June
23

MI OLA 2017 Summer Bucket List

Ahhhhh, summer 2017 is officially here! With the super long days and warm weather, we chatted with the awesome MI OLA mermaids + brand ambassadors to create one epic Summer 2017 Bucket List. Are you ready for this? Check it out below!

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The MI OLA 2017 Summer Bucket List

Do you love paddle boarding, hiking and biking? Then head out to Lake Tahoe with Briana @wanderlovebri ! She is planning to paddle board around Lake Tahoe (~75 miles) over 4 days in July. Then, she will bike around the lake in a day.

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Photo by Briana @wanderlovebri

Sunlight until midnight?! Yes, yes, yes! Head to the Lofoten Islands in Northern Norway above the arctic circle with Susu @insta_susi. The Lofoten Islands have been on her list for years and this summer it’s finally gonna happen! Picture road tripping, comfy tent, pristine white sand beaches, beautiful mountains, and even waves to surf! Check out Susi’s Surf Guide to Northern Norway.
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Photo by Susi @insta_susi

Ahhhhh Tahiti! Pristine beaches, crystal clear water, waves, tropical foliage, and our very own brand ambassador Elise @babeinthewaves who just so happens to have a kite surf school with her hubby. Yogi + ambassador Amanda @mermanda_ would LOVE to visit Tahiti this summer – – so connect with these two because you’ll definitely get great kite surfing lessons AND yoga sessions!
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Photo by Amanda @mermanda_

A yoga outdoor festival? Yes please! Check out Wanderlust, a favorite of several of the MI OLA brand ambassadors. With over 15 Wanderulust festivals in just North America alone this summer, you can stay as close to home OR have an adventure!. Briana @wanderlovebri will be attending and working Wanderlust in Vermont and California! Be sure to check out our guide to Wanderlust!
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Photo by Lauren @rock3roll

Do you love hiking as much as ambassador Ashley @ayeboulet? Ashley is heading to Alaska this summer for a two week road / backpack trip. She’ll be backpacking the Kesugi Ridge in Denali National Park. Or check out these hiking guides by our ambassadors: Na Pali Coast, White Mountain, El Yunque Rainforest, Columbia River Gorge, Glacier National Park, Lost Coast Trail, and our beginner’s guide to hiking ‘Hike Like a Girl‘.
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Photo by Ashley @ayeboulet

 What’s on your list this summer?  Let us know in the comments and inspire us!

 

January
6

Top Places to #GetOutThere in 2017

Oh hey there 2017, we are so excited to see you! One of our resolutions for 2017 at MI OLA is inspire you to #GetOutThere — and as always, keep you covered while doing it! With the help of our amazing brand ambassadors, we’ve rounded up the top places for you to #GetOutThere in 2017. Check ’em out below!

 

Hike through El Yunque Rainforest in Puerto Rico + hop on a puddle jumper to neighboring island Vieques!

Are you dreaming of hiking through a lush rainforest and exploring waterfalls?  Yeah, us too.  Be sure to check out our #GetOutThere Guide to hiking El Yunque in Puerto Rico!  Located about a 45 minute drive from San Juan, the El Yunque hike will take about four hours roundtrip to complete. When you finally reach the top you’ll enjoy the cold air from the mountains to cool you off! And on the way down, you get another refreshing reward:  ice cold waterfalls to cool off in! And while you are visiting Puerto Rico, why not hop over to beautiful neighboring island of Vieques to explore its pristine beaches?

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Brand ambassador Andrea at a waterfall in El Yunque.

 

Road trip through Southern France and Spain searching for waves!

There’s no better way to enjoy the beautiful beaches of France and Spain than a surf road trip.  If you have at least two weeks to explore and love to surf, brand ambassador Verena highly recommends road tripping through this beautiful region of Southern Europe. Not only will you be able to surf different breaks and explore the countryside, you’ll also get to eat and experience new things like gooseneck barnacles!  Check out Verena’s Surf Guide to Southern Europe.

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Brand ambassador Verena at Doniños in Spain.

 

Mermaid in swimming holes in Northern Rivers, Australia + surf in Byron Bay

If you have been dreaming of a trip to Australia to explore, 2017 is the year to do it! Australia based brand ambassador Ellen offers a wealth of information to exploring in her home state of New South Wales. Check out some of her favorite activities, like swimming in “wild” swimming holes in Northern Rivers, Australia and surfing Byron Bay.

Brand ambassador Ellen exploring a swimming hole in Northern Rivers, Australia.

 

Hike a 14er or start to hike!

If you love hiking 14ers (a mountain over 14,000 feet), one of brand ambassador Ashley B.’s favorite hikes is White Mountain in Northern California. This peak is the third highest in California and the highest peak outside of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Check out her #GetOutThere Guide to this beautiful hike.

Or, if you 2017 is the year you want to really learn how to hike or would love a refresher on the basics, we have you covered. Ashley B. offers some great advice on how to start out and work your way up to doing a 14er by doing shorter, less ambitious hikes. Check out her guide, Hike Like a Girl.

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Brand ambassador Ashley B. camping at White Mountain.

 

Dive deeper into your yoga practice with a retreat or training!

Have you been thinking of attending a yoga retreat or a teacher training, but don’t know where to start? Our yogi brand ambassadors offer a wealth of information, from yoga retreats to teacher trainings.

How about attending an awesome yoga retreat + conference called Wanderlust? Ambassador Lauren offers some great tips to get the most out of your experience.

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Brand ambassador Lauren at Wanderlust in Hawaii

 

 

Or are you on the fence to attend a yoga teacher training because you just want to deepen your practice and not be a yoga teacher? Check out our awesome yoga teacher training tips + guide to why yoga teacher training is not just for yoga teachers.

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Jessica

Brand ambassador Jessica teaching Yoga Sup at a retreat in Puerto Rico.

If you are ready to jump on in to an intensive 200 hour, 2 week teacher training and want to know what it’s really like, check out ambassador Briana’s yoga teacher training guide to Yandara Yoga Institute in Mexico!

