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VO LU Mwander-mag.com E 6 • ISSUE 1


SOMETIMES THE DESTINATION IS

THE JOURNEY.

Red Mountain Resort has everything you need to relax, renew and rediscover your passion for adventure. As one of the most ideally located full service resorts in St. George, Utah, you can enjoy excursions to Zion, Bryce Canyon or majestic Snow Canyon. Explore all we have to offer with the Ultimate Essential Retreat - our most popular retreat plus $150 in Spa, Wellness or Adventure Credit per night of your stay. USE CODE WANDER FOR 20% OFF THE ULTIMATE ESSENTIAL RETREAT. Offer good through 12/31/20.

REDMOUNTAINRESORT.COM | 800-407-3002 1275 E. RED MOUNTAIN CIRCLE, IVINS, UTAH

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WANDER / LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

T H E

PA S S I O N

I S S U E

PUBLISHER Matthew Ross EDITOR Kristina Smith WEST COAST BUREAU Mark Stanton SOCIAL MEDIA Maddy Ross ADVERTISING SALES Andrea Dragosits adsales@wander-mag.com CONNECT editor@wander-mag.com

CONTRIBUTORS Elinor Fish Kasia Kord Shannon Melnyk Lynn Michele Amelia Pavlik Sara Quiriconi Sarah Richard Special Thanks Tara Benson Kimberly Breese

Sometimes, a power outage can be all you need to remember who you truly are. In winter, in the North, outages are an occasional fact of life. We collect jugs of water should the pipes freeze, round up lanterns and candles for light, and pull out sleeping bags and blankets should we lose heat. Very quickly, the important things become crystal clear: shelter, water, heat, food, loved ones. Sitting with this, feeling deeply and truly grateful for the things that we too often forget to be grateful for, we come to the realization that there is nothing wrong with us. Nothing that needs “fixing.” Self-help and diet culture will continue to tell us that there is, but once we have the necessities, all we need at our core is space, adventure, movement, nature, connection, and community. We hope the stories within this issue will inspire you to seek out new experiences; to carve out time to just be; to travel and explore and give back; to love and be loved; to, ultimately, come home to yourself. Travel well, Kristina Smith

MARKETING & CREATIVE Springfed Creative Inc. design@springfedcreative.ca Cover image: © Girls That Scuba PROUD MEMBER

Springfed Creative is a strategic content company specializing in travel and destination marketing. Wander is published by Springfed Creative Inc. and distributed through partners. No part of this publication may be copied or distributed without the written consent of the publisher. The views expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the publisher, editor, or partners.

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WANDER / TABLE OF CONTENTS

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11

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11 CURIOUS ABOUT KUNDALINI? ANCIENT WISDOM AND THE YOGA OF AWARENESS

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16 MINDFUL RUNNING GO TECH-LESS WITH RUN WILD RETREATS

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24 WINTER MENU CHECK-UP TIPS & RECIPES TO BOOST IMMUNITY


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34

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30 FUEL YOUR STAY FRESH EATING AT WESTIN HARBOUR CASTLE, TORONTO

34 MAKING WAVES FIND YOUR PASSION WITH GIRLS THAT SCUBA

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40 YOGA RETREATS WITH HEART GIVING BACK WITH COLIBRI IN BALI

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48 ROMANTIC RETREATS GLOBAL GETAWAYS FOR HEALTHCONSCIOUS COUPLES

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59 ESSENTIALS PRODUCTS, SUBSCRIPTION BOXES & READS WE ADORE

66 ANCIENT RENEWAL COMMUNING WITH NATURE ON KANGAROO ISLAND

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72 A BREATH OF FRESH AIR GO SOLO TO RED MOUNTAIN RESORT, ARIZONA


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78 BAREFOOT BAHAMIAN LUXURY SPA & ADVENTURE AT SANDALS EMERALD BAY

84 AYURVEDIC EDEN FINDING INNER PEACE IN THE CATSKILLS, NEW YORK

88 LONDON CALLING A WEEKEND OF WELLNESS IN SOHO & SEVEN DIALS

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94 MEET: WENDY YATES FOUNDER OF WELL FIT HUMAN RETREATS

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IMAGE: © DANE WETTON

YO U C A N N O T A LWAY S C O N T R O L W H AT G O E S ON OUTSIDE. BUT YO U C A N A LWAY S C O N T R O L W H AT GOES ON INSIDE.

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- WAY N E DY E R 8


WANDER / WINTER 20 / LIVE WELL

GET YO’ VITAMIN SEA When promoting (or now, prescribing) time in nature as the key to well-being, people usually talk about green space. But an article in The Guardian explains why and how “blue space”⁠—oceans, rivers, lakes, canals, waterfalls, even urban fountains⁠—is good for mind and body, from boosting Vitamin D levels to having a strong psychologically restorative effect. So write your own “blue” prescription and spend a couple of hours a week around water for your improved well-being.

FACT: YOGA HELPS DEPRESSION & ANXIETY IMAGES: TOP © NICK DIAMANTIDIS, BOTTOM © ERIK BROLIN

A new study from Boston University has shown that yoga, combined with breathing exercises, improves symptoms of major depressive disorder. Participants did either two or three 90-minute Iyengar yoga classes plus three or four 30-minute breathwork sessions per week, and for both groups, sleep quality, energy, positivity, and anxiety and depression symptoms significantly improved within a month, and significant additional improvement was observed at three months.

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WANDER / WINTER 20 / LIVE WELL

CURIOUS ABOUT KUNDALINI?

KASIA KORD 11

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"Kundalini Yoga is the science to unite the finite with Infinity, and it's the art to experience Infinity in the finite."

IMAGE: Š ADOBE STOCK

Yogi Bhajan

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WANDER / WINTER 20 / LIVE WELL

We are living in a time where the pressure of the modern age is taking a substantial toll on our health and well-being. We are at the forefront of an emerging age, one where if we choose, we can combine the wisdom of ancient teaching with this modern era. So many of us are seeking beyond the paradigms that have been placed before us and as a result, we are seeing a surge of interest in ancient practices such as yoga, mindfulness, meditation, breathwork and new age spirituality in general. Intuitively, many of us can feel that there is another way to navigate our human experience. Kundalini Yoga - known as the Yoga of Awareness - was brought to the West from India in the late 1960s by Yogi Bhajan. It is a powerful practice geared specifically toward building our resilience, vitality, joy and energy to support us through the pressure of the modern technological era. Kundalini Yoga is a practical technology of self where you are taught to direct your life force in a very tangible and accessible way. You learn to harness the superpower which is you. 13

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IMAGES: COURTESY KASIA KORD

Societally, so much emphasis and value have been placed on external sources to validate and construct our lives. One of Kundalini Yoga's fundamental principles is about strengthening and connecting us to our inner compass or intuition. Learning to trust your built-in guidance system is one of the keys to accessing the peace, direction, clarity and focus needed to guide you through your life. The tools of this practice are simple, and you already have them: body, mind, soul, breath and consciousness.

that may show up in your life. It boosts energy levels so that you enjoy greater physical, mental and emotional well-being. It balances your glandular system, increases your lung capacity, clears your mind and connects you to your creativity. After all, your life is your creation. No spirituality or previous experience with yoga is necessary to join a Kundalini class. One of the beauties of this practice is that all are welcome. This is not a levelled system of yoga; beginners and long-time students share class space together. The Kundalini class is purposely intended to be a space where we are all held, supported, and encouraged to be our best selves and do our best from where we are at. The mission is to uplift ourselves and each other. Kundalini Yoga works and its effects can be felt right away.

Kundalini Yoga seeks to optimize and strengthen your connection to all of these things so that you can take control and responsibility for your own life and live your destiny. How do we utilize these tools? With intentional breathwork, guided movement/postures (kriyas), mudra (specific hand positions.) mantra, sound vibration, community and a commitment to a daily practice known as Sadhana.

Kundalini reminds us we have everything we need and teaches us how to use the tools we have been given to live our life to the fullest. If you are Kundalini curious, I invite you to act on that curiosity and try this transformational practice.

Kundalini Yoga will strengthen and tone your nervous system so that you are able to remain calm and responsive to any situation

Kasia Kord is a Registered Massage Therapist, a graduate of Religious Studies from the University of Waterloo in Eastern Spirituality and Roman Catholic Mysticism and a KRI certified Kundalini Yoga and Meditation Teacher. With over 25 years exploring, learning and teaching in the areas of bodywork, yoga, self-care, meditation and spirituality, she brings a wealth of wisdom and accessible information to her teachings. Kasia teaches ongoing classes in Kundalini Yoga and meditation, events and workshops in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada and beyond. Visit her at kasiayoga.com and on Instagram @kundaliniwithkasia. 15

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RUN TECH-LESS

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ELINOR FISH 16

IMAGE: © DEVIN AVERY

IMAGE: © JAKOB OWENS

FOR A MORE MINDFUL EXPERIENCE


IMAGE: © RUN WILD RETREATS

WANDER / WINTER 20 / LIVE WELL

The sound of running shoes crunching

That is, until, a digital female voice says, “workout paused.” “Workout resumed,” the voice followed up.

the soft pine needles lining the loamy trail lulls the women taking part in a

“Ping” goes another watch from the back of the pack. “Beep, beep beep!” goes another device.

trail running and wellness retreat into

The runners stop at a viewpoint, pull out their phones to take photos of a waterfall, while others also press the “pause” button on their GPS watches. A few reply to text messages flooding in thanks to the random 4G connection.

a relaxed rhythm. There’s no sound of cars or traffic of any kind. Their inhalation and exhalation breath cycles fall into a similar rhythm. They’re not

The technology seems radically out of place in this serene natural environment. More than half their time standing at the lookout is spent looking at glowing screens. Not only are these runners seeing and experiencing less than they would without their devices, but they are also checking their time, mileage and paceper-mile, even though, it could be argued, such metrics detract from their actual experience.

all running at the same pace, yet somehow are in a shared state of flow.

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The voice of wellness travel. A badge of credibility. IMAGES: (TOP L TO R): © JEREMY CHOU PHOTOGRAPHY; © NICK FITZHARDINGE; © FAIRMONT CHATEAU LAKE LOUIS; © SOJOURN BICYCLING & ACTIVE VACATIONS; © FAIRMONT CHATEAU LAKE LOUIS; © ALEX RIVERA

Connecting travelers to wellness experiences.

Look for the WTA logo before planning your wellness travels. wellnesstourismassociation.org wander-mag.com

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IMAGE: © RUN WILD RETREATS

WANDER / WINTER 20 / LIVE WELL

Running Tech-Less For A More Mindful Experience A trail running and wellness retreat is not only a journey to a beautiful new destination, one that offers scenery and cultural experiences you can savour and enjoy. It also offers space to be more mindful and present, if you make space for it.

3. Replacing digital cues and alarms with the sounds of nature and your own body’s movement is a powerful experience. When you pay attention, you can hear your breath (is it soft and even, or shallow and ragged?) and the sound of your feet on the ground (are they pounding or tapping lightly?). These sounds are key indicators of the quality of your running form.

