WILD Mag #5 - March 2024: Antarctica!

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WILD Magazine

Founder Rhonda Swan

Editor In Chief

Nigel Simmonds

Creative Director

Stuart Sullivan

Graphic Designers

Dave Abejar, Adi Mika


Antonia Stanton, Hanalei Swan


Chief Marketing Officer

Brian Swan

Administrative Director


Head of Publishing

Amara Becirovski

Publishing Director

Diandini Putri

Client Concierge

Marie Pacquingan

VOLUME 5 / MAR 2024

WILD Magazine is published by the Unstoppable Branding Agency, a forward-thinking public relations and branding company based in Bali with influence and followers internationally.

UBA utilizes storytelling, SEO, and brand messaging to grow its clients’ personal branding. It employs experts from all over the world (from countries such as Malaysia, New Zealand, Germany, the UK, Singapore,

France, America, and more) in related fields such as digital marketing, graphic design, UI/UX, and content production as well as publishing. For its employees, degrees are not the prerequisite – instead, it is experience, knowledge, and skill which matter to the company.

Unstoppable Branding Agency was founded upon Rhonda Swan’s firm belief in the importance of empowering women everywhere.


Image: www.katemilesphotography.com

© No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

As a child, Rhonda grew up in a turbulent home and struggled with her self-image and an eating disorder that lasted for almost 10 years.

When she overcame her struggles, Rhonda realized that she wanted to help other women achieve the same success. The drive behind the Unstoppable Branding Agency is to empower women by showing them that unleashing their voice is of paramount importance in order

to attain success.

This is the fifth issue of WILD Magazine, a publication which seeks to leverage the company’s faith in empowered women and their partners across all countries and nationalities.

We feel privileged that you are taking the time to read our publication, it makes what we do so worthwhile.



WELCOME to WILD Magazine Issue #5! This month we are coming to you live from the Antarctic aboard the fabulous ship World Navigator courtesy of Insider Expeditions. And what a trip it’s proving to be. We’re surrounded by the most incredible people, all leaders in their fields, many of whom we have featured in this magazine. Please take the time to check them out, I’m sure you will agree that the talent, mental resilience, determination and passion they all possess is both inspirational and educational. I know that I am looking forward to hearing what they have to say – especially around the issues of climate change, resourcefulness and the spirit of adventure, all of which are on obvious display in these incredible surroundings. What a privilege it is to be able to experience such comfort and company in what remains one of the least visited places on earth. May we all offer our gratitude to this planet, one which treats us with such vibrancy and life, and which sadly is all too often overlooked in the race for human advancement. Let’s remember that we are not owners of this place, but merely custodians of it. It’s our mission to keep it as beautiful and plentiful as possible for future generations. WILD Magazine will be relentless in its pursuit of this. Because I believe if it’s worth making a brand, it’s worth making a responsible brand –one that resonates with the vibrations and challenges of our times. Be unstoppable! – Rhonda Swan.

5 / MAR 2024

Author applications for ARE BEING ACCEPTED NOW!



It is Earth’s fifth-largest continent and is covered almost completely in ice. And yet it remians home to an incredible array of wildlife that has roamed our planets for millions of years.


Standout architect and designer Bill Bensley talks to WILD Magazine about his vision and design execution for the Shinta Mani Mustang lodge in a former forbidden kingdom in Nepal.



Rhonda needs very little introduction. As the publisher of WILD magazine and the Women Gone Wild book series, she remains the Unstoppable force behind her successful agency UBA.



She nearly lost it all ... then hit the ground running with a rental business that today manages a portfolio of 80 properties and turns over upwards of $16 million..


Aspen is the jewel in the crown of America’s ski world and one that comes with a glittering reputation among the rich and famous. WILD takes a look at what’s on and around the slopes this season.



In the tapestry of human relationships, we all tread the delicate path of seeking connection, writes our correspondent Kavi.


It’s all about community and connections at Asia’s most exciting private members clubs by the Mandala Group. Join them in Singapore, Bali or Japan.



We all have notions of what is and isn’t possible. Until the 1920s, Everest was considered insurmountable. In 1953, Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay proved everyone wrong.


A Maverick Mama’s Journey from South Africa to Mauritius via Taiwan.


Hanalei Swan shows us what lies beneath the surface with a compelling piece about the emotional tides that subsist within all of us.



Kortney Murray empowers women with a resource-based initiative that helps entrepreneurs achieve their goals..



Climbing is in Namgyal’s blood, as he tells us here in this moving tribute to his mother and his personal vision for lodges in Nepal.

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Former robotics engineer Brian Swan has embraced change as part of life, today mixing big wave surfing with his work in Bali as an entrepreneur.


Sir Graham Henry is widely regarded as rugby’s most notable coach, having led New Zealand’s All Blacks to World Cup victory in a tenure that is unrivalled in the sport.


Entrepreneur and DJ Spencer Tarring is Dubai bound with his latest upcoming venture M1NT, a superclub with a difference – it’s owned by the people who frequent it.



A remarable personal journey reaches its climax with The Swan Bingin in Bali, offering 360-degree views over iconic Uluwatu waves.



John Flora, the founder of Orvino Wines and Flora Foods, stands as a testament to entrepreneurial spirit and culinary passion.


Sarah and Steve Pirie-Nally are the visionary duo behind the socially conscious, innovation, design and travel company Wonder and Wander.



Seasons Niseko is the six-star vision of former investment banker Mike Alexander, whose passion for the finer things has spilled over into a remarkable property in Japan’s best loved ski destination.


Extreme sports atheltes Jess & Cody Russell run Valet Stays, a short-term rental management company offering turnkey services to airbnb owners –worldwide.


The world’s best surf meets the world’s best culture on the Indonesian island of Bali.



Community and fitness intertwine in paradise at Bambu Fitness where Carrie and Will Henke live the healthy life among the trend setters on Bali.


A bespoke adventure awaits travelers to the remote Kingdom of Mustang in Nepal.


Jules Schroeder came back from the dead with a mission to live an unconventional life. Today she creates experiences around the world to teach entrepreneurs and thought leaders how to do the same.


UBA Launches New Publications Division


THE Unstoppable Branding Agency has launched a new publications division on the back of its success with WILD magazine.

“It just made sense,” says UBA founder Rhonda Swan. “Everywhere we went with WILD, people complemented us on the magazine. So we decided to open a new publications division so we can make quality magazines for our clients as well.”

UBA today specializes in the creation of one-off magazines for high-level events, whether its for seminars, high-ticket coaching or Masterclass retreats. Magazines are designed, curated and produced for delivery anywhere in the world.

“Our luxe publications combine high-level creative design and great photography with intelligent, focused editorial to create compelling magazines that scream QUALITY,” says Rhonda. “We use only advanced printing methods and exceptional paper stock and our team boasts some of the most experienced staffers in the business.”

At the helm of the new division is British Editor In Chief Nigel Simmonds who has been creating award-winning publications for more

than 30 years and has worked as the editorial leader at Tatler Magazine, as well as creating publications for the likes of American Express, Visa, and Mastercard, not to mention hotel magazines for The Regent Beverly Wilshire, InterContinental Resorts and Bali’s respected luxury publication The Yak. Nigel is backed by a team of experienced writers, designers and web developers.

How does it work?

- Do you have a Blue Chip client that needs a magazine for their leadership event?

- Do you need a magazine with Masterclass content for your high-ticket coaching seminar?

- Create a high-quality magazine for your successful company, curated at every step of the way.

Leave it to us!

We walk you through the process, creating and consulting you on relevant, targeted content and individual design that matches your message. We handle all aspects of the publication, from design to production, printing and delivery.

For more details please contact us at https:// unstoppablebrandingagency.com




IN a world where entrepreneurship is the new black and women empowerment is at its peak, Rhonda Swan stands as a beacon of inspiration for many. Not just an entrepreneur, but a mother, author, speaker, and coach; Rhonda wears many hats with unmatched grace and efficiency. As the founder of the Unstoppable Branding Agency, one of the top branding firms dedicated to entrepreneurs, and the author of the Women Gone Wild book series, which includes a chapter from her daughter Hanalei Swan, Rhonda has dedicated her life to helping others find their voice, build their brand, and unleash their full potential.

Unstoppable Branding Agency

The journey towards becoming ‘unstoppable’ started when Rhonda and her family lost everything during the 2008 economic and financial crisis. Having transitioned from a corporate role to entrepreneurship just three years prior, she came to the realization that the significance of establishing a personal brand is frequently underestimated by entrepreneurs. This crucial insight was the catalyst for her remarkable recovery from financial ruin to reconstructing the Unstoppable Family Empire in just a few short years. Through this experience, she not only learned but also demonstrated that a robust personal brand is the cornerstone of any successful business. Consequently, Rhonda made it her life’s mission to assist others in comprehending and developing their own brands, culminating in the founding of the Unstoppable Branding Agency.

The company is not just another branding firm; it is a powerhouse dedicated to helping entrepreneurs, especially women, build a strong and authentic brand. Rhonda and her team work closely with clients to understand their vision, values, and target audience, and then create a customized branding strategy that aligns with their goals. From creating captivating visuals to crafting compelling narratives, the Unstoppable Branding Agency ensures that every aspect of a brand is meticulously curated and resonates with its target audience. In 2021 her company UBA was

named by Forbes as being the top PR & Branding firm for entrepreneurs.

Women Gone Wild Book Series

In addition to her work with the Unstoppable Branding Agency, Rhonda is also the author of the Women Gone Wild book series. This series is a collection of real-life stories of women who broke free from the constraints of societal expectations and chased their dreams with unrelenting passion. It is a celebration of the wild, fearless, and unstoppable spirit of women all over the world.

Rhonda’s intention with the Women Gone Wild series is to inspire and empower women to break free from the chains of self-doubt, fear, and conformity, and to embrace their wild side. It is a call to action for women to own their power, pursue their passions, and live life on their own terms.

As women discover the wisdom and experiences shared within the pages of Women Gone Wild they’re inspired to chart their own paths towards financial freedom and success. The collective vision of these visionary authors frames a new era of women’s empowerment, where financial literacy and entrepreneurial spirit pave the way for limitless possibilities.

Together, the authors have unleashed a powerful resource for women seeking to embark on their own journeys of financial empowerment. With the book available in bookstores across the USA, including Barnes and Noble, Target and Wal-Mart they are igniting a movement of empowered women who are fearlessly pursuing their dreams, making significant waves in the women empowerment space.

The current book in the series is the first installment of the W.I.L.D. (WEALTH. INTUITION. LEADERSHIP. DIVERSITY) series, and it is already making waves in the realm of women’s empowerment and financial success.

Following the remarkable success of the Wealth Edition, the next book in the series, titled

“Intuition”, is set to launch in June 2024. This eagerly anticipated book will delve into the power of intuition and its role in guiding women towards their true purpose and passions. With a focus on intuitive decision-making and tapping into inner wisdom, “Intuition” promises to be a game-changer for women seeking to achieve greatness in their personal and professional lives.

But the journey does not end there. The W.I.L.D. Series is slated to continue with subsequent installments, including “Leadership” and “Diversity”. Each book will explore essential aspects of personal and professional development, equipping women with the tools and insights they need to lead with confidence and embrace diversity in all aspects of life.

The visionary authors behind the W.I.L.D. Series are not only passionate about sharing their wisdom in the pages of these transformative books but are also available for speaking engagements and interviews. As trailblazers in their respective fields, these authors are committed to inspiring and empowering audiences worldwide. Whether it’s on stages, virtual events, or through media interviews, they are eager to share their experiences and insights to ignite positive change and empower women to step into their greatness.

