Meet Emma, The Traveling Health Coach
Emma Fry is a traveling health coach: riding around the world on her motorcycle, Emma helps people get – and stay – healthy.
While nutrition and healthy living is her passion, traveling and motorcycling is her lifestyle: Emma says she’s been living on the road, on and off, for eighteen years, and this is just normal life now. But how did it all begin?
What came first: traveling, motorcycling, or health coaching?
That’s quite tricky to answer! My earliest memory of being on a motorcycle is sitting on the tank of my dad’s old BSA when I was around 6, maybe 7 years old and then later, learning to ride my brother’s dirt bike in a field, we used to fall off all the time!
I hit the road pretty young, at 16 I left the UK for New Zealand alone and have been traveling in some way, shape or form ever since. Like many people who have the travel bug, I started working as an adventure tour leader which took me to all corners of the world before setting up my own adventure travel company in Guatemala in my late twenties.
Health and wellness was always just a personal interest until I lots of people I met through my travel company started asking me for health advice so I decide to take it a step further and studied for 12 months at The Institute For Integrative Nutrition to get my health coaching qualification, the course was amazing and I officially became a traveling Health Coach!
Living on the road requires certain ingenuity. What are your top hacks to make life on the road manageable?
I’ve learned that you have to have some kind of routine. As hard as it is sometimes, wherever I am in the world, getting up at around the same time and exercising are non negotiable for me, having some kind of routine allows me to feel grounded and stay mentally and physically healthy.
For me personally, ‘life on the road’ just kinda happened – at some point, I simply never went home. How was it for you?
Pretty much the same! I definitely didn’t set out with the intention to stay on the road at 16 years old but I think when you’re on the road for so long it becomes part of your DNA and although I happy to ‘lay down my hat’ for a while every now and again, the road will always be calling!
Are you a planner or an improviser when it comes to work and travel?
Great question and I would say a mixture of both. It’s highly dependent on where I am in the world, I’ve spent years in and out of Latin America and across the whole continent you can just improvise, there’s no real need to pre-book anything but I’ve found the complete opposite is true in Europe for example, I learned that the hard way on a trip back to the UK a couple of years ago – just turning up to a hotel for the night isn’t good for your bank account!
How did you choose nutrition and health as your life path?
I think it chose me! My travels definitely influenced my interest in health and wellness, I found what people ate and how people lived fascinating as it’s so different across continents. Also, spending so much time on the road makes you very aware of your health so initially it was just a personal interest which I began blogging about and then when I set up my travel company it was with health and wellness in mind.
What about health coaching is the most fun for you?
Witnessing people go from ‘someday’ to ‘nailed it’ with their health, wellness and lifestyle goals is amazing! Also, the interesting element of health and wellness coaching is that no two people are the same, we’re all bio-individual so each time I work with a new client I develop new skills as a wellness professional.
What is your approach to staying fit and healthy on the road?
It goes back to maintaining some kind of routine. No matter where I am in the world I always get and do twenty minutes of yoga but it’s a discipline that takes time learn and I’ve seen plenty of people burn out very quickly whilst traveling, if you want to stay on the road long term then you have to seek out things that make you feel grounded and again, it will be different for everyone.
What are the top 3 mistakes concerning health and fitness people make when they travel?
Letting things bother them, putting your mind and body in chronic repetitive stress mode by allowing travel related issues ruin your day isn’t worth it, don’t stress about the stuff you’ve got no control over.
Not having some kind of exercise routine, when you’re on the road it’s too easy to make excuses, there’s definitely an element of discipline involved but it’s worth it in the long run.
Spending some time doing a little research on where to go for healthy food prior to arriving in new locations, again, it’s too easy to grab anything if you’re hungry, tired and in a linguistically dangerous location.