By Alana—There's a reason that people pack their stretchy gear when they travel to a new place. Yoga mats and running shoes unite us, regardless of where we are in the world or what language we speak. To celebrate Lululemon’s growing international family of ecommerce sites which includes Australia, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom, I asked local sweat enthusiasts in each location for their recommendations on where and how to experience their hometowns with your mat and/or running shoes in tow.
The Chelsea showroom team pigeon-ing in London.
Go for a run: You can’t beat running through the hidden paths in Hyde Park or running along the Southbank! If you’re out east hit up Regents Canal and run all the way up to London Fields Market if it’s a Saturday.
Post-flight yoga class: Vinyasa flow with Mercedes at Triyoga Primrose Hill orElizabeth Reumont at The Life Centre Islington. If you take Lizzie’s class grab a Zinger juice from Planet Organic of Coffee from the Food Lab afterwards!
Enjoy a post-yoga snack: Enjoy a steaming sweet potato with a delicious filling of your choice from Spud in Covent Garden. Also, the raw carrot cake at the Madder Rose café at Triyoga are to die for and they are good for you.
Tip for getting around: Get around town like a true Londoner with an Oyster Card! A Mini London A-Z map book may come in handy and don’t shy away from hopping in a black cab… you never know what conversation you’ll end up having with a cabbie!
Make sure you: Hit up Shoreditch on a Sunday. Start with brunch at The Book Club, then wander along Brick Lane checking out Spitalfields market, the hidden boutiques on cobble streets (grabbing a coffee at Rosa’s café on route) and end at Columbia Road flower market to pick up a fresh bouquet of beautiful flowers (tip: head to the flower market at noon to get ‘two for a fiver!’)
Get SMAC'ed with ambassadors Ed and Babs!
Best post-flight yoga class: Nora Lim at the beautiful The Yoga Room, or Claudia at Flex Studio – you can vinyasa and then hit up Stanley market which isn’t too far from the studio. Just hop on a bus and off you go to explore a little bit of Hong Kong.
Local lingo: Finish your coffee order by saying 'thank you' in Cantonese – “mmm goy!”
A different way to sweat: Buffet at one of the hotels! Buffets are like a sport here. A local favourite is the one at Café Too at Island Shangri-la.
Ambassador Kent Cuthbert runs along Albert Park Lake.
Sweat out your jet lag: Strength and circuit training at the HIT Centre in South Yarra. Workouts are not for the faint of heart, but here technique is priority number one so you can feel like a pro at any level.
Go for a run: Albert Park Lake or Royal Botanic Gardens, lovingly known by locals as 'The Tan'. The garden-hugging track features some serious flora and fauna (50,000 plants to be exact) and a lake (fish, turtles and eels included) so tie up your runners and get ready for a wild jog.
Best post-flight yoga class: Melt your travel stress away and Savasana in style at the beautiful and tranquil Union Yoga in South Melbourne.
How to order coffee: Order a ‘flat white’ (a latté with no foam, or ‘froth’ as Aussies call it) for a shot of espresso and milk. Be warned: if you ask for an ‘iced coffee’, you will get coffee… and ice cream. Try Proud Mary coffee in Collingwood or Dukes Coffee Roasters in Windsor.
Post-yoga snack: Melbourne’s suburbs are diverse and known for different types of cuisine, from Greek food to Vietnamese treats. But anywhere you roam you’ll find cheap and fresh sushi hand rolls, like traditional sushi before they are made bite size, so you can simply grab one and go. After a workout try a brown rice vegetable roll for a healthy and satisfying snack.
Local lingo: Locals greet each other with ‘hey mate’ and ‘how you going?’, and a simple ‘no worries’ will suffice in place of 'you're welcome.'
This story originally appeared on the lululemon blog.