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beyond expectations





The Incredible Life of Carroll Shelby


An in-depth look into the sucess of Michelle Phan

GREAT ESCAPES Ibiza & Thailand


Things Designers cannot live without // Becoming more open minded // Are you too addicted to technology? // Finding your comfort zone // And more...



welcome to OFF grid.


book of the month


open mindness


Enslaved in America


addicted to technology?


Live Fast


travel ibiza


30. comfort zones 30 32. The Move to Thailand 32 40. can’t live without... 38 46. The Michelle Phan Story 40 54. writing room 46 56. Letter to the Editor 49


Welcome to



grid Congrats! You are now off the grid! ...well not actually off the grid then you wouldn’t actually be reading a magazine. In this magazine you will read and explore how to live life beyond the norm. So sit back and relax and when you get up after reading this go out and live the extra-ordinary life you were meant to live. best, the editor ...

book of the month

Written by Allik Thomas

The first time I saw a copy of 1000 Places to See Before You Die, it was in the midst of an awkward silence. My aunt sat with the heavy tome after having unwrapped the gift, feeling the weight of the book on her lap and trying to muster a weak smile. 1000 Places is not a neutral object; it’s a travel guide and a treasure trove of far-flung places, sure, but it is also a means by which one might question his or her own mortality. “You will die!” the cover proclaims, and, between those lines, “You have not yet lived!” It is a powerful sentiment, perhaps one best mulled over in quiet contemplation rather than at a family gathering. That said, it is the book’s title that has helped make it such a success and one of the most popular gift books on the market...

With over 3 million copies in print and 25 translations, the book sold well enough to merit a full-color second edition, which includes more than 200 new locations, including Lebanon, Croatia and Estonia. It has joined the canon of classic reference tomes that earn periodic updates and cozy homes on the bookshelf next to the thesaurus. It is sure to land under many trees this year. So what has made this travel guide, first published only eight years ago, so essential? And who are the hordes of buyers scooping it up? “Some people have really taken it to heart,” says author Patricia Schultz, who dreamed up the idea for 1000 Places in the late ‘90s after working for several years as a prolific travel writer. “People come to me when I do signings and say they have embraced it like the Bible. They have showed me these dog-eared, old coffee stained books where they have highlighted in yellow all the places they want to go…There are blogs about visiting every place, people who color code their whole lives around the book.”

Most readers aren’t so diehard, admits Schultz, 57. But she says she consciously chose the title to shock people — to get them to go somewhere other than the couch. “When the book began, we were calling it 100 Drop-Dead Places, but that would have just covered all the basics,” she says. “So we added the extra zero, and immediately I had a panic-attack. But soon it was a challenge to cut the list down to just 1000 places. The title was considered really alarming in 2003 when the first book came out. People told me, the book will never sell, you’re crazy, you can’t say ‘die’ in the title. It was so close to 9/11 then, and people were more fearful.” “Generally the fragility of our life is something we are aware of but don’t talk about,” Schultz continues. “The title was meant to be forceful. With travel, people wait until they retire or until the kids leave. And by then, it’s too late. You wake up and you are 90. There is only one thing we are assured of in life, it’s that you will die.


This encourages you to squeeze in as much travel as you can before you kick the proverbial bucket.” Schultz decided to only include entries in the book for places she had been, which meant years of travel and research, but also explains the dearth of entries for the Middle East or some of the more crime-ridden parts of the world. “The first book, it was a natural, visceral list,” she says. “I was never told to me balanced and diplomatic and political — just write from my heart. The reason the book is Europe and US-centric, quite frankly, is that I think anyone who has ever visited those places will acknowledge there is more to see in the UK than in Libya. Syria is such a beautiful country. It’s like traveling back to Biblical times. I didn’t include much of it in the new edition because it is not possible to travel to Damascus safely right now. I tried to keep the entries focused on those places you can really see. It broke my heart, but I was kept in by the limits of that 1000 number.” A lot of other hearts were broken by the book — those of local tourism boards. Making the 1000 Places list can mean a great deal for a struggling country or attraction, and Schultz says that she felt the pressure of boards when making changes for the second edition. “Botswana takes my breath away — but can you compare it to New York City? The whole book was a question of apples and oranges.” Schultz says she hopes that her work can shift American attitudes towards travel.

With the economy still weak and workers concerned about their job security, taking vacation time can feel risky or excessive. But, Schultz says, we only have one life, and it is worth using it to see the world. “If you really want it to happen, you make it happen. You don’t need a new flatscreen every two years. You don’t need new car every ten years. People lock themselves Cinto routines, and what they end up seeing of the world is so small and limited. I think its about priorities. I can’t tell you how many times I rented out my apartment, sometimes for two weeks or a month at a time. I did not have a sofa for years, because I was never home to sit on it. My priority was to buy an air ticket to get me almost anywhere. If you do your homework, there’s no reason you can’t find a cheap hotel and make inexpensive trips happen.” Schultz says that her most memorable travel experience was of coming across a woman who was celebrating her 90th birthday by hiking Machu Picchu. “She told me to remember that my knees have expiration dates,” Schultz jokes.

