As a wellness and travel journalist in Brooklyn, Annie Daly got tired of the version of health Americans are often sold: one centered on jumping head first into the latest diet and workout trends, taking prescription medications, and purchasing expensive products. Destination Wellness documents her investigation into how other parts of the world define health. It documents her travels to Jamaican farms, Nordic hiking trails, luxurious Japanese baths, and India’s Ayurvedic spas in search of the secrets to a long, happy, balanced life.
These travel narrations are seamless about incorporating historical information for each location. They include interviews regarding locals’ wellness philosophies and scientific research, too, to illustrate what people do for their health in various parts of the world. The storytelling is sometimes bogged down by trip details, but always comes back to actionable lessons gleaned from each trip. Chapters end with lists of actions that anyone can take to implement each location’s wellness routines, wherever they are.
Concise, relatable, and entertaining, the text includes vibrant characterizations of those whom Daly met along her way. It also sprinkles in fun facts that will speak to science nerds and history buffs alike. Much of the knowledge it imparts is common sense, but made more interesting because of the stories of how people acquired their knowledge, and how they implement it.
In a world where what’s common sense is often overlooked in favor of elaborate wellness rituals, it’s helpful to have books like Destination Wellness to remind us what really works: connections to community and nature, in a nutshell. It will inspire action—getting down to the beach; texting family more often—which is more than most books can take credit for.
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