My morning run in Palolem, India

by Kim on March 4, 2013 · 53 comments

One thing I miss about my “old” life is having a regular fitness routine. In Portland, I played soccer and biked to work and ran almost every day. I went hiking on the weekends. I really love to move and I need to do it too. It’s as good for my mental health as it is for me physically.

I hear stories of people that go traveling and come back thirty pounds lighter and blah, blah, blah. Well, that’s not me. I’ve put on a lot of weight since I started traveling. For one thing, it’s been hard for me to exercise on a regular basis. Running in many of the South American cities we visited was out of the question. In others, like Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, it was easy and safe to run and I did. But there were whole weeks when we were in places that I couldn’t go running, either because of the conditions of the roads and lack of sidewalks or because of the unwanted attention it would draw.

For another thing, I’ve been eating like crap. In South America there weren’t a ton of healthy food options and I’m a vegetarian which complicated things. I’ve consumed enough bread and french fries and soda in the past six months to keep the Yellow Number 5 Food Additive Factory in business. Here in India, I’m eating more vegetables and almost no processed food. But Indian food is heavy in butter. And I may also have an addiction to cheese and garlic naan, so there’s that.

One reason I am happy to settle for awhile into our home in Goa is because I’m able to establish a running routine again. Every morning I run five miles towards the little town of Chaudi and then up and over a hilly jungle road.

Today I brought my cell phone so I could snap some pictures. I thought I’d bring you guys along on my morning run in Palolem, India.

Here we go…

Run in Palolem, India

Two of the neighborhood dogs see me off.

Run in Palolem, India

I run past half-constructed houses

run in Palolem, India

and an open field where the monkeys sometimes play.

Run in Palolem, India

I turn down the dusty road towards Chaudi

Run in Palolem, India

and run past a colorful temple.

Run in Palolem, India

I follow the road through a tiny village

Run in Palolem, India

and then out of the village and up towards the jungle.

Up, up, up the hill…

Down the jungle road

… and then down the other side.

Goa Animal Rescue Center

I run past the Animal Rescue Center


and the local dump.

cow poop streets

I dodge poop in the street

Cow in India

and a lone brown cow.

River that was damed

I run over a bridge that spans the empty bed

of a river that was damed.

Water buffalo

Up, up, up

towards the water reservoir.

cow standoff

Except, this guy won’t let me pass.

Running shoes

So I turn back towards town.

Colorful flowers

I run past bright flowers


and under the railroad bridge.

smelliest dumpster

Past the smelliest dumpster

Indian intersection

 and a busy intersection.

Back down the open road

Then I run back down the road that leads to Chaudi


and turn onto the street I live on.

colorful house

Finally, the colorful house next door comes into view

Sweaty run

and my sweaty run is over.

Clean and coffee

I’m showered and drinking coffee before the roosters are done crowing.

Thanks for running with me. Consider your daily workout complete.

(You’re welcome)



{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Carmel March 4, 2013 at 7:25 am

But usually those people who lose weight HAD 30 lbs to lose, where as you don’t. But I get it–it’s hard to lose that routine that makes you feel balanced in body and mind.

When I first read the caption to the bridge, I read, “I run over a bridge that spans the empty bed of a river that was damNed.” As in condemned and maybe evil, which was curious…then I got it. It’s still early.


Kim March 4, 2013 at 11:21 pm

Haha. It sort of was DAMNed as well. Poor river.

Well, NOW I have 30 pounds to lose. Maybe that will happen in Nepal?


Carmel March 5, 2013 at 8:14 am

Oh whatever. You look as trim as you did the last time I saw you.



Kim March 5, 2013 at 7:43 pm

That’s sweet. Just wait ’till you see me in person 😉 Yay Nepal!


Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) March 4, 2013 at 7:28 am

I guess whether travel is a healthy lifestyle or not really depends on the life you were living beforehand! Tony & I were SO sedentary before that on this trip, we pretty much can’t help but lose weight as now we are up and walking around so much. It probably doesn’t hurt that we started our trip in Asia as well, a place with much smaller portion sizes, and where, by and large, veggies have been abundant (but sadly, not dairy). The great thing for us, I think, is that by shedding weight, we’re now in a position to embrace a more active lifestyle and keep increasing our levels of physical activity. I doubt I’ll ever be a runner, but I’m loving getting to swim, and walking tons, and am hoping to start up yoga sometime in the next 6 months too!


Kim March 4, 2013 at 11:23 pm

I’m excited to eat in Asia, I think it will be good for my body. And yay to you for moving more. The walking really is good for the body while traveling. I just eat and drink so much more, plus no long runs, no soccer games… etc. But what can you do? It’s all part of the experience.