“We all have expiration dates. Get up, go somewhere.” 7




Written by: Jessica Rutherford

To have an open mind means to be willing to consider or receive new and different ideas. It means being flexible and adaptive to new experiences and ideas. Cultivating an open mind is another valuable outcome of critical thinking and reasoning. Now more than ever we live in a world that is constantly changing. In order to keep up, we must be open to new experiences and new ways of looking at things. If we do not stay current we will miss out on the wonderful new technologies such as the Internet, cell phones, digital photography, ipods, etc. that are making our lives easier and more interesting every day.

People who are open Minded: •

Are more accepting of others and have fewer prejudices

Are more optimistic and make the most of life

Have less stress because they are more open to change

Have better problem solving skills

Want to learn more, therefore are more interesting


Ultimately, having an open mind helps us expand our horizons and be more diverse and interesting persons. If, on the other hand, we seek new ways of doing and looking at things, we will expand our intellectual capability, find life more exciting, and broaden our experiences. Being open-minded also helps us with problem solving. First it helps us look at more than one way to approach a problem; then we find more expansive, ways of solving it. When we give ourselves more options, better solutions are undoubtedly more available to us. Ultimately, having an open mind helps us expand our horizons and be more diverse and interesting persons. People who are open-minded are willing to change their views when presented with new facts and evidence. Those who are not, and are resistant to change and will find life less rewarding and satisfying, not to mention dull. If we limit ourselves to what we knew and were more comfortable with in the past, we will become more and more frustrated. Society as a whole has become more liberal, and circumstances that were not acceptable years ago are accepted now. If we choose to approach life in the same way day after day, as well as becoming bored and uninspired, we will reduce our intellectual aptitude. selves more options, better solutions are undoubtedly more available to us.



ENSLAVED IN AMERICA When we hear the words “sex trafficking,” as Americans we immediately think of women and children overseas who are being forced into the sex trade or who are brought into the United States for the purpose of sexual exploitation. We don’t usually think closer to home

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Shedding light on human trafficking in our own backyard. Written by: Eleanor Goldberg I want you to think about young women and even girls that you have seen late at night when you come home from work or a social event. Maybe you have seen them in the streets in short dresses and spike heels. You turn your heads to look away. We do not look at the faces of these young women and girls who are forced to be out in the street. Maybe we think this is what they want to do or they wouldn’t be out there. Maybe it is easier to believe that it is an empowering choice they have than face the harsh reality of child sexual abuse, physical and mental abuse, and the pimps that prey on the young women and girls. To understand all aspects of sex trafficking in the United States, you have to open your mind and let go of what you have seen or heard on television. You need to let go of the media’s portrayal of the “joys” of street prostitution, and open your eyes to the violence and control the pimps and sex traffickers exercise over their victims, who are mostly girls and young women. ECPAT USA (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes)’, an Anti-Trafficking agency, states that the average age of entry into street prostitution is between 12 and 14 years old, though there have been cases of girls as young as 9 years old. I was 14 years old when I was forced into prostitution. Like many teens at that age, finding my own identity and defying my parents were top on my list. So when a man came into my life and showered me with attention and listened to me when I complained about my parents, I did not think twice that he was ten years my senior. After all, he said I was mature for my age and told me I understood him better than anyone his own age. Little did I know, he was laying down the seeds of manipulation. It did not matter what my parents said, to me they did not understand me and he was the only one that “got me”. After six months, I thought I loved him, at least that is what he told me, so I did what I thought my heart was telling me and ran away to be with him.


We ended up in Cleveland, Ohio. He told me we were going to meet the rest of the family. I had no idea the “family” meant myself and three other girls. After I was introduced to the “family,” I was told what my role would be. I would go out to “work” that night and bring him back the money. How else would we build our dream home? He assured me he would always love me no matter what, but he needed to know how much I loved him by making sure I would do anything for him. Later that evening, his friends came by the motel. At first, he told me to have sex with someone. I did not want to so his friends raped me. Afterwards, he said “that wouldn’t have happened if I would have just listened to him at first.” I blamed myself instead of being angry at him for being raped. I was angry at myself for not listening to him in the first place. After that, he picked my clothes out, told me what to wear, what to say, how to walk, what to say to “Johns” and how much money I was to bring back to him. He then forced me to go out into the streets. When I first went out into the streets, when I met my first John, I felt like this was something I did not want to do. I walked around the streets back and forth for hours. Finally, I got into a car because we were always being watched and I knew I had to get into a car sooner or later. Our quota was $500 and I had only made $50 that night to give back to the pimp. As a result, he beat me in front of the other girls to make an example out of me and then he made me go back out until I had made the money.

