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Q & A with Women's Travel Leader Sheri Goodwin

b2ap3_thumbnail_APE-Main-photo.jpgSheri Goodwin, a women's health and wellness coach, is leading a special women's-only trekking adventure to Machu Picchu in July of 2014.  Based out of Seattle's Greenlake neighborhood, Sheri provides customized personal training, energy healing and wellness therapy geared towards helping women become healthier, look and feel better, regain energy and experience increased confidence. Many of Sheri's clients contact her with a specific goal in mind, such as getting in shape to climb Kilimanjaro, run a marathon or embark on a challenging trek in Peru. We sat down with Sheri to find out what inspires her to lead other women on life-changing adventures around the globe!

1.) What made you want to become a trip leader? 

I started my travels working on a cruise ship in the Caribbean and helped engage passengers with games of shuffleboard, ping pong, & volleyball tournaments as well as leading trivia nights, karaoke and dance parties! I left that job with enough money to back pack around Europe for 3 months then came home to teach physical education and health. Being a teacher allowed me the freedom to travel and each summer I ventured somewhere new, either by myself, with friends or joining groups. By my fourth year into teaching, I led Middle School and High School students on trips to Ireland, Hong Kong and China to compete in Track and Swimming events. All of this has led to me currently training women for adventures of their own such as trekking in Nepal, hiking along the Camino de Santiago and trekking in Bhutan.

 2.) What is the most challenging part of embarking on a physically demanding journey like your trekking adventure to Machu Picchu? 

 The journey before the journey! Challenging yourself to improve your fitness & health before you leave, so you can feel amazing every step of the way! The commitment to training and properly preparing yourself can be the hardest, yet best first step towards a successful physically demanding adventure.

 3.) What are your favorite travel experiences? 

b2ap3_thumbnail_HLeft-sidebar-box-2.jpgThis is a tough question as I have been fortunate to have traveled to many different countries. Each travel adventure impacted my life deeply, whether it was my favorite trip or not. But, my life was completely changed when I traveled to Peru and hiked the Inca trail. The Inca trail was my first trekking experience. This is when I realized that trekking is the complete package combining the physical, emotional and spiritual sides of life. Hiking in nature for 4 full days, having time to reflect and just be, connecting with ancient lands and people from all over the world, it all provides an opportunity to heal on so many levels.

 4.) How did you decide to pursue your current career path? 

 After my Peru trip, I realized that adventure travel of some sort must be in my next career. At the time I was a high school physical education and health teacher as well as a Track and Cross country coach, but knew deep down that I would not be teaching for the rest of my working years. When I came home from Peru, I took a 6 month hands-on personal training course and the idea of training people for adventure travels was planted. I didn't realize I would specialize in trekking adventures until my trip to Spain to trek the Camino de Santiago. During this trip, I witnessed several people who struggled physically on the trail, some not being able to complete their journey. I returned home determined to help people get in better shape so they wouldn't just survive their journey, but thrive every step of the way!

 5.) What advice would you give women who are considering a trip like this but are worried about struggling physically?


Stop worrying and startTRAINING!!! When you begin training and start to grow stronger your confidence in your ability to trek to 14,000 feet will soar! If you don’t know where to start your training or how to train for a trekking adventure, seek out a well qualified personal trainer. Proper training will help you confidently tackle the ups and downs you will encounter on a mountain trek as well as hold you accountable to follow through with the training! I highly recommend that you find a certified trainer that also has a Functional Movement Screening certification. If you currently are experiencing physical pain anywhere in your body seek medical advice before starting a training program.

 6.) What do you think is most important to overall wellness?

 Loving yourself enough to exercise, eat well and pursue what makes you happy.

 6.) What (or who) was the biggest influence that led you to lead a healthy, active lifestyle. 

Witnessing the increase in lifestyle illnesses/diseases in Americans. This has been a huge motivator for me to lead a healthy lifestyle and help others do the same.

7.) What is your pr oudest physical achievement? 

 Winning the Washington State 2-mile track title my senior year in High School, even though the time I ran 20 years ago, wouldn't stand a chance at a state title today (at least in Washington)!

 8.) Name 5 things that you always travel with.

  • Credit Card & Cash 
  •  A hat & sunscreen 
  • Teva sandals to put on at the end of a long day of hiking. 
  • Quick drying travel towel. 
  • Small day or night backpack. 
  •  Mascara (I know this is # 6, but I couldn't leave this one out). 

 9.) What makes you a great trip leader?

My biggest strength is from my experience working with a variety of people from elementary to 80+ years of age. I have led trips for middle & high school aged student athletes as well as their parents to Ireland, Hong Kong and China. I helped people of all ages from all over the world enjoy their cruising experience in the Caribbean. One of my strengths for leading/escorting this particular trek to Machu Picchu is my experience in having already completed the Inca trail trek as well as the Camino de Santiago, a 500 mile trek across Spain plus a recent 8-day trek in the Himalaya mountains of Nepal. I am not only fit for these trips, but also responsible, compassionate and a great listener. All of these traits help me be aware of individual and group needs during travel adventures.

Read more about Sheri's Women's-Only Lodge Based Trek to Machu Picchu with Wildland Adventures or contact Sheri at Vibrant Wellness to schedule a personal consultation.

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