My trip to the Maldives excited some of you really a lot. And judging by your reaction, not the place itself caused it (but a little too – hello! those are the Maldives! – everyone, me taking the lead, falls head over heels even thinking about these views) but more what I did there actually. And contrary to the appearances, I was not lolling about on the white sand beach all day.
I was invited to the Maldives by a luxurious Fushifaru resort, to lead fitness training sessions for the guests and show them that you can train and be active anywhere, even at the end of the world, in a paradise, without special equipment, professional gym and ton of other excuses that might cross your mind.
In moments like this I am so tremendously happy that I have a place, where I can share my stories, motivations and inspirations with you. Because inspiring is not about making people do the same stuff the other person did but more about giving spurs to the development, change and achieving individual goals. My inspiration is mainly the courage to live the way you want and by your own rules. That’s why I want to tell you my story, which guided me to the dream job in the Maldive Islands.
So, how you get such a dream job?
To answer this question I have to take you back about 25 years ago :) I was 5 years old when my mom surrendered to my begging and enrolled me to dance classes. It quickly turned out that it was not a momentary caprice of a child but a love at first sight (more precisely – love at first step), because I stayed in the group for 12 years. It was a Polish folk dance group “Varsovia”, called also “the mini Masovia”. Contrary to what it looks like, Polish folk dances are incredibly difficult and based on ballet techniques, so learning the steps and the right way to do them correctly takes a lot of time. From my dancing experience I can boldly say that those are one of the most difficult dances I have ever experienced.
Being a part of such a huge and professional dance group meant a lot of sacrifice. We had trainings 2-3 times a week (before shows even more often) and in weekends we often had gigs on the biggest scenes of Poland but many times we also did tours around the world. So already as a little kid I had to learn discipline, consistency and the fact that if you want be good at something and be a part of something important 100%, you need to learn how to sacrifice other stuff without a second thought. As a child I combined school with dancing and many times I missed other occasions, like my friends’ birthday parties, because I had to be at a concert. For a kid in an elementary school those were really big sacrifices and already then it showed me that success requires consistency, even if I was not in the mood or I felt sorry. Nobody forced me to be in the group, nor made me choose. Those life lessons came naturally and I had to learn from an early age how to choose what’s important.
When I was 15 I saw the movie Dirty dancing: Havana Nightsand I fell for it! I fell in love with Latino rhythms and salsa and I decided to change from Polish folk dances to Latino. It was a huge boom for salsa in Poland and I, sailing on this wave, dived into this climate. For the next 7 years I was a member of few dance groups, which performed on a professional level. I danced salsa, then Brazilian samba appeared and later on other variations. If I thought before, that I had to roll up my sleeves to combine dancing with my school, I was wrong. So wrong. Actually, since the moment I’ve begun dancing professionally, the hard part began.
I was not a child anymore, whose absence could be excused by mommy and who avoided all the big consequences. During my high school and part of my college I needed to combine intensive trainings, which lasted a dozen or so hours a week, evening and weekend shows and tours with learning – first in high school, later at college. Let’s just add moonlighting night shifts as a waitress or as an intern in editorial offices. I didn’t have free time, I just jumped between work, studies and training room. I didn’t go to the parties, I never spent hours in front of TV or computer, playing games. And I never regretted it, not even for a small moment. I loved dancing with all my heart, I loved my intensive life, even though it was overloading to the limits. This time taught me control over my own body, what high self-esteem means, surpassing my own limits and finally the conviction that if you want something really bad, you’ll always find a way to make it come true.
I’ve worked a lot and I earned quite a good living, so I could afford to save some cash for my second biggest passion – travelling. By the way, this is the answer for the “How can I afford travelling?” question.
When I was 22 I had to choose whether I wanted to go to scholarships in South Korea and later to Italy or to stay in Poland and be able to fulfill and develop my passion for dancing. To be honest, it didn’t take me long to decide and I staked everything on education, development and academic career. It was one of the best decisions in my life, as it opened for me the possibility to develop, learn and travel all over the world – where I really belong.
