From Solo Travel to Fitness Competitions

We sat down with John and Celine, to talk about how they went from joining us on their first-ever fitness retreat as solo travellers, to now competing in fitness competitions together...

October 16, 2023
Two guests high-five after a workout on fitness retreat in Paros, Greece

Bringing people together through fitness is what we love more than anything. And there's nothing that makes us feel like we've done our job well, than seeing guests come as solo travellers, leaving as friends, and then meeting up back home over a workout. Many guests that have met on Salt Escapes have taken this one step further, and have gone on to compete together in some of the best fitness competitions out there, including Turf Games, Hyrox and Battle Cancer. There's truly nothing like the camraderie and teamwork of fitness retreat friends. We sat down with John and Celine, two solo travellers who joined us in Greece, to talk about their Salt experience, training together back home and how they got on competing together earlier this year in Battle Cancer.

Team competing in the fitness competition Battle Cancer
Celine and John competing with their team at Battle Cancer

Tell us about your experience coming on Salt Escapes as a solo traveller.

John: Salt was perfect for being a solo traveller - I just had to get myself to Greece and then boom, a whole week of tough workouts, amazing food and good times just happened. Easy!

Celine: It was the best experience ever! I was quite nervous about being a solo traveller but the Salt Team and guests were lovely and made me feel so comfortable straight away. As most guests were also solo, it never felt like you were left out and we all bonded very quickly.

What about Salt Escapes was appealing to you in terms of being a solo traveller?

John: I think it was a mixture of having holiday time available but not knowing exactly where I wanted to go - and other friends already having plans. I'd always wanted to try a fitness retreat type of thing and Salt seemed to have a good balance of exercise/adventure/relax time. Also, you get the benefit of staying at a stunning villa and plentiful delicious chef-cooked food for a price you couldn't do on your own or with a small group of friends.

Celine: All of it!! I’d been following Salt Escapes on Instagram for years and it looked absolutely incredible. Last year I decided to step outside my comfort zone and do something for myself and Salt Escapes was the perfect opportunity to travel, relax, train and meet new people. The villas and food looked incredible and I know Mike and Amy would never do anything that’s not perfect. So I had to get on a Salt Escape!

Post workout high-fives on fitness retreat in Paros, Greece
Celine and John high-five after their team complete our infamous car hill push finisher

Is there anything about the week that you think helped guests to bond and build friendships?

John: There was a good mix of team-based training, some organised fun but also plenty of independent chill time to just relax together and chat if you wanted to. Our villa had loads of amazing spaces to just hang out.

Celine: The whole experience is great in terms of bonding with the other guests and forming friendships. The training sessions are all team based and there’s a lot of down time between sessions so there’s lots of opportunity to chat and make friends particularly around the dinner table after a few drinks!

Did you meet people on your trip who were like-minded and fun to spend the week with?

John: Yes! We had a great group of people who liked to train hard and challenge each other but also have a laugh and just be on a fun holiday together once the sandbags (those damn sandbags) went away. I've kept in touch with some of the crew and even met up for a couple of fitness events too.

Celine: Yes absolutely! There was so much laughing on the trip! It was so nice to meet people who were also into the same style of training but were also great fun to hang out with. Since our Salt trip, a couple of us still meet up occasionally to train, grab food and catch up!

Tell us about how you got on with the workouts on your Salt Escapes week.

John: So good! We did a fun mix of weight-based training, HIIT and bodyweight, as well as boxing and some running along the amazing coastline. Oh, and we pushed a car up a hill.... it was super tough, but Mike and Amy make it all enjoyable (apart from the burpees, they've never fun). And Bethany's yoga sessions put us back together!

Celine: I loved the salt workouts! They were a lot of fun! My normal training is a combination of functional fitness, CrossFit and olympic lifting, so the variation of HIIT, boxing, running and strength sessions in the Salt Escapes workouts were perfect. Having said that, the sessions are challenging. Mike and Amy will throw in extra burpees and push you right to the last buzzer!! But Beth’s relaxing yoga sessions will put our bodies back together.

A coach takes two guests through a workout on fitness retreat in Paros, Greece
Celine and John training together on our fitness retreat to Paros, Greece

So, you guys have stayed in touch since the week and now compete in fitness comps together. Tell us about how that came about and how did the comp go?!

John: Yes! Celine organised for us to do Battle Cancer last year - a really fun event and obviously an amazing cause. It was my first proper organised comp and I'll definitely be doing another. We've also met up with some of the others for an F45 challenge in London.

Celine: John and I were discussing our own training one afternoon and I suggested getting a team together for Battle Cancer as it was a known for being a fun competition. We had an amazing time competing with so many other athletes for a great cause! I’m looking forward to our next one!

A team of athletes after competing in Battle Cancer fitness competition
Team pic after finishing the Battle Cancer fitness competition

What was your favourite part of your Salt Escapes week?

John: Ooooh, so hard to pick one thing. I loved it all but I'm going to say the food, because I expected to enjoy the workouts, villa, scenery, boat day - but you're always worried the food at an inclusive thing might not be enough or up to scratch... but it was genuinely so good and there was loads to go round.

Celine: Boat day was definitely my favourite part of the trip! It was my first boat day experience and one I’ll never forget.

Two guests at the front of a boat in Paros, Greece
Celine and John soaking up the views on Boat Day in Paros, Greece

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