Fitler Vibe: Holiday on Purpose
Don’t just make a resolution to travel more in 2022. Instead, make a resolution to travel with intention. Our travel partner, Essentialist, has put together some ideas.
Intentional, or ‘socially conscious,’ travel is a manner of exploration that takes into account the cultural, environmental, and economic impacts our presence has on the places we visit. Rather than simply seeing a city or region, intentional travel allows us to both take part in—and give back to—these places in ways that are responsible, ethical, and authentic. This could mean anything from eating at family-owned restaurants to purchasing produce at markets that cater specifically to local growers. Essentialist editor Laura Kiniry suggests three distinct ways you can engage in socially conscious travel this coming year.
Rediscover Your Own Backyard
It’s possible to be a socially conscious traveler without ever leaving Philadelphia. In fact, the city’s Office of Sustainability has collaborated with both the experiential education GREEN Program (TGP) and tour company Urban Adventures to put together a trio of private tours, each one focused on a different aspect of supporting and engaging with the local environment. Whether it’s through exploring the ongoing transformation of unused rail lines into a three-mile landscaped public space known as Rail Park, or perusing an artisan food hall located within the historic 19th-century Commodities Exchange building, these tours provide an opportunity to experience Philadelphia’s commitment to responsible development first-hand.
Participate in a Cultural Exchange
Membership-based programs such as Workaway, which exchange room and board for assistance with everything from harvesting olives in Spain to providing aid to Venezulean refugees in Colombia, and WWOOF (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) are fantastic ways to see the world while giving back to the cities, towns, and villages that you’re visiting. Look for opportunities that match your particular skill sets (say, gardening or working with horses) as well as provide ample free time to explore—and immerse yourself in—your surroundings.
Volunteering with non-profit organizations worldwide is another way to engage in cultural exchange, though the key to any volunteering or “voluntourism” opportunity is choosing one that promotes positive, long-term change and directly contributes to the needs of the local community. With this in mind, you can find a project that suits your needs at Volunteers for Peace (VFP), a reputable online portal for thousands of volunteer-based projects, all geared toward empowering the communities that host them. Think trail building in Costa Rica, teaching computer skills to Kenya’s youth, and training Nepalese women in leadership.
Delve into the Local Culture
Whether it’s taking part in a traditional event, such as the Dia de Muertos festivities in Oaxaca, Mexico, or Cambodia’s 15-day religious Pchum Ben spirit ceremony, delving into the customs and activities of local culture can make all the difference between simply visiting a place and truly experiencing it. For example, in Thailand, you can browse the souvenir stands along Bangkok’s tourist-friendly Khao San Road before turning in at a nearby hostel, or instead choose to participate in a locally taught culinary class, bathe elephants at one of the country’s reputable Elephant Jungle sanctuaries, and stay with a host family on Koh Yai Noi, a once-isolated island known for its traditional fishing villages. Remember, the greater the cultural immersion, the richer the connection.
There are also sustainably-minded tour companies like Lokal Travel, which work directly with local operators to put together bespoke adventures that pour money right back into the destination.
We are pleased to share some Fitler Club-approved last minute gift ideas! Get familiar with these local brands as they are a part of the new offering in The Goods located next to Member Services on Level 0.
Philomina Kane (IG: @naturallyphilo) is on fire. She is a haircare content creator and founder of KIN Apparel, a functional and inclusive clothing and accessories company with an emphasis on haircare. KIN recently appeared on Shark Tank and Philomina slayed it. She walked away with a $200,000 investment by Lori Greiner and guest Shark Emma Grede, founder and CEO of Good American, in exchange for 30% of the business. Naturally, Philly is SO PROUD of NaturallyPhilo and her local business.
Master Chocolatier Christoper Turin is one of the world’s top chocolate makers. He was the first American to be awarded the honor of German Master Pastry Chef and Chocolatier in Cologne, Germany. The Éclat Chocolate Shop is located in West Chester. If you don’t feel like braving 76 to visit the shop in person, you can simply swing by The Goods and pick up your stash of some of the best chocolate you’ll ever taste. Like, ever.
Activewear is life. Sue Pinto, owner of Rebel, wants you to live your best activewear life in her curated collection of highly comfortable, fashion-forward, and affordable pieces. Carve out some time during your next Field House visit to check out the newest Rebel collection in The Goods. For even more Rebel fashion, visit Sue’s new pop-up shop at 128 S. 17th Street.
Plus FTLR gear and so much more to come at The Goods on Level 0.
Rather than resolving to change behaviors in 2022, let’s celebrate the successes of 2021! We asked some of Fitler Club’s familiar faces to share a personal high point of the past 12 months and how they plan to keep the momentum going into 2022.
Manager of Flo’s Cafe
I’ve always wanted to own my very own cafe. All it took was a 100-year flood to make my dreams come true. Seriously though, ever since The Goods was displaced by the flood, Flo’s Cafe has given me so much life. We love what we have created for the members. We will be moving on up (actually down!) to Level 0 of The Field House in the next few weeks. I can’t wait to see you in the new and improved Flo’s Cafe!
Group Ex Instructor (Yoga)
Obviously, it’s Kitten Yoga for me! We had many success stories of FC members and employees successfully adopting or fostering cats and kittens as a result of Kitten Yoga. Plus, each class raises much needed funds for PURR Philly. Stay tuned for more Kitten Yoga in 2022.
Director of Member Services
I have been a member of the Fitler Club team since the Club opened in 2019. In 2021, I was promoted to Director of Member Services. Since I started in this role, my goal has been to help improve all facets of our Club’s service. I look forward to doing so, along with my team, in 2022.
Director of Children and Family Programming
Prior to the pandemic, I started at the Fitler Club as a part time Aqua Boot Camp and Swim Instructor. The Club then added a once a week Kids Club class. I have been working with children for 40 years and absolutely love it. I immediately fell in love with Fitler and it was my wish to obtain a bigger role within the Club’s management developing a Children’s/Family Program. In the past few months I have grown the program and I look forward to continuing to make it even bigger and better in 2022.
Fitler Club’s EVP of Marketing
Seeing my daughters, Lucy (11) and Lily (5), get their second vaccine shots just last week was a big success for me. We look forward to many fun family adventures in 2022.