Jimi Hendrix’s Essaouira

Jimi Hendrix’s Essaouira

Jimi Hendrix’s Essaouira Castles In The Sand By Mackenzie Lowry Jimi Hendrix, arguably one of the greatest guitarists of all time, wrote a song called Castles Made of Sand, in 1967. In the song, all the castles were dragged out to sea, as their time was fleeting. The song’s metaphoric lyrics implied - enjoy the good life while you can. Hendrix’s inspiration for this song came from a visit to Essaouira, a white-stoned coastal city in Morocco, with unforgettable beaches and crystal seas. Supposedly, the song struck him while he was strolling past the half buried fort, Bordj El Berod, near the mouth of the Oued Ksob. The ruined structure still rises from the rippled sand, slowly being worn away by time and salted air. An English couple, Emma and Graham, have had their own inspiring experiences in Essaouira and now want to share the inspiration with passing travelers. After purchasing two gorgeous 18th century traditional Moroccan homes, the pair decided to redecorate and begin renting under the company name Castles in the Sand. Imagine walking under the warmth of the sun to explore the food market, or talk to locals in the main square of the exciting Moorish city.  Walk in the opposite direction to feel the sand in your toes, and the waves lapping at your heels. At the two properties, named Dar Beida and Dar Emma, all of this is possible. What makes these traditional North African homes so interesting is their interior decor. Emma and Graham went flea market crazy when picking out decorations to display alongside the sandstone columns and wooden ceilings. Rather than...
Art Basel Hong Kong

Art Basel Hong Kong

Tour Asia’s Hot Art Market Art Basel Hong Kong By Ingrid Chen Art enthusiasts in Hong Kong had to wait until 2008 to quench their creative thirst. ART Hong Kong debuted that year and quickly rose to become the largest and arguably, the most important art event in Asia. Previously, many considered Hong Kong to be only a financial center, and a ‘cultural desert’. Within a few years after launching the art fair, Hong Kong was recognized as the art hub of Asia. In 2011, the art fair was acquired and rebranded as Art Basel Hong Kong (ART HK). Today, ART HK is the crown jewel of Asia’s art fairs and will take place March 24 – 26th. The 2016 edition of Art Basel Hong Kong, now in its fourth year, brings in 239 galleries. Half of the galleries are from the Asia Pacific region. Each year, after the New York Armory Show, the art world turns its eyes to Hong Kong in March. The Art Basel brand combined with the potential of the Asia market, pulls in top galleries from around the world. Each gallery brings their best, or most sellable artists, to attract collectors in the region. Many galleries use the fair to test the water, before setting up their branches in Hong Kong. But what makes Hong Kong the ideal location for such a fair? Some dealers praise the efficiency and convenience of Hong Kong’s infrastructure, logistics, and international connectivity. Fluency in English is another advantage. Hong Kong also boasts being the third largest art market by auction sales. International auction houses such as Sotheby’s, recently...
Norway’s Zen Retreat

Norway’s Zen Retreat

Norway’s Zen Retreat Juvet Landscape Hotel By Mackenzie Lowry     Imagine being able to finally reach a zen state – a total connection of body, mind, and feeling one with the Earth. It’s hard to find zen on an average day, bustling through city streets. Yet, when one retreats to the Burtigarden Farm in Valldal, Norway to check into the Juvet Landscape Hotel, zen is almost an instant gratification.     The architecture of the hotel is modern and sublime, while simultaneously appearing as a small detail in this grand natural vista. Seven individual “landscape rooms” have one or two walls, that are entirely made of glass.     Each of these walls has its own peaceful view of the landscape, creating the feeling of literally being outside.     The dark interiors may at first seem off‐putting, but they are purposely designed that way as to not draw away from the scenery. Minimalist Norwegian log houses or “Bird nesting houses,” are also an option for guests, who want a lighter interior and a more classic woodsy experience.     The cabins also contain window frames designed by Norwegian artist Knut Wold. The Juvet facilities also include a spa area with hot tubs and fireplaces.     For the wild at heart, Juvet offers a bounty of all year around activities. You can ski in the Spring sunshine, April ‐ June, while wearing shorts and a T‐shirt. Summer is the high season for rafting, climbing, fjord fishing, kayaking and canyoning. In the Fall, you can hit the bike trail for high risk mountain biking.     Guests leave their...
Piano Around The World

