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Need to get away from it all? Travel in pursuit of wellness

ClubWest

(To view our May/June 2018 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

By Lorraine Simpson

Have you ever returned home from a trip claiming you “need a vacation to get over your vacation”?

You wouldn’t be the only one!

Traveling for your physical or mental health isn’t a new concept, but it might have you thinking about enforced exercise, strict diets, or engaging in activities you’re just really not interested in.

So what do I mean when I say Wellness Travel?

Wellness travel promotes your health and wellbeing, both physical and mental, through activities that you do during your trip. The idea is to return home feeling healthier and better than when you left!

While there’s nothing wrong with a fly and lie on the beach sort of vacation, you may be searching for something more meaningful.

Perhaps you would like to go hiking or cycling on a trip?

Maybe partake in the luxury of a spa vacation?

How about a yoga retreat? Perhaps even a luxury river cruise that incorporates many activities to destress and enhance your wellbeing.

With the growing trend for staying healthy while you travel, you can make your entire trip an adventure to feeling better in both body and mind.

If wellness travel makes you think of spartan facilities and strict bland diets then you’ll be happy to know that thing have come a long way.

There are plenty of wellness retreats in five-star accommodations and options for as little or as many restrictions on your diet as you like.

Perhaps your particular needs do not involve diet changes or exercise but simply a vacation to regroup after a major life change.

A floating market in Bangkok which participants in the compassionate retreat attend.
When I lost my husband a few years ago to cancer I decided to go away on a Culinary Vacation in Italy.

I joined a group of people who all had similar losses at some point and they knew my situation. I laughed so much that week; I cried, too, sometimes but it felt very healing to be among people who just understood.

Everyone allowed you to laugh uncontrollably at silly things without judgement or they would be an ear if you just wanted to talk. It was a very healing week for me and one I will never forget.

Vacations are often an exercise in overindulgence, which can lead to feelings of guilt when we return home.

How good would it feel to enjoy what a new destination has to offer, without the negative consequences?

That’s what wellness travel is all about; reenergizing, rejuvenating and finding balance.

Taking part in physical activity while you’re away can teach you how to incorporate it more into your daily life at home. A wellness trip might include eating and enjoying culinary events to tantalize your taste buds, but it may also involve physical activities like hiking, paddle boarding, yoga, surfing, or even running.

If you’re not sure where to start with searching for a wellness trip then think about the kind of place you want to go and the activities you might enjoy.

Yoga in sunny Italy with wine tasting by bicycle, or maybe in the unspoiled nature of Costa Rica? Hiking in Croatia?

A week in a wellness spa? Perhaps a medical spa in Eastern Europe where treatments are legendary – especially for anti aging – may be more up your alley.

Perhaps you have been battling a major illness and want to celebrate your recovery with a trip you have always wanted to do?

The possibilities really are endless!

Just a few weeks ago I was in Hungary with a group of ladies who were going on a Danube River cruise. Before the cruise they all visited a dentist and an optician of a very high quality whose services were far less expensive than back home.

Going natural – shooting during a safari with a camera – can prove just the tonic for someone seeking relaxation.
Some people feel uncomfortable traveling alone as they traveled with a loved one for many years who has since passed.

We take care of you; carrying your suitcases, making sure you are in the right place at the right time and just by making you feel like you are as protected as you had felt before. This is all part of the traveling concierge service you get when you travel with us.

Wellness travel is a vacation which focuses on putting you first and it’ll help you to come back feeling refreshed and in a better frame of mind, rather than marking your vacation as just another check on the long list of things to do this year.

So, where would you like to go?

Here are my top wellness trips; each with a different purpose.

1. Wellness River Cruise

In addition to a plethora of wellness activities offered on board and on shore, Ama Waterways incorporates healthy eating and locally-sourced ingredients into its culinary offerings. Gluten-free, low-sodium and vegetarian options are available and the company features a hydration station with infused detox and gemstone water.

Concierge Travel Group will offer two specific wellness river cruises for 2019 as a small group – including a private excursion just for our group – as well as gifts and recipes in rooms daily as well as your very own traveling concierge for anything you need.

2. Wine, Women & Wellness in Italy with The Wine Ladies

Next spring we will take a small group of women to Italy for a week of wine tasting, healthy eating and, of course, some activities including cycling, hiking and yoga in stunning locations.

3. Compassionate Friends Retreat

After a major life change or loss you may just want to break away from routine, getting completely away. Spending time with people who understand what you are going through automatically removes the so called “elephant in the room” and help makes you feel comfortable. Our escorted trip is open to all – without question – and offers a safe, comfortable environment for you to enjoy a vacation which can be a vital catalyst which sets you back on the road to wholeness.

• Thailand April 2019 — Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket
• Sicily September 2019
• UK Castles, Gardens & Shopping May 17 2019

Top Tips for choosing your Wellness Vacation

1. Don’t go anywhere you are positively convinced you won’t like, no matter how enticing the price or how much your travel partner tries to convince you with comments such as “Trust me, you’re going to love it!” Maybe not;

2. Don’t travel with someone you find annoying, frustrating, argumentative, causes you stress or will more than likely undermine your wellness goals. (e.g. I know you have to get up at sunrise for that yoga class, but there’s this all-night party….)