This is the same man that took me out to eat, listened to me when I wanted to complain about my parents, gave me words of advice. I was now seeing a side of him that I never saw before ; a brutal side where he repeatedly hit me in front of the other girls to teach us all a lesson. Not only was I shocked, I was scared. What would happen to me if I did try to leave and who would believe me if I told them what was going on? I worked from 6 until 10 p.m. the next night without eating or sleeping. I came back with the $500, but in his mind I still had not learned my lesson. He sent me back outside until 5 a.m. the next morning.

After the second day, he finally bought me something to eat, but as a punishment to learn never to defy him again, he locked me in the closet. Since that night, I was locked in the closet on numerous occasions and had my finger broken which never set right. None of us were ever allowed to see a doctor so we endured our pain by pushing it deep down inside and trying to forget it ever happened. I can’t count the number of times people have asked me “why didn’t you just leave?” “Couldn’t you escape?” To that, I simply say “do you ask a child that is kidnapped why they didn’t try to leave?” No, we automatically say they are a victim; it wasn’t their fault. Now I know it was not my fault that a pimp manipulated a child. Under federal law, a child under 18 years who is commercially sexually abused is a victim of trafficking.

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However under local law a child is charged with child prostitution. The pimps who are trafficking young women and girls on the street have a great marketing tool: the media. You can turn on the TV now and see pimps glamorized in TV shows, music videos, and movies. Young people use “pimp” in everyday conversation: “my ride is pimped out,” “your clothes are pimping.” They do not understand the reality behind the term. Pimps prey on young women and girls by finding their weakness and then exploiting it. It is easier to manipulate children, and by the time children become adults, they are broken down and dependent on a pimp. After the pimp gets into your mind, it’s easy for him to maintain control, much like a domestic abuser. From then now on you have to call him “daddy” and he will punish you if he feels like you have stepped out of line. You are required to bring him $500-$2,000 every night. You are not a woman, you are always a “bitch” or a “ho” and are reminded of that daily. — it is only getting worse. We see girls and young women every night being forced onto the streets, beaten, and raped to make money for the pimps. There are organizations all over the world that work with young women and girls helping them escape from trafficking situations.

You are part of his “stable.” If you do not want to follow the rules, then he may sell you at anytime to another pimp. Polaris Project, a non-profit anti-trafficking organization in Washington, DC, reported that a pimp who had three young women and girls in his “stable” were each were bringing back $500 every day. Do the math — the pimp was making about $24,000 a month or $642,000 a year tax free by selling sex with girls and young women he controlled and then keeping all the money. In the dictionary, the definition of slavery is the “state of one bound in servitude.” If someone sells you to someone else, is that not slavery? If someone forces you to do things against your will and you are not allowed to leave, is that not slavery? Then I ask you why, when pimps traffic young women and girls on the streets of America, isn’t this a form of modern-day slavery? What happened to me 15 years ago is still going on today. I now work as a Street Outreach Coordinator for Polaris Project, and I can see that it is not getting any better.I urge you to learn how you can stop sex trafficking, in the United States and oversees. To stop the problem we have to understand and help make stronger laws to get these traffickers.
I hope that next time you see the young women and girls on the street; you will have more understanding of the reality of their situation.


Now that you have the knowledge, what will you do with it? 15 15

Things You Didn’t Know About Slavery, Human Trafficking (And What You Can Do About It)


Sex trafficking victims are often treated like criminals.Trafficking laws vary from state to state, with victims often being arrested and treated like criminals, reinforcing their belief that the police can’t be trusted. Advocates are calling for a “Uniform Law,” one that will allow all agencies to properly identify victims, provide rehabilitative services, and prosecute traffickers.


Your state could be doing a lot more to put a stop to trafficking. Shared Hope, a nonprofit that works to bring justice to victims of sex trafficking, has graded each state on the way it responds to sex trafficking crimes. Find out how your state ranks and then reach out to your state representative and urge him or her to do more.