Piano Around The World

Piano Around The World Dotan Negrin’s Grand Tour Interview by Mackenzie Lowry         During a visit to any big city in the world, you’ll find yourself being welcomed by street performers. There are acrobats that will pull you out of a crowd, and men with patched up pants tapping away on homemade drum sets. Once, I’ve even encountered a man with a small typewriter, typing poetry for whoever was willing to pass on a few bucks, in exchange for his melodic words. However, it’s a rare occasion that you’ll find yourself walking down gum-stuck streets to the sound of a piano. On an occasion like this, I searched for the source of the music and found myself face to face with Dotan Negrin, while he was making magic with his fingertips and the ivory keys. I did not realize I was part of the reason Dotan was out there, playing his music. It’s the people he meets on the road, who keep him going and inspire him every day. In 2010, after exploring seventeen jobs including acting, truck driving, being a DJ, and trading stocks, Dotan quit his job to play Piano Around the World. It is an idea and lifestyle that combines his love for music, travel, and meeting people. His new lifestyle required physically moving and playing the piano all over the world, for a living.  From Long Island sunsets to the streets of Paris, and the rainforests of South America, Dotan Negrin has raised people’s spirits while sharing the message, “Follow your dreams”.       Mackenzie Lowry:  Where did you grow up? Dotan Negrin:  I grew up in New York City and Jericho, Long Island.   What’s your history with playing the piano? I started playing piano when I was 19 years old, in college. I got into it randomly. My roommates were musicians and they kept playing a lot of jazz music. I fell in love with jazz because I love the way it is able to create emotion without any words. I wanted to be able to recreate that. I started tinkering with the piano here and there and trying...
Utah’s Desert Oasis

Utah’s Desert Oasis

Utah’s Desert Oasis Amangiri Resorts by Mackenzie Lowry  Imagine you’re wandering through the hot summer desert, exhausted from the heat, when suddenly an oasis appears in the distance. You know it must be your imagination, but yet, you keep moving towards it – you can’t help yourself. Once you approach you see there are beautiful lit stone buildings, a spa, and even other people! This is the feeling you get upon approaching the Amangiri, a high­-end resort in the unexpected location of Canyon Point, Utah.  Made of stone, Amangiri blends right in with the desert, becoming part of nature’s bare beauty. The resort is architecturally fabulous, while the defining simplicity creates the serene beauty. Open air lounges host unmatchable views of the ‘Great Staircase’, or ‘Escalante National Monumento.’ Inside, Amangiri has a comfortable library and a worldly wine cellar. The dining room has an open kitchen with a wood­fired oven and glass doors leading out to the terrace. Tastebud popping food is perfectly paired with the peaceful mountain landscape. Although many may prefer to sit by the pool or spend the day at the spa, Amangiri also offers a wide variety of ways to step out and learn the lay of the land. Hiking trails keep guests within close proximity to the resort. Access to national parks is also easy from this location. For a stroke into the water, boating trips or fly-fishing on the Colorado River, is an event you don’t want to miss. For those who don’t want too much activity shaking up their peace of mind, hot air balloon rides offer the best bird’s-­eye view of the desert’s true beauty. Amangiri’s lofty location makes guests truly feel like they’ve reached paradise in the middle of nowhere. It’s the perfect place...
Road Tripping the Rockies

Road Tripping the Rockies

Road Tripping the Rockies Alberta, Canada By Lee Litumbe     Navigating social media can sometimes feel like navigating a labyrinth of facades where nothing is ever as it seems. Some people use it to escape into the lives of others, wishing they too could live the “fabulous” lives being projected; while others use it as a tool to connect and expose themselves to new people, places, opportunities, and experiences (I’d strongly suggest against the former ­it’s masochistic and the quickest way to feel inferior about your own life).   Case in point, last summer whilst casually pinning away on Pinterest wishing I could be exploring a foreign city instead of moping around feeling sorry for myself in my bedroom (relationship woes thank God that’s over!), I came across the most stunning photo​ of Lake Louise. There wasn’t anything particularly exciting about the photo either – no exotic wildlife, no major cultural difference from my own, no adrenaline inducing activities. Just two small red canoes floating on the clearest blue lake at the base of some insanely impressive mountains. Much to my own surprise, that was enough to spark my interest. Who knew I’d ever want to take a trip with the sole purpose of being out in nature? Certainly not me.     I’d originally intended to venture to Lake Louise solo, but I decided to reach out to my childhood friend Brenda​ (who lives in Edmonton), hoping we could reconnect and make it a bonding experience. To be completely honest though, the introvert in me was weary. Would we still get along? Would we have anything to...
Julian Lennon’s Horizons

Julian Lennon’s Horizons

Julian Lennon’s Horizons Exploring East Africa’s Horizons Interview by Lauri Lyons     Julian Lennon is charting new artistic territories with his touring photography exhibition Horizons. Most noted as a musician and the first son of the Beatles member John Lennon, Julian has found his true voice as a photographer and philanthropist, while exploring the world and his life’s purpose. I recently sat down with Julian to talk about his first visit to Africa, and the Horizons exhibition. One thing that immediately stands out with Julian is his candor about discussing his motivations and perspectives about life. He has no rock star affectations or celebrity attitude. He is simply an artist delving into the possibilities of where his creativity may lead him.     While visiting Kenya and Ethiopia for a charity initiative, Lennon began photographing the remote landscapes and residents he encountered along the way. The landscapes capture the vast plateaus, valleys, and sunsets that create the allure of a majestic East African kingdom. The images are aesthetically beautiful and possess a meditative quality.   Was this your first trip to Africa? Julian Lennon: Yes. I met Scott Harrison who is the founder of Charity Water . They’ve been digging wells in the middle of nowhere to provide clean drinking water for years. I traveled with one of their groups for the trip. It was a bit rough and tumble, but not compared to the lives of the people who are living there. I was fortunate enough to have a meeting with Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, and they were discussing the Millennium Project. We mentioned we were going to Ethiopia and he said they had some people on the ground that would gladly show us around and...
Jaipur’s Mahouti

