Travelling and Training: Four reasons why it’s a match made in heaven.

For those of you who have been fortunate enough to travel, you will already know that intense, heady joy that comes from spending time immersed in a foreign country. For those of you who train, you will know that same feeling when you step onto the mats. Travelling and Training, when combined, can create the memories of a lifetime and carve a profound impression on your life/training journey.

20160107_120605I’ve been fortunate enough to travel and train on a number of occasions. I would, by no means, consider myself a seasoned traveler or trainer (yet), but these are my thoughts for what they’re worth. I’ve thought about four of the main reasons why anyone might want to travel and train:

You’re going to see some things.

Sunrise over Byron Bay, Australia.

When you’re travelling, you’re going to see some sights that stay with you forever.

Experiencing new landscapes, places and cultures will undoubtedly give you a new fascination for the world we live in.

Remember to take some photos, but don’t forget to savor the moment and live in that moment. If the drama, color and vibrant beauty of the world don’t go some way to change your perspective, nothing will.

You’re going to visit some places.

Bamboo Huts in Pai, Northern Thailand.

You’re going to visit some indescribable, unique and magical places. Hiking and exploring in remote locations will likely keep your mind occupied and keep your muscles active between gym drop-ins. Not once have I ever felt that ‘Mat FOMO’ whilst I’ve been somewhere where training was not accessible.

I think it’s important to remember especially if you’re travelling with a partner who doesn’t train, and even for your own rest and recovery, that spending some time exploring and taking in non-BJJ related sights is a major part of the experience.

You’re going to do some cool stuff.

Cliff diving and swimming in the ‘Grand Canyon’, Chiang Mai.

You’re going to do some things that you’d never do at home. Whether it’s racing through busy streets on a tuk tuk, catching sketchy public transport across country (or state of the art, depending where you’re travelling) or drinking and partying with locals who don’t understand a word you say.

You will have some experiences that really test your adrenaline threshold. Do as much as you can to push you towards the edge, or even outside, of your comfort zone while you travel. I’ve never thought of a more appropriate time to use the phrase YOLO.

You’re going to meet some people.

On the mats in Koh Tao with new friends, Thailand. High Humidity means Low Definition! 

Lastly, but certainly not least, you’re going to make some friends for life. Whether after a night out testing the local nightlife, on the mats or in the endless airports, you’re going to meet people from every walk of life. Be open to this, in my opinion this is the ultimate reason to travel. You will make some friends, even family, for life.

Not only will you learn more about other cultures and other peoples’ life experiences, but you will learn more about yourself. The more you open yourself to others, the more they will for you too. Whether it be on the mats of a gym you’re visiting, or meeting some locals who offer to show you around, these are the memories that last the longest and remain the strongest.

Hammock: Compulsory in Pai, Nothern Thailand

These are but four reasons that I can think of that make both travelling and training abroad a worthwhile and rewarding experience.

We live during an amazing time, where the world is more accessible than ever before, where new people and other cultures are too. It’s important to embrace this, as too often we can become to comfortable and sedentary in our day-to-day lives.

Anyone can go somewhere and take a picture, but the memories and friendships you create will carry far more weight.



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