Healthy Travel with Em Esselmont and Wellbeing Worldwide
What do you do when you have a passion for exploring the faraway ends of the earth, a career in the Allied Health industry, an engrained healthy lifestyle and whole lot of vision and ambition?
You create an interactive, online database to help travellers stay healthy, of course!
This is precisely what Em Esselmont has done with Wellbeing Worldwide. In her words, she’s created “your trusted healthy travel companion”.
Wellbeing Worldwide is the go-to resource for worldwide travellers to stay healthy and fit while travelling. Find health retreats, health food cafes, gyms, outdoor exercise businesses, wholefoods markets and yoga/pilates studios based on your location (or intended destination) in the world!
For example, if I’m going to be travelling to New York City and want to find a gym to go to while I’m there, plus some healthy cafes to eat at, I’d enter my location as New York then select the two categories I’m looking for. 20 results appear for Gyms/Fitness Centres in NYC!
I’ve also found some new places to try in MY LOCAL AREA! Making Wellbeing Worldwide a great tool for exploring your own, local, health scene further.
Wellbeing Worldwide has been a great resource to help me in planning my PB Lifestyles Active Retreats.
The website works by health and wellness businesses (cafes, wholefoods markets, health food stores, gyms, retreats, yoga studios etc.) submitting themselves to be listed on the site. Then, as long as they meet the health & wellbeing criteria, the listing will be approved! Em has also started an Instagram and Facebook page for the website.
SO IF YOU KNOW a great health and wellness business that you think should be listed on Wellbeing Worldwide then make sure you direct them to the website so they can submit their business to be listed and help worldly travellers stay healthy!
But what inspired a 26-year-old physiotherapist to create such an insightful resource? I caught up with Em over a gorgeous coconut chai latte at Henley’s Wholefoods in Sydney to find out.
Growing up in Bowral (NSW, Australia) and attending boarding school in Sydney from age 11, Em was an avid team sportswoman. Her specialty sport was Hockey where she represented NSW several times.
As many other sportspeople can relate to – Em was frequently injured and found much of the help to get her back on the field came from her beloved Physiotherapist. She was amazed at how he could help her play again, inspiring her love of the human body. This coupled with Em’s love of sport and her knowledge that she always wanted to work with like-minded, motivated sportspeople, lead her to undertake a degree in Physiotherapy herself. The field in which she now works with many different sporting teams.
During her studies, Em went on a Mexican adventure with some friends and fell in love with travel, in particular Central and South America. The realization of just how much of the world, it’s people and its culture was still undiscovered for her, instilled Em’s passion for travel.
After returning from Mexico, Em went through a health reset of her own. Playing so much sport growing up, she was certainly physically fit and active but never really paid much attention to what she ate, thinking that by avoiding the soft drinks and ice cream most of the time was enough.
Em joined a bootcamp program with a friend in 2012 with the attitude that it was just something to change up her exercise routine – she was reluctant to try the nutrition side of the program. But after some coaxing from the friend, Em gave it a go and found that after changing her nutrition, she had more energy, was sleeping better and even lost 5kg! This “redefined her perspective on health” she says. Changing the way she ate, where she shopped for food and made her more mindful about her food choices.
Last year, Em returned to Central America with her partner of 10 years, Nick. The health-conscious couple was frustrated by how difficult it was to find healthy food and gyms while travelling and it got Em thinking: “Imagine how convenient it would be if there was one central database that told you where to find these places? Gyms, fitness centres, healthy cafes, yoga studios, health food markets, health retreats?”
This holiday resulted in 2 amazing events:
- Em’s engagement to Nick (he romantically proposed to Em in Costa Rica), congrats Em! AND
- The birth of the Wellbeing Worldwide concept.
Em says “I think I was mid way through trekking the back streets of a Mexican town looking for a gym that I decided I needed to make the website!”
Launched only in early 2015, Wellbeing Worldwide has grown to over 1300 health and wellness business listings in just 6 months! Em’s goal is to increase that to 2000 by Christmas 2015. And at the rate she’s going I have no doubt she’ll hit that goal straight out of the park!
Again if you know a great health and wellness business that you think should be listed on Wellbeing Worldwide then make sure you direct them to the website so they can submit their business to be listed and help worldly travellers stay healthy!