With the upcoming launch of “Intuition” and the promise of “Leadership” and “Diversity” on the horizon, the W.I.L.D. Series is set to become a powerful resource for women seeking growth, empowerment, and transformation. These books will serve as guiding lights, illuminating the path towards success, authenticity, and purpose.




power play


“I THRIVE on influence,” says Spencer Tarring, whose bio thus far reads like a Ferrari on fastrack. It’s so pumped it’s almost hard to fathom. Selling tech server company Dedipower Managed Hosting in the UK for 20 million pounds, he moved to China in 2012 where he became a celebrity DJ and Musical Director at what was then probably the world’s best nightclub – M1NT Shanghai.

“I think it’s fair to say I was the most famous foreigner in the city at that point,” says Spencer, who subsequently used his influence to foster a nascent nightlife scene in China and start the music streaming service Pyromusic.cn. He moved into crypto, using his data center experience to build huge mining facilities in the city, capitalizing on his social media profile along the way. Life was beyond good and he quite literally had it all. “I thought I was a king,” he says. “I thought I could do no wrong.”

He moved fast – probably too fast, says Spencer. With cash to burn in the bank, he invested in Horizen Bar on The Bund in Shanghai. “I put in around 4 million RMB, which was about $600,000 at the time, despite many people telling me I was mad, including my lawyer.”

It never made money. “Horizen burned through funds like it was going out of business, which it was. My investment contracts were poorly worded and I totally overlooked the business model and plan, and didn’t do my due diligence. All because I was desperate to own a club in Shanghai. After 12 months the club closed and all I had from it was a few good nights out and an extremely bruised ego.”

The Confidence Conundrum

Spencer Tarring freely admits that confidence and ego are at the center of his hits, and his misses. “I have had some big successes,” he says, “but I’ve also had failures along the way. I think it’s important to recognise those failures as they have helped me to better understand who I am.”

There’s been some property investments that have returned handsomely, and some that haven’t, sometimes because he’s allowed

himself to be talked into projects and sometimes because he’s misjudged the economic cycle. And then there was Horizen Bar. “If you have a big ego,” he says, “there’s nothing wrong with that, because I certainly have one. But in hindsight it’s better to be the biggest dog at the club by being the best customer. Blow a few grand in one night, instead of investing half a million dollars. Believe me, it will be much less stressful and a much better use of money.”

Spencer Tarring is always striving for success and making a name for himself on the global stage. He’s the founder and host of Lock Stock FM, a podcast that features no-holds-barred conversations about business, life, and success. With a plethora of experience in entrepreneurship, encompassing tech startups, fund raising, web3.0, and the music industry, Spencer has a deep understanding of business, how to get things done, and most importantly executing on a strategy from inception to exit.

“Now that I look back I’ve started to realize my skill set is not in the actual running of a business,” says Tarring. “It’s definitely in the finding of the right person to partner with and filling in all the voids that they need to make the business a successful venture.”

A stint in Bali, Indonesia, offered him time to reflect on his successes –and his failures. “Bali is a great place to enjoy life, but in the end I just felt it wasn’t the place to rest on my laurels. After a couple of years I hungered for the challenge of doing business again on the big stage, and moved to Dubai. I was surrounded once more by competition, and this drove me back to my roots.”

The Future Is Minted

His confidence levels are once again on the up. “I believe I’m destined to do something bigger,” he says. “I have the confidence that something’s going to happen, and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t matter.”

Incoming in April 2025 is M1NT Dubai. It’s another high-end club, but with a difference. It will be the world’s first Shareholder’s Club, says


Tarring, with up to 400 backers who each get to own a piece of the business. For a relatively small investment, shareholders get full member access and dividends from profits.

It’s microfinance set to deliver an amazing venue and atmosphere, offering exclusivity to investors for $30,000 a share. Given his experience in the nightlife world, there has been no shortage of interest. “It’s the team who founded M1NT Shanghai,” he says. “We are confident that M1NT Dubai will become a staple of the city’s nightlife scene. We’re offering people the chance to be part of it for what is ultimately a very small investment.”

He’s motivated by his past. “Being a DJ is an amazing feeling, largely because you’re influencing so many people. The biggest thing for me as a person is that I thrive on influence. I like people listening to what I say. Not that I want them to do what I say, it’s not like being a dictator, it’s the ability to have something important to say and having the ability to get people to listen to you.”

M1NT Dubai is set to be an entertainment venue for discerning guests, housing a high-end restaurant and lounge as well as the club. “The shareholder structure means it is good both professionally and socially for each of the owners,” he says. “It just makes sense and offsets the marketing budget for their businesses.”

Having so many owners also affects the atmosphere in the club, says Spencer. “Owning part of the club just elevates your experience of it, especially when you bring a group of contacts and friends. The vibe

changes drastically when you own part of the brand, creating an electric atmosphere that’s unbeatable.”

Also incoming in the third quarter of 2024 is another venture combining Tarring’s tech skills with entertainment venues. Called Rendezverse, it’s a web3.0 tool that matches venues in the UAE directly with consumers. Using 3D and VR technology, it will offer a service along the lines of Airbnb for event spaces. “We’re basically building a directory of venues in the UAE, all with 3D and VR solutions. We’ve already got scans of around 1,000 venues and we’re hoping to launch within the next two to three months.”

Spencer Tarring stands out as a rare individual who successfully combines entrepreneurship, innovation, and magnetic charisma. His journey is marked by tech innovation, energetic DJ performances, and strategic investments that make an impact globally. From the lively streets of Shanghai to the bustling skyline of Dubai, Spencer’s path reflects a steadfast commitment to entrepreneurial excellence while embracing a lifestyle that balances work and play.

Still, ego and confidence are key to what he does. “Using ego is powerful,” says Spencer. “I don’t view it as a dirty word. If it gets off the rails then I trust close friends to pull me up and stay grounded. I also play golf, and that certainly keeps it real. Ego and confidence in what I do is most definitely important to me, and with experience I now know how to use and control it.”






CARL, can you share with us what initially inspired you to create Insider Expeditions and what your original vision was for the company?

After college I rode my bicycle across the country with 30 other graduates as a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity. We became such a close community, raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for affordable housing, and had the adventure of our lives. I have been trying to live within that epic cross-section of community, impact, and adventure ever since through group travel experiences.

Since the inception of Insider Expeditions, how has your mission evolved? Are there specific experiences or feedback that have shaped this evolution?

When we started, most of our trips were crafted for university alumni associations, and we still love serving that older cohort of travelers. But we realize that experiences and connection with the world and each other is craved across all ages, and now we have trips that serve every age and every budget, from very cheap yoga retreats to high-end 7-star expeditions that would be impossible to do on your own.

What sets Insider Expeditions apart in terms of the experiences you offer? How do you ensure that each expedition is unique and memorable for your travelers?

We pride ourselves that every single trip is different, curated especially for that community, and designed to actually be “once in a lifetime”. We are not a massive travel company offering the same departure to the same place every single week. From musical experiences in Antarctica to sports safaris in Tanzania, we offer adventures that no other company is offering or has offered in the past.

How does Insider Expeditions address sustainability and responsible tourism in its operations? What are some initiatives you are particularly proud of in this regard?

Every single one of our trips has an impact mission, even if our travelers do not know it. We annually raise millions of dollars for non-profits and community organizations in the countries where we travel, and make sure that we leave a place better than we found it. We vet all of our local suppliers for their environmental policies as well as carbon offset our trips and company operations on an annual basis. As one very proud example, we have raised over US$1,000,000 for conservation organizations working to protect the environment, from The Ocean Conservancy to Save the Manatees.

Looking towards the future, what are your main goals for Insider Expeditions? How do you envision the company growing or diversifying its offerings?

We are doing more with musicians and sports celebrities, offering their fans a chance to have a unique VIP, multi-day experience with them, actually traveling with them on an adventure and getting to know them as humans, rather than just getting good seats to a concert or golf tournament.

I think those trips are quite exciting and the celebrities have said they are some of their favorite trips as well. We are also doing more and more with social-impact entrepreneurs who are keen to explore the planet but also come up with solutions to protect it.

Reflecting on your journey with Insider Expeditions, what has been the most rewarding aspect of leading this company? Are there any personal lessons or insights you’ve gained through this experience?

Nothing is more valuable than time, and our goal as a company is to have people return from our trips saying that their experience with us was some of the very best days of their life. We are essentially selling joy, connection, time well spent on an adventure and memories of a lifetime. What an honor it has been to have thousands of testimonials over the years that we gave people some of the most rewarding days of their lives, and it continues to make me value my own time as well.






SARAH and Steve Pirie-Nally are the visionary duo behind the socially conscious, innovation, design and travel company Wonder and Wander. The Kiwi/Australian couple have built a successful business by bringing people together through provocative and innovative immersive experiences and encouraging them to think differently about the world around them. Now they have taken on the challenge of organising a stewardship expedition to Antarctica in the hopes of sharing ideas to tackle one of the biggest problems facing the world right now.

Sarah and Steve were first introduced to each other by friends who knew they would hit it off because they were both curious and loved bringing people together to start a conversation. After meeting, the duo knew their shared passions had the beginnings of a business, and Sarah says they wanted to create something that was impact rather than profit driven.

“We started Wonder and Wander seven years ago and we kind of approached it with a bit of patience. We both had experience in innovation, humancentred design, travel and events and we knew we wanted a company which would bring people together to solve problems in a different way, but creating a company that was more about impact and purpose rather than profit, was at the time, not the norm, so we had to build things slowly.”

The couple spent a lot of time defining the values of the business and being inspired by the sustainable development goals of some of the companies they were working with within their current roles. It was also important for them to focus on raising their blended family of five young children.

As the company grew so did people’s perceptions. Steve says these days impact-driven businesses make a lot more sense to investors and clients alike.

“We believe that travel can be a catalyst for change. Whether it’s walking around Tasmania and gaining new perspectives or embarking on transformative experiences, travel has the power to get you away from your day-to-day routine and create a new perspective, and when you bring the right people together this can be really powerful.”

The couple’s dedication to creating purpose-led experiences caught the attention of big corporations like Australia’s Commonwealth Bank and Energy companies AGL and Energy Australia and now the Kiwi arm of their business is catching on with companies here as well.

Steve says the rise in interest comes mainly from the fact that Wander and Wonder doesn’t just talk about changing perceptions and thinking, it creates experiences that back that up.

“We take people through these experiences that create real ‘a-ha’ moments. We’re not asking people to completely change their lives or give up everything they know, instead, we’re inviting them to explore and unlearn fixed ways of thinking and adopt a ‘dragonfly’ mindset – nimble and agile, capable of changing flight mid-air.”

While some might see the impact as a grandiose concept, the Pirie-Nallys believe it can manifest in various ways, from small incremental shifts in thinking to profound transformations. Sarah says many people think of impact as an overnight revolution when in fact most of the time change starts small and can come from something as simple as a single conversation.

As the company, expands the couple are looking to expand their impact even further. This March, they plan to lead an extraordinary stewardship expedition to Antarctica, an opportunity for travellers to engage with the challenges of climate change and conservation firsthand.

“The trip to Antarctica is a unique experience to bring together thought leaders and change-makers from across Australia and New Zealand together with some incredible expedition leaders like Peter Hillary and Sir Graham Henry and get all these people on a boat and facilitate some incredible conversations around climate change and allow these business leaders to share their ideas and create a sense of connection to what is possible. We want people to have richer conversations that ripple back into their communities, countries, and the world.”

Sarah says issues like climate change can seem too big to tackle, but being in a place where you can see first hand the effects something like this is having can have a transformative effect on people.

