{Well on the Road} Erin Marie Musich

ERIN MARIE
CREATOR & WRITER OF The World Wanderer

Most recently in: New Orleans & Dublin

The one snack you can always find in my carry-on is: I try to keep my carry-on snacks as healthy as possible so usually I pack a Kind bar, a snack-size bag of popcorn, and a piece of fruit. I also always pick up the biggest bottle of water they have near my gate to keep hydrated on my flight.

Tell us your in-flight rituals: As soon as I get on the plane, I try to get as comfortable as possible. I take out anything I think I’ll need so I’m not constantly reaching for it throughout the flight. I trade my shoes for socks, since my feet are always cold, and use my scarf as a blanket. I’ll usually read for a little while, settle in with one glass of wine, write if I’m feeling inspired, watch a movie or two and then try to sleep for the rest of the plane ride. I also try to moisturize my hands and face throughout the flight so I arrive at my destination looking as rested and refreshed as possible.

How do you conquer jet lag once you've arrived? I used to nap as soon as I got to my destination, but found that it only threw me off more. Now, I drop off my bags wherever I am staying, freshen up, and head out to explore. Even if I didn’t sleep as much as I should have on the plane, I find that just getting right into the day no matter how tired I am actually helps. Then I go to sleep at a normal time that night and usually feel great the next day.

Describe your workout on the road style: I don’t really separate travel from fitness, so I tend to walk everywhere while traveling and find an outdoor activity to get involved in. I try to include a hike in all of my travels or find a bike tour if I’m in a city. If I can’t find the time for that, I’ll practice yoga in my hotel room during any free moment I may have.

How do you keep sickness at bay? I’ve usually been pretty lucky at keeping healthy while traveling. I try to load up on vitamin c, get enough sleep, use hand sanitizer, keep hydrated, and eat vegetables and fruit with every meal.

What's your 'go-to' restaurant item? I try to stick with the cuisine the country is best known for. I’ll try just about anything, so will usually ask locals what to try. If I’m traveling for a long time, I may crave something from home and search for something similar, but for the most part, I try to assimilate into the culture as much as possible.

What do you do to stay grounded? At home, I try to practice yoga and meditate daily, and the same goes for when I’m on the road. It isn’t always possible, though I think I am actually more grounded when traveling. For me, just walking down the streets of a new city or people watching at a cafe are enough to stay in the present moment. It’s usually harder for me to keep grounded while at home, which is why I make time for yoga and meditation.

What is your preferred method of staying connected with loved ones? Facetime and WhatsApp, but my mom always jokes that as long as she sees that I’m posting on social media, she knows all is well. Social media is probably the easiest way to keep in touch with all my friends and family at once, so it’s usually what I use most.

About Erin: Erin now takes her day job lecture skills as an elementary school teacher to the realm of blogging where she leads courses in NYC and soon-to-be around the world. Stay connected with her adventures via FacebookTwitterInstagram and on her own travel blog, The World Wanderer.

{We're Obsessed} Wander Magazine

wander_Cover.jpg

A new publication that celebrates the health and well-being of body, mind and soul? We're in - and we're obsessed! Wander is a just launched digital magazine for all travel related wellness and adventure experiences. From inspiring content that revolves around destination-based adventures, culinary travel, spas and lodges to the best gear and products to take with you, we're in love. Ok, they featured us so we're biassed and thankful. Download your own copy of the premiere issue now.

Florence | Italy

PHOTO PRAVASSA©

PHOTO PRAVASSA©

What is more romantic than a trip to Italy? From the rolling hills of Tuscany to the artistic masterpieces positioned throughout the open-air piazzas of Florence, any experience will have you falling in love. With the birth of the slow food movement and special attention to travelers who are gluten-free, you can find yourself eating your way through every day. As always we find the best way to explore any new city is by putting down the map and getting lost. Check out our latest wellness travel finds in the gallery below. 

Interested in booking a #customWELL itinerary to Italy? Click here

Simple Ways to Eat Clean for Overall Wellness

IMAGE VIA SHUTTERSTOCK

IMAGE VIA SHUTTERSTOCK

Make your calories count, but don’t count your calories.
— Jared Koch, Clean Plates founder

This phrase has been making the rounds lately with nutritionists and dieticians alike. It's a move away from the calorie counting diets of yesteryear, and towards more conscious eating. The theory speaks to consuming "clean" food that doesn't contain artificial flavoring, coloring, sugar substitutes or chemical ingredients.

