Joda P. Derrickson addresses “wellness travelers who want to maintain high levels of health, happiness and accomplishment for a lifetime” in her comprehensive and wide-ranging self-help book, The Wellness Compass Travel Guide.
Derrickson reveals her reason for writing this book in the appendix of this hefty volume. There, we learn that the author, a Hawaii resident with 25 years of experience in research and counseling, conceived of the idea when she couldn’t find a suitable guide to use in her new practice as a wellness coach. Unfortunately, noting this at the book’s end means we know little about her credentials while reading the book. Nonetheless, Derrickson’s informed prose allows her to effectively reach her audience.
Through widely varying topics ranging from turning arrogance into humility to getting enough protein in our diets to paying taxes on time, Derrickson covers four broad facets of wellbeing: spiritual, socio-emotional, physical and life’s purpose. While this might seem like an intimidating agenda, she encourages readers to fast-forward to chapters that address their specific personal challenges. She has also crafted the book for a gamut of age groups, with starter financial advice for younger readers and a basic primer on technology and social media for Boomers.
There are a few, minor stumbling blocks: The author has an unnecessary habit of hyper-explaining upcoming chapters in point-by-point “overviews.” Additionally, the book’s formatting seems more random than carefully considered. For example, the author uses bullets, diamonds, dashes, and boxes to highlight listed items, with no apparent reason for the variation from list to list. This lends a somewhat disorderly feel to the reading experience.
Still, readers will appreciate the author’s goal in writing this book. Derrickson describes spiritual wellness as “being your best self most of the time, for as long as you can.” Overall, The Wellness Compass Travel Guide is a worthy read that encourages each of us to live a healthier life—and be a better person in the process.