How One Woman Turned Her Love of Wellness Travel Into A Full-Time Job


Thank you to the team at The Lifestyle Edit for coming to chat with our founder about her journey into wellness travel. Want to get the entire story and some tips and tricks that you can start to use today? Get Linden's new #1 bestseller Living Well on the Road. Out now!

From The Lifestyle Edit:

If you’re looking for a holiday to regroup and recharge, Linden Schaffer is the woman people call. We’ve all had that experience where you get home from a holiday, only to feel like you need another trip to recover from the first one and that’s where wellness travel comes in. Gone are the disorganized, over-scheduled itineraries. Through Pravassa, Linden offers everything from mindfulness and meditation getaways in Vietnam to trips to Japan to study the art of Zen from people in the know that you’d never be able to track down on your own.

HER WEDDING WAS THE LIGHTBULB MOMENT FOR THE CONCEPT: I was working in fashion at the time but the idea was the coming together of all my personal loves – what I was doing outside of my career like traveling and doing yoga, working out, learning to eat better and cook more, those kinds of things. I was ready to leave fashion.

THE TRANSITION PROCESS: I’m very organized, very type A. I’m interested in taking risks but the idea of failure can be scary. Having nothing in New York is tough.

ON STARTING A BUSINESS IN AN AREA SHE’D NEVER WORKED IN BEFORE: I think there’s an advantage in not knowing anything about the industry that you are going into, because it’s easy to disrupt it.

Read the full article here.

{We're Obsessed} Living Well on the Road

“You deserve a foolproof wellness plan that will meaningfully modify your lifestyle, help you stay healthy (physically, mentally, & socially), and allow you to stand up for your self-care, even when you feel you don’t have time.”
— Linden Schaffer

Stressed out? Eating badly? Sleeping with your phone rather than your partner? Great news, one small change can put on the path to wellness.

Travel + Leisure has already hailed it, “A travel health essential the pros swear by.” Pravassa founder, Linden Schaffer's debut book publishes TODAY! It's the new must have playbook for anyone that wants to start and maintain a wellness routine while traveling. Scientifically backed data lays the ground work, Schaffer's real world experiences keep you entertained, and the wellness checklists make it easy. 

Get your copy today and begin Living Well On the Road.

{WELL ON THE ROAD} Linden Schaffer



Linden Schaffer
Founder and Director of Pravassa

Most recently in: Thailand and Vietnam

The one snack you can always find in my carry on is: Justin’s Classic Almond Butter squeeze packs. I carry a few of these single travel size packets in case of emergencies - they pack a protein and fiber punch. Plus I always have a refillable water bottle, which I’m constantly sipping from.

Tell us your in-flight ritual: I almost always travel with a carry on only, which means my under the seat bag has to be efficient. The first thing I do before I fully settle in is use a lavender wipe to cleanse my entire space: arm rests, tray table, window, seat belt, even the overhead air vent. I then apply a salve to my upper lip and hands. Next I take some doTERRA On Guard essential oil, which is a blend of orange, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary, to help boost my immunity. Then out comes the eye mask and cashmere scarf, which doubles as a blanket and pillow barrier before I settle into sleep.

How do you conquer jet lag once you've arrived? My conquering jet lag routine starts at home before I board the plane. I make sure to eat a nutrient rich, protein heavy meal before I depart. I do not eat airplane food, which gives my internal system a rest and means I’m hungry by the time I arrive at my destination. If it’s morning upon arrival, I shower, eat breakfast, and spend the day being as active as possible. If it’s evening, I’ll have a light healthy snack and head straight to bed, being sure to keep the curtains open so that I can rise naturally with the sun.

Describe your workout on the road style: At home my routine is a mixture of cardio, strength training, and yoga. On the road, I follow the same principles, but the activities will take different forms depending on where I am. Since I’m always scouting wellness travel opportunities or on the road with Pravassa’s wellness travelers, I get my exercise by bike riding, climbing mountains, hiking, participating in city walks or in a yoga class. If for some reason I cannot do any of these things, I take 20-minutes and turn my hotel room into a fitness studio.