“I think there is a lot of fear around a conversation about climate change, and people don’t really want to talk about what it could mean. Can I still travel? Can we ship things across the world? Can I drive to work – there are a lot of unknowns. The curious part of my mind goes to, well, what’s the problem we’re actually trying to solve? And ultimately at the end of the day, that problem is how do we ensure the survival of our species and the survival of our planet? Those two things don’t need to be solved with a knee-jerk reaction, instead, we need a whole lot of innovative solutions, and so rather than never jumping on a plane again or selling your car it’s actually about connecting with ideas and people around the world to come up with more innovative solutions.”



rugby royal



SIR Graham Henry stands as a towering figure in the annals of Rugby Union, his legacy etched in victories, leadership, and a profound understanding of the game. Widely celebrated as one of the most successful coaches in the sport’s history, Sir Graham’s journey from a schoolteacher to a rugby luminary is a testament to his unwavering commitment and unparalleled strategic acumen.

His illustrious coaching career is punctuated by numerous accolades, none more prestigious than the Coach of the Year award from the International Rugby Board, a title he claimed an unprecedented five times. The pinnacle of his coaching prowess manifested in 2011 when he masterminded the All Blacks’ triumph in the Rugby World Cup, etching his name in the annals of rugby history.

Sir Graham’s ascent to coaching greatness had humble beginnings. Long before he adorned the sidelines of rugby fields, he spent his formative years as a dedicated schoolteacher and principal, seamlessly blending his passion for education with his burgeoning love for the game. It wasn’t until 1996 that he decided to pivot fully to rugby coaching, marking the genesis of a storied career.

His coaching journey commenced with the Auckland team, where he orchestrated a remarkable streak of success, guiding them to four consecutive NPC titles and clinching triumphs in the Super 12 competition. These early triumphs

laid the foundation for his eventual rise to prominence on the international stage.

Sir Graham’s foray into international coaching began in 1998 when he assumed the helm of the Welsh national team. During his tenure, he orchestrated notable victories over rugby powerhouses such as England and South Africa, earning widespread acclaim for his tactical prowess and adept leadership.

Returning to his native New Zealand, Sir Graham assumed the role of defensive coordinator and technical analyst for Auckland, catalyzing an immediate resurgence in the team’s fortunes. His transformative impact caught the attention of the rugby fraternity, culminating in his appointment as the head coach of the All Blacks in 2004.

Under Sir Graham’s stewardship, the All Blacks embarked on a golden era, characterized by a relentless pursuit of excellence and an unwavering commitment to success. His coaching tenure was defined by a string of triumphs, including a historic victory over the British and Irish Lions and a dominant display in the IRB World Rankings.

Beyond the rugby field, Sir Graham’s influence extended far and wide, encompassing diverse roles and responsibilities. From advising the Auckland Blues and Argentina’s Pumas to sharing his wealth of knowledge on esteemed platforms like www. therugbysite.com, he emerged as a beacon of

inspiration and wisdom for aspiring coaches worldwide.

His contributions to the sport were duly recognized in 2012 when he was knighted as a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, a fitting tribute to his enduring impact on rugby and his unwavering dedication to excellence.

Yet, Sir Graham’s legacy transcends the confines of rugby, his insights and experiences resonating across diverse spheres of endeavor. As a soughtafter speaker, he delves into topics ranging from high-performance environments to team culture, offering invaluable insights applicable to both sports and business.

In a career defined by triumphs and tribulations, Sir Graham Henry stands as a paragon of resilience, leadership, and unwavering commitment to excellence. His indelible imprint on the world of rugby serves as a testament to the transformative power of passion, perseverance, and unwavering dedication to one’s craft. As the sporting world continues to evolve, Sir Graham’s legacy endures as a beacon of inspiration for generations to come.

Sir Graham Henry joins Insider Expeditions as a guest speaker to Antarctica.


A Transformational Mastermind Uniting Brilliant Minds and Leaders in Antarctica, featuring:.

A visionary entrepreneur known for his transformative work in redefining travel experiences and crafting memorable events. CEO Insider Expeditions.

Regarded as one of the greatest coaches in rugby history and knighted for his contribution to the sport.

Global Growth Partner and Founder of She Evolves Community, skilled in HCD, Innovation, Neuropsychology, and Behavioral Science. COO Insider Expeditions.

Renowned adventurer, environmentalist, and speaker who has scaled Everest and completed many other expeditions.

University of Tasmania

Professor of Behavioral Economics, specializing in cross-cultural factors in socio-economic behavior. Director of the Tasmanian Behavioral Lab.

Entrepreneur, international keynote speaker, and global authority on visual models.

& Author

Women’s empowerment advocate. CEO of the Unstoppable Branding Agency and recognized by Forbes Magazine as a woman of diversity to watch.



Actor & Director

Award-winning actor, director, and writer and advocate for environmental sustainability.


Mountaineer & Activist Pioneer. First Bengali and Bangladeshi to conquer the 7 Summits, and K2. National Geographic Explorer & Adventurer.


Founder & CEO, Medigrow Entrepreneur with an infectious passion for all things wealth, economics and business.


Master of Miracles & Entrepreneur

Through her counseling center, Hazel has assisted thousands of injured workers and earned the Global Social Impact Award in 2023.


Fashion Designer, Speaker, Author, Artist

At 16 years old, Hanalei has spoken on stages in Australia, Hong Kong, India, London, USA, France & Indonesia –including a Ted Talk in Paris.


Founder Unconventional Life

Ranked by Inc Magazine as one of the Top 27 Women Entrepreneurs Changing The World. Musician, author, and event designer.


Business Leader, CEO & Author

Brian is a former robotics engineer turned entrepreneur. He is a semi-pro surfer, co-founder of the Unstoppable Branding Agency, and founder of Unstoppable Beard men’s grooming line.




WHEN producers at the Netflix show The World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals went looking for locations in Japan, they kept hearing about a certain property on the island of Hokkaido.

Not short of choices in a country rightly famed for its gourmet cuisine, unique culture and incredible architecture, they decided to check it out. What they found was a private 5-bedroom gated compound nestled in a forest of stunning Japanese pine trees, staffed by a Michelin star chef with a full-time concierge team and a personally adjusted heated swimming pool.

The Residence by Seasons Niseko impressed from the get go. Perched under Mt Yōtei and surrounded by outdoor decks, vast lawns and sweeping views of mountain ranges and ski fields, the property boasted a 5-zone Sound System complete with Pioneer DJ Decks, fully stocked bar with the very best liquors and tap beer. Then there was the billiards table, the eight-seat cinema, authentic pizza oven and sauna – and the outdoor firepit, near to the indoor pool.

“I prefer the pool temperature at 34.2 degrees,” says Mike Alexander, the former investment banker who built The Residence, one of two properties he owns in Annupuri National Park, Niseko. “A certain famous F1 driving champion likes it a bit hotter,” he says of one of his celebrity guests. “We have quite a few celebrities staying with us. Even the rich and famous need time to get away from it all, and The Residence gives them the privacy and exclusivity they look for.”

You don’t need to be a celebrity to stay at The Residence, but the price tag might put off less discerning guests. At upwards of $27,000 a night, the property sleeps 15 and is designed to feel like a home. “I started out intending to build a holiday home in Niseko,” says Mike, as the powder snow falls on the slopes outside. “What I actually built was a haven for anyone who loves to ski, enjoys luxury and values their privacy. I built it originally for myself and my two boys,” adds Mike. “We all learned to ski in Niseko, and just fell in love with it.”

Family touches abound. There’s a 42-speaker, five zone stereo system that allows different

generations to enjoy their own music in a variety of areas in the property. There’s bunk beds for the youngsters, and arcade games in the billiards room. For the adults, there’s a subterranean wine cellar that stocks the world’s finest vintages, flown in to match the four seasons on offer in Niseko.

Gourmet food complements the ultra luxury ambiance, and Michelin star chef Sean Mell from California is on hand to prepare dishes from iconic Japanese cuisine to a unique Hokkaido pizza, with signature surprises and devilishly decadent treats throughout your stay.

Banking On Winners

Mike Alexander’s journey has been one marked by prosperity, owing much to his adeptness in identifying a diverse array of start-up triumphs. Notably, he backed Block.one, the globally renowned blockchain enterprise celebrated for its world-beating initial fundraising of US$4.3 billion. His investment portfolio boasts holdings in Seasons Niseko properties, the well-regarded 11-venue bar and restaurant franchise, Mott 32, and the Mandala Group of properties nestled in Bali. Alongside these ventures, he has nurtured groundbreaking initiatives such as Ordre, the world’s premier multi-brand B2B virtual showroom platform, and a slew of pioneering Web3 enterprises, including BlockTrust. This innovative venture is reshaping the landscape of consumerbrand interaction through inventive approaches like tokenization, micro-blogging, and live events.

But Niseko is where his heart is, and what gets him out of bed. “I did very well as an investment banker,” he says, “and I’m very grateful for those years. But anyone who meets me today is surprised that I spent my life in finance. I should have been an entrepreneur from the beginning – building, designing and envisioning Seasons Niseko has been my overarching passion, and one that gives me the greatest satisfaction.”

Around Niseko

The area around Niseko not only overflows with great skiing and snowboarding, but offers other undiscovered treasures too, all organized for you by your chalet concierge team. “We have worked

hard to find hidden gems, secret locations and very special people,” says Mike, “so you can discover and experience the wonder of this incredible part of the world.” These activities include kayaking, paddle boarding and white water rafting; hiking, trekking, zip-sliding, horse riding and biking on stunning trails rarely trodden. There’s even nightskiing by torchlight for the intrepid. “This area is so stunning, not just in the winter months but in the summer too,” he adds.

If The Residence is too off the scale for your tastes, there is the smaller but equally luxurious Retreat, which also comes with five bedrooms and an indoor Japanese style spa pool, wood log fireplace and outdoor fire pit. “We’re planning another project,” adds Mike. “We’re building Asia’s best apartments here, all with the same sweeping snowfield and mountain views.” Prices for the apartments will range from US$1.5m for one bedroom up to $15m for five bedrooms, each with the same level of ultra luxury as the Retreat.

“I’m doing five-bedroom apartments with wine cellars, movie theaters, outside onsens, and gunbarrel views,” he says. “Some will have proper restaurant-style kitchens so guests can bring in chefs to cook for them.”

He’s also keen to start promoting Niseko’s non-ski seasons. “This is Japan,” he says, “ and there are four distinct seasons. As well as the world’s finest powder snow, Niseko offers gorgeous weather in the summer, with natural forests and stunning mountains. “It is absolutely superb year round,” he says. “It truly is one of the most magical places on earth.”

www.seasons-niseko.com @seasons.niseko

“This area is so stunning, not just in the winter months but in the summer too.”



JESSICA, can you describe the business model of Valet Stays and the range of services you offer for Airbnb property management?”

Sure! Valet Stays is a short-term rental (STR) management company founded in 2022 and based in Alaska, USA. Our company focuses on maximizing rental revenue for STR owners without them having to lift a finger. We offer turnkey services that include but are not limited to direct booking on our website, strategic marketing, advertising, listing management, SEO optimization, professional photography, meticulous cleaning services, monthly accounting, reporting, and seamless guest communication.

Being seasoned STR owners ourselves, we know the nuances of property management success. Your property won’t just be on Airbnb, we list properties across multiple platforms, such as the Valet Stays website, Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, TripAdvisor, Google Vacation Rentals, and more, and integrate them all into one single calendar so we don’t miss a beat. Our goal is to make our clients feel like true VIPs as we handle the intricacies of STR ownership.

