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How It All Started

How it all started..

We can’t help but believe that everything happens for a reason. Mel and I realized recently that a lot of things needed to happen for the two of us to connect and discover we both shared the same passion for starting a wellness travel business

When we first met, we were actually living in different countries, I was in London, England and Mel was in Toronto, Canada. We both worked for the same bank but in very different areas where our paths would have never crossed. In 2010, the bank sponsored a charity decathlon event in New York. The event involved competing in 10 events which were modeled after NFL tryouts ie) bench press, pull-ups, 400m run, 800m run, 40m sprint etc. They were having trouble finding women who were crazy enough to participate in this event with only a couple months to train.

Our mutual friend who worked in the New York office, called up each of us and asked us if we would participate if they flew us to New York, so of course we agreed! I think the moment we bonded was when we were both passed out in the Lululemon “rest tent” from complete exhaustion. I was also completely impressed by Mel’s physical abilities particularly in the bench press and 500m row. I think she was impressed by my throwing arm as I went on to win the football throw (that one even surprised me!). There’s something about competing together and pushing each other to your physical limits which really bonds people.

We kept in touch over the next few years sporadically, but eventually lost touch. Almost five years later I moved back to Toronto, joined the Equinox gym and ran into Mel in the changeroom. We were excited and surprised to see each other. We agreed to meet for brunch and invite two of our mutual friends since we really didn’t know each other that well.

This is where fate really came in. The four of us chose a restaurant that didn’t accept reservations and was notorious for long wait times, but we were determined to get a table. As the hours passed, one friend gave up, then the second had to leave and it was only Mel and I left. We were both too hungry to give up and finally got our table. In our starving state, we talked about the banking world and our love for fitness and travel. Mel said she wanted to move back to Vancouver to be near her family and boyfriend and possibly do something completely different. I said I would love to start a business, and that’s how it all began.

We started meeting regularly and I convinced (she would say bullied) her into signing up for her first ever half marathon in London. Over long runs and many brunches we spent almost a year coming up with various ideas, but nothing seemed right. Right before the half marathon, Mel said if we were going to go to London we should add on to the trip and go somewhere else in Europe. Since we couldn’t do anything too crazy before the race we started looking for a yoga retreat and ended up booking a one-week yoga retreat in Crete, Greece.

We both absolutely loved it but throughout the week kept coming up with things we thought they could have done better. We started asking the organizer a lot of questions and as the week went on our idea was formed.

By the end of the trip we knew what our business would be and 3 months later we started Movement Travel.

Lisa Gordon
Co-Founder, Movement Travel