NTE Podcast: Finally, Your Healthy Home Away From Home!

Emelie Kamp and her husband Ben, are on a mission to develop the first vacation property in the US specifically designed for folks with illnesses or those truly looking for wellness.  Join me this week, as we hear from Emelie about why they have taken on such a monumental project and how they see this transitioning the vacation industry!

This is the first of many episodes we’ll be doing about this project, as we want to follow it throughout the entire construction process.

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Healthy Vacation Club:
Finally, Your Healthy Home Away From Home!

Andy: Ah, the feeling of fall is in the air. The kids are back in school, and guess what? You’re already thinking about next year’s vacation. Today we’ll be talking about Healthy Vacation Club, a new development starting in Orlando, Florida, where you and the entire family can stay in a healthy, toxin-free rental.

I know I say this every week, but I’m really excited about today’s episode. I am excited every week, but today especially, because today we’ll be talking with Emelie Kamp, and Emelie and her husband Ben have developed a new project called the Healthy Vacation Club. If you’ve been on our website you may have already seen a link to the website where you can sign up to get more information, but today we’ll be talking to one of the founders. And again, full disclosure, I am part of the project, and I’ll be their healthy materials consultant for the job.

A little bit about the Healthy Vacation Club. As their website says, are you tired of not having a healthy place to stay during your vacation? Chlorine beach and toxic cleaners, chlorinated and fluorinated water, mold and mildew, EMFs, VOCs, formaldehyde and other toxins. A vacation is supposed to make you healthier, not more sick.

And today, Emelie Kamp, co-founder and a green living coach, will be joining us to talk to us a little bit about that project, about her start in the industry, what her background is, and a little bit about not only this project, but what their plans are for the future to bring Healthy Vacation Club all around the country. Very, very excited about this. And I will say, as this project moves forward, and is actually under construction, I’ll be bringing Emelie and her husband Ben back in every once in a while to talk to us about how the construction process is going. I think it will be very interesting for all of us to learn about the project, the materials being used, the methods of construction we’re going to talk about the decision making process, and how we got to the materials and methods that we’ve chosen.

And, of course, we’ll be keeping you up to date as far as when the opening will be, when groundbreaking will be, when you can put your first deposit down to secure your time at the Healthy Vacation Club in Orlando.

Andy: So, without any further ado, let me introduce to you Emily Kamp. Emily, so great to have you here today. I really appreciate you sharing your story with all of our listeners.

Emelie: Thank you so much, Andy, for having me on the show.

Andy: So, I wanted to jump right into talking about the project, but I think it would be really helpful for all of our listeners to hear about your history, and how you got to this point. So, please, feel free to fill us in.

Emelie: Definitely. Well, my husband and I moved to the states last year from Sweden, where I was born and raised. My husband is American, so we lived there for 10 years after we got married, and there I ran a wellness center focused on encouraging people to take steps towards a healthier lifestyle in all areas of their lives.

And towards the end of that period before we moved to the states I realized that I had been living with an autoimmune disease for a few years without realizing it, and so, I started getting a few more health challenges, and started developing chemical sensitivity all of a sudden. It was very strange, because I had detoxed all of my body products, and we had really been focusing on living a non-toxic lifestyle as much as possible.

And when I started being more sensitive to chemicals, and also molds, I realized that it was increasingly difficult to travel because of all the chemicals you’re exposed to, the musty hotel rooms that I wasn’t able to stay in, and really saw a need in the travel industry for change.

In our wellness center, my passion was really encouraging people to learn, and to take small steps, after another, towards a healthier lifestyle. We had started really doing that in a great way, but wanted to step it up and create a place for people to really experience a lifestyle of wellness in a much better way than just learning about it online, or just seeing it from other people, but creating a safe place for people to vacation without getting sick while they’re there. And really, in that place, modeling a lifestyle of wellness to encourage them to start making more changes in their personal lives as well, as well as being able to really enjoy a vacation that will bring healing to their body, rather than stress and more sickness.

Andy: Well, it sounds fabulous. Who wouldn’t love this, you know? I think, as somebody who suffers from chemical sensitivity, or even if you don’t, even if you are just well aware of your surroundings, and you understand that certain things will affect your health, going on vacation is immediately stressful because you worry about the unknown. You worry about are the rooms that you’re going to stay in … are you using cleaning materials, are they using cleaning materials that are highly toxic. The carpeting, the bedding, the stress of travel itself, and what you experience during the process of getting to your destination.

