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Last year we launched a competition in partnership with Wellbeing Escapes to find eight agents who wanted to embrace wellness. Embrace it in their personal and work lives so that they could become healthier and make their bank balance healthier too. Four fam trips, two agents on each, to four hotels with different takes on wellbeing. Our first two agents went to the SHA Wellness Clinic in Spain. The clinic employs more than 250 professionals from 35 countries in every expertise imaginable. Here, Julie Harrison and Angela Mayall share their thoughts before, during and after their trip.

Julie Harrison, Bespoke Travel Solutions

BEFORE Wellness breaks are the way forward. It definitely seems to be very popular now with a lot of my clients with a variety of budgets and desires. I have considered wellness breaks for my own friends who are in their 40s who are runners and triathletes, but want to reduce that while keeping health and wellbeing in the forefront of their lives. We all need to be revitalised from time to time, and having some direction on diet and healthy eating to keep us focused when we are very busy would be great. I am really keen to hear more on this topic, and consider it a great market to tap into for a lot of our clients with health issues and or who just wish to take some time out for themselves.

DURING I didn’t realise the SHA experience would be so encompassing, comprehensive and medical. The hotel, if I can call it that, looks and feels very trendy but everything was different to my expectations. There is such a huge focus on nutrition and the range of ailments and preventative measures here are extraordinary. If people want to make changes in their lives this is the perfect place as you are quickly immersed and focused. It makes sense to think through what you or your client wants to achieve before coming and get it all prearranged as there is so much choice. While being here I’ve thought about what changes I would make to my life and it’s predominantly diet. I want to eat less meat for a start. The education you get here puts you in a far better position to understand your body and talk about the benefits with clients. For a holiday like this you have to really know your client – some would adore it, others would not. So many of us get stressed and feel lethargic but don’t know where to start to rectify those feelings. SHA can help make the changes.

AFTER People have asked if I’m being paid to talk about SHA! I came off the plane and into the supermarket to get the foods they had recommended. The trip gave me a kick to make changes and get back on track. I plan on doing a client event focused on wellness later in the year as the potential for business is huge. The interest is growing and while SHA is specifically for certain clients, getting to know the range Wellbeing Escapes offers has been useful as there is a product to suit everyone.

Angela Mayall, Designer Travel

BEFORE I’ve always said I thrive on a certain amount of stress but sometimes I think my cup is about to tip over. I became a homeworker eight years ago and although I enjoy it, I’m very busy and at times very stressed. I tend to find myself at my desk or at the end of a phone 24/7 because my office is at home and I can never switch off. My sleep pattern is dreadful, my new Fitbit tells me: I can’t believe how restlessly I sleep and that’s probably because I wake up thinking about work. I have a 13-year-old daughter, a dog and my husband works long hours so my time doesn’t often feel like my own. I am conscious of my weight and health and try to exercise at least once a week. I have started bootcamp fitness sessions, which I am hoping will improve my all round fitness. Deep down I am more concerned about stress levels and my heart (as my dad has suffered two heart attacks). I absolutely love spa breaks and unfortunately it’s something that I just don’t find time to do. My main focus would be how to switch off and relax.

DURING The restaurant and the diet programme are a massive thing. I didn’t realise it was all macrobiotic even though I’ve looked online and sold SHA before. I’ve sent a couple of clients here and they loved it but after experiencing it I realise I didn’t fully understand what was on offer. You feel totally immersed in the place and the programmes and there’s a fascinating mix of experts here. It’s great to have a little time to focus completely on your own body, to have these professionals tell you things about yourself you didn’t know and give you tailored tips. I know exactly which clients this is perfect for and equally clients I could never send here. SHA makes me want to change my diet and pay more attention to myself. It’s also given me confidence to have more treatments that I might have been too embarrassed to do. I will certainly do another colonic as I loved it – it’s something I never would have thought about and I can’t believe how it made me feel. I know I have to go back to everyday life and it will be hard but I’m confident I have permanent changes I can make.

AFTER My SHA experience was life-changing! It’s so hard to break habits of a lifetime but SHA has certainly helped me. For the first time, I have stopped to think about what I put into my body and what effect this has on my wellbeing. I had never heard of a macrobiotic diet, never mind experienced it and I was amazed how tasty it was. I used to drink at least eight cups of tea/coffee a day and I have not had a drop of coffee since returning to the UK and only drink herbal teas! I have shared my experiences with my friends and clients and have told them about the amazing treatments available. SHA is truly a wonderful sanctuary – I wrote an article about it in my column in the local paper and can’t wait to continue to promote this fabu