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Brand ambassador Briana at Yandara Yoga Institutie in Mexico.

 

So now you’ve got our bucket list for 2017.  We’ll see you out there!

 

Interested in joining the MI OLA Ambassador Program?

Know of anyone who should #GetOutThere with us?

Then shoot us an email at info@MI-OLA.com

August
26

Yoga Teacher Training Guide – Yandara Yoga Institute

Born and raised in Northern California, MI OLA brand ambassador Briana (@openheartadventure) is no stranger to the outdoors. She loves to hike up mountains, practice yoga in the beautiful outdoors, ski fresh powder, and mountain bike challenging trails. After practicing yoga for years, Briana took a month-long yoga teacher training in Mexico to deepen her yoga practice. With countless options for yoga teacher trainings, we caught up with Briana to get an in-depth perspective on a month long course.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Briana.- @openheartadventure

Yoga Teacher Training Guide – Yandara Yoga Institute – by Briana Valorosi
Yoga presented itself in my life at a time when I was experiencing a significant amount of personal growth. About seven years ago I started attended yoga classes across a broad spectrum – beach yoga, exercise-oriented yoga, meditation, and traditional asana practices at local studios. The physical aspect of non-competitive flow resonated with me. I’ve never really been excited about competitive sports, often finding myself engaged in an active lifestyle in the outdoors with individualized forms of recreation. Yoga offered a spiritual aspect which had been lacking in my life, a physical aspect that was non-competitive and really felt good in my body, and a meditation practice that calmed my anxieties. Through yoga, I developed an awareness of self-love, self-respect, and strength. I’ve been hooked ever since.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Briana.- @openheartadventure

Yandara Yoga Institute:
Three close friends of mine attended Yandara Yoga Institute over the past ten years, which initially sparked my interest. It had been a planted seed for many years before it aligned for me. I knew that I wanted an intensive program, as opposed to one weekend each month for example, and I was pretty set on a warm climate. Mexico for a month in the spring was the main enticement, and  then knowing three women who already attended, brought it all together. Honestly, I wasn’t as focused on the teachers or the style so much as the whole package, including the mission statement of the school.

Small community of yoga loving people on the beach, growing their food, truly connecting, and instructing from their place of personal and community connection.

The Yandara property is a beautiful off-grid gathering of yoga pavilions, partially enclosed bathrooms, and tent living. It’s simple living at its best. The sound of the waves soothed me to sleep each night. A diverse range of birds singing were my alarm clock. All of the food is vegetarian, local and organic if possible, with the option for fresh, local fish 1-2 times a week. They offered gluten free/ dairy free options upon request.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Briana.- @openheartadventure

Type of yoga teacher training:
Yandara Yoga Institute is a Hatha school that is heavily influenced by Iyengar. Hatha yoga is a broad categorization which pretty much umbrellas over all physical asana practices.  The program focused on asana as taught by Iyengar and his students, although we also learned about, vinyasa flows, Yin, Restorative, Bhakti, meditation, and philosophy. The program I did at Yandara was 26 days (200 Hour Yoga Alliance Certified), not including travel days. It was nearly a full month!

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Briana.- @openheartadventure

The Daily Routine:
Our days began at 7:30 AM with an hour and a half asana and meditation practice. I personally had a karma job to make tea before the sun rose, so my days began at 6:15 AM or earlier. Following our practice, we had a silent meditation breakfast, then two hours of class where we broke down each pose, the sequencing of poses, how to assist others in the pose, and how to support or modify it. We learned about philosophies of yoga during this morning class as well. Then we had lunch for a couple hours- the food was amazing! And there was plenty of time to hand wash laundry or lay on the beach- only a five-minute walk from my tent. The afternoons were packed with workshops, bhakti yoga, dinner, and counseling type circles. Each night ended around 9pm. The days were long but truly enjoyable and inspiring. The curriculum is presented in a way that is absorbable and tangible. The days were organized by chakra- moving from the root chakra to the crown chakra- with three days on each. During each set of chakra days, we learned about the poses that corresponded, meditations, and philosophies. It was incredibly well presented.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Briana.- @openheartadventure

How to Get There:
Yandara Yoga Institute is located in Baja Mexico, about 15 minutes south of Todos Santos on the Pacific Ocean. Travel was very simple with the organization of private shuttles to and from the San Jose Del Cabo airport. It is an hour drive from the airport- a beautiful road winding through the desert landscape, overlooking the ocean, crossing over river beds and washes.

I thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience. The simple living aligned with my personal goals of leading a sustainable lifestyle (as much as possible). All of the teachers became family, offering so much light and love toward their teachings and their connection to each of us. It is a beautiful community – the Yandara community and the yoga community at large. The yoga was taught in a comprehensible way that wasn’t overwhelming. The love that grew between each of us inspires me, to this very moment. We all supported each other through personal growth as well as through the process of becoming yoga teachers. I am eternally grateful for each and every individual at Yandara and in my group of trainees. The food was spectacularly nutritious and delicious. The landscape was humbling and beautiful. All in all, I wouldn’t trade that experience for any other. It was magical and perfect.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Briana.- @openheartadventure

Interested in joining the MI OLA Ambassador Program?

Know of anyone who should #GetOutThere with us?

Then shoot us an email at info@MI-OLA.com

August
19

Top 5 Summer Road Trips

Oh summer, you always fly by so fast! Your long days are already getting shorter. So we better get a move on those summer #getoutthere plans!

With Labor Day around the corner, make the most of a three-day weekend and go exploring outdoors. Need some inspiration? You are in luck as we have you covered (literally!) with our top five summer road trips.

Photo by Muse Marianna @mrskalabin

Top 5 Summer Road Trips

#1 The Outer Banks, North Carolina:  Hop in the car, and head to the Outer Banks, a 200 mile long barrier island that sits off the coast of North Carolina in the Atlantic Ocean. With ocean on one side and the Pamlico Sound on the other, the sun rises and sets on the water. Be sure to pack all of your outdoor gear, as the Outer Banks offers something for every outdoor enthusiast, fishing, hang gliding, world class surfing, kite boarding, windsurfing, SUP boarding, jet skiing, boating, kayaking, biking, or just relaxing on the beach!