And I absolutely love the whole concept of bringing wellness to your vacation so that you really can experience the ultimate in relaxation. Your idea really changes … I think, changes the entire vacation property industry. So, what a wonderful idea, and I’m … You know, full disclosure, I am part of the process in helping to choose materials for the project. But for me it’s really one of the pinnacles of my career to be involved in a project like this, to really bring wellness to the whole family. So, kudos to you guys for coming up with this fantastic idea.

Emelie: Well, thank you so much, and we are so excited that you’ve joined our team of experts to really make this as good as it possibly can be. And, you know, coming from Sweden, traveling and vacation are pretty important to Swedes, because we live in a country where we don’t see the sun for quite a few months of the year, and don’t get a lot of sunshine, don’t get a lot of warmth. So, a lot of people do prioritize to go on a vacation to get more vitamin D, and to really relax from … get away from the day to day life.

And so, we just … just what you mentioned, we started … It started getting increasingly difficult for us to travel. We started bringing more things with us, bringing an air purifier, bringing our own sheets, not wanting to sleep on polyester sheets, and bringing our own pans so that we knew … We would always stay at resorts, or places where we would have a kitchen, but in the kitchens you’d have plastic cutting boards, or you’d have Teflon … scratched up Teflon pans. And so, we would bring the very basic needs that we knew we needed in order to be able to cook healthy food and be able to still relax on the vacation. But that, in itself, was stressful, bringing that many things. You shouldn’t have to bring that many things with you on to vacation. You shouldn’t have to plan your vacation in that way. It should be a place where you can just come, and rest, and enjoy. And so, that’s what we’re really wanting to create with this.

Andy: Well, if you have to bring your whole house with you in order for it to be a usable time away, then what’s the point of even going on vacation? I mean, I-

Emelie: Exactly.

Andy: I can’t imagine that that’s relaxing whatsoever. And on a side note, I’m dealing with a client right now who is moving a few states away, and she has such horrible sensitivities that she and her husband had to purchase a travel trailer that they are remodeling, using all the products that we’ve recommended, to make it a healthy transportation method just to get her to the new home.

Emelie: Wow.

Andy: And so, there are clients like this all over the country that are looking for the ability to finally relax, not have to have the adrenaline rush at such a high level that they just … there’s no way to relax. And again, I just think it’s a fantastic idea. Do you find that people are … once they find out about your project, that they are just jumping on board, like, how can I help? When can I book a room? I mean, how has the feedback been so far?

Emelie: Oh, the feedback has been amazing. I mean, every single day we get messages from people who really … The messages bring tears to our eyes so often. People just thanking us from the bottom of their hearts for creating a place … to initiative creating a place that they could actually stay in. And one mom, who has wanted to bring her son to Disney World for over 10 years, but hasn’t been able to because of her Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. And so, she asked us, “please, let me know as soon as the first home is done in Orlando. I would love to be one of the first people to come.” That just brought tears to both my husband and I, and really reminded us why we’re doing this.

We’re doing this for people who aren’t able to vacation in the way that it is today in the vacation industry, and for people who just know the importance of organic, non-toxic living, and they want that standard in vacation as well as in their own home.

Andy: You brought up the Orlando, and Disney, and I’m glad you did, because I mention it in the introduction before you and I started talking, but this is going to be in Orlando. The first property will be in Orlando. And I know, just from my 25 years of doing this, that I have clients all over the country who talk about how wonderful it would be for them to be able to go on a family vacation, if only they could tolerate the place they have to stay in. And-

Emelie: Exactly.

Andy: This has come up in conversation dozens of times over the years. And so, the fact that you’re going to be in close proximity to one of the world’s most prominent vacation destinations, it’s fantastic planning on your part.

Emelie: We’re really excited about it, and that is our … that will be our first location, in Orlando, as close to Disney as possible. But we’re also planning on building in other areas as well, in the future.

Andy: Oh, wonderful. So, in other areas that you’re looking at, is it going to maintain the … sort of the destination location for family vacation, or for couples vacations?

Emelie: We definitely want to build in quite a few different locations, by the beach, in the mountains, close to nature, in big cities. So, we definitely have a lot of plans and dreams about it, and a lot of people that have shown excitement, asking us, oh please, build in Hawaii, please build in Colorado, please build in … close to the beach. And yeah, so we’re really excited about it.

Andy: Well, if you think about it, everybody has their own vision of what their perfect vacation would be.

Emelie: Exactly.

Andy: And so, you know, my wife and I, we are childless, so for us we would love to go to Disney, because I’ve never been there, and I would love to go there. But we also like the idea of maybe spending time in the mountains, or maybe spending time by the beach, as you said. So, I like that idea of giving people choices, and just because somebody has a Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, or are afflicted with another immune system disorder, it’s nice to know that they … you know, we don’t have to limit our choices because of what society has deemed to be a healthy property. It really isn’t. And so, this is bringing us all, eventually, some really solid choices.