Watches, GPS fitness trackers and phones interfere with that experience in a number of ways:

4. On retreat, we encourage a type of success measurement that can’t be quantified: your degree of joy. And joy has everything to do with how running makes you feel, and nothing to do with how far or fast you ran.

1. When you don’t know your pace per mile, you are better at noticing the body’s natural feedback system to gauge your effort level. Feeling tired, you slow down. Feeling charged up, you speed up.

Science Supports It: Ditching Devices Can Help You Run Better

2. When you no longer hear a “ping” for each mile completed, you are better able to focus on the process of running rather than the progress from start to finish. Knowing that your running guide is keeping you on track leaves you more open to taking in your surroundings, your fellow runners and notice how your body is feeling.

Fitness writer and author of the book, Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success, Brad Stulberg reported having performance 19

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breakthroughs when he ran by feel (slowing when he felt tired, and speeding up when he felt strong) rather than by pace-per mile. Noel Brick, a sports psychologist at Ulster University in Northern Ireland, explains why: “Relying on a watch excessively can promote unhelpful thoughts and emotions, such as anxiety. This anxiety can even occur on a subconscious level, fueling negative self-talk or judgment without you even realizing it’s happening.” Another side effect of metrics-driven anxiety is physical tension. “In a recent study, Brick and his colleagues found that runners were a whopping 10 percent faster when they were focused on relaxing or the act of running itself versus external metrics like pace,” reports Stulberg.

Enter: The Presence Policy With that in mind, Run Wild Retreats recently introduced a Presence Policy that enhances our clients’ personal experience on and off the trails. The policy includes things like keeping their phone in airplane mode on the trail, at meals and during group time so they can fully be present in the experience. It asks that they leave their GPS watches and all distance and time trackers at home. As a result, our runners report feeling more present, more relaxed and happier overall with their running experience, so much so that some have made running tech-less a regular part of their routine.

IMAGES: (L TO R) © JOSH SORIANO, © SERGII GULENOK, © DANIEL MALIKYAR

Run Mindfully at these Upcoming Retreats

Moab Mindful Running Retreat

Mediterranean Mindful Running Retreat

Iceland Trail Running + Wellness Retreat

March, April, October This four-day, women-only retreat features guided trail runs in Utah’s stunning desert of red rock, soaring cliffs, wellness workshops, restorative yoga, and great food.

May 2020 Run village to village along the Mediterranean Sea while staying in boutique hotels overlooking the bay, eating gourmet Spanish tapas, traditional paella and much more.

August 2020 This seven-day retreat takes you along Iceland’s southern coast where you’ll see glaciers, black sand beaches, and volcanos. Every run is a different adventure!

Request a 2020 Run Wild Retreats Catalog at runwildretreats.com/retreat-newsletter

Founder and CEO of Run Wild Retreats, Elinor Fish has worked in the travel, tourism and running industries since 1999. The Canadian ex-pat who now calls Colorado home has long been an avid trail runner, writer, and champion for women’s trail running. She founded Run Wild Retreats + Wellness in 2010, offering running tours in some of the world’s best trail-running destinations.

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Embark on a journey of transformation & self-discovery YOGA, MEDITATION & MINDFULNESS RETREATS Feeling overworked? Need to reignite your passion and zest for life? Reconnect with your best self and nature in the heart of world-class Banff National Park. Our all-inclusive wellness retreats led by world-renowned facilitators will empower you to live your best life. Take advantage of luxurious amenities, explore iconic Lake Louise and leave feeling relaxed, recharged and inspired. Let us take care of you, while you’re taking care of yourself.

lakelouisewellness.com Wellness retreats hosted by

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IMAGE: © ADOBE STOCK

N E V E R E AT I N G R E D I E N T S YOU CAN'T PRONOUNCE. EXCEPT QUINOA. YOU S H O U L D E AT Q U I N OA .

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WANDER / WINTER 20/ EAT WELL

SHOT O’ VINEGAR Long a folk remedy for various ailments, Apple Cider Vinegar is widely used for household and cooking purposes. But did you know that ACV can also support weight loss, reduce cholesterol, relieve digestion issues and lower blood sugar levels? True - and supported by scientific research. And with great tasting gummies like Goli now on the market, you can enjoy all of the benefits of ACV without the downsides of drinking it. Your dentist will thank you.

SNEAKY VEGGIES Despite our best intentions, some days we just have trouble getting enough vegetables in our diets. Luckily, there are easy ways to up our intake, just by making a few swaps. Instead of wheat noodles, try zucchini noodles (available pre-noodled in some groceries), swap potatoes chips for real veggie chips (we love Terra Sweets & Beets), mix steamed cauliflower into scrambled eggs, and remember, herbs are leafy greens too! 23

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WINTER MENU CHECK-UP

IMAGE: © MARCUS SPISKE

SIMPLE TIPS AND TRICKS TO KEEP YOUR G O O D H E A LT H I N CHECK ALL WINTER LONG

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RHEANNA KISH 24


WANDER / WINTER 20/ EAT WELL

E AT I N G H E A LT H Y I N T H E S U M M E R I S A NO-BRAINER; MARKETS ARE BURSTING WITH FA R M - F R E S H P R O D U C E A N D T H E LO N G , H OT D AY S B E G F O R L I G H T, F R E S H , V E G G I E - F I L L E D MEALS. BUT WHEN OLD MAN WINTER COMES A-KNOCKIN’ SO, TOO, DOES THE DESIRE FOR CARB-LADEN, CALORIE-RICH, COMFORT FOODS. O F C O U R S E , T H E H O L I D AY S D O N ’ T M A K E I T E A S Y EITHER. HOW CAN ONE BE EXPECTED TO RESIST T H AT S E C O N D P L AT E O F M A S H E D P OTATO E S A N D G R AV Y, O R T H AT T H I R D M E LT- I N - Y O U R - M O U T H SHORTBREAD COOKIE?

That being said, it is possible to maintain a healthy, veggie-rich diet all winter long. The key is diversity and thinking beyond mac & cheese, beef stew and an extra glass or two of wine with dinner each night. Take these simple tips and tricks into consideration to keep your good health in check all winter long.

warm vinaigrette. Try them in soups, stews, stir-fries, even gratins for your daily dose of green. Don’t forget to hydrate – Drinking enough fluids every day is essential for maintaining optimal health. Staying hydrated controls your body temperature, aids digestion, carries nutrients around your body and a myriad of other functions. Just how much you need depends on age, gender and activity level, but a good recommendation is 70-100 oz per day. Don’t forget this includes all liquids consumed in the course of the day, but water is best.

Load up on winter greens - When the snow flies, salads are the first to go from your recipe repertoire. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Instead, switch up leafy greens from the airy varieties of summer to hearty winter greens, such as, kale, chard, escarole, collards, mustard greens and rapini.

Stock up on beautiful winter veggies – Sure, market stands and produce aisles don’t have the same sexy appeal as in summer, but winter vegetables are among the best if you

And don’t forget Asian greens, like bok choy and gai lan (Chinese broccoli). Enjoy them raw in salads, or wilted by a 25

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IMAGE: © LASZLOLORIK, FOTOLIA.COM

WANDER / WINTER 20/ EAT WELL

heart to them. There are the obvious favourites like carrots, potatoes and onions, but don’t forget about cabbage, celery root, winter squash, rutabaga, turnip, beets, Brussels sprouts, parsnips and sweet potatoes. Variety is the spice of life, and with this many vegetable options, you really never have to eat the same thing over and over all winter long. Choose seasonal citrus for the win – One hit of tart grapefruit, or juicy orange is a like a bolt of sunshine on a blustery winter day. Plus, citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin C—with one medium orange delivering almost 100% of the recommended daily intake. Cook more – It’s no surprise that cooking at home is healthier than eating out. Not only do you have full control wander-mag.com

over what goes into your dish - from the type of fat, to the kind of protein and the amount of salt - but the act of cooking itself often brings pleasure. So, turn up the lights, turn on the music, brew yourself a nice cuppa and get chopping! Ladle out the soup, soup and more soup – One of the healthiest, easiest foods to prepare and consume all winter long is soup. Not only does it warm the soul, it’s also a really great way to get a variety of vegetables, legumes and whole grains into your diet every day. As long as you (mostly) stay away from heavy cheese- or cream-laden varieties, that is. Plan to make at least one big batch of veggie-dense soup every week and use throughout the week for lunches, quick dinners or even healthful snacks mid-day. 26


IMAGES: (TOP L TO R) © NITR, © LUCKY ELEPHANT, © MIKHAIL MALYUGIN, (2ND ROW L TO R) © OILSLO, © YEKO PHOTO STUDIO, (3RD ROW L TO R) © EMATON, © ALMAJE, (BOTTOM L TO R) © IRINA2511, © TELEGINATANIA, © OLGA PINK - FOTOLIA.COM

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5 Healthiest Winter Foods

• Pomegranate • Dark leafy greens • Citrus • Potatoes • Winter squash

5 ImmuneBoosting Foods

• Garlic • Oily fish & almonds • Oatmeal • Chicken Soup • Yogurt

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IMAGE COURTESY OF RHEANNA KISH

WANDER / WINTER 20/ EAT WELL

Lemongrass Chicken Noodle Soup THE SECRET TO THIS FLAVOURFUL TAKE ON TRADITIONAL CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP IS THE QUICK HOMEMADE BROTH. USE CHICKEN THIGHS WITH THE BONES IN FOR THAT RICH MADE-FROM-SCRATCH FLAVOR. FIND THE LONG, THIN, WOODY STALKS OF LEMONGRASS IN THE PRODUCE SECTION OF MOST GROCERY STORES. IF YOU LIKE SPICY, ADD A DRIZZLE OF SRIRACHA OR A SPOONFUL OF CHILI GARLIC SAUCE.

6 bone-in skinless chicken thighs, about 2 lb. 6 cloves garlic 6 slices (about 1/4-inch thick) ginger 3 shallots, halved, plus 1 shallot, thinly sliced 3 stalks lemongrass 2 pkg (7 oz each) fresh udon noodles 1 tbsp coconut oil 8 oz/225 g shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced 1 carrot, chopped 2 tsp packed organic brown sugar 1 tbsp sodium-reduced soy sauce ¼ tsp sea salt 6 oz mini Shanghai bok choy, washed and chopped ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro 1 tbsp lime juice Place chicken, garlic, ginger, halved shallots, lemongrass and 10 cups water in a large soup pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer chicken to bowl. When cool enough to handle, remove chicken from bones, shred and set aside. Strain broth and set aside.

