Author: By Alice Klochkova
Alice Klochkova, B/SPOKE’s newest instructor, grew up in Moscow, Russia where she grew up where she was competitive golfer for the Russian National Team. Thanks to this, she developed a love for all things active at a young age – everything from swimming to indoor cycling to snowboarding. Attending college in North Carolina and making her way to Boston in 2012, Alice started in digital marketing, but quickly realized her connection to fitness couldn’t be ignored. Missing the connection with riders, she jumped to full-time fitness and hasn’t looked back. With a profound love of traveling and trying new experiences, we caught up with Alice to hear about her most memorable trip and some tips on traveling and balancing the tourist spots with unexpected adventures less traveled.
What is your most memorable trip?
I went to Patagonia, Argentina with my family some time ago and we did a horseback riding tour to hidden glaciers. We left the ranch with a group of 10 friends and were led by an experienced gaucho (South American cowboy) riding along rivers, forests, and mountains. At night, we stayed in small outposts with bunk beds or sleeping bags and were fed by the locals. While one of the most memorable experiences, there certainly some challenges – one being riding a horse for multiple days. My Dad’s horse got hit by a tree branch and started to gallop. When horses travel together they tend to repeat after one another, so once our gaucho was galloping after my Dad, all the horses decided to follow. It was quite an experience to say the least, but one with the most beautiful terrain.
Once you find a place you want to travel to, what are your next steps? How do you make it come to life?
The first thing I do is go to a bookstore or buy a travel book online, usually Lonely Planet or DK Travel. The books not only have some sightseeing recommendations, but also restaurants and coffee shops to visit, which is a great balance. I also discovered this website called Atlast Obscura with a list of super weird/unique places to see. I always check it before going somewhere.
What are the best apps for travel?
I always use Hopper, an app that helps you analyze flights to help you find best deals and best times to fly. I am also super organized and love PackPoint app, it helps you pack and gives you a checklist depending on the nature of your trip.
How do you create a balance between tourist spots and unexpected adventures?
I definitely plan about 75% of my itinerary before I arrive, but I always find time to ask locals or staff in the hotel about any special recommendations or their favorite spots to eat at. We have never been disappointed with a local recommendation before.
Tips for traveling on a budget?
Travel with friends! Book a villa/house or a hotel with a kitchen, where you can cook your own breakfast or lunch. Saves you so much money. Also, embrace public transportation.
Destinations for healthy/restorative vacations?
I traveled to Paraty, Brazil a couple of years ago and it was one of my favorite trips. I went during winter because it is summer there, so getting away from the cold was already a good start. Paraty is a very small town located in between Sao Paolo and Rio. We rented a villa called Casa Amarelo, which was located right in between a river on one side and a beach on the other side. The internet connection was awful (which was perfect), so we had plenty of downtime to read books, take naps, swim, etc. For those looking to really disconnect, I would suggest a destination that offers great food and restorative activities, such as reconnecting with nature.
Where would you like to travel to next?
I am going to Mykonos, Greece this summer, which has been on my bucket list for some time now. Id’ like my next big adventure to be Japan and I have started to compile a list of places I want to visit.