Although I stopped dancing on stages, I never resigned from doing sports. I just found another way to continue doing what I loved. I started to jog and intensively work out at gyms. This has became my passion and part of my everyday life. Being always on the road, studying or working abroad haven’t changed it and for many years I have been active in sports in every place of the Earth and nothing is able to break this rhythm. For me travels are not an obstacle in training and staying fit but more of a value added, because they let me stay creative and work out in various, new places. This combination of my two passions – sport and journeys – gave birth to my Travel and Keep Fit blog and it has lead me to the place, where I am now and to my dream job – travelling, working out and inspiring people all over the world.
But why do I look so much back in the past?
Because I want to show you that you have to work for years to reach the really incredible experiences and success. Nothing comes from one day to the next only because you want it very much. What the outside world sees, like my dream trip to the Maldives, is an effect of lots of hard work and developing my own value for over 2 decades.
I’ve often heard comments about being a travel blogger and projects connected with being one – aren’t you just a bit too comfortable and too cool? Or that it was just a fluke, that it’s an easy job and all in all I’ve had luck to get to be on eternal vacations. The problem is that very few people think about how everything looks from the inside and that all these projects are the result of years of hard work, trainings, sacrifices and compromises. This is one of these things that pays off after really long time.
Creating Travel and Keep Fit is a seven days in a week job, sometimes a dozen or so hours a day. I work on weekends, day and night, even when other people are enjoying their free time. And it’s OK, because I love what I do and I don’t want to stop it. Oh, if I only I could count how many times my friends lazed around when I was spending hours in the gym or training room, earning my physical condition. During my stay in Miami in the last winter I worked out every day, whether I felt like doing it or not, because I had a goal and it required lots of preparations. So I didn’t get a job in this earthly paradise from one day to another or as a random person. I was invited to the Maldives, because someone appreciated by work, my lifestyle, which I am trying to pass on to others and also appreciated how much effort I’ve put to create Travel and Keep Fit for the last 3 years. It is a very important project to me, because it proofs that if you are consistent and determined, you have the courage to reach for the things seemingly unattainable and on the top of that of that you have at least a little bit of go-getting energy to turn deaf ear to the grumblings of malcontents, at the end you’ll get to the goal you’ve set for yourself.
I really believe that you can achieve what you have planned and wished for but sometimes it requires time, extraordinary persistence and repetitiveness of some actions. Sounds like a cliche? There is a difference, though. I will never tell you that you should live your dreams and follow them. I will tell you this – there are no limits, as long as you strive after your aspirations. I acquire my success like this, step by step, with lots of refusals in between but with unremitting belief that I will finally succeed.
All my stay in the Maldives was about work
Of course, in a beautiful and heavenly place, but still work, although I love it. I got up at 5 AM to catch the best light for photos or to lead a morning training for the resort’s guests at 6 AM. You know, there is a difference between being a trainer or a dancing instructor and working out on your own. Because in the first case there is no “I don’t feel like it”, you can’t lose your motivation, you work out with sore muscles, because there is no one around to fill in for you. People need constant support, motivation, example to follow and a really huge portion of energy. So you work out with them and apart from that you talk to them, help them and explain stuff. It doubles the load. Moreover, in case of the Maldives, we were working out in 33 Celsius, which, believe me, is not the easiest thing in the world.
How my work looks like when I travel?
For me, a dancer and a sportswoman, the most important thing in the training session is music. I can work out barefoot and wearing anything but without music I sweat blood and it is simply not pleasant for me. Since I was a small kid music was an important part of my life and it has kept me company in every moment – in happy and sad moments, in those unique ones and those absolutely mediocre too. Those who know me would tell you that you’ll never see me without my earphones and they are stuck in my ears from early morning to late evening and this is one of the gadgets without which I can’t imagine my work. I always have them on me. When I am planning trainings or choreography I have to hear every beat, every shift of the tempo, every sound has to be perfect and nothing can distract me. During physical activities, training, dancing or jogging I use light, in-ear earphones, which do not disturb my movements – there is no option for me to train in heavy, over-ear headphones.
