Town.

Where to eat?

I will check Gogobot; take a look at the recommendations given by foodie tribe travellers. I might try e.g.:
Codfather Seafood & Sushi, because I like both.
Sevruga, because the restaurant looks interesting and seafood sounds good.
Reuben’s and Belthazar Restaurant & Wine Bar have had top reviews, too, so if there is ‘time’, I will try to dine and wine there (South Africa has some really nice wines). Apparently the Cape Grace hotel has a good restaurant, Signal, with tasting menus (that is a like from me), so that could be an experience.

If meal money then runs out, I don’t mind surviving on yoghurt and fruit from a foodmart …
when necessary, I don’t mind a mix of luxury and budget travelling.

origin_3445364196
Morning light over Simon’s Bay.
André van Rooyen.

What to do?

Insider suggestions are welcome, please. In the meantime, without knowing much about Cape Town, I have a notion, this is to be seen?

  • Cape Point: Watch the oceans meet, a natural wonder of the world (thanks to D’Marls Coffman, Gogobot Pro, for reminding me, a sea-lover, of the obvious).
  • Table Mountain ‘hike’ in TableMountainNational Park (try the Table Mountain Cableway).
  • Robben Island, formerly prison of Nelson Mandela, now a World Heritage Site …
    if I can get a ferry ticket (they are apparently sold out days in advance).
  • Cape of Good Hope, former Dutch East India company stronghold, for history.
  • Bo-Kaap house-design-watching, a natural for an art-and-design-buff.

origin_3047819218
Fog. Damien du Toit.

And of course: Watch whales (prime time July to November), humpbacks, orcas, southern rights and Bryde’s whales, from the shore or a boat; I learned, that South Africa is the fifth fastest growing whale-watching destination in the world. The Whale Route starts along the south of Cape Town (and extends over 1200 miles to Durban).

origin_2816685909
This I would like to see: Sea Point storm. Mallix.

This is it. I have now made a dream plan.

Only question: Does this dream travel strategy work … and if yes, when will it come true?

 

 

Photo credits:

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/coda/377949/”>coda</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/andreinafrica/3445364196/”>andre.vanrooyen</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/coda/3047819218/”>coda</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/mallix/2816685909/”>mallix</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

Bitten By a Bad Bug? Walk Around the Block

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

So it is that time of year … summer holiday aka recovery period is long gone.
It is getting cold and the cold is getting you (me). Or worse: You are bitten by a bad bug or caught by a feverish flu. A sorry scenario: Too sick to eat, sleep and work out?!
No way! If you are low on power, a good old walk may do the trick:

Walking is man’s best medicine
Hippocrates, physician (460-377 BC)

Mols Bjerge Nationalpark Danmark foto Marina Aagaard

I took a walk in the neighbourhood; Mols Bjerge National Park, Denmark.

Walking has numerous health benefits and a lot less risk of overuse injury, than e.g. running.

  • Walking at low, slow, speed stimulates mindfulness and stress reduction. An excellent activity every once in a while, even for hardcore exercisers,
  • Walking at regular speed provides limited cardiovascular exercise, but if the walk is long enough, you will still burn some calories – apart from getting healthier.
  • Walking with increased speed, powerwalking, and interval walking with regular intervals or fartlek, e.g. walking on hills and stairs, will improve your stamina; how much depends on initial fitness level.

Lately, I have been taking quite a few walks around the block – or rather neighbourhood –
to curb and chip away an evil cough … #¤”&//=?@£${{@£!!!

It serves as mind-body travelling, too. Walking, travelling, at a moderate pace doubles as active meditation and you have time to observe all things small and great … you are observant in a leisurely way, a bit like being on holiday (travelling): Like!

Go walk.

A few fall walk snapshots from down the road (2 km): A typical Danish holiday area by one of many small beaches at the eastern part of Jutland peninsula, mainland Denmark:

Holiday houses Følle Strand Danmark photo Marina Aagaard

Holiday area Følle Strand Danmark photo Marina Aagaard

Ugelbølle beach holiday area fall afternoon photo Marina Aagaard

I can’t help it … taking photos of nature’s wonderful sunsets (soooo predictable).

Fitness and Wellness: Return to Sculpture by the Sea

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

It is brilliant. A fusion of nature, art, architecture and fitness and wellness.
I have been. I have been again. And I am going again.
To 
see, hear, touch, feel and taste Sculpture by the Sea.
Aarhus University has already offered running seminars to this open air exhibition. I have done my own walks. Now I will go for a run in the sand and on the stairs into the forest to experience more. Go artychitecturitness.

Fitness

sea bro

Bathing Jetty. Extra lively. Good for balance training.
Vandmodul A1 og B2 Fase 1.  Artist: Jesper Dalgaard.

sea neonStairs. Great for walking running variation. With unexpected sightseeing.
Bubbles. Artists: Markus Hanakam, Roswitha Schuller.

Wellness

sea sandkort ma snus

What is wellness? Sensations for all of your senses: A massive grain of sand soap.
Brilliant: Artist put grain of sand in microscope. Enlarged, modeled in clay, cast in soap. During exhibition, wear and tear will reshape and dissolve the grain continuously, as if it were a grain of sand. Grain of soap. Artist: Espen Grandt-Moeller.

sea te husIf wellness is a coup of tea, this is wellness. From the bed of herbs on the ground, you can make yourself a cup of tea. Water, kettle and cups are ready. Sit down and enjoy.

Become part of the work and the landscape.
Tea with a view # 2. Artist: Anja Franke.

My body jogs.
My mind wanders.
Mindbody fitness wellness moves.

Journey of The Day: Wellness Isn’t Far Away!

