Incredible Wellness Destinations: Alex Wieteska Of Roam & Thrive On Why & How Traveling Can Help Us Heal

Incredible Wellness Destinations: Alex Wieteska Of Roam & Thrive On Why & How Traveling Can Help Us Heal

Engaging with locals and local cultures. It’s this that makes travel meaningful. I once spent 6 weeks in the Himalayan foothills in Nepal volunteering at a local school. I added value to the community and in turn this enriched my travel experience and also my cultural understanding. I experienced a side of Nepal that not everyone sees and I made local friends for life.

The pandemic has shaped the way we travel and live, with a growing trend leaning towards health, wellness, and a holistic lifestyle. More than ever, individuals are seeking not just getaways, but immersive wellness retreats that help rejuvenate the body, mind, and soul. Destinations that provide a serene environment, unique wellness offerings, and an unparalleled experience are in great demand. In this interview series, we are talking to property owners and hospitality companies who are at the helm of these wellness havens. As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Alex Wieteska.

Alex Wieteska is a full-time travel writer and freelance travel journalist in the wellness travel industry. She has visited 50+ countries and lived in 4 long term. She’s renowned for her ability to discover the world’s most coveted destinations, healthiest eateries, unique accommodations and retreats. Her curated, wellness-focused travel guides and articles are read by thousands of people daily, whom she inspires to travel the world slowly, more healthily and live more consciously.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

Iwas born and raised in London, UK and ever since I can remember, I was always passionate about travel and also wellness. Wellness was a big part of my life growing up and I loved discovering new ways to live more fully. This also began to transfer to my love of travel and naturally I was always drawn to destinations that made wellness travel possible. It wasn’t always easy back then.

Since then I’ve definitely prioritized spending longer periods of time in those destinations but I’ve also enjoyed learning about other culture’s notions of wellness and what this means. I love exploring destinations that don’t always spring to mind when thinking about wellness travel and discovering the hidden gems they have to offer.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

I don’t think I have anyone as such but it was just the idea of travel as a whole. I would spend hours in bookstores in London, in the travel section, or with my nose buried in issues of National Geographic, uncovering culturally rich places around the world.

I was inspired by them and wanted to visit them. My love of wellness and uncovering ways to live healthier naturally meant that I was already looking for and uncovering the healthier options when I traveled. The rest is history.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

I’d definitely had a bit of encouragement from editors along the way, but it was really a college professor that encouraged me to take writing more seriously. She shared with me not just the mechanics of good writing but the soul of it — how to connect with readers on a level that goes beyond the surface, touching on the universal quest for health, peace, and fulfillment.

I know that all writing nowadays isn’t about the soul of it but thinking of words as a vessel of connection with people helps a lot when looking for inspiration.

It has been said that sometimes our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or takeaway did you learn from that?

On an assignment in Italy, aiming to capture the essence of local cuisine, I was chosen to volunteer to help make a traditional pizza in a bustling kitchen. I’m not normally a fan of doing these things because I’m pretty introverted but they didn’t take no for an answer. I managed to flip the pizza right onto the floor, in full view of the chefs and everyone else in the group. The room fell silent, then erupted into good-natured laughter.

This mistake taught me the value of humility and the importance of laughing at myself. It reminded me that perfection isn’t necessary to make meaningful connections or create memorable experiences. I’m often quite serious so this was a nice reminder. From then on, I approached my travels and work with a lighter heart.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

‘Invest in yourself’. I think this is so simple it’s sometimes overlooked. I used to be pretty frugal with myself so learning to spend on myself, both financially and spiritually is one of the best things I learned how to do. When not investing in the skills that you need for what you want to do it ends up taking twice as long.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

Right now I’m working on a brand new story about Puglia, Italy and the wellness travel options available there beyond the usual spas. It’s a story that digs a little deeper into the Italian lifestyle and how its traditional roots naturally make it a destination of slow living and travel.

I’m also working on a huge project surrounding curated and insider travel in Mexico. A big chunk of that is also about wellness travel in Mexico. It’s still in the works so I can’t share more.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview about wellness destinations. Let’s dive deeper into these together. Based on your research or personal experience, why do you think travel can lead to better wellness? Can you share a story?

Travel, in its essence, offers a unique path to wellness, acting as a catalyst for physical, mental, and emotional rejuvenation. It pushes individuals out of their comfort zones, promoting growth and self-discovery. It provides a medium to learn something new or to retreat and work on yourself.

