Two River Times July 2014 - Health & Wellness Columnist

In an effort to be highly evolved global citizens, I recently invited our foreign exchange students to join us for a global knowledge quiz at our most recent family dinner. We collaboratively scored miserably despite our query confidence and considering we had three countries represented around the kitchen table. The challenge was another lesson in humility and a wake-up call to sharpen our international acumen. If you’d like to challenge yourself and have fun with your family, take a look at and link to the global knowledge quiz series. 

The global citizenry interest was top of mind since we had just returned from another international yoga teaching assignment which always expands our connectedness with world travelers prioritizing their wellness. Couple this with the realization that our time with our foreign exchange students was coming to a close, we were mindful of the joy of connecting with and learning from others from around the globe. Test scores suggested that we were remedial in our global citizenry IQ skills, but our informing travel, teaching and foreign-exchange-hosting assured us of three things:

One: Beginning the process of global self-discovery is the most important part of the journey. Whether it’s getting on a plane to share yoga, business or leadership ideas, making the first step is often the most challenging part of the assignment. In our commitment to self-discovery, which celebrates ushering in the new and casting out the old, we promise ourselves the wonder of possibilities and the excitement of risk taking. We’re all an integral part of a wider and flatter world today, so why not leverage the opportunity to learn more deeply about our diverse and interesting world?

Two: Global wellness travel has many different faces. Sure, you can book a luxury eco-friendly tour with a private yoga instructor with the click of a wireless mouse or an app on your smart phone, but are you really connecting with the depth of the culture of the region? Not interested? OK but for those who embrace wanderlust with a penchant to go deeper, try a volunteer expedition in a far-off land with Some of my best yoga experiences were shared on a mission trip to Haiti, in the rain forests of Belize, and on the outskirts of resort living in Jamaica. Too timid to get your wellness feet wet in the wonderful, wild world of adventure? I highly recommend reading some divergent travelogues on your favorite region. I just put down “Tales of a Female Nomad” by children’s book author, Rita Golden Gelman. Her personal travel accounts were spectacular in breadth and description, as well as depth of connection.

Three: If you can’t visit a foreign land, consider bringing the global expansion to you. Our wellness world has been experientially enriching and very rewarding for over twenty years as hosts to business and student travelers from the cities of China to the sands of Dubai. Increasing our understanding of many cultures and enhancing our tolerance for a wide reach of thoughts and beliefs can only continue to open our minds and our hearts to a world that’s a better place to practice wellness and wonder. Namaste!

DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA CIC RYT keynotes, consults and coaches on integrated leadership themes at conventions, corporations and in educational forums. She's a business consultant for entrepreneurs and and economics professor at Brookdale Community College as a 25 yr local insurance professional. Join her in the summer at