July 19, 2024

A new year always brings New Year’s Resolutions.  Have you made yours yet?  I have it on good authority that one of the most popular resolutions is to “Get In Shape & Stay in Shape.” Well that’s a great idea for everyone.  But it’s especially important for the traveler. Travel Fitness is important.

I’m a big fan of travel planning.  And I have found that getting in shape prior to travel is a very important part of that travel planning.  You want to build up your endurance and stamina as well as strength. Why? It’s best to be ready for whatever physical challenges you may encounter on your journey.    Some you will be able to foresee and plan for.  And then there will be some challenges which will catch you by surprise.

Machu Picchu - Peru
Machu Picchu – Peru

On my travels to Machu Picchu in Peru as well as Lasha, in Tibet  I knew that there would be lots of exertion at high altitudes with reduced oxygen levels.  It didn’t take a lot of brain power to know that it was best to get in shape for that. And I was glad that I did. During my hikes and climbs exploring those locations I passed many travelers who were out of shape.  And of course some didn’t even attempt the climbs.

Lasha Tibet - Potala Palace is reached by a long walk and many stairs
Lasha Tibet – Potala Palace is reached by a long walk and many stairs


Some challenges are more difficult to anticipate.  Such was the case when I was in Paris as well as Rome.  Keep in mind, I love photography and have a backpack with a variety of equipment with me.  In Paris I had to get that iconic shot from the top of Notre Dame.  Little did I know it would require climbing a steep, narrow and winding stone stairway all the way to the top. (This is a really old stairway – the stone stairs are worn down to an almost rounded condition.)  To make matters a bit worse it was a very cold February day and I had on my heavy winter coats, etc. That was tiring! But worth it.  And I got the shot! Okay – actually I got hundreds.

Paris 2


I encountered the same unexpected situation in Rome.  Again, I had to get that shot from the top of St. Peters. (It seems I’m always looking for those views from up high)  No one mentioned that the shot required  ascending and descending via a narrow stair way which wound around the interior of the famous dome through a very narrow passage. The curvature of the dome requires that you actually lean in toward the center as you climb – a situation not helped by my six foot three height.  This was a summer trip and the temperature in the small stairway passage was stifling.  What a relief to finally make it to the top, stand up straight and get some fresh air. And what a view!

Rome from St.Peter's Dome
Rome from St.Peter’s Dome


Bottom line.  It’s wise to get in shape before you travel.  And since it is the top of the year – why not start to get in shape now.  You will be healthier and you’ll be ready for your next adventure.

Get in Shape …….   And Enjoy the Adventure!

Dr.B, The PhotoTrekker

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