New Year, Not So New You

For the first New Year ever I have not made a resolution - I have, after many years, finally admitted to myself that I'm not going to keep it anyway, so why bother making one?

Instead, I'm looking down alternative avenues. After all, with the inclement weather forcing us to hunker down, the odd glass of red wine helps to keep the chill at bay, right..? Rather than the standard spirit-sapping steamed broccoli and 'detox' tea purgatory, I'm looking for my healthy approach to kick start the year to be exciting.

All of these are on the cards in the next few months.

Get Your Kicks in Kvitavatn

Cross-country skiing at Kvitavatn Cross-country skiing at Kvitavatn

I have fond memories of those halcyon days working in a ski resort when I was young, fit and healthy, and didn't have to worry about these things. But my favourite Exodus trip involving deep and fluffy white stuff was to Norway, a place called Kvitavatn.

Staying at the remote and charming Kvitavatn Fjellstoge, on the fringe of a frozen lake, it's hard to feel anything but invigorated. The scenery was stunning, unspoiled - and not a ski lift queue or school group in sight. Within a few hours I felt completely refreshed, invigorated by the crisp, clean mountain air and far fitter already. Who would trade this for a sweaty, steamy gym with all that garish Lycra wobbling about?!

New Year's Resolution: Cross-Country Skiing in Kvitavatn

Step Into Some Winter Sun

Trekkers in the Atlas Mountains Trekkers in the Atlas Mountains

If walking is more your speed, I've got a leftover Christmas cracker up my sleeve.

A couple of years ago I did the ‘Undiscovered Atlas’ trek in Morocco - a delightful one week journey deep into the Berber inhabited South West region. We camped each night under the stars and enjoyed moderately challenging walks amidst oases and terraced valleys. Often we'd be walking for hours before encountering any locals, let alone tourists.

If the temperatures at home have left you in need of a lift, this is it. This area is very arid, clear blue skies the norm and the views of the snow capped High Atlas magnificent.

New Year's Resolution: Undiscovered Atlas

Escape by Bike

Havana, Cuba Havana, Cuba

If you prefer two wheels to two feet, then a cycle ride across a unique, intoxicating island with a history like nowhere else will be right up your street. Cuba was my first Exodus trip many moons ago and holds many special memories for me.

If weight loss is your incentive then you could do a lot worse than get on your bike for a week or two. Cycling in tropical conditions with a gang of other often very-occasional-pedal-pushers, many of whom will have the same objectives, is a wonderful way to see a country and burn off those irksome calories.

Exercise during the daytime can be complemented by some salsa dancing in the evening, or a session on the mojitos depending on how disciplined you want to be – after all, you know you will burn it all off the next day…

New Year's Resolution: Cycling Cuba

Let's be Honest...

And lets be honest, after spending the festive period feeling bloated round the log fire and opening up your umpteenth useless present from Auntie Doreen who you see once a year (begrudgingly) don’t you deserve a holiday?

Article first published in 2013. Updated January 2017. 

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