This text is part of the special Plaisirs booklet
One of the few trips that you want to take these days is certainly the one that leads to yourself, and above all, not too far from home. Three proposals for a quest for well-being in your backyard, or almost!
By the time Omicron made its own, 79% of the 24,000 survey respondents Travel predictions 2022, produced for booking.com, claimed that “traveling contributes more to their mental and emotional health than other forms of rest and relaxation”. Today, in view of the anxiety-provoking climate that reigns, many would undoubtedly be “content” with a journey of well-being strictly speaking.
This is an opinion shared by a veteran of tourism in Quebec, Jean-Christophe Viard. The founder of ToundriGo, a receptive tour operator (that is to say that welcomes international travelers here) has just created Plenitude Travel. Dedicated exclusively to healing travel, the brand brings together all-inclusive vacation packages for small groups across the province. From the Outaouais to Saguenay via Estrie, they want to be exotic without having to take the plane and they are guided by wellness professionals such as naturopaths, holistic health coaches, herbalists, aromatherapists and teachers. yoga.
“The idea came to me from a personal interest in nature, aromatherapy,” says the tour operator, “and from a desire to make known some very beautiful sites in Quebec, places which, more than others, make you want to sit down, take your time. This is the common point of all those we have selected. “
A healthy change of scenery
Mr. Viard gives as an example the stay he offers at Gîte Aventures Québec, a log cabin located in Sainte-Brigitte-de-Laval, overlooking the Montmorency River, near Quebec: “You don’t see no habitation around you, only mountains, it’s calm. Spending a few days in a place like this makes you come out completely energized. “Especially since the stay, he argues, is run by a naturopath and includes, in addition to discussions on food, meditation and qigong sessions (a practice resulting from traditional Chinese medicine). “So we go home with a sort of manual for healthier living,” he says.
With also, perhaps, another perspective on the trip, because for the one who also co-founded the organization Sustainable Tourism Quebec, these stays are part of the trend of “different travel, slow, contemplative, quiet and restful”.
Another pioneer of tourism in Quebec, and specifically in the health vacation niche, Jocelyna Dubuc knows a lot about the issue. Born in 1977, his establishment, le Spa Eastman, located in the city of the same name in the Eastern Townships, received yet another prize last October, a 2021 World Spa Award in the “Best wellness retreat in Canada” category. “Our retreats and packages are a global approach in the search for balance and health”, recalls Mme Dubuc.
This research is attracting new followers, according to Marjolaine Grenier, Marketing and Communications Director for Spa Eastman. “We have had new customers since the onset of COVID: while people have always felt the need to reconnect with themselves, our customers are younger than before. Single men, couples, groups of friends, mother-daughter duos… It’s the diversity we have, and even more than before! “
At the heart of the Spa Eastman approach: hypotoxic tonic cuisine, which minimizes the risk of inflammation. It is made with local organic products, without gluten or dairy products, and is based on cooking methods that best preserve the nutrients of the food. “After three days of this cooking, you can feel the effects on the energy level and the quality of sleep”, assures Mme Grenier.
“In addition to food, there is the activity component, for example yoga, cardio in the forest – we have 15 kilometers of trails here – qi gong and conferences that allow you to learn new disciplines”, she continues. . The third component is thermotherapy, an alternation of hot environments, such as the hammam, the infrared sauna, and cold, including the polar pool. In view of the new instructions from the Minister of Health, Christian Dubé, only this sauna can be used, by reservation. At the time of this writing, the establishment was evaluating the possibility of holding its group activities.
“Our clients can meet naturopaths and kinesiologists, obtain nutritional or physical training programs,” specifies M.me Attic. Everything is designed to do them good. “
Hospitality was at the heart of their social action. The salvation of souls too. It goes without saying that in Quebec, we want to recharge our batteries in Augustinian Monastery.
The Monastery hotel has 65 rooms, those occupied by the nuns and which have been completely refurbished. As for the activities intended for guests, they are inspired by their values. Here, light, silence, yoga, conscious nutrition and conferences that help to live better and to walk in a quest for meaning.
“In the spring of 2020, at the start of the pandemic, we embarked on the production of a rich online program called The Monastery at Home and which takes up the themes dealt with on site. At the start of a new wave, it remains highly relevant, ”said Communications and Marketing Director Caroline Maheu.
The Monastery has also created a series of thematic tours to be carried out independently within the establishment. “These are either spiritual journeys, leading to introspection, or historical journeys. It’s really unique, ”she says. For the record, the Augustinians founded twelve hospitals across Quebec. A museum, on the premises, tells the story of the evolution of medicine over nearly four centuries through thousands of artefacts.
Always faithful to their primary mission, the nuns also offer respite stays to caregivers. Hallelujah! some will say …