Check out our guide to the Outer Banks.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Adrienne @yokeens

 

 

#2 Rockclimb + Hike + Mountain Bike Shawangunks, NY:  NYC #miolamermaids, grab a ZipCar, drive two hours north of the city, and you will find an awesome outdoor playground. You can rock climb, hike, mountain or road bike, kayak, fish, and even swim in a waterfall. To top off all the outdoor activities, Labor Day Weekend is the perfect time of year for fresh fruits and vegetables. Before you head back to the concrete jungle, be sure to stop at one of the  roadside farm stands to stock up.

Check out our guide to the ‘Gunks.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Meredith Drangin

 

 

#3 Hike Lost Coast Trail at Kings Range in Northern California: OK, this is not a simple road trip.  It’s  a multi-day 50 mile (roundtrip) hike along northern California’s coastline. If you want to do the hike only one way, there is a scenic 2.5 hour drive to take you back to your starting point. Brand Ambassador Ashley B. calls the Lost Coast Trails, “top rated, and one of California’s best kept secrets.” And when you finish the hike, drive and explore the magnificent California coastline and forest.

Check out our guide to the Lost Coast Trail!

 

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Photo by MI OLA Brand Ambassador Ashley B @ayeboulet

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Photo by MI OLA Brand Ambassador Ashley B @ayeboulet

 

 

#4 Stand Up Paddle at Spray Lakes, Canada: Head up north (up real north) and explore some of the most beautiful lakes in Canada:  Spray Lakes. Located 50 minutes outside of Calgary, Alberta, the lakes provides stunning views, are quiet, and absolutely serene. Activities include SUPing, hiking, golfing or even biking to Banff on backcountry trails! And for our wanderlusting #miolamermaids located in the US, we promise you will not be disappointed – hop on a plane to Calgary and take advantage of that three day weekend!

Check out our guide to Spray Lakes!

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Photo by Marianne @marienne.erika

 

 

#5 Surf in Canggu, Bali:  Do you have some extra vacation time and really want to #getoutthere? Instead of road-tripping in a car, how about road tripping on a scooter in Bali?  Book a ticket now, hop on a plane, and travel to one of the most beautiful tropical destinations. Canggu is known for its awesome surf available – for both beginner and advanced surfers – and has perfect warm water so you can rock your MI OLA bikini!

Check out our guide to Canggu, Bali!

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Photo by MI OLA Brand Ambassador Melissa @thecrystal_fairy

 

Interested in joining the MI OLA Ambassador Program?

Know of anyone who should #GetOutThere with us?

Shoot us an email at info@MI-OLA.com

 

 

 

July
29

Yoga Teacher Training – Tips from our brand ambassadors

If you want to become a certified yoga teacher or just want to deepen your yoga practice, you can find “yoga teacher trainings” available around the world: India, tropical escapes, your home town and possibly your home studio.

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Photo by MI OLA Influencer – @yoga_lovely

With so many choices, choosing one can be tough.  Should you pick the five-month module based training at your local studio or is a one-month intensive course in Mexico a better fit?  We can help.  Our awesome yogi brand ambassadors have some great advice to make the most out of your yoga teacher training experience.  Read on, brave yogi!

You can go to yoga teacher training whether you want to be a yoga teacher, or not.  If you want to deepen your yoga practice and nothing more, teacher training is a great way to do so!

I have had many students in my teacher trainings over the years that simply want to immerse themselves in the practice. Sometimes half-way through they decide they want to teach and that is awesome. The great thing about a teacher training program is that it allows you to dive in much deeper to the practice of yoga than a couple of 75 min yoga class a few days a week. – Jessica B., @jessicabellofatto

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Jessica – @jessicabellofatto

Consider your time commitment, availability and learning style? Some people thrive in intense training programs and others need more time to absorb information. 

What are your time constraints? Do you need to work around a work schedule and only can go to courses on weekends? Can you take two sets of weeklong vacations to do a module style training? Can you commit to a month or more away? This will be the main factor in narrowing down training options, as well as reflects your personal learning style. – Briana, @openheartadventure

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Briana.- @openheartadventure

Do you want to focus on one style of yoga, or all? 

I loved my program because it was incredibly open to ALL styles of Yoga. We were taught to teach what felt right to us. – Lauren, @rock3roll

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Lauren – @rock3roll

What is a good way to “test” out teaching yoga before making the financial and time commitment to a teacher training?

Try out teaching your friends first (with caution – every body is different and moves in different ways).  If you like teaching your friends and family, and it makes you happy and feel fulfilled, then start researching teacher trainings to see what fits best for you. – Lauren, @rock3roll

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Lauren – @rock3roll

Keep in mind, your first teacher training (200 hours) is only a start.

Many people will start teaching right out of a 200 hr program which is great!  However, first and foremost you should be a student for life. Take as many trainings as you can.  Study with as many teachers as you can who inspire you. Read books on yoga philosophy & anatomy.  Take a Sanskrit course! If you LOVE Yoga, immerse yourself, stay open, and maintain a beginner’s mind. The practice is so endless and so vast that it will only serve you as well as your students! – Jessica B., @jessicabellofatto

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Jessica – @jessicabellofatto

Before you start training, start practicing yoga at home:

Your home practice will be a vital part in integrating what you are learning and really being to know and understand it in your own body. Start cultivating a daily home practice, including an early morning pranayama (breathing practices) and meditation, along with asana practice. – Jessica B, @jessicabellofatto

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Jessica – @jessicabellofatto

It’s not just about what you will learn, it is also about the experience.

Commit and enjoy the process! An awesome part of teacher training is the experience. – Briana, Amanda, Jessica and Lauren

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Briana.- @openheartadventure

 

Interested in joining the MI OLA Ambassador Program?

Know of anyone who should #GetOutThere with us?

