Five Fitness Faces Series BONUS: Grant Simon

  Bridge Jump in Banios, Ecuador

Bridge Jump in Banios, Ecuador

First off, thank you to Matt, Matthias, Lexi, Jenner, and Bonny for coming up with some awesome and very entertaining answers. I had a great time with the Five Fitness Faces Series and hope you guys enjoyed reading what they all had to say. Secondly, for anyone that knows me well, I will never give advice or suggest a workout if I cannot do it myself. The same goes for this interview. I thought it would be fun to post the answers I came up with to my own questions. Enjoy! 1.How do you stay fit? Any sports, lifting, Crossfit...etc?

I do a whole range of physical activity. I used to be super into lifting, but as my body has evolved and I’ve gotten older, I realized I needed to diversify what I do for exercise. I grew up playing all kinds of sports. I still play basketball and I have recently gotten into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which has been a great challenge for me. My mom got me into Vinyasa hot yoga a couple of years ago and I still go whenever I have free time. One of my goals for this year is to do 30 days straight of yoga and see what that does for me physically and mentally.

  Comuna 13 Medellin, Colombia

Comuna 13 Medellin, Colombia

2.How do you stay fit while traveling?

What?! You can stay fit and travel too?! I wonder if there is a blog out there that talks about that :) I stay fit while traveling in a variety of ways. Usually when I travel for a long time, I do a short HIIT workout to start the day. For example, during my backpacking trip in South America this past winter, I did 100 push-ups everyday for 6 months. It didn’t matter if it was a rest day or not! I also seek out different gyms, play basketball, and do yoga. Like most people, I tend to walk a lot more when I travel. It helps me to get to know the city that I am in. Sometimes I walk up to 20 miles in a day! I also don’t shy away from any chance to ride a bike or do any sort of water activity such as kayaking. There are so many different ways to stay fit while traveling, the possibilities are endless!

3.What is your favorite place that you have traveled to? Why?

Man, this is a really hard question for me because I have been to so many different kinds of places and each has a different reason why I love it so much! If I had to choose though, my second home of Berlin, Germany is the place that stands out in my mind. Granted, I lived in the city for about a year, but with that being said every time I go back, I find something else I love about the city. The people are weird, the history is fuckin’ insane, the nightlife is diverse, and it is a massive melting pot of cultures with just about every country in the world represented in the city! There are many ways to stay fit in Berlin and it is relatively cheap. I was able to live in  the heart of Kreuzberg for just under 700 Euros a month, which would be unheard of in any other major city! I also love the creativity energy it has and I was lucky enough to feed off that and be apart of it.

  Brandenburger Tor Berlin, Germany

Brandenburger Tor Berlin, Germany

4.How do you balance healthy eating while sampling the local cuisine while on the road?

I love a lot of different kinds of food and I do not hesitate trying the local cuisine. For example, in Thailand, I had to try scorpion on a stick and snacked on maggots before a bus ride. I think it is possible to incorporate the local food into healthy eating. It just requires a bit of creativity. Usually, I go to the grocery store and try to cook my own meals at the Airbnb, hostel, or Couchsurfing place that I am staying at. If I can’t cook, I look for lunch or dinner specials where I can get a good deals while eating healthy. On travel days, I fast and stick to black coffee to keep hunger at bay. When in doubt, stick to the local grocery store or market and try to buy fresh produce and deli meats for protein.

5.3 words to describe your fitness regime

Intense. Diverse. Disciplined.

6.What is your most embarrassing travel story?

If you have ever traveled, you definitely have had at least one or two cultural missteps. When I was on a layover in Narita, Japan coming back to the US from Vietnam, I had a day to kill and decided to go explore Narita before catching my flight home. After visiting the Naritasan Temple and walking around the town, I was really hungry. I decided to stop into a small sushi restaurant that was run by a very nice couple. The food was amazing and I got to cross off having some authentic Japanese sushi off my bucket list. Well, I enjoyed my food so much, I decided to leave a sizable tip, bowed to thank the couple, and walked out of the restaurant. Halfway down the street, I hear someone yelling after me and turned around to see that it was the man part of the couple. I was very confused why he was coming after me because I made sure I had everything with me before I left, but he stopped me and returned the tip to me, looking upset. After some haggling, I took back the money, confused, and felt bad. I looked up on Google what I had done later and realized that tipping is disrespectful in Japan and can even be insulting. It just goes to show that you should always look up norms in a country before going! Who knows how many other rules I broke during my short time there!

7.Solo Travel or Partner/ Group Travel?

I used to only love solo travel and I still do, but I actually have recently come around to enjoying group travel. One condition though. There can be a max of four people. I think solo travel allows you to try new things and brand yourself in new ways. It forces you to get creative and be resourceful. You can be social when you want, but also be hidden away and read a book. Group travel is great because you have a social group and get to make new memories with people you know and most likely care about, but you are held back in the social department and may not always get to go and do what you want in a certain place. Overall, I would say a mixture of both (2 months solo, 2 months group/ partner) is the way to go!

  Graffiti in Valparaiso, Chile

Graffiti in Valparaiso, Chile

8.Any advice for someone that wants to stay in shape while they travel

Yeah I’ve got a lot! To keep it short though, I would say never travel without a jump rope, make it fun, be creative, try new activities and try new things you would never try, and realize that being healthy is mental health as well. Matt and Matthias touched on it in their features, but they bring up a great point! Being healthy is not only what you do physically, but also your mental state. Meet new people, challenge yourself, be adventurous, talk to locals, and be uncomfortable. Comfort is waiting at home and who knows, maybe you’ll change how you live your life in the process!