At BikeHike Adventures, we believe your vacation time is a perfect opportunity to continue pushing forward with new and exciting fitness goals, all while actively exploring the world.
During the past 21 years, BikeHike Adventures has stockpiled a number of inspiring stories about the people who have travelled with us. You’d be here reading for days, if we wrote about them all…
So, this is the story of just one inspiring couple — Michele and Glenn, both in their mid 40s — who are currently travelling with us in South America. They’ve graciously allowed us to retell their story as a beautiful example of the ways some of our travellers actually use travel as a motivator to help themselves set and maintain fitness goals. Over the past two years leading up to her current adventures with us in South America, Michele has shed nearly half of her body weight, reducing her weight by more than 130 pounds!
During her younger years, Michele says she could most easily have been described as an adventurer. A skydiving enthusiast, she couldn’t resist jumping out of planes at every opportunity, and by the age of 20, she had already obtained her pilot’s license. “[I had] a desire to see and experience all life had to offer.” Yet, she admits that if you were to view a picture of her dated more than 2 years ago, adventurer would not have been your first thought.
“Somewhere along the way I lost that spark,” she admits, as jobs and the daily grind of life took over. And then pounds steadily piled on, and her previously adventurous life remained only a distant memory.
Until one day, while planning a vacation to Vietnam, she had an AHA moment. A glimmer of her former adventurous self lit up inside as she browsed photos of Vietnam’s exotic landscapes. However, much of the trip seemed impossible as she couldn’t imagine herself biking or hiking the distances required to experience those parts of Vietnam.
“I realized, quite to my astonishment, that I had somehow become a spectator in my own life.”
Michele decided to make a change, and steadily began making very deliberate daily decisions, together with her husband, to stay active by setting health and fitness goals, both small and large. Fast forward to today, two years later, and she is 130 pounds lighter and the couple’s dreams have steadily been becoming realities, one by one. Not only did they manage to complete that once daunting trip to Vietnam, actively biking and hiking across much of the country, but they have also just taken a 6 month sabbatical from work to hike, bike and kayak their way around South America, a way of continuing their incredible health and fitness momentum.
The couple began their 6 month trip by biking and hiking on the Galapagos Islands and in the Ecuadorian Andes, with BikeHike Adventures. While in Ecuador, Michelle wrote to tell us that one of her proudest moments so far was when our BikeHike guide told her, “Wow! I’m not worried about you on this trip. You can handle anything!” They had just accomplished a difficult, high altitude hike at Fuya Fuya, one many travellers find challenging. She said that this accomplishment really meant to the world to them, and it truly strengthened her confidence after their long fitness journey leading up to this trip.
Their next stop? Cycling the high altitude Salt Falts in Bolivia, again with BikeHike Adventures, and it is yet another challenge they are excited to face.
During her two year health and fitness journey, Michele credits travel and adventure as being a great fitness motivator.
“In many ways our journey toward health has been an adventure all on its own.”
We are so incredibly proud of Michele and Glenn’s accomplishments, and we’re equally honoured to be able to share their story about taking back control of their lives. And we’re so happy that some of our trips were able to provide the motivation and challenge they desired to keep pushing themselves further on that journey.
Michele currently chronicles their active adventures on a blog, called “A Life More Extraordinary.”