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Letter from Liz: A Personal Intro and Thoughts on the Art of Well-being

by Liz Vaccariello

Our new editorial leader has a few words of introduction, and what you can expect from the next iteration of Organic Spa Media:

To say I’m aligned with the mission of Organic Spa magazine is an understatement. Yoga, meditation, forest bathing, strength training, I do it all. I care deeply about where my food, moisturizer and bedsheets come from. I’ve wellness retreated, gratitude journaled and been poked and prodded by more therapists, exercise physiologists and spa estheticians than I can count in my never-ending pursuit of self-care, self-actualization and optimal health. I have a bad case of wanderlust that having twins didn’t temper (fun fact: If you’re in Zambia on safari in April, the easter bunny will find you). And when I travel, I am not a box checker, despite the fact that my husband, a professional photographer, and I have been to (and written about) dozens of destinations on most of the continents. I am never more in the moment than when I am a thousand miles away. I want to learn, to lose myself, to be transformed in some way. Then I try to bring a renewed, better me home.

Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Liz Vaccariello, the editorial director at large for Organic Spa Media, joining the team as it resets, reimagines if you will, how best to inspire its loyal, loving audience of people interested in wellness living, natural beauty and travel. Organic Spa magazine will continue to be your most go-to source for luxurious and healthy travel inspiration, the newest and most interesting treatments and experiences, and the most effective and wellness-conscious beauty and lifestyle products. I hope to add more voices and storytelling (why did the writer think treatment was so much different than the same somewhere else?), and more science (what is actually happening to our hearts and our bodies when we strike that pose, inhale that aroma, or enjoy that dish whose ingredients come straight from the farm?). And we’re doubling down on what Bev and I call our “Slow Media Mandate.” That means experiences, events, ebooks and monthly emails like this one. In October, look for the lush, thick bookazine, aptly called The Art of Well-Being, the team is working on as we speak. It's meant to be savored, kept, referred to throughout the season. (Sign up HERE for the first issue: The Art of Wellness).

One of my favorite affirmations is: "I trust the timing of my life. Everything I want comes to me exactly when I need it.” In February, when Organic Spa Media Founder and CEO Beverly Maloney-Fischback tapped me on the shoulder, we were in the audience of an information-packed summit in New York City hosted by the Global Wellness Institute (GWI). I'd just stepped down from recent roles as editor in chief of Real Simple, Parents, People (and Prevention and Fitness before those) and wanted to write and research two specific subjects—transformative travel and advances in well-being.

At the summit, I was learning about the scope of—and science behind—the $4.5 trillion global wellness economy. Our industry is coming for the loneliness epidemic with programming and properties built specifically for human connection. The beauty world is amping up its “clean” ethos with truly groundbreaking biotechnology. And the travel industry is going big on water, taking guests "wild swimming," and building innovative resorts and tours to local watering holes and hot springs. As GWI head researcher Beth McGroarty said: “we’re all becoming Europeans!"

Bev and I bonded. As we enthused about the advances in longevity research, meaningful travel experiences, holistic practices and the new science behind our most treasured travel and wellness experiences, it became apparent that the stars were aligning for our partnership.

Since that February meeting, I’ve:
* Set my hands (and intention) on a mammoth clear quartz in the sol garden of the Arizona Biltmore’s new Tierra Luna spa. The stone was put into the earth on a full moon, and was recharged by another full moon during my visit.
* Sat with international trainer Brian Goodwin of organic skincare giant Eminence, and learned that the company, which plants a tree for every product it sells, just reached its 23-million-trees milestone.
* Signed up for a new debit card called Ness, a “charge card” that gives you points for every wellness dollar you spend on everything from life coaches and personal trainers to food from Sweetgreen or Whole Foods, meal kit delivery, cooking tools, beauty products and spa treatments.

I’ve been trying new things, sure. But mostly I’ve been on a listening and learning tour. Meeting the writers, partners and properties that bring this brand to life, asking the questions that you, our loyal readers, would ask. Watch this space every month for more insight into where I’m going, what I’m learning and who I’m meeting.

Meanwhile, please reach out to me with your ideas and feedback! Write to me at liz@organicspamagazine.com or find me on Instagram @LizVaccariello

After all, we’re taking this journey together!

XO, Liz

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