How do you keep sickness at bay? Washing your hands is the most important thing you can do. In addition to that, I take or eat probiotics daily and make sure I get plenty of sleep. Sleep is key for keeping your body healthy and for getting it back on track should you come down with something.

What's your 'go-to' restaurant item when traveling? My diet is mostly vegetarian so I stick with this on the road as much as possible. The first thing I do is ask about the specials, which is the freshest food available and go from there.

What do you do to stay grounded? I try to spend as much time outdoors as possible. Luckily I tend to travel to warm places, which makes it easy to spend the majority of my day’s outdoors. Feeling the sun on your skin and breathing in fresh air always helps to keep me present, grounded, and with a smile on my face.

What is your preferred method of staying connected with loved ones? FaceTime. It’s the best invention for someone who travels a lot. Actually being able to see your loved ones while you’re away makes it easier to connect on a deeper level and feel like that person is there with you.

When not traveling for Pravassa, Linden is based in NYC. Her first book, Living Well on the Road, with foreword written by actor and author Andrew McCarthy is out March 16th. You can follow Linden’s journeys via Instagram.

Vietnam Changed My Life

Vietnamese Street Food | Pravassa©

Vietnamese Street Food | Pravassa©

Renown chef Anthony Bourdain criss-crosses the globe in search of food and flavors. Yet it seems he loves his job because each time, he has a #changedbytravel experience. In an interview with Conde Nast Traveller, he opened about some the highlights of his life on the road, talked about why Vietnam changed his life, and spills on airline food.

Read the interview here.

Keep Your Ego in Check



Ego. Defined in psychoanalysis as "the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity". It can be our worst enemy or our greatest strength and often times we need to consciously keep it in check.

Success Magazine asked 6 entrepreneurs how they keep their ego in check. Everything from setting lofty goals to standing behind your ideas came into play. Here's what our founder, Linden Schaffer had to say: "By reminding myself of the impermanence of it all. It is important to stop and celebrate the victories as well as stop and examine the failures. Neither is permanent and both make you a better person." 

Read the full article in the March 2017 issue of Success Magazine.



{WELL ON THE ROAD} Elizabeth Cronise McLaughlin



Elizabeth Cronise McLaughlin
CEO/Lead Executive Coach, Gaia Project Consulting

Most recently in: Dallas, Seattle, and Los Angeles within the last four weeks. I'm in LA about once a month now and I love it there.

The one snack you can always find in my carry on is: It's not exactly a snack, but I generally never get on a plane without at least 2 liters of water.

Tell us your in-flight ritual: I'm fortunate in that most of the time when I travel these days, it's on behalf of major corporate clients for whom we conduct leadership training programs, and therefore always in first class. When I get on the flight, I usually settle in under a blanket, order a non-alcoholic cocktail (JetBlue Mint has this divine fizzy mint lemonade that you can order without vodka), pull out the latest issue of Porter (my consistent travel pleasure and a wonderful magazine for both fashion and women's empowerment-- I love their editorial vibe), and pick out some music to listen to for the flight. If I'm on a weird schedule, I'll also try to sleep for a few hours before landing.

How do you conquer jet lag once you've arrived? Now that I am 45, I've quickly realized that if I drink any alcohol on the plane, my jet lag is far worse. So, honestly, combatting jet lag starts before I get on the plane with those two liters of water. Once on the ground, and particularly if I'm coming in at night as I often do when I travel to the West Coast, I try to get to bed as soon as I hit my hotel. I also try to get up at a normal time the following morning local time, so that I'm on schedule right away. If I follow this protocol, I honestly don't get jet lag very much at all.

Describe your workout on the road style: I've recently started using Kayla Itsines' app, Sweat with Kayla, which is awesome for circuit training that relies only on your own body weight and can be done literally anywhere. Each workout lasts just 28 minutes, which basically eliminates any excuses for working out no matter where you are-- and trust me, they are NOT easy. I used to do a longer form yoga practice on the road, but these days I try to travel as lightly as possible, and my yoga mat has been jettisoned from my single carry-on save when I'm traveling for a women's mastermind retreat. 