Dr. Andrew Weil, author Michael Pollan and Chef Alice Waters (all champions of clean eating) have been spreading the message that what you put into your body plays an even bigger role in your overall wellness than you realize.

For example, take meats. If the cuts are not labeled "grass-fed," that means the animals were probably factory-raised and fed a combination of GMO corn, grain, soy and other animal scraps pumped full of hormones to fatten them up for a faster growth cycle. Contrastingly, grass-fed livestock eat exactly what nature intended: high-quality grasses and forage. The meat is also likely to taste better, because the animals roam the pasture, whereas factory-raised meat spends its life in a small cage or overcrowded pen.

The movement toward clean eating has been gaining momentum as more information becomes available about the ways our food is grown, harvested and shipped. The Obamas even brought back the White House garden after 60 years to educate the public about the role food consumption plays in obesity and diabetes.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying you have to give up eating cheeseburgers or skip bacon at brunch. What I am saying is that you should be more conscious about where your food comes from. This understanding will help you make smarter choices and your body will thank you.

Here are four ways to ease into a clean-eating lifestyle, starting now:

  • Shop the farmers market whenever possible. Local organic goods are in heavy rotation here. Make it your mission to know your farmer and ask questions -- don't just assume that everything they have for sale is clean food. Ask any questions you have about their farming and growing practices so you can make smart decisions about what to consume.
  • Eat more vegetables. They lower your blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, help you lose weight and level out your moods... need I say more?
  • Consider the fish entrée first. Before pasta, before meat, you should consider ordering the fish for its healthy omega-3 fatty acids and immunity boosting properties when dining at your favorite restaurant. Just make sure your dish is not fried or grilled -- baked or broiled is preferred!
  • Commit to eating only grass-fed meat. For all the reasons we mentioned above, we're in favor of grass-fed meat. Not sure if it's on the menu? Ask your server! - Linden Schaffer

This article was written for and originally published on The Huffington Post.

Spa del Sol | Aruba

Photo via Spa Del Sol

The beach front Balinese-inspired huts that make up Spa del Sol are located at the water's edge just in front of Manchebo Resort. With sweeping views and a nice breeze you'll be relaxed before you even get onto the massage table. 

With open-air huts and expansive views you won't notice that the massage room itself is actually quite small - not that it matters once you lie down. Our therapist had strong hands and began with a traditional back series before asking us to flip over. The best part of our relaxing massage treatment at Spa del Sol: the stomach massage! With the majority of your digestive system located here, massaging the stomach has such a detoxifying effect and is not often massaged in Western spas unless you make a special request. 

Post treatment skip the steam and jacuzzi and just enjoy a glass of cold water and the private lounge area that looks out over the ocean. If you're ready for this experience in Aruba, remember to make your appointment a day in advance as they need to arrange for a therapist.

 

Cost: $95/50 minute massage                               Location: Eagle Beach | Aruba

 

Click here to request this wellness experience be added to your Aruba customWELL itinerary.

{WE'RE OBSESSED} Hammams

IMAGE VIA

IMAGE VIA

Where you find this wellness ritual: Egypt, Morocco & Turkey: Hammam
Prescribed for: Purification, relaxation, skin exfoliation, socialization

Islamic hammams, those we've come to know as Turkish baths, have their roots in religious purification rituals. A traditional hammam is constructed of three interconnected rooms, a large domed room with glass windows and a central slab of marble with running water, a warm room, and a cool room. Separated into men's and women's quarters, you start with a full body exfoliation, have your hair and body washed in the second room, and end the treatment in the cool room with tea and relaxation. Many spas in the U.S. have opened areas that resemble traditional hammams, but for the real thing, you'll need to book a flight across the pond.

Sweeten Up with Honey

MEETING THE BEE FARMERS ON A PRAVASSA MARKET TOUR | PRAVASSA©

MEETING THE BEE FARMERS ON A PRAVASSA MARKET TOUR | PRAVASSA©

Having been used for over 4,000 years in the Ayurvedic tradition, could honey be the most versatile ingredient in your overnight bag? In addition to a sweetener and using it to sooth our sore throat, we turn to honey as a beauty product for both our hair and skin. Organic Spa Magazine Editor-in-Chief, Rona Berg, uses honey to banish pimples overnight, Holistic Health Coach, Amanda Cook, makes her face masks with it, and for soft silky hair - try this DYI Indian recipe

Need more reasons to add raw honey to your travel staples? If you're heading out for some adventure honey could come in handy if you accidentally burn yourself. Applying a thin layer of to an affected area not only soothes the stinging, but due to the anti-bacterial properties it will also help prevent the burn from becoming infected. Concerned that you're building up a resistance to antibiotics? Manduka honey may just hold the antidote.  