Slavery and human trafficking can mean two different things:Modern-day slavery involves exploiting people, often through forced labor or sex. Human trafficking is when a person is recruited, harbored, provided or obtained for the purposes of exploitation -- often sold as an object. Trafficking victims, two-thirds of whom are women and girls, are recruited by means of threat and are often sent into the sex trade or forced to get involved in manual and servitude work, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime


There are more slaves around the world today than ever before in history.Though slavery has been banned across the globe, more than 29 million people are living in slavery, the greatest number in history. Some 15,000 people are being trafficked each year right here in the U.S. for purposes of forced labor or sexual exploitation.And they’re working for you. Even if your shelves are lined with fair-trade and locally produced items, there’s a good chance that a number of slaves have contributed to making the food you eat, the clothes you wear and the laptop on which you’re reading this story, according to Slavery Footprint. Find out how many slaves you employ by taking the Slavery Footprint quiz and then learn how you can urge major retailers to be more transparent


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You support trafficking when you watch porn.Yes, while some experts say watching porn with your partner could improve your relationship, it could also enable traffickers to exploit their victims. Even if a porn explicitly states that all actors are over 18 and have consented to being filmed, that just may not be true, Yahoo News reported. The trafficked actresses may simply be trained to look and act older. Forced laborers are making some of your favorite things.There’s a good chance that the Christmas decorations you recently packed away and the shoes you’re wearing right now were made by slave workers. But there’s an easy fix for that. The U.S. Department of Labor has devised a list of countries and the items they export that are produced by child and forced laborers. Peruse the list so you can effectively change the way you shop. Slaves are working at the very hotels where you vacation.Many trafficking victims are forced to work grueling hours at hotels and motels for little or no pay and children are often exploited sexually at hotels because employees are not trained to spot such crimes. To educate hotel workers, End Child Prostitution and Trafficking has devised a training course to teach staff how to identify a victim and to properly react. Find out if your hotel has completed the course before you book your next trip. The Super Bowl is the single largest incident of human trafficking in the U.S.Because hundreds of thousands of fans descend upon the Super Bowl host city, it becomes the optimal breeding ground for forced workers, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott told USA Today back in 2011.Sex trafficking victims are brought to the city to work, and one survivor told the Times-Piscuyane that she was expected to sleep with around 25 men a day during such events. As the Super Bowl nears, authorities in New Jersey say they’ve redoubled their efforts and are training law enforcement personnel, hospitality workers, high school students, airport employees and others in how to identify and protect a trafficking victim.

Some are working against their will at “massage parlors” that you frequent.We’ve all heard the term “happy ending,” but the truth is, it isn’t so happy for both parties. While the masseuse may seem complicit, even eager to please, oftentimes these businesses are just commercial-front brothels where the women can be forced to have sex with men six to 10 times a day. Learn about the signs you should look out for when you’re getting a treatment and how you can help if you spot something suspicious. Identifying –- and helping -- a victim is easier than you might think. Learn to look out for some of the red flags -- a worker who lives with her employer, someone who won’t speak unaided and shares what appears to be a scripted speech -- and call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center if you have information that may be valuable. You can also get involved with a number of organizations, including the Polaris Project, Not for Sale and the Project to End Human Trafficking, which are all working to put an end to modern-day slavery. 17 17

Written by Dana King

Are you addicted? We get it technology is a big thing in today’s generation, but are you addicted? How much time are you spending online and not enough exploring the world? Here at OFF grid we want to give you tips on how to be beyond extraordinary, and sometimes you need to break away from technology to do that.

Do you think the time you spend online helps or hurts your personal relationships?

36.61% It only helps my relationships 2.36% It only hurts my relationships

61.02% It helps me keep in touch with people who are far away, but sometimes hurts those nearby (like my boyfriend/husband or my family)


How long can you go without the Internet before worrying that you’re missing something important?

11.42% Less than an hour 10.24% -3 hours

16.14% A half day

31.5% A whole day

20.47% Multiple days 3.94% A week

6.3% More than a week How soon after you wake up in the morning do you typically check your e-mail or the web?

16.54% Within a minute 20.47% 16.14%

So what did we learn? Let go of the phone people! Serisously put it down it’s gonna be ok you will survive!!!

With 15 minutes

Within a half hour

16.93% Within an hour

29.92% Could be a few hours



While perhaps best known now for his Shelby Cobras and Shelby Mustangs, his auto foothold came as a notable race driver. And among his enduring, endearing accomplishments as a car builder, Shelby broke the class barrier that had made European brands the elite in road racing. Representing the proletariat, his innovative, now-legendary Cobras with their “crude” Ford push-rod V-8s gave the high-revving, overhead-camshaft Porsches and Ferraris a sour taste by winning the Grand Touring World Championship in 1965. It was a prelude to a bigger win: the famous 1-2-3 finish in 1966 in the 24 Hours of Le Mans by Ford GT40 Mark II’s he engineered, breaking Ferrari’s domination. Shelby’s death was taken hard by the many auto industry veterans and auto buffs who knew him personally, or only via his cars. “He was a great friend. We did some good things together,” Lee Iacocca said Friday, lamenting the passing of his pal, and neighbor in Los Angeles. Iacocca was president of Ford Motor when Shelby pitched the idea in 1962 of a Ford V-8 in a petite British A.C. Cars roadster. 20