Brianna March 4, 2013 at 8:02 am

Looks wonderful! Thanks for showing us the area!


Kim March 4, 2013 at 11:23 pm

You’re welcome. Thanks for coming along!


Krystin Castro March 4, 2013 at 9:22 am

I felt like we ran together today! Ok well not really but I am glad you are getting to have some routine in your running schedule!


Kim March 4, 2013 at 11:23 pm

Thanks Krystin. Not getting those 13 milers in like you are but 5 is better than nothing!


Pauline March 4, 2013 at 10:32 am

That looks awesome! I LOVE going for morning runs – they’re so quiet and serene! I have a question though – Did you find it ridiculously hot and humid to run there? I’ve tried so many times to run in Indonesia (when I go and visit) and I just couldn’t do it. I’d go half a mile and be burning/sweating like mad…


Kim March 4, 2013 at 11:24 pm

OMG it is so hot. SO HOT. Sometimes I just want to fall over and cry it’s so hot. It takes me an hour afterwards just to stop sweating. Cold showers don’t even help.


Lindsay March 4, 2013 at 10:41 am

Awesome! I love running when there is new scenery to be seen! Once I took pictures along my 10 mile run in Beirut!

It’s so much fun to see the view from someone else’s run! Maybe you could make this a regular thing and post pics of your runs in every country!


Kim March 4, 2013 at 11:24 pm

Ah, I totally should! I wish I would have brought my camera along during some of my runs in South America. I’ll do it from now on!


Cali March 4, 2013 at 4:44 pm

I get it! West Africa was so full of carbs and oil and large beers, and exercising was not as great because of the ridiculous heat and attention. Before I left, I could not imagine gaining 10 pounds on a continent known for its lack of food. It is actually just a lack of nutritious food and clean water. Oops.


Kim March 4, 2013 at 11:25 pm

Oh man, I know. Who thought you could get fat in India (I didn’t). And WHY ARE THE BEERS SO BIG??? Because of course I drink the whole thing. Sigh.


Gillian @OneGiantStep March 4, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Yes, I remember trying to run in S.America and Turkey. I felt uncomfortable and so stopped. We’ve been doing okay here in Thailand…one of the benefits of slow travel is being able to scope out running places. We scoot to a lake outside of town for our runs; quiet, cooler, and not on the street = happy runners.

I loved going on your run with you!


Kim March 4, 2013 at 11:25 pm

I love your run. When I live in Chaing Mai someday I’m doing your run. Take notes!


Jaclyn March 4, 2013 at 5:41 pm

I loved this post! I liked that it was kind of like a poem. I agree with Lindsay, you should do this for all the countries you run in!


Kim March 4, 2013 at 11:25 pm

Thanks Jaclyn!


Patti March 4, 2013 at 7:24 pm

Fun post Kim. I try not to run unless something/someone big mean and ugly is chasing me, but I am one of those who spent 3 weeks in Paris and didn’t gain a pound because we walked everywhere, to the point of some days returning to the apartment and just falling onto the bed. I loved the pictures, I could even smell the dumps!


Kim March 4, 2013 at 11:26 pm

I love Paris. It is the perfect walkable (and runnable) city. I ran in the Luxomborg (spelled that wrong) Gardens every day and then ate crepes 🙂


marty gibson March 4, 2013 at 7:52 pm

I assume I got to see where Wendy ran too. How much fun for Mom! Thanks for sharing her day with me, Kim.


Kim March 4, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Yes! Wendy has been on the run too. She even got turned around by cows yesterday! Glad I could give you a glimpse. We’re having a great time 🙂


Alissa March 5, 2013 at 12:48 am

Great post! When we left on our trip last month I had great intentions of running, and actually ran 4 miles on day 2, then not again until just today. It feels great, and when I can find a park with other runners, I feel just like a local


Kim March 5, 2013 at 7:41 pm

I always feel like a local too when I’m running (at least, when I’m in a place where the locals run). Love it!


Annie of TravelShus March 5, 2013 at 7:33 am

This sounds amazing. Im not a running, but I love to ride a bike early in the morning. Would love to do this!

glad you found a way to keep running on your travels!


Kim March 5, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Thanks Annie. It’s harder to run than when I was at home but those times I do get to do it are very rewarding!


Annie of TravelShus March 5, 2013 at 7:34 am

hah! a runner! not a running.


tyrhone March 5, 2013 at 7:43 am

That looks like fun, i’m on the treadmill until i can run for more than 5 minutes at a time, but it gets kinda boring. Quit smoking yesterday and put on half a kilo since, so envious of people who are naturaly thin.