Meanwhile, cook noodles in medium pot of boiling salted water for three minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain well and set aside. In same large soup pot, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Cook sliced shallots, stirring often, until softened, about two minutes. Stir in mushrooms and carrots and cook, stirring, until mushrooms are tender, about two minutes. Add brown sugar, soy sauce and salt and cook, stirring, for one minute. Stir in reserved broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender, about eight minutes. Stir in bok choy and cook for two more minutes. Stir in reserved chicken and cook for another two minutes. Stir in cilantro, lime juice and reserved noodles and heat through. Garnish with additional lime wedges and cilantro, if desired. TIP - For a vegetarian version: Substitute chicken in the broth with 1 pkg (0.5 oz) dried mixed wild mushrooms, or 1 pkg (0.5 oz) dried shiitake mushrooms. Strain and discard with the other vegetables in the broth. Continue with recipe as directed, stirring in 1 pkg (12 oz) medium firm tofu, cubed with the noodles. For a gluten-free version: Substitute cooked rice noodles (of any width) for the udon noodles.

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IMAGE COURTESY OF RHEANNA KISH

WANDER / WINTER 20/ EAT WELL

Fish & Fennel Soup THIS SOUP FEELS UTTERLY DECADENT AND COMPANY-WORTHY, BUT COMES TOGETHER ON A WHIM AND IS BRIMMING WITH HEARTY WINTER VEGETABLES. IF DESIRED, GARNISH WITH ADDITIONAL LEMON WEDGES, CHOPPED DILL AND FRESH CRACKED BLACK PEPPER. SIMPLY OMIT THE CREAM IF DAIRY IS NOT AN OPTION. BUT CRUSTY BREAD ON THE SIDE IS A MUST! SERVES 4

2 tbsp olive oil 1 cup finely diced fennel 2 cloves garlic, grated or pressed ¼ cup dry white wine 6 oz mini yellow-fleshed potatoes, quartered 1/2 small celery root (celeriac), peeled, halved and cut into ¼-inch thick slices 1 parsnip, peeled and cut into ¼-inch thick rounds 1 strip lemon zest ½ tsp salt ¼ tsp pepper 1 bottle (8 oz) clam juice 1 lb./450 g wild-caught haddock fillets, cut into about 1-inch pieces ¼ cup whipping cream, 35% (optional) ¼ cup chopped fresh dill

Heat oil in large soup pot over medium heat. Cook fennel and garlic, stirring occasionally, until fennel is tender, about two minutes. Stir in wine and cook until almost no liquid remains, about three minutes. Stir in potatoes, celery root, parsnip, lemon zest, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for one minute. Add clam juice and four cups water and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender-crisp, about eight minutes. Stir in haddock. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fish flakes easily when tested, about five minutes. Stir in cream and dill.

Rheanna is a chef, recipe developer and writer who's happy to call Clarksburg, ON her home. When not creating in the kitchen, you'll find her chasing (or being chased by) her boys on skis or bikes. Rheanna is one of a team of local food lovers who created South Georgian Bay Community Cookbook. For more information, check out communitycookbook.ca

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F U E L YO U R S TAY

LET’S ADMIT IT - FOOD OPTIONS AT HOTELS HAVEN’T ALWAYS BEEN, WELL, THE BEST PART OF YOUR STAY. HAPPILY, THAT IS FAST-CHANGING, AND WESTIN HOTELS AND RESORTS IS AT THE FOREFRONT OF THIS MOVEMENT. IN ADDITION TO THEIR FOCUS ON RESTORATIVE SLEEP, IN-ROOM FITNESS AND HEAVENLY SPAS, WESTIN BOASTS WELLNESS-FOCUSED DINING, FROM GRAB-AND-GO OPTIONS AND FRESHLY SQUEEZED JUICES TO HEALTHY IN-ROOM MENUS THAT ENSURE YOU’LL STAY HEALTHY ON THE ROAD. TO BETTER UNDERSTAND THE OFFERINGS, WE SPOKE WITH TORONTO WESTIN HARBOUR CASTLE’S HOTEL MANAGER, HARMEET CHUGH. WITH OVER 17 YEARS OF HOSPITALITY EXPERIENCE, INCLUDING INTERNATIONAL WORK ACROSS THREE CONTINENTS, HARMEET HAS BEEN WITH MARRIOTT SINCE 2003, AND MOST RECENTLY, HE WORKED AS A HOTEL MANAGER IN ST. THOMAS AT THE MORNING STAR MARRIOTT BEACH RESORT. HIS BACKGROUND INCLUDES BANQUETING, EVENTS, FRONT OFFICE OPERATIONS AND SALES.

Wander: When and how was Westin's Eat Well menu developed? Harmeet: While the Eat Well menu has been around for almost a decade, over the last

IMAGE: © MARGARET MULLIGAN

two years our local and global operations and brand teams have worked hand in hand to develop a compelling new offering, leveraging research around evolving food and beverage trends while also ensuring we adhere to our traveller’s needs.

At Westin, we believe that feeling good starts with eating well and getting the nourishment that is right for you. We strive to empower choice, crafting a variety of food and beverage offerings to suit individual dietary needs and preferences. We attempt to make responsible decisions about how and where our ingredients are grown and actively seek out suppliers we trust to source ethical, sustainable and organic produce wherever possible. We are passionate about providing options that fuel and energize without compromising flavour, taste or satisfaction.

Are menu items tailored locally, for example, using fresh in-season produce or area suppliers? Harmeet: Yes, one of the core values of the Eat Well brand program is to offer our guests

responsibly sourced options, and we work to incorporate local and sustainably-sourced ingredients into our menu to the best of our ability.

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IMAGE: © THE WESTIN HARBOUR CASTLE

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In Toronto, we are at the mercy of the ever-changing weather. We source our produce and proteins locally, only reaching out to farming operations south of Canada when the seasons change. In 2017, the culinary team at the Westin Harbour Castle also established a garden on our 5th-floor terrace, where we grow seasonal herbs and vegetables in the summer months such as tomatoes, summer squash and mixed greens. We are then able to use the fresh produce for our in-house Chef ’s table, as well as for our restaurants and banquets.

showcases our city’s calm elegance with a 360-degree view and pairs it with a comprehensive wine list.

What about taking food to go? Harmeet: The Harbour Café is the most seamless option for

any guest on-the-go. However, if you have a touch more time to spare, there are options to take anything from The Mizzen and The Chartroom to go as well. Essentially any food sold on-property can be made to go, should our guests and customers desire it.

The Westin Harbour Castle also has a robust urban beekeeping program, which allows us to cultivate our very own local honey. The bees will also fly within a 5km radius of the hotel, pollinating trees, flowers and our own vegetable garden.

We love room service when we’re on the road! What is the Sleep Well menu all about? Harmeet: The Westin understands the importance of a restful

sleep, especially while travelling. The Sleep Well menu was designed with light options to ensure our guests don’t finish their day on an empty stomach, and as the name says, sleep well. Our chefs curated these menu items around sleeping well, which is a key driver of the guest experience. The Westin Sleep Well menu features an array of superfoods handpicked for their sleep-enhancing properties, for example, cow’s milk, nuts, and bananas. We also have a Sleep Well Roasted Turkey Wrap for all of those familiar with the everpopular post-Thanksgiving turkey nap!

What dining options are available at the Westin Harbour Castle? Harmeet: We have a breakfast restaurant open every day, The

Mizzen, which consists of a sprawling buffet with an omelette station, as well as a la carte service. The Chartroom, our lobby lounge and bar, also serves as our lunch, dinner, and late-night restaurant, and In-Room Dining services all meal periods and items from our restaurants, as well as its own overnight offerings that are light but still pack loads of flavour.

Are gluten-free and plant-based options a standard part of the menu offerings?

We also have a lobby coffee shop, The Harbour Café, where anyone can come in and get fresh Starbucks coffee, fresh sandwiches, pastries, and cold-pressed juices from Westin Fresh by The Juicery. Our final not-so-hidden gem is Toula Ristorante, which offers upscale Italian dining on our 38th floor, our top storey. Toula

Harmeet: Of course! We always have plant-based and gluten-free

offerings available, and we work to source even more of a selection of alternatives to coincide with dietary restrictions and sensitivities; all of which ties in heavily to our Eat Well philosophy.

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IMAGE: © 2020 HILTON

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IT (LITERALLY) COULD NOT BE EASIER At select Hilton Hotels, in-room fitness is mere feet away. Every “Five Feet to Fitness” room includes eleven pieces of equipment, like a stationary bicycle, TRX straps, weights and yoga mat, along with 200 guided fitness videos. Rooms also feature a meditation chair, blackout shades, Biofreeze to ease muscle tension, and a selection of protein and hydration beverages. So convenient, you can roll out of bed and into the gym without even brushing your teeth.

TRAVEL FOR WORK?

IMAGE: © SACHA VERHEIJ

A report in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found business travellers have a 92% (!) higher chance of being overweight compared to non-business travellers. The research also said that it only takes two weeks of business travel to gain weight, not surprising when it tends to be about sitting, airport and conference food, and early morning wakeup calls. Our informal poll of people who travel often (at least twice per month) for work and manage to stay healthy said this: drink a ton (stress that, a TON) of water, walk instead of sitting during calls, and get in a sweaty workout, even just for a few minutes, every day. Bonus: wear your running shoes to the airport - you’ll be inspired to move.

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MAKING

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IMAGES: © GIRLS THAT SCUBA

WAV E S


The founder of the world’s largest all-female scuba diving community explains why more women should consider the sport. As the gap between male and female scuba divers' tightens—with 32% of the diving industry now made up of female divers, instructors, photographers, conservationists and even those who catalogue shipwrecks—it has been amazing to see women come together as an ever-expanding community of underwater lovers.

only female member of staff ) on a liveaboard in Micronesia. Now our global community is 700,000-strong, with experienced scuba instructors and full-time ocean activists through to the courageous, the curious and those who have never even put on a scuba mask. We can attribute increasing female interest in scuba to numerous factors. First and foremost, scuba diving is empowering. Not only does diving push you out of your comfort zone (for most of us, it takes a certain amount of courage to face the fear of breathing under the water!),

My passion-project-turned-business, Girls That Scuba, is the world's largest community for women passionate about scuba diving. I started it in 2016 to inspire more women to consider the sport when working as a Divemaster (and the