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That was the original Shelby Cobra and the first of many Shelby-branded performance road cars, mainly Mustangs. Shelby worked with Iacocca when the latter moved to Chrysler, even breathing some respectability into the little Dodge Omni compact via turbocharger and the in-your-face name GLH -- for Goes Like Hell.Shelby was born in Leesburg, Texas, Jan. 11, 1923. He affected the aw-shucks demeanor of the chicken farmer he once was, and said, “I never made a damn dime until I started doing what I wanted.” What he wanted was, power for the people, automotively speaking. “I love horsepower,” he said more than once. Beyond his efforts in the small world of hot-rodding, Shelby broadly influenced how Detroit automakers thought about high-performance -- not just power, but weigh and handling.

Before Shelby, Detroit’s approach had been ever-bigger engines in big cars — for instance, the storied 409 cu. in. Chevrolet of the Beach Boys song. It replaced the 348 Chevy, which was replacing the 283, in those big Impalas and Bel Airs. Shelby also proved in his life that hard work and bit of guile can make a hero. He jumped from chicken-raising — his fowl all died of a disease one year — and to fulltime auto racing, which he’d been doing on the side, in the 1950s. Initially, he drove in the work overalls that he used as a farmer. He was a successful driver and won Le Mans in 1959 co-driving an Aston Martin.


Carroll Shelby with his trademark car Shelbies.

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Shelby with mustangs. 24

He finished his driving career the next year in a Maserati 250F Grand Prix car previously driven by renowned racer Juan Manuel Fangio. He had his first heart problems that year, quit racing, moved to California and opened a tire store. But his greatest racing fame came as car builder and team manager, revamping a losing Ford race car — the GT40, so-called because it was 40 inches tall — on short notice to beat dominant Ferrari at Le Mans. He did it the way he always has: Big engine, little car. The GT had been powered by a high-revving Ford 289 cu.-in. V-8, but Shelby yanked it for a monstrous 7-liter V-8. It proved more reliable for European endurance races. And it let Shelby fulfill a promise — a threat, really — by Henry Ford II, who ran Ford Motor at the time. He had tried to buy Ferrari, but got a dismissive rejection from Enzo Ferrari.

Enraged and offended, Henry Ford vowed to “kick Ferrari’s ass,” and Shelby was his big boot at Le Mans. The next year, though, at the Daytona race, the Ford racers broke and Ferrari scored a “take that” one-twothree photo opp at a U.S. race. Still, Shelby was a hero and a legend by then. The litany of significant cars he created is long, running from the original 1962 Cobra through a sojourn at Chrysler that included work on the Viper, and a stint with GM via a failed Oldsmobile-powered car, then back to Ford. He was involved with development of Ford’s GT 500 Mustang, the 2013 version of which is certified by the Society of Automotive

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Engineers as the most-powerful regular-production car in the world. Some years ago, Iacocca happened upon on Shelby and a journalist dining in a Los Angeles restaurant. Iacocca plopped down at the table and he and Shelby started telling stories. Among them, how the two began their business relationship. Iacocca said Shelby pestered him so persistently for money to build the original Cobra that “I finally gave him the money to get him out of my office.” Much later, in 2010, Shelby was facing two challenges: Mortality, and the changing nature of the go-fast auto business. At the time, he was taking 25 pills a day, tooling around in a motorized wheelchair and talking about passing the torch at his Shelby American company. He noted that extracting the most performance from an engine had become an exercise in computer programming, not tinkering. Though Shelby was tech-savvy, he said “I don’t have the power to fight all the problems that I used to anymore.” He added, “I’ve had a good run. I’ve built a lot of things that work and a lot of things that didn’t work.” He estimated that of the 165 car projects he tried, seven or eight turned a profit.

Big enough, it seems, to keep the enterprise rolling. Along the way he came up with a recipe for a mean bowl of chili and sparked an annual beat-this chili cook-off in Texas. He even ventured into fashion watches. And he began his car building with subterfuge. Hoping to give the impression he was producing a lot of the original 1962 Cobras, he kept repainting the two he had built so that car magazines would show them in a variety of colors. And he had to fend off his friend Robert E. Petersen, founder of Motor Trend and Hot Rod magazines, for the affections of a woman early in his driving career. Petersen said he was merely taking advantage of an opportunity. Shelby recalled it as a work of infamy: “He’d tell her, ‘You don’t want to go around with a chicken farmer. And he’ll lose (races), anyway’.” Rumors began circulating about a health problem when Shelby failed to appear as scheduled at the New York Auto Show in April to promote his new 950-horsepower Shelby 1000 and the 1,100-hp Shelby 1000 S/C. ¬But Shelby, ever modern and in good humor, then published an update on his Facebook page to say, in the vein of Mark Twain’s “reports of my death are greatly exaggerated,” that he had been hospitalized for pneumonia, but was “resting comfortably with family and working on getting better.”

