Friday, June 10, 2011

Things to Do, Places to See

Right now, I am possibly in the best shape of my life. Since deciding to get healthy a couple of years ago, I not only transformed my body, but my mind has undergone a transformation as well. My whole definition of "fun" has changed. Back in the day, "fun" was hanging around in bars and clubs until the lights went on and nowadays, I choose to get to bed early even on the weekends, so I can get up at the crack of stupid to ride the bike for five hours.... See, I am a total party animal.

With the increased fitness also came a new sense of adventure. Adventures, that are based around the fact, that the human body is an amazing machine, that can get you to places and lets you enjoy things in a way that is just not possible in a car, on a motorbike or in a plane.... experience places away from the noise of life at the rhythm of your breathing.

With that being said, here is my current (subject to change at any time ;-) top three on my bucket list in the adventure department:

  • Hiking a section of the Appalachian Trail: I first heard of the Appalachian Trail (AT) when I read the book "A Walk in the Woods" by Bill Bryson. At the time, I was preparing to move to the US and basically read anything and everything about the area I was moving to. While very entertaining, the book really didn't give me too many hints about how life in the south-east is going to be. Still, the descriptions about the land, the trail is winding through, left a lasting impression on me. At the time, anything other than shorter day hikes on the AT would have been delusional for my out of shape self. When my husband and I first started dating, we did a couple of hiking outings in the surrounding area and always enjoyed it very much. Soon we started daydreaming about the AT and the possibility of taking a week or two to just be and let our feet carry us as far as they can....
    • Bike Tour around Lake Constance (Germany, Austria, Switzerland): While there are more challenging bike tours out there, this one is definitely on the bucket list.... Because it's beautiful and especially because it's not too difficult. This way, my mom and dad would be able to come along. We could take it easy, take our time and enjoy the local cuisine and scenery.... with a lot of focus on local cuisine of course! ;-)

      • Great Divide Mountain Bike Route:  I am fully aware that I have no business on ever even thinking about riding this route, but I guess that's why they call it a bucket list. I have hardly any mountain biking experience. I don't own a mountain bike (but my hybrid works for the little I do right now) and even though I said for the last year, that I want to get more into mountain biking, so far it's just been that: talking about it... no action whatsoever. Still, ever since following Jill Homer's blog and seeing the Tour Divide movie, it's an intriguing possibility... far fetched, but a possibility. The prospects of doing a self supported ride over that kind of distance, being on the road for not only a couple of days, but a couple of weeks. It's daunting and fascinating at the same time. Just picture yourself to follow the Continental Divide and to experience the changes in landscape and climates. Crazy right??

        When looking over these adventures, my mind starts wandering right away:

        What is involved to accomplish these goals?

        Of course there is the training to consider. Also, there is equipment to choose and to get familiar with e.g. a tent and know how to set it up, an appropriate bike and the skills to fix the basic stuff when the next bike shop is 100 miles away. But also: How do I get the time away from work and how do I finance something like this? I know, none of these items are completely out of the world things and I know, once I set my mind on it, I will find a way...

        In the meantime, I enjoy daydreaming about the possibilities.


        1. Yay for the Divide Ride!!! Two of my husband's friends started it THIS MORNING!!! (Well one did, the other is still at the start waiting for his bike and gear to got lost on his trip out there...major bummer.) I simply cannot fathom riding across the country like that - although my hubby and I have talked about maybe someday riding part of the route, just not the whole thing in one fell swoop!

          We vacation in north GA every year & usually take a day-hike on the AT. Blood Mountain is our favorite! We're going again this year & will likely get in another day out there!

          Keep on setting your sights big girly!

        2. i think the point of "bucket lists" is to have some big, stretch goals as well as some smaller but still not-easy ones. i mean, i would love to run across the US but clearly that isn't just going to happen one day :)

          the AT one sounds cool. i am not too keen on camping in a tent though so i don't know how long i would last!

        3. Nice list! The Appalachian Trail is appealing, and close, but I don't think I would patience or planning to accomplish it. Now a lengthy, supported bike tour through anywhere in Europe would be fantastic. That Lake Constance ride looks gorgeous.

        4. I would LOVE to be a part of a relay section hiker team that did the AT. I know myself well enough to know I could never do a thru hike, and even section hiking the AT would be an extreme commitment that I'm not ready to make, but being a part of a section hike team would be awesome That Lake Constance photo looks... so appealing. I want to go to there.

        5. Awesome! Those are so much better than running xx miles or lifting xx lbs. Fitness can be so exciting, and in some ways, really shape the person you become. Best of luck crossing off your list! :)

        6. I love the Appalachian Trail. I have hiked it all the way from Springer to Hot Springs and am planning on doing a big chunk of it next year. I hope that you get out there and tackle a section of it.