What sets Valet Stays apart from other property management companies in the Airbnb sector?

Valet Stays stands out in the short-term rental sector for a few compelling reasons. First off, our focus on exotic travel destinations, such as Alaska and Bali, sets us apart. Alaska holds a special place in our hearts – not just as a destination, but as Cody’s hometown, adding a personal touch to our operations.

What truly distinguishes us are the partnerships we’ve forged with local adventure companies. We believe in offering more than just a place to stay; we’re here to provide unforgettable experiences. To ensure that every property aligns with our commitment to excellence, we implement stringent vetting criteria. This ensures that our guests not only have a stay but an exceptional experience that meets our high standards. We believe in personal excellence and this translates directly into our business operations.

What are some of the biggest challenges you face in managing Airbnb properties, and how does Valet Stays address these issues?

Initially, our biggest hurdle was finding reliable cleaners. However, we quickly found a solution and teamed up with local cleaning companies that specializes in short-term rentals. We also learned that to provide guests with detailed and accurate information about the properties they are booking, we needed to physically visit properties ourselves and perform quality control checks periodically. This lesson has led to improved relationships with our Clients and a level of trust that only a face-to-face encounter can offer. We have even gone so far as to stock properties for owners while they are out of state which is something we don’t typically offer as a service. It didn’t take long to learn that Valet Stays’ unique value proposition was excellent customer service, even if it meant going above and beyond the normal service offering to establish a great start for clients.

How do you ensure a high-quality experience for both the property owners and the guests who book through Airbnb?

When we say ‘turn-key’, we mean exactly that. We handle virtually everything from listing creation to ongoing management and even conflict resolution. We give owners full transparency through personalized user accounts where they can view their listings, financials, and calendar in realtime. I’m proud to say that the biggest solution we offer is peace of mind for owners.

Our guests are always happy when they arrive at a clean property stocked with everything they need to feel right at home. With immediate 24/7 support, whether it’s a simple inquiry or a more complex concern, we’re here – always.

What role does technology play in your management process, and have you implemented any innovative solutions for efficiency or customer satisfaction?

Our operations team leverages software that allows us to manage the dayto-day operations all in one place. We use calendar integration software, automated messages, market data tools, and price setting tools which allow

“Summertime is when Alaska truly shines, literally, with the solstice bringing 24 hours of daylight – an experience that can be surprising for guests.”

us to scale with ease and ultimately focus on enhancing the experience for clients and guests. We also keep up with the latest AI technology and implement it into our systems so we can focus more on client and guest satisfaction.

One of the most important things we can do is provide owners and guests with accurate information about what’s happening in the market, so we make sure to stay on top of this at all times.

How does the Airbnb market in Alaska differ from other regions, and what unique opportunities or challenges does it present?

Alaska is an incredibly seasonal travel destination full of bucket-list activities travelers can only find here, which presents unique opportunities to tourists. In the winter season, travelers can experience dog mushing, ice skating, and viewing the northern lights. Alaskans even drive their cars across frozen lakes for fun and ride snow machines to work. In the Spring, winter sports are in full swing as snowmachiners and elite snowboarders and skiers rally through the backcountry on perfect bluebird days for extreme adventures you can only experience in Alaska. During the Summer, the hiking trails take you into the sky atop peaks that feel larger than life and right up to glaciers that have been around for over 30,000 years. You can even see bears and moose roaming around in some areas. In the Fall months, outdoor enthusiasts have a chance at epic ocean fishing among humpback whales, and hunting is a way of life for most residents.

Alaska is known for its distinct seasons. How do these seasonal changes impact your property management strategies?

Summertime is when Alaska truly shines, literally, with the solstice bringing 24 hours of daylight – an experience that can be surprising for guests. To ensure they sleep properly, we’ve found blackout curtains to be a game-changer. Winter, on the other hand, transforms Alaska into a wonderland which can make it difficult for guests and cleaners to access properties, especially if the main roads aren’t plowed. We have partnered with local plowing companies who help us tackle this as it comes up.

Owners expect their properties to be seasonal, but that doesn’t exactly mean less annual revenue. Alaska welcomes over 2 million travelers each year, and this doesn’t include intrastate travel. To bridge the seasonal gaps, we’ve implemented strategies like attracting travel nurses for mid-term rentals and extended stays and offering corporate housing. We pay special attention to snowbirds as well, tailoring our approach to cater to those seeking warmer escapes during the colder months. Valet Stays doesn’t just adapt to the changing seasons, we strategically embrace every facet of short-term rental management.

How do you leverage Alaska’s unique attractions, like the Northern Lights or wilderness adventures, in your marketing and guest services? We highlight unique experiences in Alaska by partnering up with local adventure companies and tour guides who have become our friends. We

also have teamed up with the 2024 Arctic Winter Games team to provide accommodations for those traveling to Alaska in March and help owners list their properties for this time as well.

At Valet Stays, we employ price-setting strategies to ensure no money is left on the table. We adjust prices according to events happening in the area. When guests book with Valet Stays, they are booking with true locals who have a physical footprint, statewide connections, and a passion for all that Alaska has to offer. Whether it’s fishing escapades, hunting expeditions, backcountry rides, or jet skiing to a glacier, our spaces not only embody the beauty of Alaska in their aesthetics but also resonate with the pulse of the land. And a tidbit most folks miss: Valet Stays is owned by two extreme sports athletes and genuine adventure enthusiasts who love curating thrilling experiences for others.

Can you discuss how you navigate local regulations in Alaska regarding short-term rentals, and ensure compliance?

Navigating Alaska’s rental regulations at Valet Stays is straightforward. In many areas, it’s the Wild West – unregulated and free-spirited. Within specific city limits, where permits play a crucial role, we’ve simplified the process within defined parameters.

Here’s the reality – some places might push boundaries with listings in restricted zones, but that’s simply not our style. At Valet Stays, we’re integral players in Alaska’s business landscape. We directly engage with city officials and actively participate in discussions shaping the future of short-term rentals in Alaska. We’re not just following; we’re influencing, ensuring that the short-term rental scene in Alaska aligns with the kind of community we’re building.

Given Alaska’s pristine natural environment, what steps does Valet Stays take to promote sustainability and minimize the ecological footprint of your managed properties?

At Valet Stays, preserving Alaska’s natural beauty is non-negotiable. We have finely tuned guest check-out procedures, requiring that all guests make sure there is no running water, appliances turned on, doors or windows left open, or heat set too high before departing. We also encourage property owners to offer a digital guidebook where guests can find important information about their stay.

Being a service-based business, Valet Stays does not utilize much more than the Internet to operate. That means no brick-and-mortar building, office supplies, paper records, electricity & other utilities. We are proud to offer services that keep Alaska pristine.







IN the realm of American skiing, Aspen, Colorado reigns supreme, its allure amplified by a steady stream of celebrities who grace its wintry slopes. The winter of December 2023 bore witness to an avalanche of stars – Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Hailey Bieber, Rihanna, Kaia Gerber, and Mariah Carey all hit the slopes in the Rocky Mountain enclave. Amidst the snow-laden streets, a parade of luxury boutiques, from Bottega Veneta to Gucci to Ralph Lauren, stand testament to Aspen’s opulence.

Yet, beneath the veneer of celebrity lies Aspen’s true charm, a narrative woven deep into its roots as a former silver mining town, tracing back to the storied era of the 1880s. With the establishment of the Aspen Skiing Company in 1946, the town emerged as a pioneer in American skiing, drawing leisure seekers and athletes alike to its pristine slopes. Around this nucleus of winter sports, Aspen blossomed into a haven of art, culture, and culinary delights, weaving a tapestry of sophistication and allure.

As 2024 unfolds, WILD curates a compendium of Aspen’s hidden gems and bustling rendezvous, offering a winter guide to skiing, lodging, dining, and après-ski indulgences in the heart of Colorado’s alpine paradise.

Where to Ski

Aspen Mountain stands as the beating heart of Aspen itself. Back in the 1940s, this resort sprouted right in town, allowing folks to amble from Main Street’s shops to the mountain’s base in mere minutes. Fast forward 77 years, and the scene remains remarkably unchanged – each morning sees eager patrons queuing up for breakfast at the beloved mid-mountain spot, Bonnie’s, just as they did in the swinging ’60s.

Yet, amidst the nostalgia, Aspen has embraced modernity. This year witnessed the addition of 153 fresh acres to its skiing domain, courtesy of the swift Hero’s quad. Named in homage to the visionary minds behind the endeavor, including the late Jim Crown, a managing partner at Aspen Ski Company.

Aspen Highlands beckons adventurers with its legendary Highlands Bowl – a sprawling 270-acre powder haven that demands a hearty 45-minute hike for those up to the challenge. Recommended by the Aspen-Snowmass brass to allocate a solid three hours for the feat, it’s an adrenaline-seeker’s paradise. Meanwhile, Highland’s High Temerity lift unlocks access to double-black diamond glades and chutes, reserved for those truly confident in their alpine prowess. Enter Snowmass, the colossal titan of Aspen’s ski scene. Boasting a

whopping 3,332 skiable acres and 91 trails, it rightly earns the moniker “Snowmassive”. With such expansive terrain, it caters to skiers of all stripes, from fledgling novices to seasoned pros, making it a magnet for families and groups alike.

Buttermilk, on the other hand, serves as the gateway to the slopes for beginners. With a preponderance of green and blue runs, it’s the ideal training ground for aspiring skiers or those seeking to refine their technique before venturing to more demanding locales. Despite its novice-friendly vibe, Buttermilk also plays host to the annual Winter X Games, drawing thrill-seekers far and wide with its world-renowned terrain parks.

Accommodation in Aspen

The Little Nell

Once a humble railroad depot, The Little Nell ascended to the zenith of Aspen’s opulence upon its transformation into a five-star sanctuary in 1989. Its prestige remains unshakable, especially after a recent interior rejuvenation helmed by the renowned designer, Holly Hunt. Positioned at the very base of the Aspen Gondola, it offers skiers unparalleled convenience, a mere 30-second (perhaps 45 in cumbersome ski boots) stroll to the lifts. Even for those inclined towards après-ski leisure, The Little Nell beckons with its new spa boasting treatments by Dr. Barbara Sturm, and the Ajax Tavern, an idyllic spot for savoring Aperol spritzes while observing skiers gracefully descend the slopes.

Hotel Jerome

Established in 1899, Hotel Jerome’s interiors pay homage to its historical role as a rugged mountain retreat. Plaid curtains, a warm candled chandelier, and plush leather couches adorn the living spaces, while Wild West-themed artwork and cowhide chairs grace the guest rooms. During winter, the Library bar metamorphoses into a chic hub of post-skiing and pre-dinner gatherings, exuding an atmosphere of refined conviviality.

St. Regis Aspen

Embracing a “modern mountain” aesthetic, the ski-in, ski-out St. Regis envelops guests in luxurious comfort with sumptuous materials like boucle, mohair, leather, wool, and velvet. Indulge in relaxation at the RAKxa Wellness Spa, the sole U.S. outpost of the famed Bangkok healing retreat, or opt for a more social experience with an après-ski concert at The Snow Lodge. Conclude your evening with a delightful dinner at the lodge’s namesake restaurant, completing a day of indulgence and leisure.


Mollie Aspen

Welcoming visitors this winter is Mollie, a charming boutique hotel nestled on the outskirts of town. Featuring Japandi-style interiors adorned with Noguchi lamps and accentuated by shearling chairs in the lobby, Mollie offers a refreshing departure from traditional mountain aesthetics. The hotel’s culinary offerings, curated by the esteemed team behind Death & Co., promise an unparalleled gastronomic experience, with their hot toddy standing out as a beloved local favorite.