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IBIZA Written by: Teresa Rodriquez Williamson

Summer has arrived, and its time to start planning those vacations. My hot destination of the month is Ibiza. Located near to mainland Spain, this fabulous island offers magnificent scenery with towering cliffs, quaint towns, and hidden villages. Not only does it have beautiful and unspoilt sandy beaches, with remote rocky coves and crystal clear seas for snorkeling or windsurfing, but the countryside is also stunning, covered in olive trees, fig groves and dense pine forest. We have put together an exclusive guide for summer in Ibiza with the places to visit, dine and party. Ibiza is renowned for its electric party scene, with access to the worlds best DJs and nightlife; but there are also many things to do and see aside from this.


Nikki Beach:

The wait is over, and Nikki Beach is finally launching in a fabulous beachfront location in the Santa Eulalia area of the island. Nikki Beach Ibiza is following the same signature look, with classy white sun beds, chic drapery, cool lounge music and great sushi.

Experimental Beach

One of the new beaches to visit is the recently opened Experimental Beach. The team behind the Experimental Cocktail Bar in London have taken their creativity, their ingredients and set off for Ibiza. For something a little bit different, and for a mix of delicious and unique cocktails this is a must go to spot.

Lounge Ibiza

The very first incredible roof terrace lounge in Playa De-En Bossa is a must visit. Soaring 8 floors above the beach, this is the perfect place to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the awe inspiring DJ performances at the Ushuaia Clubs state of the art stage. Sip on your cocktail whilst overlooking the lazer show and take in the views and buzz of the grand Ushuaia Club.

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Expand your:

Written by: Jessica Vermillion

Comfort zone

“From a psychological standpoint your comfort zone is an artificial mental boundary within which you maintain a sense of security and out of which you experience great discomfort. For the most part your comfort zone is a reflection of your self-image and how you think and expect things should be.”

When you are in an uncomfortable situation, or one that doesn’t fit your expectations, you usually do whatever you can to make yourself comfortable again. For many people, even if they are unhappy or unfulfilled, their natural inclination is to stay within the comfort zone simply because it is familiar and safe. Many stay in jobs, relationships, and situations that have long since lost their relevance only because they are afraid of the unknown. The truth is that security does not reside in anything outside of ourselves; instead, it lies within us. Unfortunately, if you choose to remain in your comfort zone you will never find out what your true potential is or what you are capable of achieving. Nor can you really succeed at anything without venturing out of the comfort of your safety net.


If, however, you make the decision to move beyond the circumstances, people, and experiences you are familiar with, you move out of your comfort zone and onto the path of personal development. It is a path that forces you to stretch yourself, push your limits and become more than you were. Of course you don’t have to do anything extraordinarily out of character, like climbing Mt. Everest or swimming the English Channel if you have no inclination or desire for it. Stretching yourself does not have to be that extreme. Anyone who takes a new subject in school, learns a new language, takes up a new sport or starts a new job, operates out of their comfort zone in the beginning. Ultimately, if you ever want to achieve anything noteworthy or out of the ordinary expanding your comfort zone is a must!

What you can do: Break from a routine you have had for a long time and try it a different way.

If you’re typically a sedentary person take a break from reading or the computer and find a physical activity you can enjoy and partake in. If you’re normally very active, learn to wind down, read or relax.

Read a book, watch a movie or listen to music in a genre you’re not familiar with. If you usually read mysteries, try reading an inspiring biography, if you like action movies, try a romantic comedy, if you just listen to rock, If you happen to be a shy person and have trouble speaking in front of people, join a group like Toastmasters International where they encourage you to speak in public by using positive and helpful techniques. The more

Go to an ethnic restaurant and try a dish from a culture different from your own. It will stimulate your taste buds and possibly open up a whole new get, the more comfortable you’ll be and the better you will Volunteer at the downtown mission or soup kitchen for a day and realize how comfortable your life really is, while helping someone at the same time.about yourself.jazz music.