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but there is still the aspect of breaking through the proverbial 'boys club' mentality. Only recently have brands even started making diving equipment specifically for women, and wetsuits bigger than a size 12. Shocking really when you consider that the average UK female is a size 16. Feeling comfortable with body size and shape is just one of the challenges that women have to face when getting underwater, which is part of the reason I created Girls That Scuba - to offer space for women to come together to discuss obstacles on being a female in a maledominated industry. Another benefit to diving is that it tends to take us to beautiful, sun-kissed corners of the world, where you can find idyllic beaches and islands surrounded by crystal clear waters just begging to be explored. And if you are among the many solo female travellers "wanderlusting" their way around the globe, coming together as part of the diving community is a fantastic way to find like-minded friends to travel with. Scuba diving certainly takes travellers off the beaten path, and over time will influence the types of trips you take. For example, wellness travellers looking for luxury are going to love the diving opportunities in the Maldives, while those newer to the sport might see a dedicated scuba trip wander-mag.com

as a perfect opportunity to learn. Every year, Girls That Scuba runs dive holidays to the Red Sea Jordan, a favourite among newer divers as there is a balance between land and underwater excursions, the sites we dive at are accessible to all levels, and equipment is taken care of, meaning guests can relax and enjoy the ride. More experienced divers will likely take themselves off to Flores, Komodo Island or Raja Ampat – all in the lesser trodden paths of Indonesia - and those with specialist skills will love diving with sharks in Costa Rica or cave diving in the cenotes of Mexico. In short, scuba presents wannabe mermaids with an inspiring lifelong bucket list of incredible destinations that you'll be itching to tick off. Another aspect is the environmental benefit. It's impossible not to want to make a difference once you've experienced the connection scuba diving gives you to the ocean. Being surrounded by marine life has made me, along with many of the other women in our conscious community, make much better daily decisions that support the future of our seas. For example, the awareness of the consequences of singleuse plastic is heightened when you're physically collecting plastic from the water so that it can be recycled or disposed of properly. In fact, it was after seeing the devastating amount of plastic first-hand that I was inspired to create 36


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A Waste Free World, an online shop offering plastic-free alternatives to beauty, baby and bathroom brands to make going plastic-free a little less daunting. What's more, should you take your diving experience to Advanced Open Water level or beyond, then you can further qualifications by booking ecology-focused courses, like Coral Propagation, where you can give back to the ocean by "planting" new reefs, or Megafauna Weeks where you can learn how to support the ecology for gentle giants such as whale sharks and manta rays. Finally, there are also incredible health benefits associated with diving. While you might enjoy the sensation of feeling weightless as you move through the water during a dive, due to the resistance, your muscles work harder than they do out of water. The more you dive and swim, the more your wander-mag.com

muscles lengthen, build strength and develop endurance as well as flexibility. Steady, regular breathing is essential when diving to conserve and optimize your air consumption. This inevitably has a positive impact on your parasympathetic nervous system, reducing heart rate and calming the mind. As mentioned, most dive destinations tend to be warmer parts of the world with it a healthy dose of sunshine - which can only do great things for your body, mind and soul. Whether you're brand new to diving and are in need of advice, looking for fellow females to dive with, hoping to take your skill set from recreational diver to studying the likes of biodiversity, or planning the trip of a lifetime by joining a dedicated diving retreat, I'd encourage you to join women making waves in the industry at Girls That Scuba. 38


Welcome to Los Altos de Eros Boutique Luxury Hotel & Spa 22-acre jungle estate blends gorgeous scenery and ocean views with personalized service and luxurious amenities. Relax and renew in the award-winning spa and enjoy delicious meals with fresh, natural ingredients.

An unforgettable retreat experience in paradise.

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R E T R E AT. B R E AT H E . GIVE BACK. R E P E AT. Yoga Retreats remain top of list for many wellness travellers, but the choices can seem daunting. Recently, we were introduced to a company doing things a little bit differently, by incorporating eco-friendly properties and give-back activities into their retreats. We caught up with Colibri Yoga Retreats owners and yoga teachers Devon Young and Juliette Rossato to learn more about their goal of self-care from the inside out.

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Wander: How did Colibri Yoga Retreats get started?

Why did you choose Hotel Komune Resort?

Juliette: Devon and I have been teaching yoga since 2011. When

Devon: While on the hunt for a retreat centre in Bali, we came across many beautiful properties that would have suited us nicely. But we took the time to find the perfect spot and we know that we found it in Komune. We love being by the ocean, so that was a necessity for our trip. Since we hadn't been to Bali, we had to plan everything online, and Komune looked stunning. What grabbed us was how eco-friendly they are. They're doing everything they can to limit their effect in the area and preserve the local habitat. They provide daily beach clean-ups, grow some of their own food, and are plastic-free. From the moment we arrived, we were blown away by the service and the setting. They completely exceeded our expectations in every way.

You've just returned from Bali where you hosted your "Find Your Bliss" retreat. Was it your first time in Bali?

Tell us about the food and amenities there.

we met in 2013 in LA, we felt like we had been friends forever. We were always taking each other's classes, attending workshops and yoga festivals together, and sharing our goals and wishes for the future. We both had dreamed of leading yoga retreats, and after years of seeing our classes and connections to our students grow, we felt like there was no reason why we shouldn't give it a shot! Our very first retreat was held in 2016 at a lovely little spot in Costa Rica, Indigo Yoga Resort, and it was pure magic! Colibri Yoga Retreats was born, and since then, we've led four more, along with a handful of workshops here in LA. So far it's been a beautiful ride!

Juliette: Amazing doesn't even begin to describe Komune. They have two different restaurants to choose from: The Health Hub and The Beach Club. Both are outstanding! The food is delicious, the drinks are refreshing (from freshly pressed juices and local elixirs to decadent smoothies), and the staff are some of the best we've ever met. By day two, all the servers knew our names by heart! Komune has its own garden where many ingredients are grown for the Health Hub restaurant. With so many fresh, local ingredients, you can imagine just how healthy the food is. We had breakfast in the Health Hub every morning and dinner at the Beach Club, which, unlike the Health Hub, is open to the public and a more lively scene. There you can get heartier meals like burgers, curries and noodles, along with beer, wine and cocktails.

Devon: Yes! I know we're a little late to the game with teaching

yoga in Bali, but now we understand what everyone's been talking about! We knew that we would fall in love with the place, but we could never have imagined how much. Arriving there felt like coming home, and now we are dreaming of going back. Since returning, the most common question has been, "What was your favourite part?" and while my answer will always be "our retreat," it's the people of Bali that make it such a beautiful and special place. I have never met more genuinely happy, gracious people, and I think our culture could take a lesson from how people are living there. 43

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Komune has two pools, one near the Health Hub, tucked under jungle palms, which is for adults only, and the other one is right on the beach where you can watch the surfers catch some of the best waves in Bali. If you stay in one of the Beachfront Suites, you'll even have your own private pool attached to your room! The Komune spa has some of the best treatments in the area, such as facials, scrubs and massages. They also have two gyms! The indoor gym is fully equipped with state-of-the-art machines and props, and the outdoor Muscle Beach gym is a fitness playground! Komune has everything covered down to the smallest detail. The toiletries and creams in the rooms are of the highest quality and don't come in plastic bottles. You also won't want to miss out on shopping in the onsite boutique. From super-cute beachwear to handmade jewelry and organic sunscreen, they have a lot of charming and useful items.

Do you find you are being asked for more environmentally conscious options with the retreats? Devon: As people are becoming more aware of travelling

mindfully, they are looking for ways to travel without leaving a huge footprint. This is a big selling point for our retreats, and people always respond well to it. We only book resorts that are doing their part environmentally, because we want to feel that we are leaving a place better than we found it. That means using as

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little plastic as possible, using non-toxic sunscreen and bug spray, and doing at least one day of volunteer work.

Tell us about the volunteer beach clean-up - how did you decide on this activity to give back, and how did it go? Devon: We always want to give back to the community that we're visiting, whether that means volunteering at a local school, donating supplies and clothing, or giving money. Komune informed us that there weren't any opportunities to volunteer nearby, so we asked them if we could organize a beach clean-up. They have staff cleaning the beach around the hotel daily, but they suggested we could try walking a little further and see what we found. Honestly, I thought we would be mostly hanging out and chatting, maybe picking up a couple of straws here or there, but in 30 minutes, we had filled up seven giant trash bags. It was a real eyeopener for us. You could tell that most of the plastic was coming from the sea, lining up where the tide had come in. There were lots of little bits of plastic, medical supplies, styrofoam, and plastic bottles. It made us very sad and a little hopeless, but I thought, "If we can inspire one person to clean the beach tomorrow, and then they inspire another, it could make a difference." Sure enough, when we got back to the hotel, another guest asked us where we 44


We always want to give back to the community that we're visiting, whether that means volunteering at a local school, donating supplies and clothing, or giving money.

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got the trash bags and said she was going to do a clean-up herself. It goes to show that even the smallest effort can amount to something!

After Lauren's makeover was complete, she looked in the mirror and started to cry. She felt so pretty and confident, and the photos turned out fantastic! Our groups always become great friends, but we would never have imagined everyone coming together like that. This story touched us, and it goes to show how important it is to support each other and how doing something nice for a friend can mean so much.

Surprising thing that happened during the retreat? Or the most surprising thing about Bali? Juliette: We had a really talented group this time around! We

hired one of our close friends, Kirsten Moore, to capture some of the special moments during the retreat. Not only did she get great shots of us doing yoga and of all the fun that was had, but she also offered personal photoshoots for anyone who wanted one.

Where to next?! Juliette: Next July, we will be heading to Sayulita, Mexico to retreat at one of the top ten yoga resorts in the world, Haramara Retreat. We held a retreat there last year and fell in love with the place, so we had to go back. Plus, it's the most eco-friendly resort we've worked with, considering they don't even have electricity in the rooms! We are also working on dates for our next trip back to Bali. Secret tip: We might add a local retreat here in California sometime in the spring!

One of our students, Lauren, wanted to have headshots taken for her LinkedIn and her online dating profile. Several other students heard about it and offered to help out. Patrick Santa Ana, a makeup artist and hairstylist, and Peti Lau, a designer, did her hair, makeup and wardrobe, and others came for moral support.

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IMAGE: © BANGARAN HOTSPRINGS

R O M A N T I C R E T R E AT S F O R H E A LT H - C O N C I O U S COUPLES


IMAGE: © MAALIFUSHI BY COMO

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Looking for a couples’ escape that offers more than just a fly and flop vacation? We went to Health and Fitness Travel, specialists in wellness vacations worldwide, for their best wellness-giving getaways to help you rediscover romance while focusing on your health and well-being. From an active couples’ retreat in sun-soaked Thailand to an unforgettable pampering experience amongst exciting wildlife in South Africa, fill your love bubble with blissful harmony at one of these perfect-for-two wellness retreats.

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BEST FOR SPA & ROMANCE, THAILAND: AMATARA CONNECT

IMAGES: Š AMATARA

For couples looking for a romantic escape, this luxury destination spa boasts sweeping views across the Andaman Sea on the paradise island of Phuket in Thailand. Focusing on strengthening your connection through a series of healing arts and activities, take part in a workshop where you will learn to massage each other and use touch to increase your bond. Tune in to each other during shared cooking classes, fitness sessions and additional spa treatments with a Thai and Ayurvedic influence to enliven the body and return home a healthier and happier couple.

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BEST FOR SPORTS & FITNESS, THAILAND: THANYAPURA

IMAGES: © THANYAPURA

If you’re an active duo, banish the boredom of too many lazy beach days for a sports and fitness vacation on the idyllic Thai island of Phuket. With world-class aquatic, tennis and triathlon facilities, you and your loved one can train like athletes. Boasting some of the world’s top sports and fitness coaches, reach your health and fitness goals together with expert sports performance training. Keep active with cardio tennis and TRX suspension training before reviving with an expert sports massage or a dip in the 50m Olympic swimming pool.

