Well, haven’t we all complained about holiday weight gain?! But with fitness holiday an option, we can now keep a check on our health even when travelling. So to understand the concept of fitness holiday better, we asked Aslam T.P. of Fitrip Bali to decode the soulful combination of fitness and travel for us.
Karishma : What was the inspiration behind Fitrip Bali?
Aslam T.P. : I have always been an active person, an adrenaline junkie, a ‘climbing & swinging on trees’ kind of a guy. I believe in being fit and healthy and have followed a fitness regime over the past 14 years and it doesn’t seem to let go of me even when I travel. I have also lived in Goa for a year, and used to help people with their fitness and a lot of travellers coming there had just one complaint – losing their health endurance while travelling. So, I did some research on their usual travel locations and customized an itinerary for them along with a fitness travel plan & routine and they loved it. That’s when the idea clicked. And with my love for both travel & fitness, I thought why not combine them together. Fitness as such is currently becoming a trend or rather a necessity, for both fitness fanatics and beginners alike. And with people wanting to explore more and dive into nature rather than staying at fancy places & partying, I thought why not offer my sort of travel experiences to the world. Also, FYI, Fitrip operates in Bali for now, but will be expanding to other countries in the future.
Karishma : Why do you think Bali is the right place for a fitness holiday?
Aslam T.P. : Bali is an adventurer’s paradise really! It’s literally like having everything you can think of under one roof. When people try to decide where to travel, the questions that pop up are, ‘A cool or warm place?’ ‘Beach or mountains?’ But what if you can have it all? In terms of weather, Bali is tropical all year long but gets cooler as you go up in altitude. It has everything from majestic mountains to spectacular coastlines, from volcanic hillsides to some of the most beautiful & isolated beaches. It has one of the highest biodiversity of marine species in the world. And with the island surrounded by coral reefs, it is the ideal place for scuba diving, snorkelling etc. for the water baby in you. You have everything from rafting to volcano trekking, from waterfall hiking & cliff jumping to paragliding, from surfing to sea kayaking. There is really nothing that this island doesn’t have to offer. It has a great nightlife too for your cheat days, when you just want to relax or party. It’s a place that has rich history and a beautiful & diverse culture that would make your Fitrip here a wholesome experience. They call it ‘The Island of the Gods’and they sure as hell are right!
Karishma : What would you say are the 3 most exciting health and fitness travels you have been on?
Aslam T.P. : Well, it would be a little difficult to shortlist just three. But to begin with, Thailand & Maldives were great for diving and snorkelling and to explore the underwater world. And I also took part in a Muay Thai amateur fight just for fun. Then for me, the highlight of my Melbourne trip was a cycling tour. Also, sky diving in Dubai has helped me get rid of my fear of heights, so it will always be on the list. For a person who loves to jog barefoot, ‘The Barefoot Beach Marathon’ (21 km) in Goa was a treat. Lastly, volcano trekking in Indonesia has been one of my most memorable experiences. It’s quite draining by the time you get up there on the volcano, but so worth it when you get to see all the lava action live with the most breath-taking sunrise.
Karishma : What’s usually the motivation for people to do fitness based travels?
Aslam T.P. : The motivation obviously comes from wanting to explore more, to experience the world through a wider lens, to do things that they thought would have never been possible and to test your limits. If you have travelled to a place and done your regular sight-seeing, partying or whatever your usual travel entails, now you can go back to the same place but try doing it the Fitrip way. You will see a whole new world and that should be your motivation.
Karishma : Has there been an increase in the popularity of health and fitness travel?
Aslam T.P. : There has been a drastic increase, especially over the last 5-7 years. People have started to give more importance to health & fitness. We see a lot of KETO & other diets going around the world, a vast shift to veganism, yoga centres & retreats everywhere because everyone wants to be in shape and look good. And also living in a world of social media, you see people travel & explore and you start wanting what you see! Just like when you flip through a fashion magazine and want to own all those high-fashion brands. So, in that way, I think social media has been a good influence and a major reason for the popularity of fitness holiday.
Karishma : And which is the most preferred fitness experience by your clients?
Aslam T.P. : Around 60% of our clients are in fact beginners when it comes to fitness. A lot of them have opted for surfing lessons and are thrilled at the end of the day when they actually ride the waves, which before Fitrip they thought was impossible. And Volcano trekking makes you feel like you have achieved the impossible, so that’s been quite a mental & physical experience for our Fitrippers. But, I would have to say nothing beats standing at the edge of a cliff and building up courage to just jump and then you also have the option to go higher if you’re feeling more adventurous. So, waterfall hiking and cliff jumping have been the most favourite, I would have to say!
Karishma : Lastly, whats your advice for people who are thinking of going on a fitness holiday for the very first time?
Aslam T.P. : You know, just start after all it’s never too late. Our clientele has been so diverse. We have had people who are really fit, families wanting to adventure out together, single women on their solo travel, honeymooning couples and even the one’s hitting the 70 mark. So, don’t think twice! We always encourage people to be more active on holidays and to start their fitness journey with Fitrip if they haven’t as yet! Remember, you don’t need to be great to start, you need to start to be great.
Karishma is a science nerd turned fashion and beauty writer who loves talking about trends as much as eating desserts. Gucci, salted caramel ice-cream, jewels, and Simba (her dog) make up four chambers of her heart. Like Karishma’s story? Drop her a line in the comments section below.