WHEN it comes to healthy living, I admit that I don’t abide by it as much as I want to. I struggle with a workout regimen and my fondness for junk food doesn’t help me retain good eating habits.
But being surrounded by friends who are adamant about adopting a healthier lifestyle, and the unending posts of workout videos and wellness articles on social media have challenged me to take my health seriously.
A recent trip to Korea with AirAsia, where I was joined by lifestyle bloggers Mari Jasmine and Bianca King, was both an excuse to travel and a chance to get out of my comfort zone—a final push to get rid of my bad habits.
“We are thrilled to introduce health and wellness treats that have become a unique attraction in Korea,” says Philippines AirAsia CEO Joy Cañeba. “Health-oriented, relaxation, rejuvenation, hot springs and spas have become popular not only among Koreans but also among international tourists, Filipinos included.”
Our trip highlighted not only Korea’s mix of modern and traditional food (with staples such as kimchi, pancakes, and barbecue), culture and sites, but also traditional wellness centers.
As if it were a reflection of the battle between revamping my lifestyle and sticking to my old ways, our trip was off to a rocky start.
I made it to our flight in the nick of time. I left my only thick coat for Korea’s winter at the check-in counter, and our gate happened to be at the end of the terminal. Given my deplorable lung capacity, sprinting to the terminal was as difficult as running a marathon.
Once we landed in Korea, I figured my bad luck was over. At the very least, the chilly weather was refreshing enough to lighten my mood.
Our first stop was Myeong-dong, one of the busiest places in Seoul with two major department stores, Lotte and Shinsegae.
With a wide range of stores, it’s a prime shopping spot for clothes and cosmetics. Rows and rows of food vendors enticed us to sample different kinds of street food, fresh fruits and juices.
At night, the vibrant lights from the various establishments transformed Myeong-dong into the perfect backdrop for street style photo ops, which we particularly enjoyed.
For a holistic experience of the Korean beauty culture (and my personal favorite), we headed to SkinAnniversary in Gyeonggi, one of the biggest beauty towns roughly an hour away from Seoul.
We started off with a skin diagnosis using its state-of-the-art skin measurement equipment to assess our skin types.
Based on our skin diagnosis, we were treated to a customized skincare regimen that involved deep cleaning from dirt and oil, a relaxing facial massage and facemask.
The session included a brief consultation to find skincare and makeup products to suit our skin type.
We capped off our wellness trip with the Herb Hydro and Hay Therapy at Herb Healing Garden in Pocheon, Gyeonggi-do, where Mediterranean herbs are grown.
For natural skin cleaning and to alleviate joint pains, our therapy started off with a bubble bath mixed with herb and aroma oil, while the Hay Therapy helped detoxify our bodies and increase immunity. To release remaining toxins, we were given an aromatherapy massage.
Herb Healing Garden also boasts a Herb Museum, Living & Herb Exhibition Hall, Herb Restaurant, Aroma Therapy Center, Venetia Village, and Herb Studio (for DIY crafting), and is equipped with whirlpool spa facilities, each providing an aroma spa therapy.
With its gondola rides and festive vibe, Herb Island resembles an amusement park, but it’s certainly a new and holistic experience. Each space in the center is distinctively designed, surprising us with a myriad of themes, and is scented with relaxing fragrances from soaps, candles and the like.
I felt instantly rejuvenated as I was momentarily stripped of modern distractions and surrounded by lush greenery and whiffs of calming aromas.
Though I’m still a work in progress—bad habits and all—those three days showed me the benefits of healthy lifestyle, of finding the right balance (as much as I can) between work and leisure, and of gaining new experiences that would, in some way, help me become a better version of myself.
With its current campaign, AirAsia, which was voted the World’s Best Low Cost Carrier for seven consecutive years, believes that traveling is important for one’s wellness routine by enabling people to recharge away from their usual responsibilities.
At the end of the day, healthy living is more than simple daily habits; it’s a lifestyle. Whether you’re trying to rid yourself of bad habits or finding a routine that works best for your health, it’s always good to hit that refresh button and start anew-what better way than to travel.
Keep updated with AirAsia’s latest promotions and activities via twitter (@AirAsiaPH), Facebook (facebook.com/AirAsiaPhilippines), and Instagram (@AirAsiaPH).