Emelie: Exactly, and that’s really our goal.

Andy: What do you think future plans will be for you guys?

Emelie: Good question. Well, in the next 10 years we definitely see having multiple vacation communities, as well as vacation homes, across the US. Orlando is the first one where we’re really focusing on, and putting all of our time into, at the moment, and we are really excited to see the building start next year, and if everything goes according to plan, then already being able to receive guests by summer next year, which is really exciting, and … But, we definitely are already talking to healthier building companies about the potential of building in their state in a few different parts of America.

Andy: Excellent. Now, for everybody who’s listening to this podcast, and if you’re one of our members at Degree of Green, you’ll be getting show notes on this, which will include links to the actual development page, and will also give you some ideas of how you can take action and get involved. But, I guess that brings up a question, Emily. What’s the best way for a consumer to either follow you guys or get involved somehow?

Emelie: Yeah, definitely, and the first thing would be to sign up on our interest list on HealthyVacationClub.com/GDC. That way you’ll be the first to get notified when early booking opens up, which is sooner rather than later, very exciting. And also, please follow us on social media, on Facebook, Instagram, Healthy Vacation Club, and share us on social media to help spread the word, because in all reality we can’t do this without you.

Andy: That is fantastic, and like I said, I’ll be putting links on the show notes to those websites, and social media as well. One of the questions comes up quite often from customers or listeners of ours when we talk about projects is how do we know that the developers, the contractors, and so forth, are going to be following some type of certification system, or program, or, you know, what’s to say that this is going to be what you intend it to be?

And my response here is well, you know, I’m involved in this, and I’m not going to put my name behind it unless I know for sure it’s going to meet that same level of quality and low toxicity as what I’ve done in the past. But are you using any type of building checklist, or are you using maybe a combination of a number of them, to find out what’s right for your project?

Emelie: Exactly, we definitely are, a combination. The builder that we’re working with to build in Florida already does a great job building according to the highest LEED standards, but we are working with you, Andy, in order to make sure that everything is not just good, and sustainable, and healthy to a certain level when it comes to human health, but to the highest possible standard when it comes to building in the hurricane zone of Florida.

Andy: Right. Fantastic. Well, I’m so excited about this. I’m really excited that we’re now giving our listeners an early taste of what this is going to be about, and many have already gone to your website to sign up to get updates, but I’m sure we’ll get many more after today’s podcast is published. But for those who have questions, I ask everybody to please reach out to myself, Andy@DegreeOfGreen.com. You can go to our website, we have a … On our website, the first page, there’s what’s called a SpeakPipe app, and that allows people to ask voicemail questions to us right over our website, and we’ll be happy to answer any and all that come across. We really look forward to this project moving forward.

And I will say this, we’re going to keep everybody updated about the project as it moves along. I really think that once we have groundbreaking, and then we start to actually build these homes, these vacation properties, we’re going to have you and Ben back on to tell us about how the project is going, and maybe some of the exciting things that are going into the project. So, I hope you’ll come back.

Emelie: That sounds great. I look forward to it.

Andy: All right, Emelie. Thank you so much for joining us today, and we look forward to talking to you soon. Thank you so much. All right.

All right, for show notes, and links to the project and some things we talked about today, go to DegreeOfGreen.com. This will be up right away. We’ve had tons of interest on this project, and we are very excited about having Emelie with us today, and look forward to having Emelie and her husband Ben on future episodes so we can discuss various aspects of the project.

Once again, I’d like to thank you for listening to Non-Toxic Environments. We couldn’t be here doing this without your support. You’ve really done a great job of leaving us reviews and ratings for the podcast. We are the fastest growing alternative health podcast specifically to building materials and building methods, and we hope that the podcast continues to grow. We’re going to be expanding our reach with the new podcast coming later on this year called Degree of Green, which will be a weekly show on industry news and actual product ratings and reviews.

So, thanks again for following us, and please go to iTunes, leave us a review, leave us a rating, and like I said before, we couldn’t do it without you guys. We really appreciate your support, and we look forward to talking to you again next week. Thank you.

This week’s episode of Non-Toxic Environments is brought to you by the Green Design Center, and HealthyVacationClub.com. Healthy Vacation Club is an organic, sustainable, non-toxic vacation community coming to Orlando in 2019. The Healthy Vacation Club is an alternative to other vacation properties and the bleach, toxic cleaners, chlorinated and fluorinated water, mold, EMFs, VOCs, and other toxins that often come with them. A vacation is supposed to make you healthier, not sicker. For more information go to HealthyVacationClub.com/GDC.

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