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No Mardi Gras - But Trip Top Shape


Welcome back to Philip James Travel! Thanks for taking a few minutes to read about what’s going on in the world of travel from my perspective. My family and I are quite well, and preparing to duck away again to our Smoky Mountains retreat in a couple of days. Andrew’s school has kept Mardi Gras holidays on the calendar despite this being such an odd carnival year, with no parades or balls or any large-scale celebrations. This will be a new adventure for us because we’ve ALWAYS participated in carnival, hitting the streets for parades and parties. We’ve never been like our many friends who’ve taken advantage of the Mardi Gras school break - that no other schools around the country are privileged enough to get - to jet off to ski trips out west or to Orlando for off-peak timed theme park experiences. Maybe this trip if we happen to get some snow, we’ll venture over to nearby to Cataloochee ski resort in Maggie Valley and see what kind of wintry adventures we can get ourselves into. I am heartened by the interest shown by clients to get back out there – however near or far their “there” happens to be. Depending on the activity level that the travelers seek and the physical demands that the destination’s terrain might require, one ought to give special consideration to getting in trip-top-shape. Being a responsible traveler means you have a responsibility to keep yourself safe. Spraining an ankle when the nearest road is nine miles away is different than doing so at home. But, on the flip side, travelers may opt-out of active trips for fear of their physical limitations. Recently, Travel + Leisure asked trainers, medics, and adventure tour guides how to responsibly push your limits during a physically intense trip. Here are some of the Do’s and Don’ts: DO: Trick your brain. Mimic the conditions of your adventure while you’re still at home. Your muscles react differently to rugged terrain than a piece of equipment at the gym. DON’T: Sell yourself short. Any healthy person can train for any adventure activity — if they give themselves enough time (generally at least 16 weeks) and commit to focused, regular training. DO: Ask questions. Before a guided trip, tour leaders will send out a recommended packing list. Don’t skimp or the entire adventure might be very unpleasant. DON’T: Assume you’re in shape for a trek just because you regularly work out. And don’t cram your training last-minute before departure. You can end up doing more harm than good. DO: Test out your gear before departure. Make sure everything fits comfortably and you know how to use it. Break in shoes so they won’t give you blisters. Try out different hydration and food options. DON’T: Be afraid to speak up. Let guides know if you have concerns about the trail or water conditions so that they can adjust the pace, if needed. Tell your guides right away if you’re hungry, thirsty or if something just isn’t feeling right. Listen to what your body is telling you and keep your guides in the loop. DO: Pay attention to your feet. Exercise your ankles and break in your shoes well before an adventure. DON’T: Go up a mountain unless you are 100 percent sure you can get back down. DO: Stretch. The three pillars of musculoskeletal health are stretching, cardio, and core strength. DON’T: Compete with others. The adventure is not a race. Start your day with a few simple breathing exercises to enter a positive mindset and remain engaged with the present moment. I hope that the information above has not only provided you with some good tips on how to prepare for an active adventure trip, but I also hope it might actually inspire to consider those who might not have thought that this kind of vacation was for them. I invite you to a conversation about this, so: DO: Give me a call. DON’T: Put it off. Have a safe and happy No Mardi Gras – Mardi Gras! Destination Inspiration: ZION NATIONAL PARK, Utah -Philip “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 - 1805-1875