Travelling is one of the best parts of swimming by far. Seeing new places, meeting new people and enjoying different cultures is amazing!
Travelling to compete in swimming starts with planning at home. Ensuring you have everything you need to help you succeed is so important! The spare pair of racing suits or goggles can be a life saver. Snacks to have handy when you travel and while you’re away are really important. I have been to places where the food was really inedible (and I eat most things) there were no shops near our hotel, so without the snacks we had packed we would have really struggled.
Make sure your trip starts as well by being well rested before you travel. Flights and waiting around can be really tiring so do your best to rest when you can. I sometimes take my own pillow on long flights as this can help me to get some sleep while travelling. To ensure that I stay healthy whilst travelling I use first defence nasal spray before flights to try and eliminate some of the bugs you may pick up on the plane.
When I arrive at my destination, I always make sure to learn where everything is, I check that I know timing of warmups/races/mealtimes and anything else important. It is also essential to know your transport details of getting to the venue. You usually get to share with another member of the team, so I don’t worry too much, as between the two of us we get everything sorted. With this in mind you must remember that your roommates schedule could be different to yours so be respectful about sleeping and down time.
I used to get nervous about travelling to new places, however after experiencing several new places the nerves faded. It is always reassuring to know that you have your teammates or coaches with you if anything should happen.
I can honestly say that for most of the trips I have been on it is the team spirit which has made them memorable. Everyone helps each other and despite being hard work they are such fun!
I absolutely love travelling to different countries and it is, personally, one of the best parts of my swimming career. Normally there is some time out to see something of the place you are in but I have also been to amazing places and not seen anything of the country as my main purpose for being there is to race and this must always come first. Each swimming trip is different, but it is important to make the most out of each and every one!
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