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BEST FOR MINDFULNESS & RELAXATION, MALAYSIA: THE BANJARAN HOTSPRINGS RETREAT

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IMAGES: Š BANGARAN HOTSPRINGS

Secluded and luxurious, The Banjaran Hotspring is a true sanctuary of wellness for couples looking for a tranquil escape. Find yourself in awe of your surroundings with towering limestone hills and lush forests bordering the retreat. Whatever health and fitness pursuits you may have, The Banjaran has you covered. Join a morning yoga class on a wooden deck by the geothermally heated pool before springing into action on a jungle boot camp session. Unwind with a variety of holistic treatments, combining Traditional Chinese medicine, Malay Ramuan and Ayurveda, and indulge in a delectable healthy fare that will satisfy all taste buds.

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BEST FOR HIGH-END WELLNESS ADVENTURES, NEW ZEALAND: ARO HA

IMAGES: © ARO HA

For newlyweds who can’t get enough of the great outdoors, reconnect with nature during an adventurous couples’ retreat in New Zealand. Embrace this stunning setting as you embark on breath-taking sub-alpine hikes to world heritage sites, practice yoga overlooking the beautiful Lake Wakatipu and support each other during TRX strength training in incredible eco-friendly studios. Take the time to unwind during daily meditation sessions and therapeutic massages before enjoying nutritious and delicious organic cuisine, harvested from the onsite gardens.

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BEST FOR BACK-TO-NATURE LUXURY, SRI LANKA: SANTANI RE-BALANCING BLISS

IMAGES: Š SANTANI

For the ultimate in luxury romance, treat yourselves to an unforgettable wellness spa experience along the verdant hills of Sri Lanka. Indulge with soul-lifting treatments for a transformative reboot and build internal strength with a range of activities to boost fitness levels and enhance physical endurance. Reconnect with each other and reach a new level of consciousness for a truly bespoke wellness experience. Recalibrate from head-to-toe with group yoga, guided hikes and a calming dip in the salt-water pools for the ultimate couple’s getaway.

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BEST FOR WATERSPORTS, MALDIVES: COMO MAALIFUSHI

IMAGES: Š MAALIFUSHI BY COMO

Fall in love with the Maldives even more on the luxury wellness paradise of COMO Maalifushi. This boutique resort is an aquatic wonderland suitable for couples wanting to take part in water sports activities like snorkelling, scuba diving and surfing. Back at the retreat, indulge in revitalizing holistic spa treatments from their signature COMO Shambhala massage to purifying facial treatments. All meals are included for the ultimate healthy vacation to relax and rejuvenate your body, mind and soul.

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BEST FOR ALL-INCLUSIVE CELEBRATIONS, SOUTH AFRICA: KARKLOOF SAFARI SPA

IMAGES: Š KARKLOOF

The couple that travels together, stays together – right? Well, this year, up your travel game with a long-haul spa break to Karkloof Safari Spa in South Africa. A one-of-a-kind romantic oasis awaits you, with an added adventurous element of astonishing wildlife surrounding the resort. Relax together at the award-winning spa and indulge in a wide range of exotic spa treatments from uplifting grapefruit facials to black pepper scrubs. After a fruitful cleanse, discover the jewels of the African jungle with a fascinating Safari game drive, for memories that will last a lifetime.

Health and Fitness Travel is a global luxury wellness travel company that originated in the UK in 2010 and is committed to providing healthy vacations that enhance and change lives. Health and Fitness Travel offers clients a tailor-made seamless service with the very best health and fitness vacations, handpicked by its expert team, together with exclusive and addedvalue packages with the best deals. As leading specialists, Health and Fitness Travel have also created their own healthy vacation collections in various destinations, which include Fusion Fitness and Discover Recover, offering clients the best value experience. For advice, guidance and booking, visit healthandfitnesstravel.com.au. wander-mag.com

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Safety Community Education Nature Integration

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A WA N D E R E S S E N T I A L S P R I Z E PAC K !

HEAD ON OVER TO WANDER-MAG TO ENTER. GOOD LUCK! wander-mag.com

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T R AV E L E S S E N T I A L S

Being deprived of natural light can mean mood changes, low energy and trouble sleeping. If winter’s got you down, try HappyLight’s Lumi light therapy lamp to safely bring daylight indoors with a fullspectrum, UV-free light that mimics sunlight. Delivering the recommended 10,000 lux, adjust the brightness to your liking while HappyLight works its magic.

$49.95 | Shop verilux.com

Change your life by changing how you look at your week and day. The first planner to focus on self-care every day, Savor’s 90-day organizer has a simple, 5-step weekly and daily plan to organize your beautiful chaos, feel more productive and creative, and practice holistic, high-vibrational living for balance and success.

$29.95 | Shop savorlifeplanner.com

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Technical performance and a timeless look with a dose of Northwest style: Outdoor Research’s rugged and comfortable Feedback Flannel shirt is sure to become a cold weather favourite, no matter what your weekend itinerary looks like. Top it off with the Lodgeside Beanie for its 360-degree warmth and easy-on-the-eyes cable knit style. Breathable, wicking, and windproof, it’s built to perform well outside comfort zones.

$85.00 (Flannel), $49.00 (Beanie) Shop outdoorresearch.com

Eckhart Tolle’s timeless teachings have opened hearts and changed lives with the message that the key to happiness is consciously accepting the present. In this journal, excerpts from The Power of Now feature on every spread with space to write or draw what each invokes for you in that moment. A wonderful reinforcement for seasoned fans.

$12.83 | Shop amazon.com

Gown

Tunic

Wrap

The perfect piece for travelling light, Encircled’s sustainablymade Chrysalis Cardi can be styled 8+ ways, transforming from a cozy cardigan to a glamorous gown to a classic infinity scarf. The secret lies in the metal snaps hidden along the hem that hold the styles together, so you look like you’re wearing a dress - not a scarf tied into one.

$168 | Shop encircled.ca

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Did you know that the fashion industry in North America sends 9.5 million tons of clothing to the landfill each year? While most manufacturers discard their fabric waste, Certified B Corp. Encircled takes a novel approach by upcycling it into items like their Renew Leg Warmer. With its seam-free foot and ultra-long length, these are perfect for cozy days at home, yoga class, or as an extra layer under boots.

$58 | Shop encircled.ca 60


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Move over matcha; there’s a new superfood in town. Real Source is leading the shift to sustainable, nutritious, plant-based foods with water lentils - a rapidly growing aquatic plant. Their vegan, organic, non-GMO and pesticidefree Water Lentil Superfood is high in Vitamin A, B Vitamins, iron, calcium, an excellent source of antioxidants, and plant protein with a complete amino acid profile. Plus, water lentils are a prebiotic and source of dietary fibre, which can promote weight loss and regularity in digestion.

The Adaptogens & Greens blends combine their water lentil superfood with functional organic superfood and probiotics to help strengthen your immune system, support digestion, and provide natural energy. Just one scoop of any blend contains a full serving of greens. Could this be the plant of the future?

From $24.99 | Shop realsourcefoods.com

Hands down, apples are one of the healthiest foods, rich in antioxidants, fibre and vitamin C. And when they’re fermented into Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV), apples produce acetic acid, which can aid in digestion and weight loss. With the world’s first ACV gummy from Goli Nutrition, you can now take ACV anywhere - and taste the apple, not the vinegar.

From $19.00 | Shop goli.com (use promo code WANDER10 to save 10%)

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With a mission to fuel health and vitality by providing history’s healthiest nutrients to the modern world, Ancient Nutrition’s Multi Collagen Proteins, Bone Broth Proteins and Keto supplements marry the wisdom that has survived generations with current research (and tick the boxes for Paleo, Keto, Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Nut Free diets).

From $49.99 | Shop ancientnutrition.ca

Quick: what is the world’s largest tree fruit? It’s jackfruit, and Upton’s Naturals kickstarted this foodie phenomenon as the perfect plantbased alternative to pulled chicken or pork. Their vegan, heat-and-serve jackfruit is amazing for sandwiches, wraps and salads, and available in natural Bar-B-Que, Thai Curry, and unseasoned Original flavours.

$5.69 | Shop vegansupply.ca

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A sand-free beach towel? You heard right. Tesalate is an innovative towel from Australia made with AbsorbLite fabric that is perfect for beach days, yoga, picnics...any outdoor activity. Apart from repelling sand, it dries fast and is super compact and light, perfect for travel. And the designs are gorgeous.

From $59 | Shop tesalate.com

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SUBSCRIPTION BOX ESSENTIALS

re

a f-C Sel

A lotus is a flower that blooms from the mud. It symbolizes overcoming adversity and achieving your greatest potential. Each Loti Wellness Box delivers tools and strategies to cope with life's challenges, reduce stress and improve overall well-being, thoughtfully curated by practicing therapists to nurture your mental and emotional health, build more self-confidence and inspire your “me-time” routine. Monthly themes focus on topics like reducing anxiety, improving sleep, and boosting positive mindsets with wellness products like natural bath and body, skincare, candles, and aromatherapy. They support local and small businesses whenever possible and are committed to sourcing cruelty-free and sustainable products.

$54.95/box | Shop lotiwellness.com

rit

Spi

If you enjoy simple pleasures like frolicking in nature, checking your astrology forecast, practicing yoga, charging your crystals and petting kittens, then you're going to feel like this monthly box was curated for you by a true soul sister. Each Goddess Provisions box contains tools to connect with the divine feminine, nourish your inner goddess and grow your spiritual practice through wellness and self-care rituals, with full size items like aromatherapy, apothecary beauty, superfood snacks, teas, crystals, and books. Always cruelty-free and vegan, and featuring beautiful artwork, for every box sold they plant a tree with Trees.org.

$33.00/box | Shop goddessprovisions.com Also from Goddess Provisions, the colourful Sacred Self-Care Rituals Oracle Deck features 55 beautiful cards that invite you to ask: What do I need to feel centred and balanced today? How can I connect with my body's intuition?

$24.99 | Shop amazon.com

ss ine p p Ha It has been said that “Happiness is a journey, not a destination.” The creators of Therabox believe that everyone can enjoy this journey called life without having to wait for the next promotion / relationship / accomplishment. Neuroplasticity—the brain’s ability to continually reorganize itself by forming new neural connections—literally allows you to create a happier life through your actions and thoughts. To this end, each curated box includes one happiness activity inspired by neuroscience and positive psychology research in addition to full-sized wellness self-care and relaxation “ingredients” to boost joy and keep those happy neurons firing for a more positive life.

$34.99/box | Shop mytherabox.com

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READING ESSENTIALS

Eight weeks after giving birth to her second child, Keisha Blair’s husband passed away suddenly at the age of 34 from a rare illness. She then had the arduous task of dealing not only with overwhelming grief but also immediate lifestyle and career decisions. A Harvard-educated public policy expert and economist, Keisha found herself in survival mode, desperately trying to keep herself and her two children afloat as she embarked on a journey of self-discovery.

