When I worked in the world of fashion, world-wide business travel was part of the job. Before every business trip I conducted hours of research, planning for self-care in my few precious hours of downtime. These wellness experiences changed my life. My stress and tension were replaced with restored creativity and productivity. And I recognized that my years and miles of personally vetting wellness hotels, classes, and cultural experiences could change the lives of other travelers, as well.
Ten years later, Pravassa is the leader in global wellness travel. Today, as a wellness travel expert and consultant, I lead a team of experts who are continuously on the road; vetting hotels, cultural sites, creating exclusive programming, and even the bike paths that we recommend to our travelers, all while honoring sacred traditions and giving back to local communities.
My passion for sharing the life-changing experience of wellness travel extends to publications including The Huffington Post, to which I have contributed, and MindBodyGreen, where I write about wellness travel and lifestyle. I am also a regular speaker at conferences around the country, including the New York Times and Los Angeles Times travel shows, and have participated in international conferences in Colombia, India, and Spain in order to bring wellness travel opportunities to those countries. My first book, Living Well on the Road, with a foreword by actor and travel writer Andrew McCarthy, is a #1 Amazon Bestseller.
Since Pravassa’s founding, the company has been recognized by the prestigious British Airways Face of Opportunity contest. Pravassa has twice been nominated Best Spa and Wellness Tours by World Spa Awards, once as a Global Spa and Wellness Standout for Embracing Local Culture, and won Specialty Tour Operator in the 2018 Solo Travel Awards.
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Senior WELLNESS TRAVEL Director
While working in the stressful environments of advertising and finance, I started a yoga practice that benefitted my mind as much as my body, making me more patient and receptive. In an effort to help other people find this quality, I pursued a yoga teacher training and in 2005 received my 200-Hour certification from Alison West at Yoga Union. I have studied various types of yoga with numerous teachers in New York City, including restorative yoga with Judith Hanson Lasater, and meditation with Sharon Salzberg.
For me, travel is about being open to new experiences: new environments, new foods, and new people. I began to set aside time for my practice wherever I was in the world, and found I was able to more fully experience places like Nepal, Cambodia, South Africa, and Australia. Pravassa excels at providing the opportunity to be more receptive to everything travel has to offer. I am a Well-Being Travel Specialist, certified through The Travel Institute, and am thrilled to join the team and help people realize a vacation that energizes them.
Wellness Travel Director
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved to travel. Each place has its unique charm and flavor, so it made sense that I found myself pursuing a degree in the hospitality industry. I come to Pravassa with 23-years of travel industry experience having worked as an operations manager for multiple luxury tour operators, as a travel agent, booking government, corporate, and leisure travel, and having partnered with prestigious organizations, such as National Geographic and Harvard. I specialize in travel to Europe, Costa Rica, and within the United States. Creating one of a kind travel experiences like sun-set dinners in the Desert, Northern Light adventures in Finland, and meditation journeys throughout Europe fuels my passion for travel.
To me, wellness centers around health, mindfulness, and sustainability. Having pursued wellness as a personal passion, I have been a vegan for 11-years, and recently completed a 200-hour yoga alliance certification. Wellness travel allows travelers to discover meaningful experiences rather than just check off places on a bucket-list. This is the way I live my life and how my husband, daughter, and I travel whether on yoga retreats to Costa Rica or hiking trips through Arizona. When I’m not working, you can find me practicing yoga, photographing my favorite subjects, and getting as close to nature as possible.
After four years of living in the constant go-go-go of LA and feeling completely lost when it came to what I wanted, I realized I needed a change. I needed to remove myself from the hustle and take a step back to re-evaluate and just breathe. Between hiking, yoga, spending time in the kitchen, and creating, I’ve begun to realize that finding ways to step away from the current is a version of self-care for me. To momentarily escape and immerse myself in something I love is how I recharge and gain clarity.
I find that travel can be one of the best ways for me to catch my breath. I was bitten by the travel bug a few years ago, but it wasn’t until recently that I have had the opportunity to wander. And being the foodie, I am, I venture to say that I look forward to learning about and trying new foods the most. Food is my favorite form of communication and it allows us to connect and share with others. There are so many incredible countries and cultures – and foods – to experience. First stops on my map: Bali, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
I am so grateful to be a part of the Pravassa team and the #changedbytravel mission!
For me, travel has always been a way of life. As a child, my father's job moved us across the country every few years and eventually I settled in South Florida where I obtained my Bachelor's Degree in Graphic Design. I jumped into corporate life working for numerous print shops and advertising agencies, but that path can be unrelenting: exhausting to your mind, body, and spirit.
In 2009 I found out I was expecting my first child and at the same time I had the opportunity to create a logo for a new business named Pravassa. It was symbiotic the way the two flowed together as it was during this time I started my wellness routines: working for myself with control over my schedule and started taking prenatal yoga, which eased my pains, calmed my stress, and ultimately prepared my body and mind for a healthy home birth.
Ten years, three moves, another child, more traveling, and one dog later, I continue to work as a Freelance Graphic Designer with Pravassa as one of my most trusted clients. Currently based in Austin, Texas, my family and I have plans for more adventures in the near future.
Connect with Chrystal on her website.
The first trip I took was to the Soviet Union (back in its final days of being the Soviet Union). I’d been raised on commercials and songs that pushed the trope that “people are the same all the world over,” and that’s what I expected to learn. Instead, I saw that people’s day-to-day lives in Moscow and Leningrad were incredibly different from my own—we actually had very little in common. My big epiphany was that people are not the same the world over, and it’s what we do with that fact that determines our humanity.
As a writer, I specialize in interviews and personality profiles, having dedicated my career to finding out more about individuals and what makes them unique. As an editor, I specialize in personal memoirs for the same reason, and in children’s books—because children’s literature, like travel, is an ideal way to help create grounded, global citizens. My work has appeared in Glamour, Mental_Floss, and airplane seats the world over in SkyMall.
My husband and I have three kids at home near Cleveland, so my work with Pravassa allows me to dream about the trips I’m currently not able to take! I love this team because it’s a group of smart, committed women who are not only proponents of the #changedbytravel philosophy, but they’re taking steps to help make it happen for travelers around the globe.
Connect with Ruth on her website.