How to Motivate Yourself to Work Out When You’re Training for Something Big

It you’ve ever trained for a really big mountain — or an epic ride, or just a summer of all-purpose badassery — you know that its tough to keep the fitness momentum going. It’s freaking grueling to motivate yourself to work out week after week for months, especially when a lot of the work is mind-numbingly repetitive.

(And if you’re there right now, I totally feel you. I’m climbing Mount Ranier in July, and some days I’d rather eat a broken glass salad with diesel dressing than do another Stairmaster workout with a backpack.)

But if you’ve got a big feat of badassery in your sights, take heart. Here are five (semi) painless ways to motivate yourself to work out through months of punishing training. Continue reading How to Motivate Yourself to Work Out When You’re Training for Something Big

11 Tips You Need to Know When Dating a World Traveler

So you’re meeting a hot girl for beers, and her online dating profile looks like Nat Geo’s Instagram feed. Or maybe that new guy you’re seeing spent a year in the Gobi desert installing solar panels in yurts. How do you convince your worldly new boo that you should totally buy your next plane ticket together? Here are eleven tried and tested ways to romance a world traveler — or at least not scare them off. Continue reading 11 Tips You Need to Know When Dating a World Traveler

9 Ways to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others When Everyone Else Is Oh-So Badass

A few weeks ago, I almost quit my high-altitude mountaineering class. Not because it was too hard or too scary. But because when you’re surrounded by die-hard badasses, it’s really hard to stop comparing yourself to others.

Seriously, the boys all carried 80 pounds for fun. The girls were trim size zeroes. Everyone had top-notch gear and a bottomless bank account to buy even more. When we hiked, I was a mile behind. After the hike, I’d eat a hamburger and everyone else would order a gluten free quinoa bowl.

Granted, this stuff was probably more my own distorted perception than reality.  And you know? It was really ridiculous. Because comparing yourself to others has to be one of the most pointless things you can do.

It didn’t improve my motivation or make me a better teammate. (Who wants to hike with Miss Bitter Pants?) Hell, it almost derailed me from a goal I’ve sunk oodles of time and money and passion into.

But how do you rally when it seems like everyone around you is fitter, faster, richer, prettier, skinnier, luckier, more in love, and has a better couch? Here are a few things that have helped me. Continue reading 9 Ways to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others When Everyone Else Is Oh-So Badass

15 Times When Solo Travel Totally Sucks

When you break a bone, there’s this incredible rush of adrenaline that goes shooting through your bloodstream. I felt it after tripping over a rock in the Dolomites and falling hard on my left wrist. As I lay there writhing on the ground shouting expletives down the valley, I thought, “This is one of those times when solo travel just sucks.”

Travel bloggers, self included, tend to romanticize solo travel. We tell people it’s the key to freedom, that their fears about it are overblown, and that they should just stop being so codependent and go for it.

But all that hype has led to some pretty unrealistic expectations — even in our own minds. Now when I’m doing the solo travel thing, I feel a certain sense of failure if I don’t love every minute of it. And I feel positively mortified when I catch myself thinking, “This would be so much more fun with a boyfriend.”

I don’t mean to discourage anyone from giving solo travel a try, because it can be awesome and totally freeing. But for the sake of sanity, give yourself permission to hate it sometimes, too. Here are 15 moments when I think hatred is entirely justified. Continue reading 15 Times When Solo Travel Totally Sucks

What Living Under a Terror Threat for 2 Years Taught Me About Life

When I accepted a job at an international school in Jakarta, almost no one was excited for me. I was living in Shanghai at the time, so my coworkers were pretty adventurous souls. But everyone seemed focused on the terror threat hanging over Indonesia.

“Don’t go there now,” one Australian couple told me straight up. Which wasn’t totally unreasonable, given recent events. Continue reading What Living Under a Terror Threat for 2 Years Taught Me About Life

How to Plan a Trip When the Timing Is Bad

In a past post, we talked about how there’s no perfect time to plan a trip.

If you wait for the travel stars to align, you’ll never get off the couch. There will always be problems at work, hard times for family members, scary stuff happening in the news, and love interests who want you right here.