Jaipur’s Mahouti

Jaipur’s Mahouti India’s Elephant Community Interview by Lauri Lyons Deborah Harse is a New York based photographer, director and marathon runner, who repeatedly answers the call of the wild. Today, she takes a break to reflect on her special passage to India.     What brought you to Jaipur, India? Deborah Harse:  At the beginning of 2012 I was without a project, and that is always uncomfortable. Winter had set in and that too, was uncomfortable. So I decided to escape the cold and head to India, for the fourth time. Before leaving I researched festivals and found that every year during the March full moon there was an elephant festival in Jaipur. It peaked my curiosity, so I packed my video camera thinking that I would get there a week before the festival and see what I could find.   How did you meet and build relationships with the Mahouti? Initially I was a bit apprehensive, not knowing how the elephants were treated. Nevertheless, upon arrival in Jaipur I began to ask drivers, fruit sellers, and random people on the street about the situation with elephants. These inquiries lead me to a suburb where three elephants and their mahouts resided. The elephants were in a compound and the mahouts lived in homes nearby. The mahouts do not own the elephants, but are their caretakers and drivers. They were very friendly and agreed to let me come the following morning, to film them going about their workday at Amber Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There tourists can ride elephants up the hill which leads to the top of the...
Eco Camp Patagonia

Eco Camp Patagonia

Eco Camp Patagonia Discover Chile’s Eco Chic by Mackenzie Lowry       EcoCamp Patagonia offers all the fun of sleeping under the stars, without the hassle of bug spray overloads and triple lined sleeping bags. In these igloo-like geodesic domes, visitors to the Torres del Paine National Park can sleep under a view of the beautiful night sky after a long day’s adventures. Although protected from the natural elements at night, visitors are out exploring the world through guided treks and wildlife excursions each day.       EcoCamp Patagonia strives to provide a fun, environmentally friendly trip for all visitors. Guests at EcoCamp can experience two story Suite Domes, or go for a community feeling by dining together, sharing communal areas, and overlapping adventures. There’s plenty to explore in the Torres del Paine National Park, from waterfalls to wildlife, to mountains and glaciers, and even ancient cave paintings. With the ever changing natural landscape, the sights of each day are more exciting than the days before.         The staff and fellow visitors at EcoCamp all encourage passionate exploration. They offer adventure packages and activities like the wildlife photo adventures, 7-day treks, multi-sports adventures, and yoga. They also offer individual activities such as kayaking, skiing, horseback riding, and surfing. When home base is right smack in the middle of the wilderness, all the beauties and excitement nature has to offer are easily accessible.     The EcoCamp models their nature respecting ways after the nomadic Kaweskar tribe that roamed the area during the 15th century. The wanderlust tribe traveled around building circular huts for shelter, wherever they camped. When the Kaweskar moved on they left no heavy footprints in the wilderness they enjoyed. The...
Katikies Santorini

Katikies Santorini

Katikies Santorini Vacation with the Greek Gods by Mackenzie Lowry     Greece is the home for Aristotle, Hercules, and all things pita. This incredible country has been called “a piece of heaven”, and “the most magical place on Earth.” With white structures spilling down hillsides towards the crystal sea, it can be argued that the views from the cliffs of Greece are some of the most breathtaking in the world. Katikies Hotel in Santorini provides an unparalleled experience of this splendor. From the spectacular views to the friendly service, Katikies Santorini  is one of the best rated hotels in the area.     As soon as they hop off the hotel’s complimentary airport shuttle, guests at Katikies Santorini  are given wine and fruit as a warm Greek welcome. After being whisked into one of the sleek, simple whitewashed suites, guests are free to sit back, relax, and let their cares fade away. Katikies Santorini offers a car rental service, 24­-hour assistance, maid service twice a day, laundry services, currency exchange, and massages to all guests. The staff strives to ensure that you do not have to lift a finger while being on Mount Olympus.     At the Kirini pool bar and restaurant, guests enjoy the luxury of an aegean meal without having to leave the glistening waterside. A wide array of cuisine and libations can be served directly to travelers in their poolside lounge chairs. During the famous Santorini sunset, Katikies Santorini  hosts a ceremonial wine tasting along the backdrop of a slowly fading sky.     At Katikies Santorini , guests can fully immerse themselves in the endless beauty and pleasures of Greece, while floating blissfully in a...
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