Where to Savor


In the realm of sushi and spectacle, Matsuhisa rules, nestled within a centuries-old Victorian residence under Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s watchful eye. Indulge in the black cod and rock shrimp tempura, all while keeping an eye out for the elusive celebrities that grace its corners.

Spring Café

Venture into the bright, airy haven of Spring Café, where vegan comfort food takes center stage. The Superhero burrito stands tall, offering a healthier yet satisfying option for those gearing up for a day on the slopes.

Meat and Cheese

No reservations, no problem. Dive into the culinary treasure trove of Meat and Cheese, an Aspen gem celebrating locally sourced, sustainable meat, and cheese, ever-evolving with the seasons.

Casa Tua

Nestled in a chalet near Aspen Mountain lies Casa Tua’s vibrant Colorado outpost. Secure your spot well in advance and indulge in their fresh pasta offerings, with cacio e pepe and pappardelle coming in as crowd favorites.

White House Tavern

Amidst Aspen’s glitz, White House Tavern offers a laidback escape. Renowned for their French dip and crispy chicken sandwich, a queue is almost guaranteed, but trust us, it’s well worth the wait.


A pilgrimage for skiers, Bonnie’s timeless 1960s chalet beckons with its legendary pancakes and apple strudel. Bask in the sunshine on a bluebird day, relishing a stack of freshly flipped delights on the deck, generously drizzled with maple syrup.


The deck at Betula offers more than just a view – it’s an experience. With a fusion of mountain and French-island cuisine, indulge in their tantalizing crudos before splurging on the bison ribeye steak, a culinary journey not to be missed.

Felix Roasting Co.

At Felix Roasting Co. nestled within Hotel Jerome, coffee is not just a pick-me-up but a decadent winter treat. Try their signature hickory smoked s’mores latte, crowned with a roasted marshmallow, amidst the opulent designs of Ken Fulk.

Where to Après Ski

The Snow Lodge, the Rocky Mountain sibling to Montauk’s famed The Surf Lodge, emerged in Aspen in 2019, initially gracing the base of Aspen Mountain before relocating to the St. Regis in 2021. Despite its relatively short tenure, it swiftly entrenched itself as a premier hotspot, boasting a vibrant après-ski concert series headlined by the likes of Diplo and Carlita. Don your winter gear (many performances unfold in the St. Regis courtyard) and secure a table at the restaurant for a postconcert indulgence of freshly-made pasta.

Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro epitomizes the Aspen ethos of going big or going home. Nestled mid-mountain on Aspen Highlands, this cabin retreat is renowned for its exuberant Champagne-shower lunches, where Veuve Clicquot cascades from spray guns amidst pulsating beats and strobe lights. (If you’re seated indoors, consider a wardrobe change.) And let’s not forget the fondue – an irresistible treat amidst the revelry.

Ajax Tavern is the quintessential après-ski haven in Aspen, conveniently positioned at the base of the Silver Queen Gondola. Store your skis, gather your friends on the patio, and indulge watching the (hopefully) graceful descent of skiers down the slopes.

Belly Up, Aspen’s premier 450-seat music venue, has hosted illustrious acts since 2005, including the likes of the Killers, John Legend, and Kacey Musgraves. This New Year’s, the Chainsmokers graced the stage. With concerts typically commencing later in the evening – doors opening for an upcoming Bob Moses performance at 8pm. – Belly Up is the ultimate choice for an après-après-ski night out.


walking on






IT’S a story that’s been retold year after year, reimagined, warped, and retouched in the special way that only happens to remote island communities in the 80’s; but the man in the middle, Bob Koke, remains in every scenario. Two Americans had arrived by steamboat in 1936 – pre-independance, preairport, and pre-surf – and changed the landscape so vividly and distinctly that not a single force in the world would be able to deny the mark they had left on the soul of the island.

At the time, Bali was completely untouched by the outside world. Paddling back into shore only to be greeted by a short, topless Balinese woman offering food and drink from the large basket on her head was an experience that rarely existed anywhere else. Trekking down to hot spots and nearly slipping and falling to your death had a certain charm, a je ne sais quoi that was irreplaceable.

Flashing forward to now, looking upon surfers all over the island, these tales of “Old Bali” feel bittersweet and nostalgic – so much has changed, yet so little. The community has evolved past just an appreciation for the waves, and huge island-wide campaigns like Bye-Bye Plastic Bags and Sungaiwatch have percolated into the wider community to give back to the Island. The difference it’s made is remarkable; both online and in real life, Bali seems to be birthing a renaissance-like movement of foreigners and locals alike who really, truly appreciate the island’s lush nature and culture that seemed to be forgotten in the 90’s and early noughties in the name of development and economic growth.

Foreigners who arrive in Bali are rarely told to look beyond the trendy landscape of Canggu – and really, why should they? The scene is convenient and familiar, the surf and service is good and plenty of like-minded individuals are all congregated in the same place… but if early surfing culture has taught us anything, it’s that we as foreigners cannot remain in the comfort of the turf for too long – those that seek truly fulfilling and new experiences must once in a while step out of that zone and explore past the shore.

There is so much rich culture in Bali that blends seamlessly with the Surf Lifestyle. At times hectic and noisy, the island seems to be alive, always, even without the hustle and bustle. Balinese Hinduism, not to be mistaken for any other branch of the religion, is idiosyncratic in the way that it’s been valued and revered enough to be preserved by the entire world. The religion famously extends itself past mere spiritual belief – there is no “To believe or not to believe?” in Balinese Hinduism because at its core, it is a way of life. Really, what other perspective could you possibly have when you’ve seen the island? To paddle in the water and look up to see an 11th-Century temple, to look out of your window and see nothing but paddies and trees and hills as far as the horizon stretches, to be woken up each morning by the banjar’s morning bells; experiencing that after growing up in any other place is difficult to describe.

The community that Surf has built into the island is difficult to understand and even more difficult to permeate. There is a sense of camaraderie out in the water, an unspoken agreement about etiquette and local rules that is so rarely seen in other communities. There’s a hierarchy, shared terminology, and a connection to nature that seems impossible to understand (and frankly, probably slightly fanatic) from the shore. There is no rift, no barrier between local and foreign surfers in the water. You have a right to be there, as long as you’re willing to learn. Who cares what language you speak if you know, intrinsically, what everyone’s soul is saying?

Kuta Beach was built on waves. Development follows surfers around the island like a tether, up and down the western shore, from Batu Bolong to Padang-

Padang. The beautiful thing about surfing in Bali is that the entire island seems to be on the same wavelength, despite surfing not being a native sport; whether you’re in Sanur or Padang-Padang, the etiquette you learn out on the surf can be applied everywhere, and it blends seamlessly. Balinese hospitality, famous for being warm and welcoming, paddles the same path.

Surf Options!

Bali, Indonesia, is renowned worldwide for its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and, of course, its epic surf breaks. Whether you’re a beginner looking to catch your first wave or an experienced surfer seeking the ultimate challenge, Bali offers something for everyone. Here, we explore some of Bali’s main surf breaks and their corresponding skill levels: Here’s a brief round up of surf breaks on the island.

Kuta Beach:

Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Located in the heart of Bali’s first tourism hub, Kuta Beach is famous for its consistent waves and sandy bottom, making it ideal for beginners to hone their skills. Surf schools line the beach, offering lessons and board rentals for those eager to learn the basics of surfing.


Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Canggu boasts a variety of surf breaks suitable for different skill levels. Berawa Beach offers long, peeling waves perfect for intermediates, while Batu Bolong and Echo Beach provide more challenging waves favored by experienced surfers. The beach town also features a vibrant surf culture with trendy cafes and beachfront bars.


Skill Level: Advanced

Uluwatu is home to some of Bali’s most legendary waves, catering mainly to experienced surfers. The main break at Uluwatu offers powerful, barreling waves over a shallow reef, demanding precise timing and advanced wave-riding skills. The breathtaking cliff-top scenery adds to the allure of this iconic surf spot.


Skill Level: Advanced

Located nearby Uluwatu, Padang-Padang is another world-class surf break renowned for its hollow barrels and fast, challenging waves. While the lineup can get crowded, scoring a clean barrel at Padang Padang is a dream for many experienced surfers willing to test their limits.


Skill Level: Advanced

As the name suggests, Impossibles offers some of Bali’s most challenging waves, reserved for expert surfers only. Situated between Padang Padang and Bingin, this fast and powerful reef break delivers long, perfectly shaped lefts and rights, requiring exceptional wave-reading skills and fearless commitment.


Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Located on Bali’s west coast, Medewi is known for its long, mellow left-hand point break, providing a more laid-back experience compared to the island’s southern breaks. While suitable for intermediates, Medewi’s long rides and forgiving waves also attract advanced surfers seeking a slightly more relaxed vibe.




AT its core, Rhonda and Brian Swan, along with their daughter Hanalei, embody the essence of living life on one’s own terms, a journey that began nearly two decades ago on the sun-kissed shores of San Diego. Here, amidst the waves, Rhonda, originally from Detroit, and Brian, from a small town outside Chicago, discovered a shared passion for surfing that quickly evolved into a deep connection. This bond, rooted in their love for adventure and each other, set the stage for a remarkable life journey.

Both Rhonda and Brian were carving out successful careers in the corporate world when the arrival of their daughter Hanalei catalyzed a dramatic shift in their life’s direction. Determined to never place Hanalei in daycare, Rhonda embarked on a venture into online entrepreneurship while still at GlaxoSmithKline, eventually launching a branding firm that would enable her to retire Brian from his robotics engineering career.

Their venture into real estate seemed like the next step towards securing their dream life. However, the 2008 market crash dealt a devastating blow, erasing their investments and forcing a radical reassessment of their future.

With a one-year-old Hanalei and their worldly possessions sold, the Swans embarked on an odyssey that redefined the concept of home. Over the next 15 years, their quest for a place to call home took them across more than 52 countries and all seven continents, each destination weaving into the rich tapestry of their family’s story. It was a journey of discovery, learning, and profound connections, driven by an unwavering entrepreneurial spirit and a desire for a life unbound by convention.



In 2015, after years of nomadic exploration, the Swans found their sanctuary in Bali, Indonesia, a place that had captured their hearts early in their journey with its world-class surf, vibrant culture, and breathtaking beauty. Bali was more than just a destination; it was where they decided to lay down roots and create something lasting. Thus, the Swan Bingin was born – a fourstory testament to their journey, perched atop Bingin Beach, offering both a personal haven and a commercial hub through Salty Coffee on the ground floor.

The building also features a one-bedroom studio apartment, designed by Hanalei, reflecting the family’s commitment to sustainability and ethical living. The crown jewel of the Swan Bingin is the penthouse, boasting 360° views and serving as the family’s part-time residence and a welcoming retreat for travelers. This space encapsulates the Swans’ philosophy of sharing the beauty of Bali with the world, while also allowing them to continue their travels and exploration.

Their journey underscores the importance of family, the transformative power of travel, and the enduring quest for a place to call home – a quest that has culminated in the creation of the Swan Bingin, a beacon of resilience, community, and the endless pursuit of dreams.

The Swan Bingin can be found on Airbnb, Bookings and VRBO or http://instagram. com/the swanbingin



IN the Heart of Bali

Nestled among the scenic beauty of Bali, a unique fitness haven thrives. This is Bambu Fitness Bali, a creation born from the passions and experiences of Carrie and Will Henke. It’s more than a gym; it’s a community, a lifestyle, a testament to the transformative power of fitness and connection.