This transformative potential of travel is rooted in its ability to expose individuals to new environments, cultures, and experiences, fostering a deeper connection with oneself and the world around them.

There are so many ways to travel today that can be conducive to wellness and it’s all so subjective. I’ve been on so many different wellness journeys, yoga retreats and each of them have been so beneficial to my overall wellness in a different way.

Do you think travel enhances our mindfulness, optimism, or sense of gratitude? How? Can you please explain with an example or story?

Yes, but I think you need to be conscious of those things, have that mindfulness and conscious mindset- it doesn’t just happen subconsciously very easily. Travel can pull us out of our routine, compelling us to be present and immerse ourselves in new experiences, thus fostering mindfulness.

This heightened awareness of the moment and our surroundings can lead to a more optimistic outlook, as we encounter diverse ways of life and perspectives that broaden our understanding of the world.

Travel can instill a deep sense of gratitude for both the wonders we witness and the comforts of home we often take for granted.

What are your “5 Habits You Should Develop In Order Make Travel Into An Opportunity For Wellness & Personal Growth?”

1 . Engaging with locals and local cultures. It’s this that makes travel meaningful. I once spent 6 weeks in the Himalayan foothills in Nepal volunteering at a local school. I added value to the community and in turn this enriched my travel experience and also my cultural understanding. I experienced a side of Nepal that not everyone sees and I made local friends for life.

2 . Practice Mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness is a transformative travel habit because it deepens the connection between the traveler and their surroundings, enhancing the overall experience. Beginning each day of your travels with a mindfulness practice, such as meditation or a quiet walk can really enhance how you see your surroundings. On most of my trips and life in general I start my morning with a 5–10 minute mindfulness meditation session and I can’t imagine my life without it. It’s really helped me to notice and appreciate the small things.

3 . Seek Out Nature. Nature has a way of enhancing and strengthening our relationship with the earth and our destination. It also helps to find moments of stillness and relaxation. During a trip to Chile once, I made sure to hike in different landscapes, from coastal walks to forest trails. These experiences grounded me, reminded me of the planet’s vast beauty and diversity, allowed me to see various parts of the country and reinforced the importance of environmental stewardship.

4 . Keep a Journal. Documenting experiences, thoughts, and feelings in a journal can deepen your reflections and growth. It can also be a lovely reminder of the places you traveled too later in life. While traveling through Western China and Mongolia, I journaled throughout my entire trip. This habit helped me process my experiences more deeply, turning fleeting moments into lasting insights. Not only that, it’s a reminder of the places I visited some 10 years down the road.

5 . Stay Open to New Experiences. Traveling with an open mind is crucial and the more you’re open to new experiences and lessons, the more personal growth can be found in a certain experience.

Based on your experience, where do you see the future of wellness travel heading in the next 5–10 years?

Based on current trends and my observations, the future of wellness travel will see significant evolution, reflecting broader societal shifts towards health, sustainability, and authenticity. I think we’ll see a lot more Integration of Technology and Nature and new technology in general.

I think sustainable and regenerative travel will grow even more than today and wellness journeys will be heavily tied to sustainability.

I think we’ll see much more wellness travel devoted to mental wellness in particular. Retreats that focus on mental wellbeing and spaces where people can learn more about mental health in general. I think we’ll also see a lot more in terms of personalized wellness journeys. Because wellness is just so subjective I think there will be a much broader range of travel experiences and journeys on offer.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them :-)

Having a private breakfast or lunch with the Dalai Lama would be a profoundly enlightening experience, given his deep insights into human compassion, mindfulness, and the pursuit of happiness.

Also, I wouldn’t say no to a lunch with Dr. Deepak Chopra. His integration of science and spirituality offers groundbreaking perspectives on human health, consciousness, and the potential for personal transformation. Talking to him would be fascinating.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

I write mostly at Roam & Thrive ( a curated travel site focusing on slow, conscious and wellness travel.

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent on this. We wish you continued success.

About the Interviewer: Wanda Malhotra is a wellness entrepreneur, lifestyle journalist, and the CEO of Crunchy Mama Box, a mission-driven platform promoting conscious living. CMB empowers individuals with educational resources and vetted products to help them make informed choices. Passionate about social causes like environmental preservation and animal welfare, Wanda writes about clean beauty, wellness, nutrition, social impact and sustainability, simplifying wellness with curated resources. Join Wanda and the Crunchy Mama Box community in embracing a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle at

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