For years I’ve been testing various models but unfortunately my ears are small and many of the earphones I’ve used, even those with external guards, keep falling off and I can’t train in them. So I am definitely one of the difficult, fussy customers ;) During my stay in the Maldives I’ve tested earphones SONY WF-SP700N, which I’ve been using for some time and, wonders never cease!, they do not even twitch in upside down yoga positions or hour long jumping at the beach, when I am preparing another training session.
And a small addition – they come with a tiny box, which in the same time is the charger, so I can charge them any time, even outdoors. For everyone with complicated earlobes, like me – I recommend them with all my heart, because no other model has succeed so much so far and I often had to sweat in heavy over-ear headphones. I’ve tested Sony set while jogging, working out, doing yoga and they dealt with every of my sport ideas.
In projects I create, the quality of sound plays a huge role but even more important is the fact that the earphones should insulate me from the outer world, letting me work in various conditions. My work as a travel blogger is very dynamic, I am always on the move, ready for journey. I almost never have a place suitable to work, so with the years I’ve learned to do it in any possible conditions and use every spare moment to write something, do some movie cutting or process some photos. I am always short on time, everything should be done right here, right now, because I have to immediately run somewhere else. So I create hundreds of offices on the road – on the plane, sitting on a stairway at the airport and sometimes under a palm tree in the tropics. I need only two things – my computer and earphones that let me isolate myself from the surrounding world.
Besides, you should know that I have a peculiar kind of luck when it comes to crying babies and parties, appearing just when I need to write something. The only crying baby sits on the plane right next to me or right when I am about to finish a very important task, the neighbors put on a bash in the next room. Standard for me! But these problems became smaller when I started working in SONY WH-1000XM3, because they reduce noises so much. I’ll tell you more – even without playing any music, it’s enough that I turn them on and they immediately cut me off from any static around. I often work wearing them without music – they function as earplugs. Amazing effect, I never stumbled upon such a function in earphones, at least not in those I’ve used. All those who work in noisy conditions, on the road or wherever they can, or simply all who love to feel every beat and note, like the music was the only part of their world (or those, who have a bad luck for crying babies) – try them! I recommend them, because they made my job easier and reduced stress so much.
Is this job for everybody?
Being a full-time traveler, creating materials about various places in the world and, in my case, combining it with working out and leading sports trainings is not as easy job, as some might think. It requires lots of flexibility, contrary to what might seem also a huge pace strength, changing environments, working hours, time zones and on the top of than sleepless nights. But above all, it requires the ability to adapt to changing conditions, different cultures and customs and even the fact that something might not go according to your plans but you have to clench your teeth and carry on. This is my dream job but it forces me to be versatile like never before and use dozens of skills every day – from psychology, through marketing and sales, to creating digital content.
And thus, I am cashing in on my long-standing experience, being an expert, learned skills and the fact that I have trip planning at my fingertips and I am able to multi-task easily. I’ve worked for this for years and I’ve finally reached a point, when I can turn my passion for travelling and sports to work and my skills are worth being paid for.
It hasn’t appear out of nowhere. No one touched me with a magic wand and taught me foreign languages, writing texts, taking pictures, ability to sniff out interesting stories, which later on become an incentive for someone to change something. No one trained instead of me or became a sportswoman for me.
So if someone tells me that all of this came free to me, I only chuckle and remind me of that little girl, 7 years old then, who toddled after school to another dance group training, when others were playing in the sports field. Who missed her friend’s birthday party again and who chafed her knee during the last choreography, knowing one thing only – that she will never quit.