Then shoot us an email at info@MI-OLA.com

 

 

 

July
22

What’s it like to win a trip to Costa Rica?

Have you dreamed of getting away… on a free vacation to Costa Rica?  Sound too good to be true?   It’s not, if you win the MI OLA Grind TV sweepstakes!  Enter here.

Last July we were excited to give away a trip to one lucky winner and her guest to our tropical home base of Tamarindo, Costa Rica. There is nothing like sharing the stoke of our awesome surf town to new people. The lucky winner, Andrea, fell in love with Tamarindo just like we did ten years ago! We caught up with Andrea after her trip to get all the awesome details. This mermaid not only found the best spots in town to not only eat, but also went on some pretty awesome adventures. Check out her Tamarindo adventure below!

AND – if you missed it – we are giving away another trip to Tamarindo, Costa Rica. That’s right, a free trip to Costa Rica.  You’ll stay on the beach in paradise at the gorgeous Tamarindo Beach Diria Resort, travel with an airfare voucher up $750 per person, learn to surf, get $500 in the best swimwear for adventure from MI OLA, and 2 ultra-plush luxury beach towels from TIDE & POOL. Enter now!

 

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Photo by Andrea @andybabe88

My name is Andrea and I am from Boise, Idaho. I grew up in a small town 30 minutes outside of Boise called Emmett. I am a huge outdoors person; I snowboard, raft, hike, backpack, camp and just love to travel and see new places with my boyfriend Austin. We spend a lot of time seeking new adventures and learning new things. Last year, I won an amazing vacation to Tamarindo, Costa Rica from MI OLA. They flew us to Tamarindo, Costa Rica where we stayed at Cala Luna Boutique Hotel, our home base during the trip for all of our adventures.

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Photo by Andrea @andybabe88

Our adventures were endless; every day was something new and amazing. There was never a dull moment!

Austin and I went on some pretty amazing adventures. We rented a moped scooter and rode it everywhere all around Tamarindo – the back roads, beaches, anywhere we could manage to get the scooter! We even made it to the top of a mountain with an amazing view. We took surf lessons through Cala Luna, and also rented a board from Iguana Surf (they have super cheap rentals and awesome staff). We went on the Tamarindo Estuary Tour and got to see a lot of Howler Monkeys and Crocodiles! MI OLA also hooked us up with a catamaran sunset cruise, which was out of this world. The Marlin del Rey Catamaran was beautiful, the food was awesome, and drinks were never ending. Last, but not least of our adventures, was an ATV tour, where we went to a beautiful beach called Playa Grande.

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Photo by Andrea @andybabe88

Cala Luna Boutique Hotel was absolutely beautiful.

Cala Luna had so many great amenities! Our favorite part was their AMAZING daiquiris which they made with real fruit. Cala Luna also offers cocktails on the beach at sunset- YOU CAN’T BEAT THAT! The hotel had very romantic dinners every night in the restaurant, as well as the option to privately dine on the beach if you want to spice it up. The employees were always there to help us with anything we needed. The next time we go back to Costa Rica, we most definitely will stay there again.

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Photo by Andrea @andybabe88

 

COSTA RICA HAS AMAZING FOOD BOTTOM LINE!!!

We loved the food every place we ate at. It was just unbelievable and all so different. On top of that, the hospitality made our experience even better.  Shrimp Hole is a tiny little place that only seats around 12 people, but has such great food. Dragon Fly – holy wow, the best steak I have ever eaten! Witch’s Rock had a cool environment, very laid back, and also has a cool brewery and store. Roof Top Bar & Grill had an amazing view, awesome live bands, and a very low key restaurant. Patagonia was very romantic, with awesome argentine food and great service. Sprout had very healthy, light food and you get a lot of it! Bamboo Sushi Club was a really beautiful and open restaurant; it looks like it is indoors, but it’s completely open and you can look up to see the stars.

 

Everything about Tamarindo, Costa Rica is perfect – the people, beaches, tours, restaurants, hotels, bars, surfing, and night life. I fell in love with the town and I think about it every day. I truly feel like I left a piece of my heart there – it felt like home. I for sure will be returning very soon!! Thanks MI OLA for such a great trip!

June
24

#GetOutThere on July 4th!

Don’t you just love when a holiday falls on a Friday or Monday, making your weekend a three-day weekend? Even better is when the three-day weekend is during the summer. Extra long days = more time to #GetOutThere! Can we get a heck yes?! Just in case you haven’t made plans yet for the long July 4th holiday next weekend, here are some great last minute ideas on how to #GetOutThere before your July 4th weekend BBQs.

Get up early and surf! If it’s flat or you are not close to waves, grab a stand up paddle boarde and SUP or do SUP yoga at your local lake, pond, river, or ocean. Not only will you get your water time in, you also have motivation not to overdo it the night before. Our Brand Ambassadors have written some pretty awesome Surf Guides to waves right here in the USA, like Montauk, La Jolla, Rockaway, Deerfield Beach, Tybee IslandLong Beach, and Folly Beach.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Jessica – @jessicabellofatto

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Photo by MI OLA Influencer Lex Weinstein – @lexweinstein_

Plan a 1/2 day hike. Research options within an hour of you, and make a hiking date with your best friend or significant other. We love the conversations you have when out on the trails with friends! Check out our Ambassador #GetOutThere Guides to the Shawangunks and White Mountain.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Ashley.- @ayeboulet e

A long weekend is the perfect time to plan an all day adventure. There is still time to book a long weekend getaway adventure, from diving, skydiving, learning to kite board, etc. Why not turn a three-day weekend into a four-day weekend by taking an extra day off and get there early?  Our ambassadors love to #GetOutThere in The Outer Banks, Naples, Marathon in the Florida Keys, and Lake Tahoe!

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

Plan your own surf and/or yoga retreat with friends. Are all the flights booked to the retreat you have had your eye on? Why not plan your own surf and/or yoga retreat with your friends? Be sure to plan your surf time around the tides and swell, and then your down time with a good yoga flow. Head to your local farmer’s market to make some healthy meals with fresh summer produce.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Catherine.- @kathmarquis

Salute the sun @bvalorosi

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Briana.- @openheartadventure

Interested in joining the MI OLA Ambassador Program?

