On the Road Again – First up Canary Islands

Posted on Posted in Family, Races, Running, Travel

When we tug at a single thing in nature, we find it attached to the rest of the world. ~John Muir

So my family and I are off on an adventure. We pulled our son from preschool and decided to let our travels and the world be our teachers. We are very excited for this big adventure together. Last time we did this, we sold our home and went in search for the perfect “home base”. We found it a few miles from downtown Boulder, Colorado in a tranquil and majestic little canyon. We love Boulder and all it has to offer, but there is more to discover than the small/safe bubbles we become comfortable in. So with that in mind, here we go!

We have a few trips already planned with intentions of finding more beautiful places to travel and soak in the culture, diversity and unity that exist in every nook and cranny if you are just patient and curious enough to explore the path less traveled. With an open heart and an open mind we make our first travels to the incredibly beautiful island of Gran Canaria for the Transgrancanaria 125k. Gran Canaria is one of the Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago off the coast of northwestern Africa, where rugged volcanic peaks and calderas rocket up into the sky with black and white sand beaches below. This is paradise to me, as the temperature is consistently warm and sunny, there are a plethora of steep zig-zagging trails that lead from the beaches to volcanic mountains in the distance, fresh local produce and the local people are relaxed, accepting and welcoming wherever we go.


Canary Islands Ocean - Timothy OlsonCanary Islands Mountains - Timothy Olson

Gran Canaria, Canary Islands Adventures from the ocean to the mountains!


As a family, we run, we hike and to cool off and relax we go jump in the ocean and make sand animals and castles. We visit little towns, checking out their weekend markets, finding organic produce to fuel our next family adventure. I have so much fun going off and doing big runs by myself or with my wife, but seeing the island through my kids eyes has really unveiled the beauty that exists everywhere if you just take the time to look and listen. With the chaos of life, it’s easy to be unaware and just react to whatever happens next, but if you take a deep breath, become intimately aware of your surrounds, your thoughts, your emotions and respond to your findings consciously, the world opens up its arms with a big hug.


Canary Islands Family Adventure - Timothy Olson


This doesn’t mean, every day is easy, as in our family adventure, jet-lag is real, tantrums are real (I have them daily), 2am screaming sessions and blowouts happen, life has obstacles, but some moments when I step back and look at this glorious life I live, I am beyond grateful for everything. I prefer sleep, but I’ll take those challenging moments any time, because it means, I am loved and I’m sharing this incredible life with people that light up my life. Life will always give you just what you need to keep learning, to keep growing. The more we learn about ourselves and each other, we realize we are all not that much different and those idiosyncrasies are the spices that enrich all our lives. I too get frustrated when things don’t go the way I planned, but the universe’s agenda is much grander than anything I can dream up. So by accepting life’s circumstances, we see the positive in all things and carry on.

This Canary Islands adventure will be capped off with a big run with the Transgrancanaria Race, a 125k run that covers much of the island in a single push. I ran this epic race several years ago and am having an amazing time exploring the course. The diverse micro-climates of the island offer vastly changing terrain from dry rugged coastlines, soft lush meadows, jagged volcanic peaks, majestic pine tree forests and sandy beach dunes. I continue to be in awe of the incredible beauty of this island’s trails.




After Transgrancanaria, we’ll head back home for a few weeks before leaving for Malibu, California where we will be putting on one of our Run Mindful Retreats. These are a great way to share what I’ve learned over the years, connect with new people, opening up dialogue to get to know one another, explore trails/mountains together and relax and rejuvenate with mindful meditation and eating. I’m a pretty introverted person, so these retreats allow me to open up, talk lots, run with others, learn from others and see where life will take us next. And then next up will be back to Europe for the Penyagolosa Trails 115k.

I hope to keep sharing about our travels. Feel free to ask questions and I’ll try to answer a few each post. We are all on this journey together and it sure is inspiring to have community supporting you through it all. Wishing you all the best and hope to meet you along the way. Peace.

6 thoughts on “On the Road Again – First up Canary Islands

  1. Tim, that sounds like an adventure for sure and to do it with your family is awesome! I wanted to ask how do athletes like yourself pay for everything? If you’re training full time, how can one travel the world and on top of that pay for living expenses rent, food, etc for a family? I’ve always wondered this and would love to hear how it’s done. I wish you the best this up coming season.

  2. Amazing. So happy for you and your family! Your post was so moving and inspirational. These days, it’s seems like those tough days are more prevalent than before. But, like you said, accept life’s circumstances, see the positive in all things, and carry on. Good luck in your adventures, glad to hear you will have your family with you along the way and have some kick ass races!

  3. TAO~ Thank you for the update. Kudos for your decision to mindfully see and experience our world…one footfall at a time. Awesome to know you have integrated the TNF maxim “Never Stop Exploring” into your daily meditation upon Mother Earth. I look forward to following your journey. Be well. May your Sadhana thrive! Namaste… ~The Mad Swede

  4. Tim, I do enjoy reading your blogs and watching your videos, it would be awesome to come to one of your retreats on day and run with you. My wife and two young children would love it,

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