In The Business Casual Yogi: Take Charge of Your Body, Mind, and Career (Mandala Publishing), a successful California technology entrepreneur turned executive coach and a renowned Himalayan yoga master with a Ph.D. outline a practical approach to attaining greater happiness and balance both in and out of the workplace (without needing prior yoga experience). Filled with physical and mental exercises, personalized guides for diet and lifestyle, and tools such as mindfulness, Ayurvedic analysis, meditation and breathing exercises, Vish Chatterji and Yogrishi Vishvketu guide the reader through a framework based on yogic wisdom for well-being in a world of rapidly intensifying complexity and pace.

In her book, Holistic Wealth: 32 Life Lessons to Help You Find Purpose, Prosperity, and Happiness (Catalyst Books), Keisha draws on the fields of philosophy, psychology, economics, neuroscience, and religion to present a novel strategy for finding balance, success and prosperity in key aspects of life, from financial stability to physical health to emotional connections with others.

Finally making the practice and philosophy of yoga accessible to the modern professional, this is a must-read for anyone interested in merging their spiritual values with the business world.

Insightful and uplifting, this playbook will have you thinking deeply about what you hold dear.

$17.99 | Shop mandalaearth.com

$14.95 | Shop amazon.com

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A N C I E N T R E N E WA L F E W O T H E R W O R L D LY L A N D S C A P E S H AV E A WAY O F E M B E D D I N G T H E M S E LV E S I N T O T H E S O U L A S KANGAROO ISLAND. OFTEN CALLED T H E G A L A PAG O S O F AU ST R A L I A , THIS SANCTUARY PROMISES TO BECKON YOU BACK TO A SIMPLER TIME. CONNECTING WITH THE LAND AND SEA, SAMPLING A LITTLE MODERN BUSH MEDICINE AND C O M M U N I N G W I T H C R E AT U R E S FOUND NOWHERE ELSE ON EARTH M A K E S F O R R E J U V E N AT I O N T H AT ’ S W E L L W O R T H T H E J O U R N E Y.

SHANNON MELNYK

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This story was submitted shortly before the Australian bush fires ravaged several regions of Southern Australia. Although Kangaroo Island has also been affected, we’ve chosen to publish this story in an expression of Wander Magazine’s true spirit: we celebrate the essence of wellness through travel and its impact on the mind, body and soul. We are all connected. Members of the Kangaroo Island community who spoke with us for this story are resolute in their determination to rebuild. The beauty and fundamental heart of this much-revered “Galapagos of Australia” is intact and the very sharing of their home with you will be essential to their recovery.

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A sensory feast permeates the present moment that seems to be aching for a pause button. High upon a cliff on a most magical perch sits an eco-wonder that pays homage to its Aboriginal roots while celebrating the contemporary sculptural limestone and glass architecture that effortlessly commands the sweeping panorama of Australia’s Southern Ocean. The Southern Spa is an oasis within the Southern Ocean Lodge, largely celebrated as one of the most spectacular retreats in the world. The intimate sanctuary on Kangaroo Island entices one to unspoiled beaches, lush bush and of course, as the island’s namesake suggests, marsupials everywhere. Kangaroos, goannas, and bottlenose dolphins dance like no one’s watching as spa guests are beckoned to a transformative experience. Expansive views stretching toward the Antarctic make for restorative company as the healing rituals begin. The practice of Li’Tya, in indigenous culture, meaning ‘of the earth’, leads signature treatments that transport guests to ancient times. Sustainably wild-harvested local botanicals serve as potent antioxidants to purify, nourish and harmonize the body. Wild Rosella, quandong, cherry alder and Kakadu plum meet cleansing earth ochres and detoxifying desert salts to serve as potent earthly infusions used in Aboriginal medicines for 60,000 years and now here, in the uber-luxe Southern Ocean Lodge. 68


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I am welcomed with a foot bath ritual and traditional smoke ceremony to cleanse the space, offer purification, and ground me into the now. I embrace a journey of native aromas for the signature Kodo treatment. Considered a melodic dance for the mind, body and spirit, it’s a rhythmic body massage inspired by Aboriginal techniques that work to balance and realign energy flow. Incorporated in this treatment is also the use of finely carved wood paddles that is said to draw negative energy up and away from the spine. I am sinking into myself.

medicinal and spiritual properties of indigenous plants and healing applications. In conjunction with Li’Tya’s commitment to authentic practices is it’s “tread lightly” approach - ensuring minimal and recyclable packaging and no artificial ingredients or animal testing. High up top of this Southern Australian cliff, it’s the end of my treatment, but the beginning of my journey to experience one of Li’Tya’s founding principles, “Aildt”. It’s an Aboriginal philosophy that we are all connected as part of one creative force. Aildt is our universal soul, our vitality; all our thoughts, words, actions and objects imparting their own vibration to form creation. I am ready to connect with the rawness of Kangaroo Island, Australia’s remote treasure and third largest island.

The creation of the Li’Tya spa line evolved over its founder’s endeavour to adapt cutting-edge spa techniques to Aboriginal philosophies, healing techniques and ancestral botanical knowledge. Li’Tya was developed with over 20 years of research into the diversity, qualities and therapeutic applications of Australian plants, seeds, clays, salts and fruits. From its inception, Indigenous elders were consulted on historical knowledge and practices right up to today, where the line maintains an Aboriginal Advisory Board. Elder Anne Warren of the Ya’idtmidtung people is Chair of the Board and Director of Training, drawing from a lifetime of study and research into both the

It was 10,000 years ago that this stretch of eucalyptus forests and pristine coastlines separated from the mainland due to rising sea levels after the last glacial era. Today, more than one-third of Kangaroo Island is a conservation sanctuary or national park. That translates into a wellness trekker’s dream covering terrain that’s a harmonious collection of vast landscapes. 69

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I feel humbled by the idea that Aboriginal people have traversed these lands in prehistoric times. Back then, the island was said to have been called “Karta”, Island of the Dead. The name hails from the Indigenous Dreamtime lore of Ngurunderi, who crossed the island, rising to become a star in the Milky Way. It is said the spirits of the dead follow Ngurunderi’s path there before arriving in the afterlife.

the Arch are a virtual playpen for seal pups and not far from the equally playful bottlenose dolphins. As renewal comes with ritual, discovery and play – it’s also abundant in my connection with the island’s critters. Should I will echidnas, ospreys and black swans to magically appear? Or approach sightings not as one would with the big five on an African Safari, but rather be at peace with what decides to reveal itself? The ancient “Aildt” way of being, has in the end, graced me with staring contests with kangaroos and wallabies, dancing dolphins at the wake of my boat, and unimpressed New Zealand fur seals lounging about at Seal Bay. Just as I resolve that I will never see most of these species ever again, at my journey’s end a koala, ravaged by unseasonable heat of days past, runs in front of me to cross the road and climbs a eucalyptus tree. He’s unbothered by my curiosity and I’m enveloped by nature’s delicate balance and the gift that is connection. The past is the present, and the present is the past – an ancient Aboriginal lesson I’ll pack with me wherever I go.

If this island is abundant with spirits, it’s an apt place to make peace with my own. It’s easy to strip everything down to my bare presence here, as I’m awed by the Gaudi-esque black mica and feldspar granite formations covered by a sunrise orange lichen – natural sculptures that the locals call Remarkable Rocks. I feel child-like freedom as I crawl and play on what looks like a giant Dr. Seuss set with the crashing coast below. Not far is Admirals Arch, equally unusual and beguiling. Thousands of years of erosion formed a rock bridge with dramatic stalactites that dangle from the ceiling of this rocky former cave. It’s a photographer’s paradise, but I try to just take it in. The rock pools underneath

From spa marathons in the South Pacific to leopard-lurking in the Sabi Sands, Vancouver-based journalist Shannon Melnyk seeks to share experiences with her readers that challenge convention, inspire curiosity, induce joy and soothe the soul. Check out her adventures at shannonmelnyk.com.

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A B R E AT H O F FRESH AIR FOR THE S O L O T R AV E L E R AT

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THIS ALL-INCLUSIVE WELLNESS R E S O R T O F F E R S A FA N TA S T I C A R R AY OF HIKES, FITNESS CLASSES AND L O C A L LY - I N S P I R E D A C T I V I T I E S B U T, ABOVE ALL ELSE, IT PROVIDES A TERRIFIC EXPERIENCE FOR SOLO T R AV E L L E R S W H O A R E L O O K I N G TO S H E D T H E I R C O R P O R AT E A R M O U R A N D JUST UNWIND. As I sat myself down at the community table at Canyon Breeze restaurant, the round of introductions was already underway. “I’m Karen* from DC. I’m an attorney with the Department of Justice.” “I’m Jodie from Boston and I’m also an attorney.” “Hello, my name is Susan. I’m from New York and work as a District Attorney.” “Hello,” I said, “my name is Lynn, I’m from Toronto, Canada, and–you guessed it–I am also a lawyer!”

Along with the four of us female attorneys travelling solo at Red Mountain, the acclaimed wellness resort located in Ivins, Utah (pop. 6,800), I would also meet two other lawyers and one judge, also women. We would reconvene at various times throughout the week: during our daily morning hikes through the glorious southwestern region of Utah and myriad fitness classes; at an intuitive astrology session; or by the outdoor pool for an aqua-fit class. 73

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After a few days of our reasonably-paced schedules (the options are plentiful, but we’re advised not to pack in too many activities), we begin to unwind and shed our corporate armour.

mysterious, our present-day problems seem wholly insignificant in comparison. Meanwhile, back on the property, the relaxing atmosphere of the Sagestone Spa lounge, with its floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing the vibrant red rocks surrounding the property that is set against a cobalt blue sky, is where guests hang out prior to sampling some of the nature-inspired treatments, such as the Soothing Agave Ritual, or, for those who overdid it on the trails, the therapeutic Hiker’s Massage.

For this week, at least, we are not going to be the meticulous perfectionists that our jobs demand of us. Instead, we let loose during the “Drums Alive” cardio class and we even sleep-in on occasion. By mid-week, we jokingly refer to our group as the “Type A” 12-step recovery program. Clearly, we had all come here seeking some form of relief. This was not my first visit to the property and it turned out that a number of others were Red Mountain alumni as well. I began to wonder what it was about this resort that made it such an attractive place for corporate types, particularly, women travelling solo. I’ve been on many wellness vacations but of all the fabulous places I’ve had the pleasure of visiting, I seem to gravitate back to Red Mountain more than any other place. Why was this?

The selection of yoga classes–Yoga in Snow Canyon, Candlelit Yoga and the Posture and Alignment Class–provide a panacea for us “desk jockeys.” There is a wide selection of activities that promote self-improvement, ranging from pottery to cooking to Shamanic Energy Healing, many of which incorporate local elements of the region. One of my personal favourite activities is the Pound Puppy Hike, a gentle walk that pairs guests with dogs from a local animal shelter. The experience provides a healthy dose of TLC for humans and dogs alike.