Know of anyone who should #GetOutThere with us?

Then shoot us an email at info@MI-OLA.com

May
27

Epic Summer Adventures

The unofficial start of SUMMER IS HERE! We survived another winter. Now it’s our time to #GetOutThere and have some fun in the sun. We are ready for  trips to the beach (or lake, or river, or pool), summer BBQs, super long days, and new MI OLA bikinis.

Our mermaid ambassadors are preparing for some epic summer adventures. Get some #GetOutThere inspiration from their plans, which include exploring the Galapagos Islands, to retreating to Greece for intense yoga practice, to camping in Zion National Park.

 

Galapagos

Jen P (@flentil) is headed to the Galapagos to celebrate her parent’s 50th wedding anniversary. She will be enjoying family time, hiking, kayaking, and snorkeling to see all the amazing creatures that live there. Her family started planning this trip about 18 months ago and on the trip will be Jen’s parents, he brother’s family, her sister’s family, Jen, her husband and son.

MI OLA brand Ambassador Jen P on vacation in the Grand Caymans

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Jen – @flentil

Accommodations: On a boat, Jen will be traveling with a group from Lindblad Expeditions.

How to get there: Fly to Miami and then to Guayaquil, Ecuador. From there they board the boat and depart for the Galapagos.

 

Ithaca, Greece

Jessica B (@jessicabellofatto) is headed to the small island of Ithaca in Greece! Visiting Greece has been on her bucket list, so when she got the opportunity to teach a stand up paddle (SUP) and yoga retreat there with Yogascapes, she jumped at the chance. In addition to yoga, SUP, SUP Yoga, they will be hiking, eating organic and locally sourced food, and sleeping on amazing organic mattresses. Ithaca is a peaceful, gorgeous  island that has some of the clearest waters in Greece.

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Jessica

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Jessica – @jessicabellofatto

Photo by Itha108

Photo by Itha108

Accommodations: The retreat location, Itha108 is out of this world beautiful and very eco conscious. Jessica says, “This place is totally in line with my own values and I can not wait to meet the owners and stay here! Itha108 overlooks the sea and the island of Kefalonia from an elevated wilderness of olive trees (olive oil!!!) and exposed rocks that form the elements around which it was built, allowing its natural beauty to speak for itself.”

How to get there: Fly to Athens and then hop a flight to Kefalonia.

 

Hawaii

We have another anniversary celebration trip in the house. Caroline (@carolinegcarlson) is headed to the Big Island of Hawaii to help celebrate her parents 25th anniversary, as well as her sisters’ 16th and 21st birthdays. Her whole family, including grandparents and cousins, are headed on this adventure. Caroline is looking forward to hiking, swimming, snorkeling, playing in the sand, and learning how to surf (luckily she’s got MI OLA to keep her covered while she surfs!)

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Caroline- @carolinegcarlson

Photo by Mauna Lani

Photo by Mauna Lani

Accommodations: Mauna Lani Resort, Big Island – Hawaii

How to get there: Flying

 

Zion National Park, Utah

Melissa G. (@thecrystal_fairy) is headed to Utah with friends to hike and camp in Zion National Park. How rad is that? They will be there for three nights.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Melissa- @thecrystal_fairy

Photo by Melissa

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Melissa- @thecrystal_fairy

Accommodations: They will be living the tent life all weekend, and expect cold nights by fires and wearing the same pair of socks everyday on this backpacking adventure.

How to get there: Fly into Las Vegas airport, then driving 2 hours and 45 minutes to Zion.

 

Sanibel Island, FL

Amanda (@mermanda_) is going to Sanibel Island on the West coast of Florida with her boyfriend.  Sanibel is known for its shell covered beaches, so there’s no better place this MI OLA mermaid. They plan on looking for shells, paddleboarding, relaxing, and our favorite yogi is sure to sneak in some yoga.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Amanda- @mermanda_

Photo by Island Time

Photo by Island Time

Accommodations: Amanda is staying in a bungalow in the tropical jungle near the Sanibel Island lighthouse and rumor has it there is a restaurant that is Christmas themed year round! How Fun!

How to get there: Amanda is driving.  You can also fly into Fort Meyers, FL and drive to Sanibel.

 

Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

Yogi Rima (@rima_danielle), her husband, and her cat Zuko are moving to Costa Rica. A dream come true, they will be running a yoga retreat center there in Pura Vida-dise. Manifesting this move for about 4 years now, Rima will be living in Santa Teresa on top of a mountain in the jungle.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Rima- @rima_danielle

Accommodations: Rima, her husband, and cat have an apartment, but if you are in town visit be sure to visit them at Nautilus Boutique Hotel!

How to get there: Fly to San Jose, Costa Rica, then drive to the coast (and take a ferry along the way.)

Grand Cayman

Ashley A. (@theviewfrom6ft) is headed to the Grand Cayman Islands for a reunion with six friends. She plans on spending her time on the trip doubled over in laughter, re-telling old stories and making new stories. Ashley can’t wait to go paddle boarding, diving, and holding baby sea turtles and sting rays.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Ashley A.- @theviewfrom6ft

Accommodations: Marriot Resort on Seven Mile Beach

How to get there: Flying!

Road-tripping in the USA

Becca (@roamwildandfree) and her husband and are in the middle of an 8 month road trip exploring the American and Canadian West. How cool is that? Their home currently is a 16 year old minivan; they have gutted the back and made a bed platform with ample storage underneath for gear, clothing and food. Their goal while on this trip to is discover the “hidden gems”, the “not so popular landmarks” and are willing to go the extra mile for it! Spending most of their days hiking, rock climbing, aimlessly exploring “that mountain over there”, Becca and her husband are loving every minute of it.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

Photo by Becca

Photo by Becca – @roamwildandfree

Accommodations: Their 16 year old minivan

How to get there: Drive, drive, drive!

