WTJ: In your new blog you wrote, "I'm so glad that I'm now 100% focused in working in the wellness travel industry. " Can you tell our readers why?
AG: I finally get to focus on my two passions: travel and therapy. After some research I realized that my passion is considered to be called "wellness travel." I believe travel could be quite therapeutic in helping improve one's wellbeing both mentally and physically which in essence is what wellness travel is about. I have always loved to travel to learn about new cultures, and therapy/psychology topics are things I like to read about to learn how to improve one's mental state. In my personal life travel has always helped me put things in perspective when I've gone through a tough time.
WTJ: What was the motivation behind the career change?
AG: I have worked in the PR and marketing industry, in Washington, DC, for over ten years and I always felt something was missing.Most of my clients were either government or nonprofits. I would work on certain PR/marketing campaigns and would get some decent results but felt I wasn't making a big enough impact or difference. Everything I did was done fast just to get some quick results to impress perspective clients. I didn't even know if I was truly changing the target audience's behavior. All I knew was that the bigger the number the happier the client would be. There was never any real strategy it was just about boosting numbers and getting more money.
My philosophy has always been to work on something that has some type of meaning and helps make a difference in someone's life. I know that with wellness travel you're enriching people's lives so that they could live a better and healthier life.
WTJ: What research did you do and what lead you to WTW?
AG: I started researching groups on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and the Internet to see if anybody could help me better understand how to organize therapeutic retreats for people going through a tough time. I had an idea of organizing those therapeutic retreats in my home state of New Mexico for people from Washington, DC, where I currently live. I know people from DC are pretty stressed out all the time. After my research and reaching out to several groups I found Camille Hoheb who opened my eyes to the amazing growing wellness travel industry. As soon as I read about WTW's mission I knew that's what I wanted to get into because it somehow had my two passions in the mix: travel and therapy. I didn't even know one could actually build a career in the wellness travel industry. It's also good to know that my concept about therapeutic retreats is something that interests others and it wasn't just a cool idea I had. I'm now in the process of getting away from the PR and marketing world to join the wellness travel industry.
WTJ: What are your transferrable skills?
AG: I have a strong background in communications which comes in handy when trying to market a service or product. I know the steps to creating an effective communications strategy that could be tailored to any topic, service or product.
-PR for hospitality industry
WTJ: What do you do now in wellness travel?
AG: I have a blog in which I write about wellness, travel, lifestyle, and self development. I'm part of several wellness and meditation groups in Washington, DC. I'm also invited by small-town tourism offices in the Washington, DC metro area to visit their towns. I produce videos both in English and Spanish and write about how the town helped improve my sense of well-being. For example, the last trip to Abingdon, Virginia helped spark my creativity which had been lacking for some time.
WTJ: What excites you the most about wellness tourism?
AG: It's multi-faceted about incorporating seven aspects of wellbeing such as emotional and intellectual. It's all about enriching the mind, body, and spirit. I think it's the best medicine anyone could have. Traveling with a purpose to improve both your physical and mental state will be something that stays with you forever.
WTJ: What advice would you give others?
AG: Travel with a purpose. I think the quote from French novelist Celine sums it up quite well. "Travel is useful. It exercises the imagination. All the rest is disappointment and fatigue." There's a whole new healthy world out there waiting to make you feel better so there's no need to settle for unhappiness. You never know when the "cool idea" or a "passion" you have is actually part of a credible and respectable booming industry. Always keep trying.
WTJ: On a Last Note to Our Readers.....
Let me also mention a few things. I didn't ask for any type of testimonial from Adriana and boy, am I am humbled at what she wrote!
I am impressed with Adriana's comment about traveling with a purpose . She nailed it! This is a key point in the new report, Wellness Travel: Shaping America's Health & Economy. Studies prove that goals, life meaning and purpose extend longevity and quality of life.
Congratulations to Adriana on her new career path! I am so happy she took the time to write in and found WTW and WTJ useful and inspiring. For all of you who have been thinking of making a change - any change - in the words of Nike: Just Do It!
I wish all of you reading this article much happiness, health and success.