It’s early spring, the time of year when so many are out training for marathons, thru-hikes, triathlon, bike races…and the list goes on. Me? I’m training for Kenya. It doesn’t involve cardiovascular work or muscle-building. While I’m not moving to Kenya by any means, I find that many of the things I’ve been doing lately can surely constitute as “training” for this place that is so different from my home! Besides, I honestly enjoy doing most of these things (or some parts of most of them) anyways. Conditioning for Kenya includes but is not limited to:
Basking in direct sunlight for as long as you can possibly stand it:
This is cat-like. I enjoy it thoroughly and always have. While I’m sure Colorado’s UV levels are not the same as those on the equator, I like to think the high-elevation is kind of a close (ish) equivalent or helpful factor to being on the equator. Also, getting used to the heat is essential. We’ve been told that during the middle of the day in Kenya’s Samburu region (the first leg of our trip) you just sit under a shade tree, trying to survive and not move at all. I have been basking every day, including on a break from a double at the restaurant where I work. I came back sweaty, but feeling more prepared for the equator. Basking also happens on patios at happy hour and on front porches. None of these are bad places to be!
Eating and drinking lots of things that your stomach doesn’t like so you get used to feeling nauseated:
Traveling in foreign places and eating foreign foods and spices is not comforting to the digestive system. I know this having been to Kenya once, and also having heard many travelers’ tales about foreign bathrooms, and I am trying to prepare as best I can for my stomach to basically hate me for two months! Conditioning the stomach means upsetting it a bit every now and then. Now, I don’t enjoy being nauseated but I do enjoy certain things that tend to make me feel this way, unfortunately: alcohol, cheese, chocolate, ice cream, fried food. Poor stomach. Buck up!
Holding off on showers for days, shaving for weeks:
I enjoy this mostly. Plus, it makes the shower more refreshing. I am doing a good job at getting used to being grubby. I just showered for the first time in three days and shaved for the first time since…I don’t remember shaving last. We’ll say two weeks ago. It’s essential to get used to this lack of hygiene as there aren’t always places to shower while traveling. If there are, it’s been my experience to have cold water showers and many mysterious and terrifying wires sticking out of the shower head. In some places it’s just better to avoid showers all together!
Eating small lunches:
This one I don’t enjoy at all. I like eating and food. I guess small lunches aren’t so bad, but it’s those days when I miss lunch completely that I end up on the verge of mental break down. Skipping lunch or eating a handful of trail mix for lunch happens while traveling. This is unfortunate and I don’t, in any way, look forward to it.
Eating a combination of super healthy food and super fattening food:
The super healthy food is important so you feel healthy–good general rule of thumb, right?– when you go away to a faraway land with lots of illnesses and scary food and creatures. I feel good about boosting my immune system with lots of colorful foods. On the other hand, I have been eating a lot of bacon and dessert. I also tend to lose weight when I travel so I would like to bulk up now. There is just no in between right now. It’s either a big bowl of salad for lunch or fish ‘n’ chips. Both or beneficial, and I am pretty happy about this fact.