By Marina Aagaard, MFT

First fitness: A morning jog with the dog.
Then wellness: A visit to the spa down the road.
Mindbody activities go together for balance in life.

Work can wait. Thanks to a friend I get an opportunity to go to the spa right now. So I go from a ‘construction site’ (home) just 11 miles up the road to a haven, very well-kept mega-lawn, Lübker Golf Resort, designed by Robert Trent Jones, and Lübker Spa.

IMG_3082Sauna in the background, 85 degr. C (185 F), cold tub in front, 10 degr. C (50 F).
You make no friends by waving a camera around in a spa, also it is not allowed;
this was shot by kind permission and no other users in sight.

Would anyone in their right mind go to a spa in the middle of summer? Yes, they would!
If they have insider information of all the benefits of hot-cold water therapy: Improved blood circulation, recovery, immune defense, skin care, anti-aging, mindbody relaxation …

Agenda:

  1. Whirlpool gentle massage
  2. Steam bath
  3. Foot bath, 5 x hot cold water therapy
  4. Hot tub outside (sun shining, a surprise)
  5. Sauna +
  6. Cold tub (4 x hot cold theraphy)

Footbath spa and wellness         Hot cold water therapy

Happy feet! Nice: Go for a walk through a hot and cold bath and two kinds of stones. I opt for an extra round or two or three. Supertip: Walk with bare feet, e.g. on sand, for a free foot massage and excellent sensory stimulation; for the neuromuscular system and brain.

IMG_3086Lunch at café. Tuna salad with smoked tuna, lettuce, cucumber, onion,
mozzarella, pine nuts and more. My tastebuds are on a journey, too.

It is going to be a good weekend …

Travelling Moments: Beauty Is In The Eye of The Beholder

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

Once I had a guest from ‘down under’ visiting Denmark, a-nice-country-but-not-one-to-visit-if-you-want-guaranteed-sun. I apologized as often before: “I am sorry about this weather, the rain and the fog” (it was summer). He replied “It is super nice, I am used to sun 365 days a year, so this different and refreshing”.
That reply made me aware, that I personally prefer very varied views and ‘weathers’ and from that time, I have welcomed most weather situations at home and travelling … even if I am surrounded by notions of “sun equals fun”.

I was reminded of this, because of the different views lately:
Last week on a cruise. This weekend back to ‘work’. And, thanks to the NGTF, National Gymnastics Federation, who invited me, that work, group exercise course instructor training, brought me back to Oslo, Norway.

IMG_3174

Last week: Mediterranean plus Ibiza view from cruise ship balcony cabin. Nice.
Note: Natural colours … no filters, no photoshop, just nature!

IMG_0892

This week: Oslo view (rooftops, castle carden) from hotelroom terrace. Super nice!
Note: Natural colours … no filters, no photoshop, just nature (soft summer rain)!

A 1-1 score; Mediterranean Sea versus Oslo City sensations. It is hard to pick a favourite; which place truly has the most beautiful view and ‘winning’ ambience?
It all depends … on the day, the situation, the company and your mood.

To cruise or not to cruise? That is the question.

By Marina Aagaard, MFT

“In any situation, the best thing you can do is the right thing; the next best thing you can do is the wrong thing; the worst thing you can do is nothing.”
Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the USA (1858-1919)

Cruise ship at a distance ibiza 2

Too big for the ‘real’ port? Big at a distance. Massive up close. What is going on out there?

Reading the newpaper. Reading – as always – the travel section, Explorer; all of the travel section including all the ads. Just for the fun of it, as it is certainly not holiday time yet.

Then suddenly something catches my eye: A cruise offer. An absolute bargain? There must be some sort of catch? I read the ad again. And then once more. No catch?

I have never been on a cruise and have never looked a second time at cruise ads thinking:

1. Cruises are extremely expensive. 2. Cruises are for seniors only (in my country people with time and money to spare). 3. Cruises are unhealthy; eating all day long and lazing your days away in deck chairs.

However, the cruise company in this ad promises a one week cruise in the Mediterranean at less than a third of the normal price (including flight, cruise, all meals, wine and water).

To cruise or not to cruise? A cruiseal question …

Considering the pros and cons for the briefest of moments.

Con: My worries about cruises.

Pro: Travel plan: Nice, Genova, Rome, Palermo, Tunis and Ibiza.

Well, I am giving this a shot. I need to see, what cruises are actually like.
What can I lose (except for my savings and fitness)?

Are you coming along?

Reckless? Yes, considering it is still a time of crisis. However, I think, that this is would you should do (although the sound of the first sentence may sound a bit ominous, one ought to treasure one’s days of life on this earth even more):

Live every day as if it was the last; do something you really want to do every day, do things that makes you smile, be with family and friends, explore, live life now. 

To Travel Is To Live

“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float,
To gain all while you give,
To roam the roads of lands remote,
To travel is to live.”

Hans Christian Andersen, Danish Author and poet (1805-1875),
The Fairy Tale of My Life: An Autobiography

How true!

Nationalpark Mols Bjerge

Nationalpark Mols Bjerge. Sometimes you don’t have to travel very far to see something nice and new. This is ‘just down the road’ (5 miles away) a couple of weeks ago.

One of my best tips for wellness is to travel, not necessarily to Bali or the Easter Islands, though probably nice, but to get out and about and see, do and learn something new.

To do it when you can and while you can: Travel in your own town, state, country – or the world, if you got time (read money) to spare.

Go somewhere new, get variety in life. I suddenly realized, having visited e.g. Los Angeles and London more than 10 times each, that there are 206 sovereign states (193 UN member states) and thousands of other cities to see. Think about that …
Maybe it is time to see something new and not go the same ole places every time …

What do you think?