Forging a Path

Will’s journey from the discipline and rigor of the US Military to the world of fitness coaching laid the foundation for Bambu Fitness Bali. His military tenure, demanding peak physical condition, evolved into a passion for helping others achieve their best selves. Meanwhile, Carrie brought her insight into the integral role of community and design in health and wellness. Their combined vision for a space where fitness and travel intersect led to the creation of WanderFit Retreats, eventually culminating in the birth of Bambu Fitness Bali.

A Name with Meaning

‘Bambu’, taking its cue from the Indonesian spelling of bamboo, reflects the essence of their fitness philosophy. Bamboo is resilient, flexible, and grows in close-knit clusters, mirroring the traits Bambu Fitness Bali embodies: strength, adaptability, and a sense of community. It’s a name that resonates with the values they hold dear and the environment they aim to create.

Standing Apart

In a world teeming with fitness options, Bambu Fitness Bali distinguishes itself through its exceptional coaching and an inclusive approach to workouts. Here, coaches are more than trainers; they are the pillars of the community, guiding, inspiring, and creating an environment where everyone feels welcomed and valued. This emphasis on quality coaching and community engagement is the heartbeat of Bambu Fitness Bali.


Evolving with Integrity

As trends ebb and flow in the fitness industry, Bambu Fitness Bali remains anchored in simplicity and transparency. Their focus on clear, understandable fitness philosophies ensures that members are not just participating but are truly connected to their fitness journey. This approach forms the unchanging core of their everevolving business model.

Building a Community

Community isn’t just a buzzword at Bambu Fitness Bali; it’s the essence of their existence. The gym transcends the traditional boundaries of a fitness center, creating a space where relationships are forged, support systems are built, and fitness journeys are shared. As they look to the future, their aim is to nurture this community, staying true to their core values.

A Vision for the Future

The road ahead for Bambu Fitness Bali is paved with exciting expansions. Envisioning a comprehensive health destination, the team plans to add recovery facilities, a healthy meal service, and even accommodations and a co-working space. This isn’t just growth; it’s a holistic enhancement of the community experience, driven by feedback and a deep understanding of members’ needs.

Bambu Fitness Bali is more than a destination; it’s a journey into the heart of what fitness can be when it’s intertwined with community and genuine care. Under Carrie and Will Henke’s guidance, it stands as a sanctuary where fitness goals are pursued in unison, where every individual’s journey is valued, and where the spirit of community flourishes amidst the serene backdrop of Bali.






manda la




ADAM, can you elaborate on the core vision and mission of the Mandala Group, and how you aim to impact the communities you serve?

For sure. Our vision is to build a network of world-class member clubs in Asia with community centric real estate developments. Our mission is to build meaningful connections and enrich people’s lives by uniting the world’s most exciting community of inspiring individuals.

What inspired the name ‘Mandala Group’, and how does it reflect the ethos and philosophy of your organization?

Mandala is a word that has many interpretations and meanings, but our brand name drew inspiration from its Hindu origins, which is ultimately a circular symbol representing unity and harmony. Uniting communities to bring harmony to people’s lives is at the center of everything we do. Our founder Ben can also show you his Mandala tattoo!

What were the initial goals when founding the Mandala Group, and how have they evolved over time?

We built the Mandala brand with the vision of building a community centric, luxury hotel brand.

We believed there was space to operate in this segment because most luxury hotel brands are not focused on bringing people together, they are focused on luxury over community. We believed our product would appeal to the next generation luxury traveler that wanted to come away from holidays and trips with new connections. During COVID we saw an opportunity to acquire an existing private members club and we saw this as a great opportunity and platform to build communities in cities that would eventually visit and stay at our community centric real estate developments. This pivot was amazing for our brand and we now have Singapore’s largest private membership community and we are opening venues in Indonesia, Japan and Thailand with the view of becoming Asia’s largest and most dynamic private membership community.

Who is your primary target audience, and how does the Mandala Group tailor its approach to meet the specific needs of this group?

We are targeting diversity. We work very hard to balance the demographics in our community in terms of age, sex, occupation and race. We believe a diverse room is a more interesting room.

What locations does the Mandala Group currently operate in, and what influenced the decision to choose these areas?

We are currently operating in Singapore, Indonesia and Japan and we are looking at expanding into key asian cities and holiday destinations. Our goal is to be the first Asian centric, multi-site, private membership product and we plan on building a 20,000 strong community by 2029.

Are there plans for expanding to new locations in the near future? If so, what criteria do you use to select these new areas?

Outside of Singapore, we recently opened Mandala Club in Niseko as a precursor to a soon to be launched real estate development. Mandala Club Bali is under construction and due to open in Q3 2024. We are exploring opportunities in Hong Kong, Bangkok, Jakarta, Tokyo and Dubai. Our primary driver for expansion is always what locations will add meaningful value to our existing community. All of the locations we are targeting are places where our existing community travel for business and leisure. If the primary objective is achieved, we then do a deep dive feasibility study of the region and search for opportunities that meet our financial return metrics.


Could you share a bit about the background of the founders? How do their personal experiences and expertise shape the direction of the Mandala Group?

Ben Jones is an ex banker who used to work in special situations debt structuring, but always had a passion for design and the arts. I am a qualified accountant and ex investment banker, but spent a chunk of my career building structure and growth into businesses backed by private equity funds. We both had entrepreneurial interests on the side, Ben was designing and developing luxury villas in Bali, I was involved in building Singapore’s largest independent fitness business. We met in Asia and came together five years ago with a vision to build the Mandala business into force in the luxury hospitality space.

What unique strategies or methodologies does the Mandala Group employ to achieve its objectives?

We believe we have three main competitive advantages:

Design. Our design is our edge; our unique fingerprint. Bold and contemporary, leaning heavily into art. Our inhouse design studio

has received multiple awards from leading publications such as Vogue, GQ and Monocle just to name a few.

Content. Our ultimate purpose is to get like-minded people in the same room to create meaningful connections. To facilitate this, every Mandala property has an extensive cultural calendar across five programming pillars; futures, encounters, wellness, epicures and creators.

Experiences. Our events verticals are called Mandala Masters and Mandala Presents. Mandala Masters has successfully executed some of the world’s biggest culinary pop-ups with the world’s best restaurants. Mandala Presents exists to create intimatemusic experiences with cool artists. These events facilitate brand awareness, member engagement and database for membership acquisition.

How does the Mandala Group engage with local communities, and what role do these communities play in shaping your projects and initiatives?

Purpose is one of our core brand pillars. Part of our brand ethos is being a good corporate citizen. We are fully carbon neutral, we

have joined the UN race to zero and we are Singapore’s most sustainable hospitality brand. We also support local charitable organizations in every market we enter by leveraging our powerful community for good.

Looking forward, what is the long-term vision for the Mandala Group, and how do you plan to adapt to changing environments and challenges?

Our long-term vision is to build a network of world-class private membership clubs and community centric real estate developments, that attracts a community of inspiring individuals. Building communities across multiple cities and cultures will always present challenges, but we have built systems and processes that can be localized and we have an incredible team of people to help us execute the vision and meet these challenges head on. The future is bright and we are just getting started!




mustang valley





“There are few places left in the world that have stayed as they were hundreds of years ago. This place, while raw, is such a place. Don’t hesitate. See it now.”

THREE years ago, Bill Bensely’s longtime friend and associate in all projects melding luxury, adventure and conservation, Jason M Friedman, started working with the Sherpa family in Nepal. The family has lodges across the Everest and Annapurna routes, which Jason helped to consolidate into the Mountain Lodges of Nepal Group. These mountains truly run in their blood – Namgyal Sherpa’s mother was the first Nepali woman to climb Everest. Now arrives a new offering from the group, the Shinta Mani Mustang – Bill Bensley Collection.

Perched high in the mountains, it offers a more comfortable alternative to the usual circuit lodges of Nepal. Here lies the most luxurious lodge in the country, offering a base camp for three-to-seven days of exploration. Guests experience the full gamut of adventure: trekking, horse riding, archery, rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking and yoga.

“This is perhaps one of the most exciting projects we have ever completed,” Bill told WILD magazine. “I have never seen such wildly dramatic landscapes as the mountains and valleys of Mustang, and am thrilled that Shinta Mani can be the first to introduce this forbidden kingdom to international adventurers. This will be their base camp for explorations all around these phenomenal mountains for the experience of a lifetime.”

The 29-room Shinta Mani Mustang Resort is managed by its owners, Sherpa Hospitality Group, with creative design touches from Bill Bensely and his team. Warm toned fabrics and materials reflect the colors of the surrounding landscape, visible from every window of the property. Huge fire pits on the outdoor terrace allow guests to admire the stars in warmth as the temperatures dip. Inside, every area is complemented by the artwork of the late artist Robert Powell, a friend of Bill’s who drew the region’s vernacular architecture in mind-boggling detail. We caught up with Bill to ask him about his experience of designing such a remote retreat.

Bill, tell us about your design journey to Shinta Mani Mustang. My design journey to Shinta Mani Mustang began in 1986 on one of my first trips to Kathmandu. I forget exactly how but I fell in with the design crowd there, as one did in those days. Gertz and Ludmilla Hagmuller, Eric Theophile, G2, and Robert Powell, to mention just a few. Robert had just come back from Mustang. He had walked into the valley which was a month’s trek each way for a very fit young man. He came back with a ton of wonderful drawings which put him on the map as one of Asia’s most skilled artists. We spoke for hours and as the sun went down the slides came out and I was smitten. Over the next 30 years I bought many of Robert’s wonderful watercolor

paintings, which today hang in my home in Bangkok.

What were your first impressions arriving on site?

Well, when I did finally get there it was with the aid of an airplane, and I was deeply impressed. I kicked myself for not having visited with Robert in our youth. Better late than never.

What were the logistical challenges of working there?

The new road winds its way around some very steep contours and during each of the monsoons, the rains cause landslides and block the roads. This happened just three days before our grand opening, but the roads team worked through the night to open the passage and no one suspected a thing!

How did you approach a project like this in a place like Mustang, given the local culture and environment?

With every new project we do at Bensley Design, our goal is first to understand the neighborhood or environment – or in Mustang’s case, the valley – in which we are creating. The south and north of the Mustang valley are so different. Where our site is located in the North, it’s really like going back in time a thousand years. There are barely any TV antennas, few cars, little electricity. Every day, livestock walk back


from the fields into villages, and even down the stairs of some homes. The biggest town has just four streets, which wrap around the main fort.

My goal was to give our guests all the comforts one expects at a Bensley Collection Hotel – electricity, internet, plush beds, gorgeous cocktails – but all the while keeping that intense feeling of authenticity and remoteness. What I find most interesting in this region is the symbolism one finds in the architecture, and the way the people of Mustang use dirt. It sounds odd but bear with me.

I went to see three local clay quarries, each with their own distinct colors: dove gray, terracotta red and a yellowish beige. These are each bestowed with a different meaning: prosperity, knowledge and longevity. One can see these colors all over the region, not just in the mountains and cliffs and landscape, but in the architecture, so I made a deliberate effort to bring a very basic type of architecture to the fore.

What was the inspiration behind the interior concept; materials, finishings, and furniture?

The hotel is made from local stone and so appears to grow naturally out of the landscape. The interiors follow a similar ethos, having been sourced locally. As a lover of the environment, I set about repurposing and upcycling existing materials and furniture in inventive ways. This was also a logical choice for a site which is remote and therefore restricted in terms of shipping.

