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Will's Worldwide Adventure: Travel Tips
On the eve of his fourth race in as many different countries XTERRA Pro Will Kelsay jotted down some insightful and humurous travel tips for the Tribe...
During the third week of what I’ve dubbed the Triple 6 (6 races, 6 weeks, 6 countries), I kept say “well, I guess we learned our lesson on that one.” So for this week, I enlisted the help of fellow pro’s Shonny Vanlandingham and Seth Wealing (along with my girlfriend Shelby) to help to compile a list of the lessons we’ve learned this week from our experiences. Hopefully one or two of these will help you avoid a bad situation and help make your next XTERRA race and trip a great one!
- Make a cheat sheet for each country you are visiting for common phrases. Knowing how to ask for some food, say please and thank you, where the bathroom is, and other basic things can be very helpful.
- Sleeping pills are a must! If you are traveling internationally, jet lag can really mess with you, so bring some sleep assist pills to help you return to a regular sleep pattern. Shonny’s first 3 nights were the perfect example of that (4hrs, 10hrs, 4hrs).
- Think of the shower as your “on the go laundry mat.” After a ride or run, just step in with all of your gear still on and give it a good rinse down. You’ll end up having to do laundry far fewer times and you won’t have to pack as much either.
- If it looks like the race will be a wet or muddy one, the “do not disturb” sign that you hang on the door at your hotel can be modified to make a mud fender.
- Check the weather. You don’t want to come to a potentially rainy, muddy race with none of the appropriate clothing and have to improvise. We did find out though that you can wear your Orca swim skin during the whole race if necessary.
- Wet wipes (I prefer the Nathan Power Shower) are a perfect way to keep clean and smelling nice while on the go.
- Ziplock bags. Bring them. Lots of them, lots of sizes. You’d be surprised how handy those things are.
- The Trigger Point Therapy Grid (small travel size foam roller hollowed out in the middle), is the perfect way to transport bottles of liquid. IE that bottle of Absinthe I bought for my brother.
- If you get a chance to sleep, take it! Traveling and being on the road can be hard on your body and the positive effects of just a 30-minute power nap make all the difference in your day.
- You will find an Irish pub no matter where you go in the world.
- Every XTERRA race will throw something new at you. I have been racing them since 2003, and I still find/learn/do something new every time. At XTERRA Czech I’d never been so cold, so hot, so muddy, and so wet all within two-and-a-half hours.
- Czech’s like beer and rain, which is good because they have a lot of both.
- Bring scissors. Everybody needs scissors at some point of the trip. Trust me.
- If the race is cold and you don’t have a cap to wear under you helmet for the bike, just leave your swim cap on after the swim and you’ll be nice and warm. Shonny did!
- Ear plugs and eye mask are so nice when you are in a noisy hotel or a crowded plane. Those screaming babies just fade away.
- Socks at wet races are a must for those prone to blisters. Blisters are never fun and since most XTERRA’s will get you dirty, adding wet feet to that isn’t a good combo.
- If the race is your key purpose of the trip keep it that way. Play tourist after you get your workouts in for the day. If you main goal of the trip is to take in as much as possible, try to mix your workouts with playing tourist. Just remember, time flies when you’re having fun!
- And the most important lesson learn in the past week here in Czech is this - Disappointments will happen. How you deal with them determines your experience on the trip. It will also set the stage for your next race (and I’m not just talking about the one next week). Like water off a ducks back, let the bad things pass and focus on the good. Life’s way more fun that way!
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