Lonely Planet Writer

Healthy holidays - right or wrong?

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Of all the types of travellers that exist, the one that really irks me is the holier-than-thou “healthy traveller”. I’m talking about the people whose sole purpose in taking a trip is to lose weight and tone up whether it’s getting up at the crack of dawn to do yoga at an ashram in India or an extreme detox at a swanky spa in Thailand.

It’s not just because the thought of vegetable juice and daily enemas brings me out in a cold sweat, but to me this type of behaviour contradicts the very notion of a holiday and all that it stands for; fun, adventure and indulgence.

When I took a round the world 10 month trip I ended up piling on the pounds trying all the new foods that I came across. I found it liberating to be away from a society obsessed with weight and workouts. Spending the last 2 weeks of my trip ill in southeast Asia meant that I returned home back to my usual weight, but far from celebrating my weight loss I was devastated that I’d not been well enough to eat more pad thai and banana pancakes.

Would do you think? Does the thought of a healthy holiday appeal or does it have you reaching for a slice of cake?

- Heather Carswell, Lonely Planet UK