How do you keep sickness at bay? I take a rigorous protocol of supplements thanks to my naturopath, Dr. Samantha Brody, who works virtually with women on nutrition and stress management. At bare minimum, I take 5000 mg of Vitamin D a day, Sun Theanine, and GABA to combat stress and process cortisol, and melatonin if I'm having trouble sleeping. If I feel like I'm coming down with something, I'll also take some elderberry syrup. I do find, though, that disciplining myself to sleep 8 hours a night and staying hydrated no matter what really helps.

What's your 'go-to' restaurant item when traveling? Some form of greens-- salad, sautéed kale, collard greens. I'm a fool for that kind of stuff, and I also tend to be at least a little lighter in terms of what I eat on the road to combat jet lag.

What do you do to stay grounded? I meditate for a minimum of ten minutes every morning, and usually longer when I'm on the road. It's a good chance when I'm away from my kids to up my mindfulness practice. I also have a number of significant spiritual goodies that I take with me wherever I go-- Spirit Mist (a smokeless smudge) to use in hotel rooms, my pocket altar (Chakredy pendulum, a few pieces of rose quartz, and a few totems), and sage and sandalwood essential oils. Visualization-- particularly the use of grounding cords-- also helps a lot. 

What is your preferred method of staying connected with loved ones? I honestly have no idea how traveling mothers functioned before FaceTime. I talk to my kids at least once a day this way-- usually right before their bedtime, no matter what time zone I'm in. I also have an agreement with my dad that I text him every time I board a plane and every time I land, no matter what time it is, and he does the same for me. It's a really nice ritual, because inevitably he congratulates me on the latest success or wishes me good luck or offers words of support. On my last flight home from LA, when I'd had a bit of a rough couple of days, he texted a photo of me in his arms at about 3 years old, and said to me "you are loved." I burst into tears in first class. I'm lucky beyond words to have him as my dad.

When not traveling for work, Elizabeth is based in NYC, which will host her latest empowering event: Gaia Women Lead May 17 - 19. Take advantage of her pearls of wisdom on The Women's Leadership Podcast and follow her travels on Instagram

Add a Volunteer Activity to Your Vacation



Feeding the poor is often a religious practice associated with self-purification and self-improvement. Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Sikhism all embrace this practice is various ways. While not a daily custom in Western traditions, I've taken a few hours out of my vacations in Asia to fed monks while visiting Thailand or work in the langarat a Sikh temple in India. Above I'm pictured in a communal kitchen, which is responsible for offering vegetarian food to anyone who asks. In Jerusalem for the past 450 years, children have come to Khasiki Sultan in the heart of the old city to collect food for their entire family. This tradition or others like it can be found around the world and is a great way to give back when you're visiting a new nation. - Linden Schaffer

Want to add a volunteer component to your wellness vacation? Plan something that inspires you.



PLUG IN Consciously



We find it easy to unplug and leave our phones behind when we travel - chalk it up to poor internet connections and huge time differences. And while there's a movement to create a digital detox for yourself at home, it's not always feasible, espeically in our currently politically charged times. So how do you find a way to stay connected consciously? Our friends at Well+Good have some advice. 

1. Accept that technology is a reality in today’s world—and that’s okay
The first step in not letting technology drive you bonkers is simply pushing back against the notion that if you pick up your phone, you’re an automatic failure. (Don’t you feel more Zen already?)

2. Note your personal distraction tendencies
Make sure your technology use is actually serving (not deadening) you is to simply pay attention to the specific apps or programs that tend to be your go-to distractions. Instagram? Gmail? See how early in the process you can catch it.

3. Tune into the physical experience
Yes, it is possible to turn technology into a daily mindfulness practice. Notice what it feels like to hold your phone, for example, noticing the texture and the smoothness of the screen. Use it as a straight-up mindfulness exercise.

