Like many of us, I love the experience of travel. (Well, not the bit where you sit at airports for hours or lug bags about.) I love experiencing different cultures and poking about in places where I’ve never been to before.

One of the things I like to do is get out first thing in the morning and go for an exploratory jog. I always discover things that I wouldn’t see if I was on a tour or hustling along with all the other tourists.

Above: Early morning jog through a small town 20km from Amsterdam

bee hotel in holland
I did two morning runs in Holland. On my first day, I came across this small bee hotel and jogged through some spectacular rural countryside.
morning jog in holland
Morning Jog through rural Holland

Like many other Rotarians, we took the opportunity of a holiday on our way to the RI Convention in Hamburg this year. In our case, we went through Holland, Belgium and the north of Germany before the convention. Then, afterwards, we spent a few more days in Germany before heading home via Denmark.

I jogged through this beautiful cemetery in Cologne a couple of times. The trees were filled with birdsong. Very peaceful.

Jogging in Kelve, in the north-west of Germany presented some unexpectedly fascinating bushland that I wouldn’t otherwise have seen. I started off down the road from our apartment and noticed a small track.

‘What’s down there?’ I wondered.

castle in kleve
View of a castle seen whilst jogging along a bush track in Kleve, Germany

The track followed along the bank of a watercourse through a nature park that had been created a few hundred years prior. Lovely natural bushland in an area of Germany that had been completely wiped out by the Allies in WW2. A very special wilderness filled with birdsong.

RI Convention Hamburg
At the RI Convention in Hamburg

I did two early morning jogs around Hamburg before the convention. The second time I got completely lost trying to follow Google Maps on my phone. It kept locating me a street or two away from my actual position. I did an extra kilometre finding my way back to the apartment.

If you have never been to an RI Convention, you should give it a go at least once. The conventions are a great excuse to see the world. Perhaps we can go for a jog together in Hawaii in 2020?