I could point to the resort’s calling card: the daily guided hikes that explore different canyons and terrain, each trail so vast and so majestic, they don’t even look real. (Indeed, some of the rock formations look like they are right out of the Flintstones). The petroglyph hike, especially, where guests closely examine etchings in the slots of Snow Canyon State Park that date back tens of thousands of years, documenting the life stories of the area’s earliest inhabitants. The backstories are so rich and

Another draw is the fact that everything you need is contained within the resort, and the property is relatively easy to navigate. Apart from the dining room service at dinnertime, breakfast and lunch are served buffet style. The food is tasty and healthy, if not strictly calorie- or portion-controlled, and there are plenty of options for those with dietary preferences or restrictions. 75

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YOUR TURN ESSENTIAL ADVENTURE AND WELLNESS RETREAT PACKAGES TYPICALLY RANGE FROM 3-7 NIGHTS AND START AT $345 USD PER PERSON, PER NIGHT. ALL VACATIONS INCLUDE ACCOMMODATIONS, DAILY GUIDED HIKES, BIKE RENTALS, THREE HEALTHY MEALS DAILY, FITNESS CLASSES, COOKING DEMONSTRATIONS, HEALTHY LIVING CLASSES AND EVENTS, PERSONAL DISCOVERY ACTIVITIES, AND WI-FI. EXPLORE PACKAGES AND BOOK YOUR GETAWAY AT REDMOUNTAINRESORT.COM.

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This easy access to activities and amenities provides a simplicity that is a necessary component for a wellness vacation. Goodness knows I don’t need to seek out fancy restaurants, pulsing city nightlife or other distractions when I’m looking to get away. The last thing I want to do is replicate the non-stop go hustle of city life.

productions during warmer months and is affectionately known as “Broadway in the Desert.” On the last day of my stay, I saw District Attorney Susan wander around the property’s Labyrinth circle where many guests go to meditate. I’m sure I could have stopped and had a pleasant chat with her, but I sensed she just needed some time by herself to reflect. And so did I. That is the cool thing about Red Mountain. One can be alone but never feel lonely.

That said, for those who do want to explore a little, I would recommend a half-day trip to Kayenta, a nearby community where you can find small art galleries and other local artisans; and Tuacahn Theatre, which features live theatre and music

Lynn was a guest at Red Mountain in May 2019. Accommodations were subsidized and photos were provided by Red Mountain Resort. Names and other personal details have been changed. 77

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BAREFOOT BAHAMIAN LUXURY

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“A N Y T H I N G YO U WA N T, A N Y T H I N G AT A L L , YO U J U S T L E T M E K N O W, ” SAID MY BUTLER (BUTLER!) AFTER S H O W I N G M E A R O U N D M Y H O M E AWAY FROM HOME. I A M I N T H E B A H A M A S - G R E AT E X U M A TO B E P R E C I S E - AT T H E S A N DA L S E M E R A L D B AY G O L F, T E N N I S A N D S PA R E S O R T. J U S T A S H O R T F L I G H T F R O M M I A M I , O V E R I M P O S S I B LY B R I L L I A N T, T U R Q U O I S E WAT E R S S P OT T E D W I T H ISLANDS AND SANDBARS, THE TROPICAL RESORT SITS ON ONE MILE O F P O W D E R Y, W H I T E - S A N D B E A C H W I T H PA N O R A M I C V I E WS O F T H E C A R I B B E A N WAT E R S F R O M E V E R Y ANGLE.

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All of its guest rooms and suites are directly on the beach or just a short walk away, and it’s truly unlimited, anytime, all-inclusive luxury with a no-tipping policy. The staff are warm and friendly, the sand is so soft, and it’s all so quintessential island paradise I find myself humming “Kokomo” more

My suite was tastefully decorated, with a king-sized bed, breakfast table, and large bathroom with double sinks, soaker tub, and walk-in shower stocked with Red Lane Spa product. The mini-fridge provided water and cold beverages (plus the Pinot Grigio my butler kept it stocked with, bless him).

The butlers are there to ensure your every whim and wish is met... breakfast in bed? No problem. Suitcase unpacked? Check. Towels and a reserved beach cabana for two? Done. Afternoon cocktails on the veranda? Ask, and it is done. (And often, forget to ask, and it is done).

Sliding glass doors lead to a private beachfront terrace with loungers, hammock and table for two, with gorgeous views of the coastline. I brought along my mat and did yoga every morning to the sounds of crashing surf, before enjoying the coffee and fruit set out for me at sunrise.

The resort itself boasts eleven on-site restaurants, with both buffet and a la carte menu options ranging from classic Italian to romantic French to Caribbean jerk barbeque, plus incredible Indian food, sushi and a cafe for coffee and sweets.

A word on the butler service: charming. The attention to detail was flattering, and 24-hour room service is just extraordinary. wander-mag.com

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than once during my stay.


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Cocktails, wine and beer are always available also, whether during meals or at any of the six on-site bars.

Their full menu of Caribbean-inspired skincare and bodywork services use signature botanicals and aromatherapy elements for luxurious experiences that refresh and soothe body and mind alike. And it’s not only women and couples who frequent the spa here. Spa and Fitness Manager Timeka Johnson explained that since Sandals is very popular for destination weddings, anniversaries and special occasions, they welcome a lot of bridal parties, mother-and-daughter duos, and men who opt for haircuts, facials and manicures.

For swimming and sunbathing, there are three freshwater pools, including the Caribbean’s largest zero-entry pool with central fire pit for cozying up at dusk. This pool can get noisy come midafternoon (swim-up bar!) so if that’s not your thing, head to the quiet pool or the beach cabanas for some chiller vibes.

RED LAND SPA

My Himalayan salt stone massage was heavenly and soothed achy flight muscles with tropical scents and a full body massage with warmed salt stones. On my next visit, I’ll try the 90-minute Raindrop Dreams massage, where a series of seven essential oils are dropped along your spine, followed by a hypnotic, full-body and foot massage. Oh, and the Sweet Coffee exfoliating body scrub too (I was enticed with a tantalizing sample).

A getaway to Sandals Emerald Bay would not be complete without at least one visit to its award-winning spa. A peaceful oasis, you will be warmly welcomed to its 16,000-square-foot facility, boasting a beauty salon and 17 relaxing treatment rooms, some intimately designed for couples.

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The spa also offers a small boutique so before you go, be sure to pick up some of Red Lane’s signature items to take home - I highly recommend the Teatree Aloe Recovery Gel, which came in very handy after falling asleep in the sun one afternoon.

divemasters and, if you’d like to be, they offer a PADI certification program on-site (complete the 8-hour classroom portion online before you arrive).

ISLAND ROUTES

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On top of the spa’s treatment rooms, it’s here you’ll find a yoga and Pilates studio and fitness centre, which offers up cardio machines, free weights, high-energy group classes and personal training services. Come early for your treatment to take advantage of the spa’s steam room, and stay afterwards to relax in its secluded, tranquil gardens with plunge pools for a soothing escape. If golf is your vibe, the 18-hole, Greg Norman-designed course boasts six stunning oceanfront holes where you catch the ocean spray, while pros are on-hand to perfect your swing on the six Har-Tru tennis courts. (Hint: there is a 2.6-mile jogging trail wrapping the golf course, but I suggest you get your run in first thing before the golf carts fire up). On the beach, paddleboards, kayaks, and windsurfers are all free to use with sign-up (and calm seas), and the clear Emerald Bay waters are amazing for snorkelling (gear provided). If you’re a certified diver, you can dive every day with knowledgeable

If in the Bahamas, you will most definitely want to explore the Bahamas. With a kiosk at the resort, Island Routes offers luxury adventure tours from a few hours to a full day. I joined the Exuma Swimming Pigs Adventure, where we boarded a 35-foot PowerCat to zip in and around cays and uninhabited (or celebrity-habited) islands, stopping to snorkel, beach comb, and meet the area’s infamous swimming pigs. “Pigs” is a bit of a misnomer, as these creatures are enormous, boar-like, with jutting tusks, snatching carrots from our hands with barely a breath. But, adorable in their own way, like the stingrays gliding over our feet, or the iguana we met a short time later, who went wild for the grapes we rolled to them. The stunning beauty of Exuma cannot be overstated, though I ran out of adjectives just taking in the turquoise seas, shallow waters, and marine creatures. Before the adventure was over, we stopped on a sandbar (of Pirates of the Caribbean fame) and enjoyed cold beers while floating around on pool noodles - absolute bliss.

Secluded, romantic, peaceful...Sandals Emerald Bay is the ultimate island getaway. Get there fast and then take it slow. wander-mag.com

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YOUR TURN CONNECT WITH SANDALS AT SANDALS.COM OR @SANDALSRESORTS. FOR BOOKINGS, CONTACT YOUR LOCAL TRAVEL AGENT OR

IMAGES: COURTESY SANDALS RESORTS, © KRISTINA SMITH

CALL 1-800-SANDALS.

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AY U R V E D I C E D E N I N T H E C AT S K I L L S THE QUIETER THE WORLD GETS AROUND US, THE GREATER WE BEGIN TO REALIZE HOW LOUD OUR INSIDE WORLD IS. SEEKING A MARGIN OF INNER PEACE REQUIRED A TRIP TO THE CATSKILLS AND A TOUCH OF AYURVEDIC HEAL-

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ING TO REDISCOVER A HEALTHIER,

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You know you’ve uncovered something magical when you return back home from your trip and your husband says, “You look radiant.”

I had heard of the Catskills in New York, and how beautiful it was to escape city life and retreat into nature. I actually grew up in New England - Connecticut, to be precise. But for some reason, in all of my thirty-six years of life, I had never visited west of New York City in the state.

The lobby took my breath, being massive in size when entered. In its centre, a long, glass-framed fireplace magnetically drew my eye, followed by my hands that needed some warming from the crisp, fall air. A quick sniff, and that natural smell of zen a place like YO1 embodies immediately took my stress level from a high eight to a cool four.

Tired, drained, and fairly worn-looking after a business trip to Colorado, the experience to YO1 Wellness in the Catskills was the ideal trip I needed to restore, recoup and fill my own cup of selflove and inner balance.

Shortly after, my team of health advisors took action to assess my personal health concerns, making the most of my visit. “Are you vegan?” 95% plant-based, yes.

YO1 Wellness is the kind of place you visit, and once you get there, you ask yourself, “How did I not know this place existed before?” It has that undiscovered feeling that you want to tell all of your friends about. Yet, at the same time, you want to keep it secluded and to yourself too.

“What are your health goals?” Hmm…sleep better, and less anxiety? “Will you be fasting?” No, thank you. I spent too many years on the anorexic fast to consider this. Personal choices and self-awareness. Oh, and do you have coffee?

It’s not your typical retreat, that offers yoga, gives you a massage, feeds you green juice in the morning and calls it a healthy vacation. You do get to do all of that, however, at YO1 Wellness, you also experience and learn something about yourself, and take home insight that a beach, book, or single yoga class just couldn’t offer.

