Meet our guest: Camille Hoheb, Editor and Founder of Wellness Travel Journal. She’s helping others take back their health by reporting on wellness travel trends and empowering us to spend more time relaxing and enjoying the simpler side of life! Read on to learn more – and hear her own healing story…
What Does Vacation Mean To You?
A vacation, to me, is about recharging my batteries -– that means not checking emails, not taking work calls, not scheduling meetings and not working!
Sometimes vacations are with family and other times not. I view vacations as a personal investment; travel gives an expanded perspective on the world and a better understanding of oneself.
How Do Vacations Heal Us?
That’s a great question. My company conducted research several years ago on the importance of vacation taking. We polled the American vacationing public and found a number of interesting findings…
1. Happier, Healthier, More Productive
Consumers reported that taking a vacation made them feel happier, healthier and more productive.
2. Life Changing Experiences
Respondents reported they made life-changing decisions while on vacation. It makes sense that time-away from daily commitments facilitates conversations and time to think that often doesn’t happen otherwise.
[Check out this handy link to my infographics which shows the top decisions made on vacation, eating healthy on the road and other great information.]
3. Less Depression and More Happiness
The University of Pittsburgh’s Mind Body Center surveyed roughly 1,400 people. The results discovered that leisure activities – including vacations – contributed to more positive emotions and less depression.
4. Healthy Weight
The results from the Mind Body Center survey also showed a correlation between vacationing and not only lower blood pressure but also smaller waistlines.
5. Disease Prevention
There are many studies showing the positive affects of taking a vacation from better cardiovascular health to better mental health.
If you haven’t heard of the Framingham Heart Study, it was the largest and longest-running research study on cardiovascular disease. This study showed men who skipped their vacations for a number of years had a higher rate of heart attacks compared to men who took their vacations. Women who didn’t take a vacation in six years or less were eight times more likely to develop coronary heart disease or have a heart attack compared to women who vacationed at least twice a year. Pretty compelling!
6. Less Stress
The American Psychological Association reported that vacations reduce stress by taking people out of the environments and away from activities that are sources of stress. Another study in Canada looked at nearly 1,000 attorneys who reported – no surprise – that vacations alleviated work-related stress.
How Can We Vacation Without Money Stress?
Vacations are for everyone to enjoy. There are so many options – visit a friend, stay with family, go camping, save-up, tap into the sharing economy (airbnb, couchsurfing) – be creative!
Sometimes workplace wellness programs offer incentives including gift cards and vacation travel – check with your employer.
How Have You Taken Back Your Health?
Oh I really don’t like to talk publicly about my health issues but I will here because I think this is the right forum to help others.
A decade ago I suffered several consecutive back injuries that caused permanent nerve damage, reduced range of motion, sleep issues, physical pain and weight gain.
Because of all of these symptoms and the fact that I could no longer enjoy many of the activities that I loved, there was a period of time where I felt frustrated, angry and sad.
The permanent change in lifestyle took me a number of years to accept, adjust and embrace.
As far as physical healing, my advice is – you are your best advocate. Speak up for yourself, never give up, don’t be afraid to ask and ask again. I was willing to try nearly every type of therapy and I wasn’t afraid to change doctors.
Being proactive is empowering and that in itself is healing.
Where Was Your Most Healing Vacation?
I’ve been fortunate to experience a lifetime of great vacations. There are wonderful childhood memories of family vacations at Cape Cod where we spent hours riding ocean waves, relaxing at freshwater ponds, enjoying home made meals and simply enjoying each other’s company through shared family activities.
I just took a vacation last week to visit my 88-year old mother and visit with other family on the East Coast. It’s the simple things in life that mean so much.
As far as health vacations – I’ve traveled all over the world and there are so many wonderful wellness destinations. I have a special fondness for Kurotel Longevity Center in the south of Brazil since it was really one of my first wellness vacations that was for an extended period of time. Started by a doctor and his wife 40 years ago, Kurotel is a family owned and operated boutique property with three daughters who champion vitality and well-being.
More recently I stayed a week at the new WellFit Malibu, (formerly the Biggest Loser) and had a great time, especially since they allowed me to bring my dog, Sunshine. Read about my blog about healthy travel experiences and traveling well at Wellness Travel Journal.
Do You Have Any Packing Essentials?
That’s a great question. I pack my own healthy snacks both for the plane and during the stay and like to have extra plastic bags and containers in case I want to bring some items back. (I have hand-carried baklava from Turkey, bread from Germany, cookies from Peru and killer German goodies from my neighborhood bakery here in LA) Food is love and I enjoy sharing the food culture with family and friends.
One of my best health tools is a heavy-duty stretch strap and I like to consistently track activity with a Fitbit.
I actually bring “essentials” for comfort, functionality and happiness. Photos and a favorite book of quotes, a versatile wrap and super, light-weight cloth bag that doubles as handbag or carry-all, along comfy shoes and clothes that layer multi-task.
Follow Camille and her travels…
I hope you enjoyed meeting Camille and hearing her story!
Keep taking back your health,