I set up Wellbeing Escapes 11 years ago and it's been very interesting watching the emergence of wellness travel from truly embryonic beginnings to where it is today. My team and I have the privileged position of speaking to our clients on a daily basis which allows us to understand their needs but also the challenges that they are facing in their lives.
1. Education for an Active Second part of life
Many people reaching their fifties-plus are waking up to the fact that their luxury lifestyle of "living it up" with alcohol, rich food and high stress levels is not sustainable as they enter the second half of their lives. With average life spans getting longer, people want an active retirement with a healthy mind and body. A wellbeing holiday can provide an integrated approach to their health and they will be educated on how to lead a healthy lifestyle and kick-start a change in habits through knowledge and practice. The benefits are measurable even after a week and people are returning annually to make sure that they continue with their health improvement.
2. Emotional Healing
It is now recognised by the medical profession that there is a definite connection between one's emotions and physical health. Trauma from relationship break ups, bereavement, redundancy, business failures etc can cause hormonal imbalances, major diseases and mental illness if not healed. Our clients are recognising the need to go on a wellbeing retreat where they will be nurtured, cared for and also given specialist coaching or taught techniques such as meditation or CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) that will help them get through troubling times and also limit the damage to the body.
3. Self Development & Awareness
There will always be "seekers" in this world. Those who are far along their wellness journey and looking to learn and develop further so that they can lead what they believe to be their optimum life. These are people who want to acquire new skills, enhance their creativity and be aware of themselves, or dig deeper into something they already practise such as yoga, meditation or fitness. The world's leading health retreats are understanding this and introducing programmes specifically for these advanced seekers.
4. Tailor-Made Fitness
There are a growing number of people who want to get fit without having to go through boot camps. The need for a personalised and sustainable approach to fitness is therefore replacing the brutal 'one-size-fits-all' approach that many boot camps provide. This is an intelligent approach to fitness that addresses people's lifestyles and preferences, and health retreats that offer a large variety of classes and specialist one-to-one fitness training from different options are gaining in popularity. This way, individuals can custom-make their own fitness holiday to suit exactly what they prefer to do.
5. Rest and Digital Detox
As the wellness industry has developed, it has brought a huge amount of information and choices to people, many of whom previously wanted to try the latest high tech treatment or go to the latest hot spot. Many of these 'A type' high-achieving individuals are going back to basics and realising that what would benefit them the most is pure relaxation and disconnecting from the technology that overpowers their lives. They want to go somewhere beautiful where they can benefit from deeply therapeutic treatments, nourishing food, plenty of sleep and little if not no access to their digital devices.