If you want to travel the world, you’re going to have learn to fearlessly plan a trip even when the timing sucks.

And you can totally do it.

In today’s post, I’ll show you how to be a kick ass trip planner who powers through procrastination and worry and gets that flight booked fast.

The secret? You have to create momentum and excitement that’s bigger than your doubts.

Here’s how. Continue reading How to Plan a Trip When the Timing Is Bad

16 Skin Care Tips for Skiers, Shredders, Surfers, and Other Badasses

I’m sure we all agree that adventure sports athletes (selves included) are some of the hottest people alive, right? But it’s hard to feel sexy with a sunburned face, chapped lips, a scabby nose, and bloodshot eyes that feel like they’re full of sand.

And it’s not just a vanity thing. As skiers, shredders, surfers, and mountaineers, we spend long days in the sun. And sometimes we throw elevation, water, snow, and ice into the solar radiation mix.

We’re therefore at higher risk for premature aging. Which is kind of ironic. Because it would suck to run ultras or thru-hike for better health — only to end up looking like a three-pack-a-day smoker or develop melanoma at 32.

But as a 40-something, a mountaineer, a skier, a Coloradan, and a redhead, I can assure you this is totally not your destiny. You can totally have a badass face to go with that badass body.

Here are some skin care tips based on both experience and decades of dermatology consults. Continue reading 16 Skin Care Tips for Skiers, Shredders, Surfers, and Other Badasses

3 Reasons You Should Totally Visit a Muslim Country in 2017

Pissed off about the Trump travel ban? Well let’s fight the travel ban with travel. What if all the badass indy travelers out there committed to visit a Muslim country for at least one week this year?

In addition to making a statement, this could be a lot of fun. I’ve lived in two Muslim-majority countries and traveled to eight more. And I have to say, I’m getting kind of addicted to them.

Now you might argue that our personal travels aren’t going to affect America’s terrifying foreign policy plans or help our president grow a brain cell.

And you’re right.

But here are a few reasons visiting a Muslim country this year would be good for both you and humanity. Continue reading 3 Reasons You Should Totally Visit a Muslim Country in 2017

13 Signs He Just Isn’t Badass Enough for You

If you are a badass girl with an insatiable thirst for adventure, it’s no doubt happened to you.

You meet a boy who’s cute, fun, shares your bizarre passion for stout beers, Henry Rollins, and shuffleboard. He kisses like a nuclear meltdown. He happily costars in your Instagram feed. In bed, it’s strictly ladies first. And HOW.

Your friends are charmed. Your dog wants him to throw the ball.

And yet, you have nagging doubts. Because as cool as he is, he also seems a little … safe. Seriously, could you really make it long-term with someone whose adventure dream is a weekend at Sandals Cancun buying Budweiser with U.S. dollars? But it’s so hard to see straight through the hormone-charged haze of early couple-hood. Continue reading 13 Signs He Just Isn’t Badass Enough for You

How to Play All Day in the Snow Without Freezing Your Ass Off

You’d kill to be a natural-born snow bunny who’s toned, tanned, and glowing with health all winter long. Problem is, the mere thought of snow hiking, winter camping, or all-day shredding makes you shiver. Because no matter what you do or wear, you just can’t stay warm in snow.

People tell you to dress in three layers and buy this-or-that magic gear item. But it seems like your body needs some extra help staying comfy in the cold.

If this sounds like you, please know you’re SO not alone. There’s me, for one. If I dress like everyone else in the cold, I’m so frozen in 30 minutes that I’m slurring my words and I can’t unzip my pants.

But I’m also living proof that there’s hope. I promise you that with a few adjustments to your clothing and habits, you really can stay warm in snow.

And no, I’m not going to tell you to run out and spend a ton of money on this. You can totally enjoy most winter sports without a down expedition suit and gloves suitable for Denali.

So without further ado, here are some stay-warm tips I learned from Colorado mountaineers (who regularly hike in wind chills up to -40 degrees F). Continue reading How to Play All Day in the Snow Without Freezing Your Ass Off