They do. It’s not encouraged to drink coffee, but there’s an understanding of balance and flexibility.

I honestly think I visited YO1 Wellness at the best time of the year in early October. Getting to see the fall foliage on the drive through New York state was a treat for this jaded Miamian. Through the mountains, the windy roads, and spacious landscapes, I arrived at the quiet, peaceful entrance of this 1300acre Ayurvedic paradise.

Finding out my Dosha composition and balance (or lack thereof) was next, and was fascinating to uncover. Mainly Pitta (the fire and water sign), with the presence of all three Doshas, making me equally weird, and special at the same time.

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All of this information helped to create my personalized wellness agenda for the following days of my stay. A blend of mud and hydrotherapies, healing massages, acupuncture, yoga classes, juices from the juice bar (which are optional), and morning Kriyas for cleansing.

Mornings overlooking the view from the lake through the large windows of room #607 was a meditation in itself. Seeing the stillness of the waters and the rustle of the trees, I was quickly reminded that life didn’t have to move so fast. Nature grows on its own time schedule, nothing is, or can be, rushed, and it turns out perfect each and every time.

Kriyas are purification techniques, a tradition in Ayurvedic medicine that clears out the nose and eyes using oil or water. Optional, but offered every morning at 6:30 am in the specific Kriya room.

In reflection, after my visit, I observed that we don’t usually take this kind of time for us. Time to be in nature, experience a touch of silence, and seek to learn, working on healthier versions of ourselves. We all need more of that, to hit the pause, learn, and then move - redirected - forward.

The following days during my stay at YO1 were jam-packed, much like my life back at home or when I’m travelling. The difference is, instead of a Skype call, writing a hotel blog review, editing a new travel video, or an hour of email replies, I was allotted a full-body mud bath with Jan, a four-step hydrotherapy session with Mel, and Deep Tissue Massage with neck specialist, PJ.

I regretfully checked-out two days later and gave my thanks and said my “See you soons” to the wellness team, knowing I would be returning. The stay felt far too short, but my heart left grateful to have experienced this Eden of Ayurvedic medicine.

Not a bad upgrade in my jam-packed life.

In the weeks after leaving YO1 Wellness, back to my regular routine of content creation, coaching and travelling, I, of course, had my stressful moments. When I needed it most, I closed my eyes and visualized that peaceful view overlooking the lake from room #607, embodied that warmth of homemade soups, and the healing hands of their therapists.

For meals, we collectively sat in a large dining hall with individual service. I’m a picky eater, so I was a bit concerned about what they would have for me at their noon lunches and evening dinners. Just like the wellness agenda was personalized, the chefs at YO1 had no problem accommodating, offering double orders of steamed vegetables and soups. (Of which I would have had a triple order if I didn’t feel ashamed to ask. The soups were truly that good.)

True peace is learned, and comes from within.

As a leader and entrepreneur in the Travel Wellness sector, Sara Quiriconi takes wellness, travel and creativity to another level. Basing her empowering content and message on her previous struggles with mental health issues, addictions and overcoming cancer, Sara's Live Free Warrior approach is real, authentic and retable for any Wellness Warrior. Connect with Sara at saraquiriconi.com and on Instagram @livefreewarrior.

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LONDON CALLING A WEEKEND OF WELLNESS IN SOHO & SEVEN DIALS

AMELIA PAVLIK

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Nestled into a cozy armchair, sipping a glass of bubbly, I was in the midst of the massage portion of my pedicure at the Cowshed Spa just off of Carnaby Street. And I was in self-care heaven.

The visit to Cowshed Spa was just one of the spots on my itinerary for a weekend of wellness that centred around London’s Soho and Seven Dials areas. In recent years, these neighbourhoods have become hot spots for the latest beauty treatments, healthy food options, and fitness concepts. Read on for my must-includes the next time London is calling to you.

SOHO Ride to the rhythm at SoulCycle. Start day one off strong with an indoor cycling class at the UK’s first outpost of the American indoor cycling phenomenon, SoulCycle. Arrive early enough to order your post-class smoothie and rent your reusable water bottle. Then, head downstairs to the studio for SoulCycle’s signature 45-minute workout. It the best of both worlds - one of my favourite workouts from the States with a British accent cheering me along. Brilliant! Refuel at Farm Girl. Just a short shuffle away from SoulCycle on Carnaby Street, you’ll find Farm Girl. This is the flagship location wander-mag.com

of the spot that’s known for its smoothies and bowls, so I decided to order the River Bowl, which was a colourful blend of flaked salmon, toasted tamari seeds, and various veggies. Since the rain was holding off, I enjoyed my bowl on the patio. But, when the damp stuff inevitably started to fall, I slipped inside to a table and ordered a blue Butterfly Matcha latte to sip until it stopped. Treat your feet at Cowshed Spa. On the opposite end of Carnaby, I found Cowshed, a brand that describes this location of the UK spa staple as being a “little piece of country heaven in the center of London.” Cowshed offers a full menu of treatments ranging 90


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from massages to manicures. But, given the amount of walking that was included in my schedule, I opted to treat my feet with a 60-minute pedicure. The earlier description pretty much sums up the experience. From the comfy chair to the skilled paint job that resulted in sleek, burgundy-shaded toenails, my time here truly was a little slice of self-care heaven.

sandwiches, scones, and slightly sweet treats like berries and a chia seed pudding arrived. (I typically find all of the goodies that come with afternoon tea to be too sweet, so this was an ideal option for me.) And BTW, before I left the hotel, I also checked out its Soholistic Spa, which is a whimsically chic spot (complete with a steam room and one of the most calming relaxation rooms I’ve visited) that recently opened a nail bar. Although I’d just had a pedicure, I made a mental note to return for a treatment in the future.

Tantalize the taste buds with a healthy tea. When in London, afternoon tea is a must. And I was intrigued when I learned that Soho’s Ham Yard Hotel offers healthy tea options ranging from vegan to reduced sugar. After ordering my pot of tea, the tray of tea 91

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SEVEN DIALS

Say “Om” at Another_Space. Day two kicked off with a peaceful, but challenging, hot yoga flow at Another_Space. (The workout spot in Seven Dials also offers cycling and HIIT class options.) After putting in an order for my post-class smoothie (I love that both studios offered this option), I headed down to the studio where my mat and yoga block were already set up. For the next 60 minutes, our teacher guided us through an all-level flow that included some arm balances and inversions and ended with a Shavasana that started the day off right. Put your best face forward at Caudalie. Since I’d pampered my feet, I decided to visit the Caudalie boutique spa for some facial love. The neat thing is that this brand’s products are inspired by grape seeds and the antioxidants found in them. And given my love for drinking wine, I was intrigued.

IMAGES: TOP © AMELIA PAVLIK, BOTTOM © HOTEL BLOOMSBURY

First, I was offered a consultation to determine which products should be used during my 50-minute treatment. Then, I was escorted to my treatment room downstairs where my esthetician applied various potions and lotions from Caudalie’s Vine[Activ] line (which is meant to protect against the hazards of city life). It was exactly what my skin needed before the next day’s flight back across the pond. Finish the day with bites and sips at Tredwells. As I enjoyed my glass of red wine and looked out at the rain falling on Upper St Martin's Lane from my second-floor seat, I had a feeling that Tredwells was the perfect spot to finish out my last night in London. Every bit of food that followed proved that I was right. The menu changes seasonally, and during my fall visit, I sampled tastes like duck confit ravioli, heirloom tomatoes, Scottish sea trout, and truffled macaroni and cheese. Beautiful food and drink make me happy. (That is, I don’t want to live a life without butter, cheese, pasta, and wine.) And happiness is key to my wellness strategy. So, to me, this indulgence was the perfect end to a fit and well day. Where to Stay Location is everything. That’s the lesson my godmother taught me decades ago when it comes to choosing a hotel. This is why The Bloomsbury Hotel has become a go-to for me when visiting London. It’s a chic, yet historic, hotel that offers wellness options such as The Juicery fresh juice and smoothie program and a well-appointed gym. But, it’s also centrally located between both Seven Dials and Soho, so all of the spots I’ve described are a 15-minute or less walk away.

Amelia Pavlik is a freelance journalist based in Atlanta, GA. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia and has written for publications including Fitness Magazine, American Fitness Magazine, ShermansTravel.com, The Atlantan, and American Spa. Amelia is also the creator of the Fit & Well Atlanta Belle brand and website, which features her thoughts on all things upscale wellness in Atlanta and beyond. Find her online at fitbelle.com. 93

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IMAGES: © REBECCA SLAUGHTER

WANDER / WINTER 20 / TRAVEL WELL

M E E T : W E N DY YAT E S "Carry a water bottle, drink from it, smile and be kind. Have patience, let the adventure begin the moment you decide to go somewhere."

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Obsessed with fitness, travel and creating “Lifestyle Design for Living Well” Wendy Yates is an entrepreneur dedicated to positively influencing the well being of others via environmental and social projects. As the founder of Abigail-Elise Design Studio and Well Fit Human Retreats (wellfithuman.com), she is deeply committed to personal growth and having a positive influence on others via social and environmental projects. Her goals to do good, be fit, feel joyous, experience the world, create opportunity and dance a little hip-hop along the way are both inspiring and the foundation of the Well Fit Human wellness and humanitarian retreats. 94


WANDER / WINTER 20 / TRAVEL WELL

Wander: What does the perfect Sunday look like to you?

Best wellness or travel tip? Carry a water bottle, drink from it, smile and be kind. Have patience, let the adventure begin the moment you decide to go somewhere.

Wendy: Waking up early, setting my intentions, hitting the gym or taking a summer hike. Lunch on a deck or near the water, followed by brainstorming the afternoon away with goal setting, designing, creating for the week, podcasting and learning.

What excites you about your company/influence? Everything! But mostly the idea of sharing an authentic human connection, adding lifelong value from the experience our guests will have with us and the impact they will create amongst the people in the places they visit.

Zany (or strange!) travel experience you can share? Thankfully all my travel experiences have been pretty planned except for the occasional flight cancellations and extended airport stays. Anything else I would consider part of the adventure!

What do you want your legacy to be? That I wasted not one second, made a collection of impactful decisions that made life better for others in both small and large ways.

We’re having a potluck dinner. What do you bring? Vegan seven-layer dip or bruschetta.

Go-to comfort at the end of the day?

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Chardonnay and hanging out in the kitchen with the fam, playing the latest in hip-hop tracks.

Upcoming Events Beautiful Belize: May 3-8, 2020 Carry on in Croatia: October 4-9, 2020

Wander: What’s in your carry on? Computers, headphones, scarf, notebook, pen, water bottle, eye cream, glasses. 95

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From the publishers of North America’s largest wellness travel magazine comes a new publication that celebrates one of the most beautiful regions of Canada. Welcome to Wander Southern Georgian Bay, a curated look at the best places and pursuits for a thriving, healthy life.

Available through select partners

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April 2020

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Wander Wellness Travel Magazine Winter 2020