MOVING TO THAILAND A woman’s story Written by: Maya Dattani


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White Temple Thailand

So you’ve decided to move to Thailand! Welcome to the exciting world of “So, what exactly am I eating again? Oh, chicken blood? Lovely”. I am originally from Canada where I was brought up in the suburbs. Upon graduation, I moved to the city, found a corporate job and settled into the wonderful world of mundane monotony. I was sick of living what I felt was a routine, soul-crushing, pencil-pushing, life-sucking existence. I realized that I needed a challenge that would let me feel..... anything different! When I was in university, I had this insatiable zest for life. I was eternally optimistic (yes - I was that person) and felt like nothing would ever be able to make me become an ordinary person just working the 9-5. Then, reality hit and I became accustomed to routine. Sadly, I became that person who just settles for custom and bitches about lost opportunities. After 2 years of the grind, I decided that I needed a drastic change. I packed my bags and moved to Thailand to eventually become an English teacher. I was offered jobs in different parts of Thailand, but I quickly decided to move to a village in the North East region of Thailand, as opposed to a city. Moving from a city in Canada to a village in Thailand is a radical change (I know - Duh!). It’s the type of challenge I was looking for and the fact that the lifestyle was so radically different from city life was a BIG point of excitement. Naturally, culture shock is something that you come prepared for. You come prepared to eat different food, meet different people, learn a different language, experience a different life..... As prepared as I thought I was, there were still some things that truly intrigued me. These were things that I was not prepared for when I moved to the village: 1. Sounds like common sense, but I was NOT prepared to be one of the only two Western women living in the village. As a result, we are always stared at everywhere we go. Grocery shopping, to the doctors office, biking, sitting on our lawn.... We are ALWAYS the subject of town gossip. 34

To villagers living in the North East of Thailand, it must have been strange to see two independent women walking about without men around us. Many people would ask me where my boyfriend was. When I replied that I didn’t have one, they would ask the question again, as if my answer would change the second time. When I repeated the same answer, the silence that followed was almost preferred to the inevitable question of “Why?”. Now... I was a proud, single woman but it is really difficult to answer that question to someone from a culture that doesn’t really understand equality and independence in women. My explanation of “needing to see the world” and “wanting to travel anywhere” and “now-a-days women don’t need to have a boyfriend to do things” and blah blah blah would generally just get me blank stares and another attempt to understand me: 
“Oh. So you like women?”
“.... Yes. I like women” 2. People seemed to always know where we were, what we were doing, how long we were there for, who we were talking to, what we were eating, what we were wearing..... the entire town seemed to know everything about our lives! This didn’t bother me as such, but it presented such a different reality as opposed to living in a city where you are virtually anonymous! I was at the market buying some fruit and people came up to me saying something along the lines of, “it’s a good thing that you’re eating fruit because you weigh too much to eat a lot of meat”. Now, luckily for me, every sundown my skin turns green and I warp into a scaly looking ogre thing (channeling Princess Fiona - I TOTALLY feel your pain), so my weight is the least of my concerns. But my initial reaction was still shocked - not that someone was implying I was fat, but telling me my exact weight!

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I was able to think about my life and truly clarify what was important to me. Was working at a 9-5 job with a good salary and a comfortable life important? It does, after all, provide more stability and security as well as guarantee a much stronger financial future. Or was throwing caution to the wind and just trying to experience everything life has to offer more of a priority? I come from a family that, for the most part, lives a habitual life - I truly see no shame in that. My childhood and adulthood have been shaped by the amazing foundation that my family made for me. But I had worked the scheduled life and I wasn’t happy

- moving to Thailand put me in the right headspace to really figure out if that life was for me. I’m still figuring out everything as I go along. I’m the first one to admit that I don’t have all the answers. The one thing I know for sure, without a doubt in my mind, is that moving to Thailand was the best adventure of my life. Anybody who wants to see the world, to challenge what they believe, to test themselves, to push themselves, to cross new boundaries, to open new doors, to break free of monotony ..... even if you just need some time to zen out and figure out what you want to do...... moving to another country that vastly contrasts what you’ve grown up with a good opportunity to just clear your head.


CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT IT! Since it is out first issue we would like to start off our “Can’t live without it!” column by asking from our own family. Meet the OFF grid columnists you will be seeing a lot more of them.

Dana King “I can’t function without the beach, give me warm summer days that remind me of my Aina (Island)”

Jessica Vermillion “Scarves, maps, new places to explore. And candy! It’s good for any adventure.”

Allik Thomas “Pizza. There’s a lot of other things i love but all i can think of is pizza right now.”


Jessica Rutherford “Tattoos, and bows. Incorporate a bow into every one of my outfits.”

James R. Healy “My music, baseball hats, and Italian and Irish food and drink. ”

Teresa Rodriquez Williamson “I’m really into gardening now, so succulents, are my favorite! Anthing well designed in the house with plants as well, I fall in love with.”