Glad you get to have a fitness routine, you really do feel so much better when you exercise.


Kim March 5, 2013 at 7:43 pm

I loathe the treadmill- but at the same time I’ve logged hundreds of miles on them. Guess you do what you’ve got to do! Naturally thin? What’s that?


Caroline @ Traveling 9 to 5 March 5, 2013 at 9:40 am

I totally relate with this post – Depending on the city I am traveling in, I have a hard time running outside!

I’ve started to do a lot of body weight exercises inside, and never leave home without a jump rope now!


Kim March 5, 2013 at 7:44 pm

Jump rope, that is a great idea. I know Katie of Katie Going Global traveled with resistance bands which is also a great idea. I had a routine I tried to do in hostel rooms but I hated it so much I usually found a way out of it.


Steve C March 5, 2013 at 9:47 am

Love your post. Just a regular day of sights, sounds and smells of traveling. I’m a walker now as I’ve got to lose a few more pounds before I start running again. I remember when I returned from 2 years of traveling, I was as skinny as a rail. I wonder if that will happen when I hit the road again. I think my problem now is just too many hours of chair time in front of the TV!

Do you even remember TV?


Kim March 5, 2013 at 7:45 pm

Nope, I haven’t seen TV in months. I love it!!


Miel March 5, 2013 at 10:14 am

I love the morning run! I’ve recently become a runner and it was fun to tag alone for the trip!

Running is a great pastime while traveling, you see the sites faster that way!

You’ll get into a groove and loose back all that you have to loose. I’m certain you have gained in other ways as well.




Kim March 5, 2013 at 7:46 pm

Very true Miel. I have gained much more than just weight. Totally worth the extra pounds.


Kristin Thomas March 5, 2013 at 3:31 pm

What a beautiful run and I love your puppy buddies! When I’m away from my pups, I love finding random pups to bond with.

I’m curious why you couldn’t run in South America? We are contemplating a continued road trip there, and I’m worried what makes it dangerous? My workouts and diet are my biggest concerns about venturing into unknown territory.


Kim March 5, 2013 at 7:50 pm

We’ve completely adopted a pup here in Goa. He comes in and sleeps all day in our apartment.

Mostly I thought South America was dangerous because there was no place to run. No sidewalks in a lot of places and crazy traffic that will smash you. But, also, it really draws unwanted attention and I did not like the stares, honks, cat calls, etc. There are so cities that are great to run in (mostly the larger tourist cities) but others that I just didn’t like the vibe in.


Sarah Somewhere March 5, 2013 at 6:51 pm

Thank you for the run! I’m so glad you are back doing what makes you feel good. You look GREAT, so the sun, sand, garlic naan and running is suiting you 🙂


Kim March 5, 2013 at 7:51 pm

I’m so happy about it too. yay!


Paul Farrugia March 7, 2013 at 8:03 pm

I feel exhausted! Thanks for the workout.

We put on loads of weight when we travelled for 18 months. All of our other friends would come back from travelling having lost weight, we went the other way??

The price of being a foodie I guess.


Kim March 10, 2013 at 3:19 am

Oh, I have totally gone the other way and I’m not even a foodie. Sigh. Oh well, guess it will give me something to do whenever it is we stop traveling!


Elesha March 8, 2013 at 10:27 pm

Great workout! As a fellow runner I know your pain missing the routine while travelling. So good on you for making the most of being ‘settled’ for awhile and maxing those runs! Remember, the more runs you do the more you can indulge your naan addiction! That’s how I figure it ;)Keep it up!


Kim March 10, 2013 at 3:20 am

That is totally how I should think of it too. I should ONLY allow myself naan when I’ve done my hard, hilly workout. I work best when I have rules!


Lauren @ roamingtheworld March 9, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Ah yes, one of the beauties of staying in one place for a while is to have a routine. Routines can seem boring or silly but they can be really really nice, especially when it comes to ensuring you do things that are good for you, such as exercise!


Kim March 10, 2013 at 3:20 am

I love routine, I really do, as long as I have the freedom to mix it up every once in awhile (aka, don’t have to go to the office every morning, etc.).


Justin March 14, 2013 at 8:14 am

Great run Kim! It’s gotta be super-tough to keep gettin’ it in, I know it takes even more motivation when you’re out of your element/routine.


Kim March 14, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Super tough!!! CONGRATS to you Justin for qualifying for Boston. You are such a badass!


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

{ 4 trackbacks }