An example is the mini bar in each suite. There is locally and sustainably sourced yak fur draped over it, while the handles to open the mini bar are in fact engraved Tibetan conch shells. On the wall above, there are three big organic pieces of slate, with Sanskrit poems engraved on them. Traditionally in this northern region, when winter falls and it is bitterly cold, people take refuge inside. It is a quiet time and so people set to carving these poems and prayers into slate as a form of penance. Then in the summer one sees these

prayer stones stacked one above the other outside atop stone walls, showing years of wintertime atonement. It is this unique way of seeing the world which we want to carry throughout the experience.

Upcycling also played an important part as we scoured local antiques shops and junk yards to turn discarded doors and all kinds of materials into treasure with a bit of ingenuity and TLC. A similar approach applies to materials and finishings, which were sourced locally for reasons of both sustainability and accessibility. Every area is complemented by the artwork of the late artist Robert Powell.

Walk us through the place…

A long central courtyard leads to the lobby, a warm and convivial sitting room that invites conversation between guests, while overlooking an outdoor terrace with jaw-dropping views. Huge fire pits on the outdoor terrace allow guests to admire the night sky in warmth as the temperatures dip. The Lobby is flanked on either side


by the Nilgiri Restaurant, and the Aara bar. Behind the Restaurant one can find the back-of-house, along with a handful of offices. Two wings run alongside the central courtyard: one encompasses 29 suites which run over two floors, while the other holds a multipurpose area, the spa and gym, including a stone jacuzzi, and a steam and sauna with views of the mountains. Some suites are also located on the first floor of this wing.

What do we do when we’re not luxuriating in sustainably sourced yak fur in the suites?

Most of the activities are held in the mountains surrounding the actual hotel as this is very much intended as a base camp for a week of adventure. There’s trekking, horse riding, archery, rock climbing, mountain biking … and then return to the hotel for rejuvenating spa treatments and warm, welcoming restaurants and public spaces that, through their design, encourage guests to speak to each other and share experiences.

What’s different about a Bensley Collection hotel, and in particular this property?

I say this with all the sincerity in the world. The Earth, for the most part, has enough hotels. The world does not need to build anything else. We need to manage better what we have. Knowing this, going forward, a Bensley Collection must make the place in which it sits into a better place.

Shinta Mani Wild Bensley Collection has, for example, made the Cardomon a safer refuge for wildlife and has slowed down the devastating deforestation there. Shinta Mani Bensley Collection in Siem Reap has changed thousands of lives for the better by way of education, clean water and housing. Our goal in Mustang is to revitalize a fragile society, as the World Bank defines Mustang. The young leave the valley as soon as they can. We want to give them a reason to stay.

What defines Nepal for you?

Rawness, colors, festivities, altitude, sacred places, and big smiles filled with white teeth.

What is your one lasting impression of Mustang?

It was about 5pm in Lo Manthang. I was sitting on top of a mud corral wall sketching a 1000-year-old village. An old lady was herding her sheep back from the foothills to place them in a tight corral under her house to heat her home. There was nobody else there. She smiled and greeted me and offered water. I thought to myself that this same scenario could have played out in exactly the same way centuries ago. There are few places left in the world that are as they were hundreds of years ago. This place, while raw, is such a place. Don’t hesitate. See it now. Like everywhere else, Burger King is on the way.

www. shintamanimustang.com


NAMGYAL, tell us about your mother, the first Nepali woman to climb Everest, and what it was like growing up and losing her.

My mother, Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, stands as a towering figure in my life and the history of Nepal. As the first Nepali woman to climb Everest, she broke barriers and redefined what was possible for women in our country. Her determination was boundless, her spirit indomitable, and her loss, when I was only eleven, left a void that seemed insurmountable. Growing up without her was a challenge that took years to reconcile, as her aspirations and achievements cast a long shadow. Yet, her legacy offered a path forward, one that led me to embrace her dreams as my own guiding stars.”

How deeply ingrained is climbing in your family, and what does it represent to the Nepalese people?

Climbing is woven into our family’s fabric, with a personal connection to the Sherpa community’s heart and soul. While not all my family members are mountaineers, our lives are inherently linked to the mountains. My father’s trekking and expedition company, alongside his ascents, speak to a passion reignited after a period of grief. Climbing, particularly for the Sherpa and mountainous communities, is both a livelihood and a legacy.

What are the central beliefs held dear by all Sherpas, and how come you have the name Sherpa?

Sherpas, originating from Tibet centuries ago, settled in the Himalayas to pursue spirituality and Buddhism, which remain central to our way of life. The term ‘Sherpa’ – meaning ‘people from the east’ – has evolved from denoting our community to becoming synonymous with high-altitude porters due to historical interactions with early explorers. Despite this, it’s important to recognize Sherpa as a distinct ethnicity with its rich cultural tapestry.

How did you become involved in the Shinta Mani Mustang project, and how long have you been working on it?

The Shinta Mani Mustang initiative began as a partnership formed in the midst of the pandemic with Jason Friedman, a connoisseur in the luxury travel industry. Our collaboration has been a three-year journey of bringing to life a vision that marries cultural integrity with sustainable luxury. The Shinta Mani brand, with its roots in the

rich cultural landscape of Cambodia, resonated with our ethos of authentic and transformative travel experiences. It felt like the right match to shepherd our endeavor into existence. This alignment of values and brand heritage is what makes our collective effort not just a business venture, but a culturally synergistic movement poised to redefine luxury tourism in Nepal.

How will it change life in the Mustang Valley?

The Shinta Mani Mustang project aspires to bring positive change to Mustang Valley by introducing it to discerning travelers. By unfolding the stories and the heritage of Mustang, we aim to inspire local communities, elevate their aspirations, and integrate the valley into the narrative of luxury travel, all while maintaining respect for its natural beauty and cultural integrity.

What other projects are your companies Sherpa Hospitality and Thamserku Trekking involved with?

Beyond the Shinta Mani Mustang, our group’s endeavors include the Mountain Lodges of Nepal, a network of boutique luxury lodges offering immersive experiences with comfort in Nepal’s rugged terrains. As the Managing Director of Thamserku Trekking, I oversee partnerships that provide comprehensive destination management services and organize expeditions, such as to Everest, for adventurers worldwide.

What does the future hold for the hospitality industry in Nepal?

I envision a bright future for Nepal’s hospitality sector, brimming with opportunities for growth and innovation. The industry is gradually shifting from traditional perceptions to showcasing Nepal as a versatile destination, capable of delivering world-class, experiential travel. As global interest grows in mindfulness and well-being, Nepal is strategically positioned to become a central hub for travelers seeking adventure in a contemplative landscape.

www. mountainlodgesofnepal.com


www. shintamanimustang.com






SPLITTING the atom, women in business … the entire concept of handphones and computers … none of these ideas were on the table when our grandmothers were born. Yet they’re commonplace now. What changed along the way? You did, or at least your belief system did. You recognised that the life around you was building artificial walls. You saw there was more. You thought to yourself: Who are we to limit our futures with predetermined thinking?

Your journey is what you make of it. Goal-setting is how you get there. Recognising the self-imposed boundaries of your beliefs and intentions are what limit all of us. As Adidas says so succinctly: Impossible is Nothing. Nike says the same thing, in a different way: Just Do It.

Just do it

Everyone has their own unique Everest, a goal that challenges us to channel our higher selves. I can’t tell you exactly what yours is; that’s something for you to decide. Whatever it may be, your

Everest should ignite your passion and raise you up, conquering preconceived notions of yourself and the world around you. It’s what makes us unique as humans; it’s what sets us apart from others. It’s our consensual drive to be better than we are.

The day to day

Everyday goals may seem important, but they are essentially futile, in a glorious way. Buddhists tell us that repetition is a mantra, that by repeating the same patterns we can get closer to God. This is true; it has always been true. But it’s also limiting. We need to search for higher goals; it’s instinctive within all of us.

Posting your meal on Instagram may be gratifying, but when you look at it an hour later, your food is already cold. Reality kicks in: maybe it’s better to let the wind fill your sails and push you towards weightlessness? It’s through higher achievements and higher goal setting that we set the cut of our jib: reach for the stars, they say, and you too can defy gravity. You can be weightless too.


Weightlessness can be heavy

Establishing a personal Everest requires discipline and introspection that needs to be maintained. There is rarely ever one overarching goal that spans the entirety of our lives, and the beautiful human mind adapts and recalibrates itself, fluidly, at every turn. To use this to your advantage is like a mountaineer strapping themselves to pitons in the rock face as an extra safety net. Remaining present and grounded in our reality allows us to strive towards our goal steadily. Think of these pitons as checkpoints and microachievements, checking in at every step and remaining focused in your ascent towards your Everest. Every piton you pass is one step higher.

Different strokes for different folks

There are 18 different routes up Mt. Everest. Each has its own set of unique benefits and drawbacks, exactly like the forks in the road you encounter on your own journey. There is not one path that is right for everyone; we shouldn’t pressure ourselves into doing things the way they’re “supposed” to be done. Had Galileo succumbed to this, we would still believe the Earth to be the center of the universe. Instead, we should compare ourselves to who we were yesterday; are you kinder, more vivacious, more intentional in your actions? Do you feel more fulfilled? Go against the grain. When we do what feels right to us, it allows our souls to run wild.

You are already on the path

Mountaineers train for years to climb Everest, carrying weights in their packs while scaling smaller mountains. They build up their tolerance and efficiency over time, just like you can in your own life. The longer you practice and refine your skills, the further you can go and the closer you can get to reaching your summit. Some people call this manifestation, while others call it being prepared. Whatever you call it, visualizing the summit and working like you’re already there will make the journey smoother. Center yourself around your goal and make it a constant in your life. Eventually, progress will become automatic and almost subconscious. Advancement is natural for humans; it’s embedded in our very beings,

running through our veins like water in a spring, steady as snowfall atop a mountain. You’re closer than you think.

What’s your oxygen?

Altitudes are so high on Everest that the oxygen in the air is halved. The higher you climb, the harder it is to breathe. The same is true in life. Figure out what helps you breathe and keep it close. This could be your loved ones, your hobbies, or even self care; anything that keeps you calm and afloat, because neglecting yourself during the climb can only lead to burnout. Community is a cornerstone of humanity. Never lose contact with your rescue team, as they are the ones that will catch you when you can’t catch yourself.


Tragically, things in life often go wrong; businesses will lose money, pandemics will happen, and the world will stop. Things will sometimes go south, but that isn’t important. The real show of character is what you choose to do with your setbacks. If your piton falls out of the terrain, assess your surroundings and calculate the best possible route for yourself. If one road to the summit doesn’t work out, consider one of the other 17. You might be surprised at the life you find along the road.

The path doesn’t end at the top

In the mountaineering community, many say that the descent is the most difficult part of the journey. The air grows thin, and you may find yourself growing restless. It sounds daunting, but consider this: you’ve worked tirelessly to reach this part. The life that you were manifesting for so long is right in front of you. This is the chapter where you can pause, relish, adapt, and recalibrate. If it’s a business, how will you maintain quality after meeting your expansion goal? If it’s health and wellness, what will you do to maintain it or improve? This is an important part of your Everest; the path does not end at the top. You’ve conquered one mountain, the path long and grueling. What’s one more?


TWO decades ago, Florida entrepreneur Heather Plampin had a flourishing home renovation company. Then came the 2008 housing crisis, and almost overnight her Sarasota business collapsed. “I found myself reeling from the effects of the recession on both a professional and personal level,” she says. “Homeowners and contractors were unable to pay the debts to me for jobs completed. I was holding a large portfolio of homes that were intended to be ‘flipped’, but investors and homebuyers were falling off left and right. It seemed as if overnight I ran out of funds and credit to support my business and my livelihood. I found myself broke, going through a divorce, and trying desperately to save my own home.”

