Escaping Berlin: Staying Bright-Eyed & Bushy-Tailed

Living in Berlin gives you access to many amazing countries, all just a short flight or train ride away. I've been super lucky to have spent the last week in L'Isle sur la Sorgue, a delightful village close to Avignon, and Barcelona. We attended an amazing wedding in France and carried on to meet some more dear friends in Spain.

And all was a delightful roller coaster of flavors. Enough rosé and sangria for a village fiesta, the best cheeses I've ever tasted and croquetas, my new favorite deep-fried morsel of goodness. And don't even get me started on the patisseries and boulangerie.

When you're on holiday in another country, it's all about new experiences and grasping those opportunities that come your way. Which for many of us means devouring a whole lot more of food and ditching the usual exercise routines. It got me thinking about ways to defeat fatigue, indispositions and heavy feelings whilst you are exploring the world. Here are a few top tips that I've learned from my own travels:

Move: Exercise at least three times a week. Try to aim at first thing in the morning, for an energetic day start. Or whenever you feel the need to declutter. Just get up and go for a run, walk, bike ride, swim or do a few sun salutations on the beach. I also pack a Pilates resistance band and some yoga socks for variety, which is both light and won't take up too much space in your luggage. This makes you feel instantly better after an overly joyous evening with the odd refreshment, or three. Choosing morning for exercise also keeps evenings free for much of the same carry-on. And repeat.

There are also lots of opportunities for incidental exercise on holidays. There is no better way to see the city than by foot or on a bike, so ditch the sweaty public transport options, and do your body (and bank balance) some good.

Vegetables: Try to eat as many as possible so that you don't go overboard on rich, heavy foods. I'll often have lunch or dinner consisting of a big plate of salad and veggies, as well as some protein like chickpeas or chicken. If you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll know that I believe that beetroot is, in fact, the key to life, so I'll buy it in any form from the grocery store or village market. It means that I feel a whole lot healthier, as consuming beetroot ensures that my vitals are functioning at optimal levels.

Snacks: You never know how much you are going to love somewhere and want to stay for longer. Perhaps spending the best part of an afternoon wandering around La Sagrada Familia being utterly captivated. Having some fruit, nuts, seeds or whole grain crackers on hand will ensure your blood sugar doesn't get too low and you start freaking out. Depriving your body of the fuel that it needs to function means that you'll get hangry (hungry-angry) and crave instant energy, often in the form of saccharine sweet, stodgy food. After you've had your second slice of Tarte Tatin and you're making eyes at the macaron shop, the body moves into overdrive mode. In time, it creates a vicious cycle of eating anything and everything you can get your hot little hands on.

Indulge, but don't go overboard: If I know the evening will consist of having a few glasses of vin de pays, I won't have a gelato in the afternoon. Heck yes, I'll have the petit gâteaux and have yet another oh-em-gee Super Foodie moment, but I won't have it every day that I'm in France. This ensures these little indulgences remain special long after the holiday.

To me, traveling to other beautiful countries is what summer in Europe is all about. Now is the perfect time to make your own swift exit from Berlin to a place where you can't understand the local news and be ignorant—maybe you'll find it rather liberating.

By Emily Lucas
Photos © Emily Lucas

Emily loves chasing the summers and splitting her time between New Zealand and Berlin. She is currently studying to become a Health and Nutrition Coach and loves to write her blog - Super Foodie.
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