Andalusia | Spain

PHOTO PRAVASSA©

PHOTO PRAVASSA©

Spain is one of my favorite destination in Europe. The people are friendly, the food is endless, and there is fabulously diverse terrain. Our most recent exploration lead to us Andalusia, the sun-drench region known for flamenco, bullfighting (we opted out here), tapas, and Moorish architecture. We found the best way to explore this region is by renting a car and getting lost. Check out the gallery of our latest wellness travel finds. 

Interested in booking a #customWELL itinerary to Spain? Click here

5 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR ROAD TRIP A HEALTHY ADVENTURE

IMAGE VIA SHUTTERSTOCK

IMAGE VIA SHUTTERSTOCK

Summer has finally shown up, and you may be getting the itch to jump in the car and go exploring. With blue skies, a great playlist, and the open road ahead, just the thought of a road trip can bring a smile to your face. Yet with all the sitting and road sign after road sign for fast food ahead, how can you possibly stay healthy for days on end? Try these manageable tips to keep you and your traveling companions happy and healthy:

1. Get a good night’s sleep. Part of being on vacation is the luxury of not having a set schedule. This is the perfect time to let your circadian rhythm readjust and give yourself permission to go to bed early or sleep in. By allowing yourself proper rest, you’ll avoid driving drowsy, which helps prevent car accidents and maintains your alertness on the road.

2. Map out healthy restaurants and farmers markets along your route. If you know your route in advance or have access to a good WiFi connection, take some time to search out healthy restaurants or local farmers markets along the way. There are several websites out there that make it super easy to find locally grown and organic options. With the sustainable food movement continuing to spread, spend some time talking with local vendors, as they’ll have insider tips that you might not be able to find online.

3. Pack a cooler. Buy extra goodies at the farmers market so you can stock up on healthy snacks like ripe peaches, hand roasted nuts, or local yogurt. Then, during your next stop at the gas station, stock up on ice for the cooler instead of typical salty and sugary road trip fare.

4. Stop and explore. Sitting in the car can lead to lower backaches and stiff legs, so it’s important to get out of the car and move your body restoring blood flow. Half the fun of road tripping is stopping to explore a new area. Bring your sneakers and go for a hike, or find a beautiful park and practice some yoga moves.

5. Be a water baby. Whether you book a hotel, motel, or a house rental along your road trip route, try and seek out one with a pool or nearby lake to take a dip. Summer is the perfect time to cool off in outdoor waters and has the added benefit of helping stiff, weak muscles recover. If you’re lucky enough to find a heated pool or Jacuzzi, the warm water helps to aid digestion and promote relaxation, which was the point of your road trip in the first place! - Linden Schaffer

This article was written for and originally published on wellness website MindBodyGreen.

#TravelWell Chat: Travel Keepsakes

Photo: Pravassa Exploring Vietnam

Photo: Pravassa Exploring Vietnam

One of our favorite quotes circulating the social media-sphere is 'Collect Moments Not Things', and while we certainly take pride in minimizing our travel suitcases and footprints, there's no denying that searching for the perfect souvenir is a great way to get wonderfully lost and local in a new city. Plus, there's nothing like pulling out those fragrant spices or sporting that colorful scarf upon returning home to transport us back to faraway lands. What are your favorite souvenirs? We want to hear them all!

Join @Pravassa at 4:30PMEST on Wednesday, June 3 for a Travel Keepsakes Twitter chat using the tag #TravelWell. 

If you're unable to make the chat live, don't miss out! Feel free to schedule your answers according to the timeline below.

4:30pm
Q1: If you could travel somewhere solely to buy their local craft or delicacy, where would it be? #TravelWell

4:35pm
Q2: What traveling purchase do you get the most use out of now that you've returned home? Bonus if you share a pic! #TravelWell

4:40pm
Q3: What is a unique or thoughtful souvenir you've received from another fellow traveler? #TravelWell

4:45pm
Q4: Do you have a philosophy or strategy when it comes to purchasing travel keepsakes for yourself or someone else? #TravelWell 

4:50pm
Q5: When it comes to souvenirs, is there one item you're usually drawn to in every country for a collection? #TravelWell

4:55pm
Q6: Not all keepsakes are material. What's one intangible- story, memory or quality- that you'll carry forever? #TravelWell #changedbytravel