 

With all that planned, it’s going to be one epic summer.  We’d love to hear what you’ve got planned!

 

Interested in joining the MI OLA Ambassador Program?

Know of anyone who should #GetOutThere with us?

Shoot us an email at info@MI-OLA.com

 

April
1

#GetOutThere Guide: Fiji


Anyone who’s been to Fiji raves about it.   So when MI OLA WORLD ambassador Ellen visited recently, we had to get the inside scoop on how to #GETOUTTHERE.

Originally from the tiny island of Jersey, UK, Ellen now lives in one of the most beautiful parts of Australia, the Northern Rivers, home to the world famous Byron Bay.  Ellen’s passion is being in or under the water. Fins, mask and underwater camera in hand, exploring the reefs and wrecks around Byron Bay is this adventurer’s game.

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Photo by Leigh Toovey

Hi bikini fans, I’m Ellen- a MI OLA Brand ambassador currently living in sunny Australia. I’m a Brit by birth, so growing up in a place that’s often cold, wet and windy ignited a passion for travel. There’s nothing I love more than a tropical adventure!

I was lucky enough to spend a week in Fiji recently. I’m loving I can share my insights to this beautiful place with you all.

 

#GetOutThere Guide: Fiji

Fiji is actually a collection of over 300 islands, ranging in size from a few square metres to 10,000 square kilometres. Pretty much all of these islands boast palm-fringed beaches of white sand, surrounded by turquoise waters teeming with corals and fish.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Ellen – @artemis_eleven

The larger islands boast dramatic mountain ranges and lush valleys, complete with rainforests and waterfalls. Anaconda, Castaway and Blue Lagoon were filmed here.

Gavin Mills

Photo by Gavin Mills

My #GetOutThere Guide’s focus is on two groups of islands to the west of the mainland, the Mamanucas and the Yasawas.

Activities
Let’s face it, you don’t go to Fiji unless you like the ocean! Most of the activities available centre around the turquoise waters.

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Photo by Leigh Toovey

Snorkeling
Explore beautiful, healthy coral reefs close to shore. Swim right off the beach and see an array of soft and hard corals. There’s no missing the huge variety of small, colorful fish.

Prepared to venture out a little deeper? At 3-5 m (10 – 15 feet) deep, you’ll be rewarded with huge coral bombies every colour of the rainbow. Come across Fijian groupers up to 1.5 m (5 feet) long. If you’re there at the right time of the year, you might even see some Manta Rays!

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Photo by Leigh Toovey of @artemis_eleven in her Pin Up Top

Diving
SCUBA schools (PADI accredited) can be found on most of the islands. If you choose to dive I’d recommend the Yasawa Islands. The dramatic volcanic landscapes means the underwater rock formations are equally interesting with tunnels and caves to see.

Experienced guides will take you on excursions to see sharks and turtles.

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Photo by Matt Hall

Surfing
The island of Tavarua is at the southern end of the Mamanucas. It’s home to the famous Cloudbreak and Restaurants reef breaks. These breaks get very crowded. A better bet is the ‘Coral Coast’ which covers the southwest coast of Viti Levu, the main island. The hundreds of kilometers of reef breaks here mean you’re bound to find a wave to yourself!

Above-water
Most island resorts have paddle boards and kayaks for hire, as well as organizing typical beach activities such as volleyball.

A great thing to do is to take part in the local craft lessons and learn how to make hats, crowns and baskets from palm fronds.

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Photo by MI OLA

 

Where to Stay
The islands are pretty small. In the case of the Yasawas, if not small, then remote. Often there are only one or two resorts per island. I’d recommend you do your research.

Some islands cater to the party crowd, others to families or couples. Some resorts are luxury and others are budget. A good number of islands cater to everybody. They have three or four different accommodation options to suit every price range. Some offer more secluded accommodation or something nearer the bar.

Our favorite was Bounty Island in the Mamanucas. It was fairly basic, but we liked that! We had a beach hut to ourselves a stone throw away from the ocean. Every day we were able to find our own stretch of sand and often wouldn’t see another person all day! Perfect for that castaway, desert island experience.

 

Where and What to Eat
Here’s the (slight) catch to these beautiful islands: you’re a captive audience when it comes to food. All islands run a compulsory ‘all inclusive’ policy when it comes to food. This cost is often charged on top of your accommodation fee. When booking be sure to ask whether your price includes the ‘Resort Tax’ (a.k.a. your food charge) or not. It’s great value for money at around $30 per day for 3 beautiful meals, but it can be a bit of a shock to the system if you hadn’t budgeted to pay that on arrival.

Bear in mind that for each meal, you’ll probably only be presented with two or three options. If you’re a really fussy eater, an island hopping adventure may not be for you. However, if you love to try new things, and you’re a fan of fish, curries, and fruit (though not all together!) then you’ll be fine.

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Photo by Cloud 9

One place that has to be mentioned is a trip to ‘Cloud 9’ – it’s heaven! Cloud 9 is a floating 2-storey platform bar/restaurant/relaxation-station moored close to the Malolo Barrier Reef. There’s no better way to enjoy a cocktail (or two!) than under a cloudless sky with a 360° view of turquoise waters.

 

The Locals
What makes Fiji such a great place? The People! Fijians are such a warm, welcoming and friendly people. They go out their way to make sure your visit to their country is special and memorable. From the very first cry of ‘Bula’ (welcome) you feel like one of the family. Trust me, you’ll be sad to say ‘Moce’ (goodbye) to these beautiful islands, but you’ll definitely say ‘Vinaka’ (thank you) for one of the best trips of your life!

 

How to #GetOutThere

View from seaplane - Ellen Moon

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Ellen – @artemis_eleven

First stop is to get to Viti Levu, the largest island. The international airport is located in Nadi on the west coast. From here take a 15-minute taxi or bus ride to Port Denarau, where you can pick up a boat out to the islands.

