Stephanie Erazo never thought she would leave her glamorous job as a Los Angeles producer at one of the world’s most reputable news organizations to fulfill her passion for travel and fitness. But after a petrifying panic attack at work, her career trajectory began to shift.
“I had a very cool job and got to attend a lot of Hollywood events,” Stephanie tells ESSENCE. “But it was also very stressful. Lots of constant breaking news, urgent timelines and late-night calls. Sometimes my brain would literally hurt.”
Stephanie eventually resigned and three days later, took a month-long sabbatical to India, where she enrolled in a 200-hour wellness teacher training program to study yoga, meditation, and breathwork. It was a challenging, yet self-reflective journey that served as an ‘aha’ moment for her to take the entrepreneurial route and focus on Travel Slay Fitness full-time.
Travel Slay is built on the idea of forcing people out of their comfort zones so that they are able to access their full mental and physical potential, says Stephanie, who has traveled to over 20 countries. “In the beginning, living in India made me feel super uncomfortable and I hated that feeling, but I now I know that I was being pushed out of my comfort zone so that I would be confident in my ability to overcome.”
Travel Slay collides two worlds: the travel-focused arm brings together a diverse group of people to experience curated retreats in attractive destinations across the globe. The company’s first retreat, held on a secluded beach in Panama, “was so needed! It was perfect in its own way,” says Stephanie.
The business’ second component is its newly-introduced corporate wellness program, called Prana Wellness. Prana aims to create more productive and healthy corporate spaces with a focus on wellness.
The program has already gained traction with the Los Angeles South Chamber of Commerce, the Los Angeles Police Department and several law and PR firms, which all boast about the program’s calming effects.
“If things get too tough, [Travel Slay] helps you manage it all and helps you figure out what works best for you,” says Kaytie Rivkin, an office coordinator based in Chicago who has participated in one of Stephanie’s retreats.
“My anxiety attack at work and being in India really highlighted the importance of mental wellness for me,” Stephanie adds. “I am still on my own journey but I want to share with others the tools I learned to conquer the beasts of anxiety, stress and fatigue.”
Travel Slay is currently gearing up for its upcoming international travel retreat in Peru scheduled for the spring of 2020. For those interested, Stephanie offers this piece of advice: “Travel is not about how many fancy hotels you’ve stayed in. It’s about learning something new and having an endless curiosity for the world we live in.”
Namaste and travel slay sis!