Traveling the world is one of life's greatest privileges. While most people travel to other countries to see the sites and take in the food, culture, and tourist spots, there are those among us who will venture to the ends of the Earth for our passion. If you are one of these people, you may want to know some of the most stunning spots to work out, meditate and get a little closer to nature.
Pumping Iron - Muscle Beach
Working out in public isn't for everyone, especially in a place as packed as Muscle Beach. But should you have the guns to show off in the first place, it probably won't bother. First, it needs to be said that Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, CA isn't the most beautiful place in the world. However, the sun shines on the golden coast for almost the entire year and sets with a stunning and vibrant yellow/orange hue not found anywhere else in the world.
As attractive as the sun and weather are out in California, one of the main reasons you should visit Muscle Beach is to be around like-minded folk. The public gym is free for everyone, and anyone can use it. Additionally, it isn't uncommon for passers-by to spot you and cheer you on. And you can talk about such things as one-arm dumbbell rows (click here for a step-by-step guide) all day with other enthusiasts using the equipment.
Yoga - Kaup Lighthouse
Yoga is one of the most practiced ancient traditions in the world. It began in Northern India over 5,000 years ago, and today, around 300 million people worldwide take part in various types. The attraction of yoga is that multiple disciplines have been designed by talented instructors over the years. Some appeal to the complete beginner or inflexible, while others are better suited for hard-core practitioners with impeccable bodies.
But whatever your chosen discipline, there is nothing like performing yoga out in nature. And one of the most stunning places you could ever hope to practice yoga is at Kaup Lighthouse in Karnataka, India. Located near the town of Udupi, which is home to a 13th-century Hindu temple. The lighthouse itself was built in 1901. But what makes the area unique is its impressive coastline bursting with awe-inspiring blues as the Netravati river reflects the rich Indian azure.
Meditation - Ghost Ranch
Almost every ancient culture the world over has its own version of meditation. Chinese Qi-Gong and Japanese Zen are among the most famous. Yet many native American tribes meditated to Shamanic flutes while Hindu Dhyana stems from the philosophical side of yoga. Today, it is estimated that more than 500 million globally meditate daily. If you are one of half a billion meditators in the world, you know the importance of finding the right time and the right place to do so.
For some, a rainy spot near the window will suffice, while others seek the solitude of a forest. But, if isolation is what you are after, there's not much better than Ghost Ranch, New Mexico. The ranch is perhaps most famous as the place where Georgia O'Keeffe completed her landscapes. Yet the desert surroundings of plains and peaks with no one around for miles make it a bucket list destination for serious meditators.
Jogging - The Swabian Alps
Jogging is an essential part of an overall workout routine that helps provide extra cardiovascular work and burns off the extra calories. The great thing about jogging is that it can be done pretty much anywhere and costs nothing. Living in a city like New York or London, you can jog down the street, and no one will bat an eyelid. Yet you may see the same scenery time and time again, and unless you live in a partially scenic area, this can get old. Fortunately, the world's bursting with scenic trails popular with walkers, hikers, and joggers alike.
Germany is known for its lush countryside and enchanting forests, which inspired many fairy tales. But Germany also forms parts of the Alps mountain range. The Swabian Alps, in particular, are stunning to behold. In particular, the Traufgang Zollenberg trail stretches 10 miles along the outcrop and rocky terrain. The track is also nestled near the gorgeous tourist town of Albstadt and features a castle and a lookout spot.
*Post contributed by Alice Johnson, a peer travel writer and yogi.*