3. Don’t stress the small stuff. Regardless of how well you plan there are bound to be at least a few bumps on the journey. Go with the flow and maintain your sense of humour. Accept what is, and let it go;

4. Identify your biggest stressor and avoid it. It could be the airport experience, flying itself, a noisy resort environment, lack of reliable WIFI (unless your goal is a digital detox), a hotel environment (either too high-end or too basic) that is not comfortable for you.

5. Be flexible and kind with yourself. It is impossible to simultaneously experience the riches of your destination while maintaining the wellness plan you are accustomed to at home. So, do your best to drop that perfectionist way of thinking. You may not be able to work out every day or have the willpower to say “no” to that luscious, creamy Napoleon dessert, and that’s OK—more than OK, actually.

In order to truly explore new places, we need to ditch some of our usual modes of thinking and doing.

(For More information on wellness travel and our Compassionate Friends program visit our www.conciergetravelgroup.ca/wellness, call Lorraine Simpson on 289-273-8095 or email info@conciergetravelgroup.ca)

From the Publisher May/June 2018

ClubWest

(To view our May/June 2018 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
– Benjamin Franklin

Interesting contrast in this month’s edition of ClubWest.

We have a profile of Grimsby Museum’s Death & Dying exhibit – on now until the end of June – something to which we can all relate and something from which none of us returns, unless you want to get into a whole reincarnation discussions, but we’ll park that and save it for another day.

Then we have the rebirth of passenger/commuter rail which will and is reshaping Grimsby (and eventually Beamsville) in ways it seems unlikely most residents cannot contemplate as yet.

It isn’t shocking there was a rail line to connect rural residents to an urban centre 100 years, but it is surprising to many to read that it was an electric system.

That had to be incredibly cutting edge in the early part of the 20th century.

It was interesting to find that the driving desire of the rail line’s construction was to ensure the system went right down Main Street to ensure passengers had access to Grimsby’s downtown shops. The opposite plan is underway with the GO train plans to create its hub at the Casablanca/QEW quadrant with – as town council calls it – a new main street being built along Winston Road.

The HG&B line is just one of the remarkable historical ditties which make this area so unique, so special.

How many out there in reader land know what the “honeymoon huts” were?

I know there will be a few and, no, if you work at the museum or volunteer at the archives you don’t count for the purposes of this unscientific survey. For anyone who emails me (mike@wn3.ca) with the correct answer – and I want an approximate physical location included, as opposed to simply what the huts were – I’ll have a nice little prize for you. I will do a draw from all correct answers.

These are the kinds of stories which cried out to be told in a publication like ClubWest Magazine when I launched the publication five years ago.

This area is so rich in history, characters and talent we’ll never run out of story subjects. In fact, it’s just the opposite. It is more of a chore to narrow the field when trying to plan copy for each edition. That noted, some of these historical anecdotes are the most difficult to unearth, so we welcome the offering of ideas which can prove like a flashlight illuminating a previously dark trail. Show me the way, I’ll do the rest!

Publisher, ClubWest Magazine
Mike Williscraft

A purist’s dream

ClubWest

(To view our March/April 2018 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers introduces liquid truth with 100 per cent pure rye grain whisky

By Joanne McDonald

It’s circa 1895 and there’s a stirring of poetic alchemy, or maybe, it’s just a trick of the eye.

Prolific writer and visionary H.G. Wells is in the building.

And he’s reading comfortably from one of his science adventure novels against the backdrop of botanicals and berries distilling in copper pot stills – machinery resembling so much works of art as the hard working purveyors of spirits that carry the label of Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers.

The spirit of Wells fades back as Geoff Dillon, proprietor and distiller, reaches up to adjust a gauge on the copper columns.

A young entrepreneur with a vintage soul, he takes pride in precisely creating craft spirits from the very best ingredients, the rich bounty of local Niagara fruits and the botanicals and absinthe gardens in his own back yard – one batch at a time.

Now heading into a sixth year of production, the confluence of old school values with one-of-a-kind modern equipment and clever techniques has this small batch distillery in Beamsville carving out a big reputation on the local and international stage.

It’s been a thrill for Geoff to see his spirits on the shelf at the LCBO. “Seeing that for the first time boggles your brain a bit.”

He credits his father, Dr. Peter Dillon, a renowned scientist and retired university professor who taught biogeochemistry, as the “mad scientist” behind the wide range of unique flavours and aromatics associated with Dillon’s spirits and the distillery’s thoughtful impact on the environment. “He’s such a huge part of this, the fun part where it’s all about experimentation,” says Geoff, of his dad who grows herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables on a ten-acre hobby farm.

To read the full article, click here for the March/April 2018 ClubWest online magazine.