Greetings from Ljubljana, Slovenia!
I spent a lovely couple of days here in Slovenia and in Croatia this week, meeting with local cruise operators and gastronomical experts in preparation for some new W&A programming for the region...lots of good ideas moving ahead there.
And speaking of good ideas and moving, I wanted to take a few minutes this week to share a bit of the thinking behind our newest trip category that we'll be launching next week, via our webinar for W&A Active Wellness: Austrian Alps (webinar link in your newsletter).
As the name obviously implies, our Active Wellness programs will indeed be trips that feature both an active and a wellness component, in addition to the culture and cuisine aspects you'll find on all of our trips. It's a slightly different fractal of the W&A experience and one inspired by conversations with our members.
You see, in most other areas of the travel industry, 'active' and 'wellness' are two distinct categories for two distinct types travellers of travellers, and some might argue fusing them together creates confusion for both and is good for neither.
We took that into consideration...and ultimately decided to do it anyway, based on the distinct type of travellers we have in this community.
We've been spending more time than ever the past few months reviewing our New Member Questionnaires and asking our members what kinds of things they'd like to see more of from W&A, and one of the most stark insights that's come out of it is that, in a sense, we don't have very many 'types' of travellers.
Instead, we have a collection of people who seem to be very curious about almost everything and resist being categorized at all...sounds indeed like a bunch of travellers 🙂
What we found is the W&A traveller is open to many things and that exclusively-focused (only wellness, or active, or foodie, etc) trips don't speak to the broadness of interests that traveller has in the places they visit.
The term dilettante comes to mind, not in the disparaging sense but in its original meaning of one who loves and dabbles in a wide spectrum of fine arts or fields of knowledge. We are here to explore and expand, leisurely and without limitation!
So, while I love that on a personal level, professionally it creates a challenge - creating the perfectly balanced program that maintains the level of depth the W&A traveller desires without losing itself and becoming nothing to anyone.
A compelling argument for putting Active and Wellness together for Wheel & Anchor was the coincidental life principal of balance behind both staying active and staying healthy.
That the two in practice are almost opposite polarities, of moving and stopping, is even better. Where one finds balance between polarities, one finds harmony, perhaps the ultimate principal of them all, and another important one for us as travellers in a group together.
So what it all means on a practical level is we'll do active activities, followed by wellness activities; exertion to relaxation, movement to rest.
The difficulty level won't be as high as exclusively 'active' programs tend to get pulled towards, and the wellness component won't involve as little movement as an exclusively wellness programs tend to involve.
We'll further balance those with cultural excursions and culinary explorations. I'd call the overall approach extremely balanced but that might be an oxymoron...regardless that's the goal and I think it's a good one.
Anyhow, that's a lot of words about the category with almost nothing said about the (spectacular) destination, but for that you can join me in the week ahead when I present the webinar for our Austrian Alps program, or look out for the itinerary in next week's newsletter.
I'll sign off here as I've got to run to return a rental car and fly off to London. Lots to come in the weeks ahead, and do get in touch with any comments or questions.