Depending on your budget (and any time constraints like flight arrival times) you have a few options:

The Yasawa Flyer

This bright yellow catamaran offers the best value for money if you intend to island hop your way through the Mamanucas and Yasawas. The downside is the restricted schedule – one outward/northwest-bound and one inward/southeast-bound voyage per day.

Water Taxi
Your hotel should be able to arrange a 10-20 seater boat to cater for passengers arriving on similarly timed flights heading to nearby islands. You may have to wait for an hour or two at the marina, but this gives you a great chance to try the local beer (I recommend ‘Vonu’, which means ‘turtle’ in the local dialect).

Sea-plane
Arrive in style by booking a flight with Turtle Airways (sensing a theme yet?!). This way you dictate the schedule, and you get some amazing views of the coral reefs on your way to your chosen island. Landing on water is quite a thrill, but unsurprisingly, this is the most expensive travel option.

 

Interested in joining the MI OLA Ambassador Program?

Know of anyone who should #GetOutThere with us?

Shoot us an email at info@MI-OLA.com

 

January
15

10 TIPS TO STAY FIT DURING YOUR VACATION

We survived the holiday season! With all those festive parties, Christmas cookie tins and savory meals, staying fit and healthy was quite the challenge.

Although our goal is to lead an active, healthy, #GetOutThere lifestyle, sometimes we need a little kickstart. So we turn to our MI OLA Brand Ambassadors for inspiration.

This month we sat down with one of our Ambassadors, Catherine Marquis.

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MI OLA Ambassador @kathmarquis

I have always been active and involved in lots of sports. I was a personal trainer and kinesiologist, for 15 years in Montreal. After a surf trip to Costa Rica, I decided to move here.

I now live in Tamarindo and work as a personal trainer and Surfset instructor. Being active is my life!  Every day I wear my MI OLA bikini and I #GetOutThere to either surf, swim, hike, run, bike, do yoga, pilates or functional training.

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MI OLA Ambassador @kathmarquis

It’s Summer all year long here, so it’s no surprise Costa Rica is a popular vacation destination. So, for my first blog contribution, I thought it would be great to share tips for a keep fit holiday.

 

10 TIPS TO STAY FIT DURING YOUR VACATION

By Catherine Marquis, B.Sc.kinesiology

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Photo by MI OLA

1.  Staying at a resort or all inclusive hotel? Take advantage of all the sports and activities included in your package. Beware of the inviting buffet. Try having 3 small meals and 1-2 healthy snacks during the day. Remember, it takes 3500 extra calories to gain 1 pound.

2.  Most of us will indulge in a ‘Big Night Out’ when on vacation. Prep for this by eating lighter during the day or maybe having a snack before dinner. Try a good ceviche. You will avoid the starving sensation that makes you eat like there is no tomorrow! When mañana comes, cut on calories and try to eat only veggies and protein.

snack

Photo by MI OLA

3.  Drink water! And I mean a lot. You sweat more in a warm weather, so you need to drink more. Dehydration will result in water retention, which can then cause a bloated sensation making you feel heavy and uncomfortable. The last thing you want when wearing your MI OLA bikini!

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MI OLA Ambassador @kathmarquis

4.  Smoothies can be very tempting on hot, sweaty afternoons. I say yes to a smoothie, but pay attention to what it’s made with. They can be very high on calories. Ask for fresh fruits only, mixed with water or coconut water – delicious! Specify no sugar or honey and try adding ginger.

5.  Enjoy happy hour with your friends but stick to low sugar drinks. Sweet drinks can easily contain more than 350 calories. Good options are light beers or Micheladas – lemon juice, ice, spices or fruit mixed with light beer.  It’s delicious and will last you longer. A vodka or tequila with seltzer and a splash of fruit juice is nice too.

Happy Hour

Photo by MI OLA

6.  Get out of your comfort zone and move! Try new sports and enjoy being challenged. Surf, hike, rent a stand-up paddle board, play volleyball, do yoga! It’s a great way to meet new people and to improve your physical skills through other activities you would not normally do at home.

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MI OLA Ambassador @kathmarquis

7.  Get up early. Early mornings are the best times to do a workout on the beach or to go for a run. Exercising outside is also a great way to explore the place you are visiting and to see the sights when it’s not too busy.

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MI OLA Ambassador @kathmarquis

8.  For an even tan, walk on the beach instead of lying down with a drink.  You’ll be more active and you’ll avoid flipping around on a sandy towel.

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MI OLA Ambassador @kathmarquis

9.  Sleep! Enjoy it and don’t feel guilty or lazy about it. You are on vacation, so please your body by getting the rest you need. A good nights of sleep and a little “siesta” (20-30 min.) will decrease your body stress and will help you avoid weight gain. It’s also a great way to cool the body and recharge your batteries to enjoy any other activity you might want to try!

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Photo by MI OLA

10.  Short workouts are the best. Try to fit in a 20 min. metabolic circuit workout every day. You will get a boost of energy out of it and you will burn calories all day long! Do this workout outside and get ready to sweat!

 THE METABOLIC WORKOUT

Perform each exercise for 60 sec. with no rest between.  Follow the circuit with a 10 sec. sprint and take a 60 sec. rest. Repeat 4 times.  Total time: 25 min

1.  AIR SQUATS

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2. BURPS

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3. MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS

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4. ALTERNATED BACK LUNGES

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5. PIKE PUSH-UPS

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6. SPRINT FOR 10 sec. RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN!

beach sprint @kirstenrinck

Photo by @kirstenrinck

Now repeat 4 times!

 

 

September
18

Don’t Go Summer!

Summer is slipping away, but that doesn’t mean the #GetOutThere fun has to stop!  It’s always Summer somewhere.   Don’t stop getting out there, just because the official end of Summer is (almost) here.  #Getoutthere and surf – in NY, the water is finally warm and there are waves.  #Getoutthere and hike – and see the leaves.  Or #Getoutthere and book a trip, so you can have a little tropical break!

Look at what our MI OLA Ambassadors have been up to this past month, for some inspiration.