4. Remind yourself: The internet is full of humans
The internet is so vast—and the amount of information we take in every day is so huge—it can easily overwhelm our brains and sense of what is really worthy of our attention. Just taking a few seconds to remind yourself that behind every photo or app there is an actual person can make the whole thing feel more, well, human and immediately ground you back in reality.

Read the full article on Well+Good.

How to Take More Vacation Time this Year



We long for it, we daydream about it, but many of us never actually use all of our allotted vacation days. Our founder is even wrote a book on the importance of using this time to improve your health, which is why these tips, which originally appeared in the New York Times, will help you make your daydream a reality. This year commitment to vacation with this foolproof plan.  

Get Organized and Start Early
It seems like an obvious first step, but saying you will get organized, and doing it, are different things. Using a paper or online calendar to track company holidays and map out your preferred vacation dates, as well as booking your travel as early as possible, which makes it harder to back out of it later.

Delegate Your Responsibilities
There is no need to complicate the approval process by dumping your work onto other people. You can make it easy for your boss by putting your vacation request in writing, making sure that it clearly states your company’s paid time off policy and your number of accrued days and that it also conveys your intention to discuss how your work responsibilities will be handled while you are away.

Work With Your Co-Workers
You can be firm in your commitment to take the vacation days you deserve while still being courteous to your colleagues. It is as simple as talking to your colleagues and doing it early.

Convey the Value to You
Try asking yourself this: Why am I taking this time off and why is it important to me? This is kind of a trick question, because there is no such thing as a bad reason to take time off from work. But being confident in your decision can make it hard for your superior to deny your request.

Remember What You’re Owed
Imagine if you had to write an email to your boss every two weeks for your paycheck, or every time you went to the doctor. Is using all of the vacation days your employer has already agreed to give you really any different?

Read the full article in the New York Times

{WELL ON THE ROAD} Nitika Chopra




Most recently in: Israel

The one snack you can always find in our carry on is: Nuts - typically cashews or almonds. I'm on a Candida regime, which avoids sugar and gluten, so for the plane I want something that is a quick, but filling protein.  

Tell us your in-flight ritual. I’m a big organizer! Once I sit, I get to work organizing everything by keeping snacks, my book, and glasses in easy reach. I also make sure to have creams or lotion in easy grasp so that I can stay hydrated and moisturized.

How do you conquer jet lag once you've arrived? I always get on the sleep cycle immediately. It’s painful, but I stay awake and power through. Eating really healthy and taking good care of myself including drinking a lot of water are all must have’s that set me up to stay awake. 

Describe your workout on the road style. I have arthritis so working out has always been challenging. To me, getting in good walks is very important. I live in New York so it’s easy while I’m at home, but when traveling, I need to be mindful that I’m getting walks in. I take a pause, figure out where I am and what the days looks like, and then figure out when I can take time out to walk. 

How do you keep sickness at bay? Three things always help me. 1) Making sure I get enough sleep. You already have to adjust your sleep cycle when you travel and it’s much better for your immune system if you can get proper sleep. 2) Vitamin C before I get on the plane and before I get home is a must. 3) Washing your hands. It’s a basic simple thing to do, but it’s so important. I wash my hands religiously when I get off the plane and have found I don’t get colds way I used to. 

What's your 'go-to' restaurant item? Salmon. I love salmon and it always fills me up. I ask about it where it comes from of course. 

What do you do to stay grounded? I get homesick, even when I’m with family, as I love being in my actual home, which grounds me. When I’m traveling, I make sure I call someone so I can stay connected. Essential oils an incredible way for me to ground; I’m big on using them. A morning and evening ritual is also very important. Taking it with you, taking time to get ready and take care of yourself helps you to feel connected to your daily routine so you don’t feel so far away. 

What is your preferred method of staying connected with loved ones? I call people all the time! Prefer an actual phone call over texting any day of the week! 

Based in NYC, Nitika regularly hosts empowering events, join her on February 11th for the 3rd Annual Self-Love celebration and follow her on Instagram for her daily uplifting messages.