Andrew has been involved in the hospitality industry for over 40 years, of which 25 has been in the spa and wellness sector. Based in Bangkok, he has worked in destination, cruise ship, and day and resort Spas with a background as a chef, before his career morphed into spa operations and ultimately spa and wellness consulting. In 2013 Andrew was inducted into the Thailand Spa & Well-being Awards Hall of Fame, while at the Hall of Wellness Awards 2020 he was recognised as Global Personality / Contributor to the Industry. In addition to his consultancy work, he is currently Chairman, Asia Pacific Spa & Wellness Coalition (Singapore); Ambassador Thailand Global Wellness Day (Thailand); Asia Pacific Representative, TERMATALIA (Spain).
Tell us about your involvement in Global Wellness Day?
I was invited to be Thailand Ambassador in late 2014, launching Global Wellness Day in Thailand with an exhibition and conference in 2015. Since then, the realities of a social movement have kicked in, so I have tailored activities to be more practical and more in a coordination role, spreading the news about GWD and supporting or sharing the news from participating companies and businesses in the kingdom. We have continued to promote wellness in Thailand via a Thai language online event for GWD2020 and am planning another six hours of online wellness with 12 wellness professionals from across Thailand to celebrate GWD2021. Via the Asia Pacific Spa & Wellness Coalition network, we have successfully nominated a number of ambassadors from across the Asia Pacific region to further expand the movement.
What makes you smile or brings you joy and why?
Sharing the tangible and the intangible, and knowing that I have done the best that I can to aid/benefit others and help improve their lives and brought a little happiness or knowledge to them
What is your daily wellness routine?
Regular meditation, healthy eating, no plastic water bottles
What is your favourite quote or affirmation?
It might be obvious, but the GWD tagline – “One day can change your life.”
Describe how you achieve mindfulness
Through being aware of your decision-making, and giving conscious consideration to decisions. Being aware of each mouthful of food and chewing it adequately.
What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness is a broad catchall term with eight dimensions: Emotional, Environmental, Financial, Intellectual, Occupational, Physical, Social and Spiritual, so it is difficult to pinpoint what it means to me, as the answer is so wide. Wellness can be anything from going for a walk, volunteering your time to help others, being aware of your credit card spending, spending time in a garden, choosing fresh locally grown or unprocessed foods, repurposing rather than throwing out, or just having a smile on your face when you go to work. It can be one of all of these and a whole lot more.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration from others that are good at what they do, those that are knowledgeable and prepared to share without their ego getting in the way, those that are prepared to be open to new ideas or a different way of looking at things – even if they not always right.
What are your go-to wellness apps and/or podcasts? Why?
Apps: Vora for intermittent fasting. Podcasts: do not currently listen to these.
Books that changed your wellness perspective and why?
Don’t read much these days, but the series of Chicken Soup for the Soul and similar titles give inspiration.
Name three things for which you are grateful
My health. The support of those around me. The love in my life.
Finally, what words of wisdom can you pass on?
All words can be words of wisdom, but they mean nothing if there is no one to hear or read them. We must eat well, sleep well and move well to be well and live well. We must learn from the mistakes of the early eco-movement and resultant ‘green washing’. We cannot continue to just repackage and market the same-old-same-old actions and words as wellness as this will only cause ‘wellness washing’. Wellness can yield tangible benefits to us as individuals and as a society, but not if the actions taken to achieve wellness negatively impact others in any way.