MICHELLE PHAN a passion with potential



ichelle Phan’s incredible journey from bedroom vlogger to beauty entrepreneur makes us reevaluate every second we spend scrolling through celebrity Instagram feeds. The former art school student, who uploaded her first YouTube makeup tutorial six years ago, has garnered over 5 million YouTube subscribers and nearl one billion video views. With so many eyes on Phan’s steady hand and ears tuned into her reassuring voice, it’s no surprise that she was able to turn her passion into a profitable enterprise. She is the founder of FAWN (a YouTube lifestyle network for women), the brains behind the beauty social networking site and sampling program Ipsy and, most recently, Phan launched her own cosmetics line backed by L’Oréal called Em. And she’s accomplished all of this by the age of 26. Phan may now be a part of the millionaire’s club, but after recently talking to the YouTube guru, we’re convinced she’s the same humble girl she was back in this amateur natural makeup video. Below, she reminisces about her earliest makeup memories, sounds off on “no-makeup” selfies and shares the secrets to her flawless complexion (hint: it involves honey).


Seven years ago, in my first semester at college, the professors handed out MacBook Pros. With mine I filmed a seven-minute tutorial on “natural makeup”—just me, my laptop, and a cup of coffee. When, a week later, it clocked 40,000 Web views, I knew people were connecting with it, so I kept going. That moment changed my life. At the time, I was keeping a personal blog in which I depicted myself as the girl I wanted to be, with money and a great family. But it was all a veneer. In reality my life was hard, and I was struggling with insecurities I’d had for years.You wouldn’t exactly call my childhood stable. When I was growing up, my father constantly gambled away our rent money. Every few months we’d get evicted and move. My brother and I never had the same beds for long, or even the same tree outside to swing on. Then one night after a big loss, my father just disappeared. It was more than 10 years before I saw him again. My dad and I had been close—he called me Tuyet Bang, Vietnamese for avalanche, because of my nonstop energy. I took a lot from him, like being a risk taker, and I know how much he loved my mother. Their families were like the Montagues and the Capulets—he was from northern Vietnam, she was from the central countryside, yet

Michelle and her Mother and sister Christine.


They had a daughter, my little half-sister, Christine. But bit by bit he became very controlling of my mother. Eventually, the four of us moved out, and at age 17, I started working as a hostess to supplement my mom’s income as a nail technician in a salon. We could barely pay rent, and we had no furniture; I slept on the floor, my clothes in a basket beside me. We couldn’t afford dressers. My disjointed upbringing took its toll. I never made friends at school; in Florida I was one of the few Asian kids, and I always got made fun of because I was different. To cope I holed up in my room, drawing superheroes and reading. In one sketch I created a magical version of myself that had the superpower to save my family from our situation. Art was my escape, so when I was accepted at Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida, I prayed we’d find the $12,000 for tuition. My aunts and uncles had pooled together money to buy us furniture, but my mom used it to pay for my first semester instead. I promised her I would find a way to take care of the family. I just never imagined it would be through YouTube.

The makeup tutorials were a fun hobby at first. I’d play different characters or try new emotions—a bold lip or dark brows to look strong, or sweet pink hues for church. And I was resourceful: I stocked up on lipsticks and liners from drugstore 75-cent sale bins.As my YouTube following grew, I was soon earning as much from advertising revenue as from waiting tables, so I quit my job. My boss thought

“I was crazy, which just made me more determined”. In 2012, four years and 200 videos later, my channel was so successful that Google offered me $1 million to create 20 hours of content. It was an incredible opportunity: Out of all the online beauty experts, they had picked me, the person who filmed in her bedroom! But my real Cinderella moment came when L’Oréal gave me my own makeup line to launch this year. I was already making videos for Lancôme, another L’Oréal brand, so when they first called, I thought I was being fired. As soon as I registered what was really happening, I called my mom, who was giving someone a pedicure.

“Today is the last day you’re doing that,” I said. “I don’t want you to go to work tomorrow.” As I told her about the project, we sobbed together uncontrollably. I still can’t believe Em—my new line, named for the affectionate Vietnamese word for little sister or sweetie—is a reality. And even though makeup can change the way you look, I want everyone watching my videos to know perfection doesn’t exist. That’s why I show my face without products—pimples included—and that’s why I’m sharing this story. If I’d had a more normal childhood, I would probably be living quietly somewhere as a children’s-book illustrator. But my life hasn’t been perfect, and look where I am today. I don’t know what the future holds, but I love working in the digital world. I never get bored; I went swimming in a mermaid tail for one of my last videos, which got 1.475 million views. Whatever happens, I’ll just keep moving forward. Like an avalanche.



Writing Room... go ahead, let your thoughts flow out.




Letter from the editor: Well hello again, Now how was that? I hope you enjoyed our first ussue of OFF grid! I’m the editor the magazine which basically means I work really hard to make every experience with this publication amazing for you readers. Every issue is meant to help you live a life “be yond expectations” . Helpful hints, knowledge, ideas...I want to ive this all to you! (and I dont even know your name...) But what I do know is that you are extraordinary! Keep on reading and exploring my friends, I wish you all the best. (Also Iif you read this aplause all around!)

Wishing you the best, Kiara Amaris Sanchez


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OFF grid