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@insta_susi

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@ayeboulet

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@urbanoceansup

With all these fresh Summer memories from our ambassadors, we did some wanderlusting of our own (on Pinterest.) We got your warm weather escapes, quick weekend trips, awesome Fall jaunts, over on our Pinterest boards.  Check it out!

 

TGIF…AND don’t forget, #GetOutThere!!! It may not always be sunny, but we always are in a sunny state of mind!

 

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@thebabeinthebikinis

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@babeinthewaves

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@bvalorosi

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@ayeboulet

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@sambatothesea

 

August
28

Hike Like A Girl

The crisp, fall air is starting to creep in.  Can you feel it?   Not yet… yeah, us either.   But whether we like it or not,  Labor Day is next weekend and Summer will “officially” be over. In the spirit of a #MIOLAmazing Summer, we are sending off Summer with style.

Like hiking up White Mountain, a 14,000 footer.  Our Brand Ambassador Ashley B. (@ayeboulet) celebrated her birthday with this challenging hike.  Given Ashley’s love and knowledge of hiking, she gave us some tips on how to #hikelikeagirl – what to bring, how to prepare and how to celebrate afterwards!

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Guide to the Trails: Reaching great heights with ease

Exploring unchartered terrain appeals to many adventurous spirits, however knowing how to do it properly is important. Being a mountain girl, means being prepared like one. With the Sierra Nevada Mountains in my backyard, I am blessed to have endless opportunities to explore and adventure.   I believe that hiking is physical endurance, mental stamina, oneness with nature, and beauty only seen by those willing to challenge themselves. That being said, hiking is most enjoyed by those well equipped for the challenge.

 

Before a hike:

DO YOUR RESEARCH! Knowing your trails are of the upmost importance. You should research permit use, fires, trail distance, and camping. Most of all you must know the water sources in the area. Some hikes have water sources in which you can filter and treat the water for drinking use, just as many trails do not. Make sure you know what to expect on the trail before attempting yourself. There are many magazines, online articles, and reviews to access at your convenience.

When to hike:

Time is of the essence! Time of year is important to consider when wanting to hike in higher elevations. Weather can dramatically change and be somewhat unpredictable in higher elevations, so being well prepared is crucial. Many parks and forests are closed during certain times of the year, so be sure to check openings and closures before planning any hike.

Take your time! No one knows your limit as well as you do. Be mindful of yourself while hiking and do not overexert yourself. Start hiking early. Experienced hiker, climber, backpacker, or not,  always consider that you may encounter unforeseen obstacles when in the mountains. So always plan accordingly with your time. You certainly don’t want to get to the summit with no time to enjoy or even worse not make it by nightfall!

Acclimate when possible! Depending on the hike, or where you are traveling from, you may want to acclimate before embarking on any strenuous hike. Acclimating requires becoming accustomed to a new climate or to new conditions.

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Once research and course of action is planned, packing your backpack will be the next challenge. Try to avoid carrying too much unnecessary weight. Plan ahead of time whether you will be doing a day hike or overnight mission.

Tips on gear selection:

Don’t be cheap when it comes to comfort! You may not need top of the line gear for your adventures, but by no means shop cheaply. Hiking shoes and a good backpack are well worth the investment.

What to pack:

What you decide to pack generally will depend on the distance, terrain, and duration of your hike. However, there are some key items I am almost always sure to bring when hiking or backpacking.

Mole Skin– While hiking there is a good chance you may get blisters; mole skin will allow you to keep going without the pain and discomfort. Happy feet make for a happy hiker!

Water Purifier– If the hike has water sources, a water purifier will help limit the amount of water weight you will have to carry. Just be sure to completely treat all water sources mindfully.

Hiking boots– Different than tennis shoes! These boots are intended for extreme weather and terrain.

Hiking socks- Just like hiking boots, hiking socks are meant for hiking. To avoid blisters, and other discomfort invest in a good pair of hiking socks.

Comfortable/light weight clothing– Hiking is not a fashion statement, so dress in attire that is comfortable. Bring a sweater/light jacket for higher elevations where temperatures are likely to be cooler.

Beacon– (depending on hike)

Pocket knife/camp utensil- Always useful!

Sunscreen– It is important that you protect your skin in all elevations!

Hat/sunglasses– Protect your eyes and face while hiking.

Headlamp- In case darkness creeps up on you, have a way to illuminate yourself and the trail.

Zip ties/carabineers/duct tape– Useful for attachment and unforeseen repairs.

First aid kit/supplies– You never know what you may need out there, so having supplies is crucial in case of an injury.

Protein bars/dry nutrition bars– When hiking you are burning energy and your body needs fuel to keep going. Most grocery stores sell granola and protein bars. Be sure to read the label.

WATER! Of all the items listed above, water is arguably the most important. Bring more water than you need if you don’t plan on purifying. Running out of water on a trail can be seriously dangerous. Plan ahead, for a strenuous day hike plan to bring at least a gallon of water per person.

Emergency water tablets– Sometimes the unexpected happens and you need water and don’t have a clean source. Emergency tablets are generally affordable and can help treat various water sources.

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During a hike

Be sure to stretch before starting any hike. Also, be sure to eat a healthy breakfast consisting of clean foods. Throughout the hike be sure to drink plenty of water. If you are feeling headaches or muscle soreness be sure to drink water and eat something. Altitude sickness, muscle soreness, dehydration, and heat stroke can all be avoided to a certain degree. Throughout the hike be sure to take breaks. Stretching throughout a hike is a great idea if you are suffering from a previous injury. Also, don’t be a hurry to get to your destination. Allow yourself enough time so that you can take in the scenery and enjoy the sights. Once at the summit or destination, take a moment to acknowledge your journey there. Celebrate your accomplishment! photo 4

After a hike

Relax! Stretch and continue to drink water. Eat a meal of substance, but avoid greasy food if possible. Stay hydrated and eat carbohydrates and protein after the hike. If you feel soreness the next day, you may want to try ice or heat therapy. Rest after the hike, but don’t become immobile.

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