Thursday, May 2, 2013

My Favorite Things, Volume II

In my "favorite things" post from last week, I mentioned how important it is to form and maintain good, healthy habits when living the mobile life. Sleeping, eating, and hydrating well will go a long way toward making your travels smoothe and uneventful, health-wise. One of the other fundamental factors to regulating your body is a regular fitness routine, observed whenever or wherever you happen to land. In my case, that fitness regimen involves regular aerobic exercise supplemented by weight training and, more often as I age, yoga to improve and/or maintain flexibility.

As I began my college career at the University of Georgia, it became clear that a certain amount of physical education would be a requirement for graduation. No problem...I was physically fit and amenable to continuing a course of activity that had previously primarily involved playing basketball in high school. But what to do? I liked the sound of a course called "Fitness for Life" that has, so far, lived up to its name! "Fitness for Life" stressed concepts through the academic side of fitness but mostly, it was a variety of aerobic activity, 3-5 times a week for a duration of 30 to 60 minutes. Aerobics were supplemented with flexibility and strength training but the focus was maintaining cardiovascular health. What a great platform for building a lifetime of fitness!

Whether it's 30 minutes on an elliptical machine followed by weight training in Narita, a motivated tourist walkabout in Berlin, "step" class in Buenos Aires, or cardio challenge in Texas, both my body and mind benefit from maintaining a fitness routine, a habit.  It's been just over 35 years since I took that class and I shudder to think how I would look and feel if I hadn't!

Maybe contrary to the idea of "fitness" is another habit that I like to maintain while on the road: caffeination. There's nothing like the aroma and flavor of a truly excellent cup of hot, steaming java to reset your outlook, no matter where you are. European cafe coffee can NOT be beaten but there's something to be said for having a cup of joe in the privacy of your hotel room, too. My personal favorite is a strong brew of Eight O'clock Colombian coffee. I know just the right measures of "drip" grind coffee and fresh, cold water for the perfect cup at home. And thanks to a lucky find at Reny's ("a Maine adventure") while summering at the cottage, I know just the right mechanism to get the same delicious taste anywhere in the world: Black & Decker's "Brew N Go" travel coffeemaker with stainless tumbler. At around $20, the Brew N Go allows me a consistently excellent travel substitute for one of the "comforts of home". But I bought the last one on the shelf at Reny's!

After discovering just how reliably excellent a cup this little marvel produces, I did some research and found the Brew N Go also available at WalMart (online only) for the same price. So I bought 4 of them! (OK, so one was a gift for my partner, Philip who is now also hooked.) When I find a product that works, I like to make sure that I won't have to live without it, if I don't have to.

The Brew N Go fits nicely into just about any hotel laundry bag to prevent "moisture mishaps" and takes no more room in your rollaboard than a pair of sneakers. It has its own wire "filter", making it totally self-contained. I just add a screw top Glad-brand container for my coffee and standard 2 oz. coffee measure and I'm set for coffee-to-go.

Next week, I'll share the perfect solution for plugging in my Brew N Go (and every other rechargeable electronic device) in ANY foreign country.

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