by Alan Wyley
I’ve often struggled to find retreats and getaways with a yoga or spiritual basis. The mainstream search and travel sites just don’t serve this market well and of course a lot of the centers don’t have a visible web presence as they don’t have the budget for ads and don’t have the expertise for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
As a result I often ended up booking things through word of mouth. This came to a head for me in September 2011 when I was trying to organise a silent retreat in the West of Ireland.
I tried Google, Tripadvisor and couldn’t find anything and then my friend Lisa, who lives in Italy, dropped by to our house in Dublin unannounced.
Without any prompting she told me that her brother was just back from a silent retreat in Sligo and when she told me the name I could then find it on Google and was able to book. So I found my silent retreat by word of mouth – a certain irony there!
I am a Chartered Accountant and have been involved in a number of tech startups that were successfully sold and as I meditated in silence in Holy Hill an idea that had been bouncing around in my head for a few years started to crystalize. Surely there was a better way for the Wellness world to work?
So after a few months of market research, my wife Judi and I started Connectedtrips. We raised some money in the first half of 2012, did our design and launched our full product in September 2012.
So that little idea that sprouted on a meditation mat is now Connectedtrips, a global travel site that promotes positive activities such as yoga, meditation, self-help, healing, nutrition and outdoor activities in over 40 countries. In other words anything that is good for you worldwide!
Our vision is to help people find and book trips, retreats, holidays workshops and classes that will help them deepen the connection to themselves. We think that will help them connect better with themselves, their families and neighbors and in some small way make the world a better place.
So that’s all great, but we need your help. We are spreading the word but want to build a strong vibrant community that will support each other as they grow.
We want to hear from anyone who is passionate about yoga, meditation, self-help, nutrition, exercise or healing. Write about what you love, recommend centers or teachers.
We are also looking for partners, teachers, centers who will help us on this journey. People who have similar visions that we can co-promote and help each other grow.
We think together we can become the Tripadvisor for the Wellness space and in the process help bring Yoga, Meditation and so on to the mainstream, growing the interest in these positive activities. Wouldn’t that be cool?