Plampin found whatever jobs she could at the time, which were menial in comparison to her earnings as a business owner. She was unable to make mortgage payments and slowly went into foreclosure. Eventually the bank asked her to no longer send partial payments as they would not accept them. “I had never endured such a process or the emotional turmoil that followed. I was forced to hire an attorney and file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and to protect my home under the Homestead Act,” she says.

At that time, the mortgage industry was completely backed up, as were the courts. Delays in cases were so prevalent banks were paying owners to stay in their homes and to maintain the grounds and pools. “Even my own foreclosure case was dismissed because the defense attorney for the bank that owned my loan went bankrupt,” says Plampin. “My foreclosure case was later renewed by the bank through another attorney.”

Sarasota began looking like a ghost town. Friends and colleagues were abandoning their homes and moving up north with family. “My father, Roger Van Wie – who was also in the real estate business and greatly affected by the housing crisis – lost everything, including his own marriage, all the while battling throat cancer. He began to run out of money not soon after me, and desperate to find a means to afford the only asset he had left, his primary residence on Siesta Key, he began to explore the notion of vacation rentals, a seemingly up-and-coming lucrative rental market that allowed for outsized revenue in comparison to long-term rentals.”

After speaking with the one and only vacation rental management company on the Key, he found himself turned away for not having a pool. “We thought how strange it was to be shunned for not having a pool!” says Plampin. “He decided that if no company would be willing to take on his home for the lack of one amenity, then he would simply do it himself. My father is a highly analytical, research junkie who loves a good challenge.” He decided he would place his home on the one-and-only vacation rental listing site at the time, VRBO, a precursor to AirBnB. “Roger hosted his first guest in 2009. The listing was a huge success, and he began generating good income to pay the bills.”

Plampin was still working odds and ends jobs, but started helping him on the side. “I would clean the homes for the guest arrivals, meet the guests in person and show them the nuances of the home. My father and I together would go over our hospitality strategy to ensure guests would rebook with

us.” In her own state of personal despair, she found those moments brought her great joy. “I found myself spending more and more time helping my father with the business infrastructure. He had an amazing vision that I knew I could implement and build into existence. He wanted to not only help himself, but other neighbors who also wanted to salvage their homes.” Ultimately, he created the business model for The Cottages on the Key, Inc.

The Cottages On The Key

“As homeowners decided to join the portfolio,” says Plampin, “I found myself moving away from my day jobs, and spending more time helping my father. Eventually, we decided it was best I made the leap, and for me to come on board full time. Roger and I were official business partners, with a family owned and operated business located on Siesta Key.” Her personal life also began to look up. “I had a new love interest that was getting serious, and my foreclosure process was taking a turn for the better with the ability to restructure my debt under Chapter 13.”

Father and daughter decided to expand their portfolio of homes to the mainland, where Plampin’s personal home was located. “I wanted to put it on the rental program and see if it would rent. I placed it on VRBO at a very high rate, hoping to give me some time to find a place to live with my new beau in the interim. I will never forget I put my home on the market in August, and it was immediately booked for September, a shocking rental to receive for Florida’s market as a new listing! That’s when it got real.”

Plampin found a beautiful three-bedroom home just down the street, and all three moved in. “It was a crazy time – me, my boyfriend and my father, living together with all our pets. It was how we supported each other through the rough times. We were able to save so much money in doing so. At this point, my home was successfully rented as a vacation home, my Chapter 13 foreclosure was approved, and I had five years to pay off all of my debts.”

The Cottages on the Key began expanding at an extremely fast pace… now guests who were coming into town were seeking investment opportunities in real estate, taking advantage of the low buy in entry points, and creating second and third homes under the newest vacation travel trend – a vacation rental home, managed by professional rental managers to generate outsized revenue for their personal retirement plan. It was a pure success that has boasted over 25% revenue growth year over year. “And here I sit 15 years later,” says Plampin, “with my private home completely paid off, and my company on track to do $16M in revenue this year. My father recently sold his home on Siesta Key at the peak of the market, and has grown his private retirement portfolio of homes. He is also finally able to enjoy semi-retirement and live healthy and happy with his beloved chihuahua, Mocha!”

All Points North

At 45 years old, Plampin has successfully transformed her initial desperation into a thriving enterprise. Add to that, she has recently embarked on what she believes could become an even larger venture by expanding her model nationwide. After over a decade of cultivating her businesses organically,

USA 88

keys to the kingdom




she emphasizes that her growth mindset for both The Cottages and the new venture, The Compass Collection, is driven not solely by revenue targets, but by a sense of calling.

“I aim for every guest to experience complete happiness in every possible way,” says Plampin. “One thing I was such a stickler for at the very beginning is the level of cleanliness. I myself am a self-proclaimed cleaning fanatic, and when my father started renting his home, I thoroughly enjoyed being responsible for cleaning after a guest’s departure and ensuring it was spectacular for the next guest. I wanted everything to be in pristine condition and in its perfect place. Nothing was missing. I knew from listening to other guest’s previous stories (there were no online reviews back then) that one of the major downfalls our competitors exhibited was lack of cleanliness.”

Guests who stayed with her company shared nightmare stories about their experiences. “You can imagine that staying in someone else’s personal home back then was totally avant garde! So that meant that guests didn’t really expect too much. It was commonplace for guests to bring their own cleaning supplies, sheets, and pillows. Owner’s closets were usually still full of hanging clothes and personal effects could be found in drawers and on shelves. I knew how disheveled this could make a home appear, along with no real industry cleaning standards. So I set out to create those standards for our company.” Soon, the cleaning work grew too large for Plampin to handle on a turnover day (when one guest checks out and another checks in the same day.) “I decided we needed to hire outside cleaning vendors but that I would need to provide them a checklist to ensure they cleaned to the level that I felt represented our company’s standards.”

That simple checklist evolved into a cleaning and inspection system that is still in existence today, and which Plampin calls the “CottageClean” standard. “Now hundreds of our cleaners have been trained in these best practices to ensure we maintain our brand standard every single day. While there were no industry standards, our guests were surprised to come into our homes where there were no personal effects, there was room for their belongings, and the cleaning was verified and checked by inspectors.”

Guests were also quite surprised that they had immediate access to the business owner, and Plampin made sure she didn’t miss a single call. “I would straight out ask them on their first night whether they were satisfied with the level of service or should I send the cleaner back out immediately? They were simply astounded that I was even in the same town as them when I called!” Back then, most owner operators lived in different areas of the world, and were hard to reach. It certainly was not typical to reach a manager that was merely minutes away and ready to drop everything to help guests with an issue.

“And so, the truest form of our reputation was born. We were known for being the vacation rental company that had boots on the ground, and superior cleaning services. It later separated us heavily from other competitors, simply because we hired only the best cleaners and we paid top dollar for their services. They were gold to us and we treated them as such. They deserved it. They were the ambassadors that held the outcome of our guest’s first impressions.”

Recently, Plampin launched The Compass Collection to manage luxury vacation rentals remotely. The company utilizes The Cottages’ refined processes and systems, developed over 15 years, to handle everything for homeowners except on-site maintenance tasks like fixing leaky faucets or broken garage doors. The Compass Collection aims to collaborate with vacation homeowners nationwide, spanning from Park City, Utah, to Nashville, and even to the Hamptons in New York.

The Compass Collection differentiates itself from other vacation rental management companies through its attention to detail and experience. “I think that stems from my desire to help owners achieve their goals,” says Plampin. “The uniqueness with TCC is that while it is a new start up, it is built from the ground up, through its mother company, The Cottages on the Key, with over 15 years of industry experience. As I said before, when I initially started in my endeavors with my father, short-term vacation rental homes were simply an avant-garde travel trend as opposed to the traditional hotel stay.

“When I was building our business from scratch, I didn’t have a ‘manual’ or a book of SOP’s to guide me, and I certainly didn’t have access to the technology that the industry has created today. It simply didn’t exist. But today, those tools and resources are prolific in our now multi-billion dollar industry, having created millions of jobs that never existed before.” Yet it comes with a price and mostly makes these tools cost prohibitive to smaller players with one or two homes, or perhaps a B&B or boutique hotel owner. “I think about that every day and have wondered how I can pay it forward? I was, afterall, an owner in need of help myself, floundering between jobs, trying to make ends meet and going through foreclosure and bankruptcy. I was a good person, just going through a rough time with everyone else. How much better could I have done with access to such great resources had they existed? So why should I not provide that same level of service to others in need now?”

“We essentially have grown to a size where we feel that we should share our resources, knowledge and commitment to hospitality to like minded individuals… and individuals is the key word here. The sales pitch for The Compass Collection is that we provide revenue management along with sales and marketing on behalf of the owner so that they can focus on asset preservation and the guest experience. We’ll give you a dedicated team that is specialized to you, and your portfolio, regardless of its size. Let us leverage our growth and our access to technology to help you succeed. There’s no other company out there that will give you access to systems and resources that will empower you, and allow you to control your own destiny. There’s no other company out there that will literally build you the infrastructure you need to manage your assets, and give you the manual you need to play the game and win.”


www.thecompasscollection.com @compasscollectioninc @thecottagesinc




ADAM Burkett serves as the CEO of East by West Destination Spa Retreats where he is creating the next level in luxury lifestyle travel and spa living, developing a body, mind and soul spa driven retreat experience and community that aims to change your life for the better.

Adam started his development career building luxury lifestyle residences in the southwest where he offers wellness workshops and concierge services. This was followed by creating his first prototype farm retreat in Kentucky where he developed an equine driven luxury spa retreat that features an indoor riding arena and wellness center.

Today Adam is developing two world class destination spa retreats in New Mexico and at a Ski Resort in Colorado, building luxury residences around highly curated spa amenities that provide guests and residents with experiences to foster transformation, wellness and community, while living a luxury lifestyle.

WILD Magazine caught up with him to talk, mindfulness, Eastern spirituality and Western science


Adam, what distinguishes your resorts from others?

Our first brand distinction is that we go far beyond most developers who just build homes as boxes. We think outside that box and feature the psychology of development, creating good memories, wow experiences and breakthroughs in wellness and community.

How do your resorts address sustainability?

East by West is riding on the waves of change by pioneering in the next generation of Eco-friendly Spa Homes so as to meet today’s megatrend in the hospitality industry, incorporating an eco-friendly environment and sustainability into our design. Our vision is to revolutionize the home industry by creating the future today via East by West Eco Spa Homes. We integrate ancient wisdom from the East with green and smart technologies from the West, then blend this with conscious wellness and wellbeing content into our spa home package.

What makes your spas different?

What differentiates The East by West Resort & Spa Experience from others is that unlike most spas that focus just on fitness and body treatments, we combine ancient wisdom through such modalities as yoga and meditation with the latest in sports science and sports medicine. This can lead to huge breakthroughs in wellness and wellbeing. That said, the East by West Spa takes spas to the next level featuring a true body, mind and spirit program and experience that can transform your

life forever. The spa driven mission is to empower guests and residents to live well and live a life that is more conscious, powerful, balanced and successful on the road, in the workplace and at home.

Can you explain the philosophy behind integrating horses and equestrian activities into the properties, particularly focusing on the connection to the heart and personal growth?

What also differentiates The East by West Resort & Spa Experience is that it features a body, mind and spirit horse empowerment program that offer conscious riding (such as horse whispering) that uses the power of the horse to teach, heal and empower people to be more mindful. Horse Empowerment is all about the healing, teaching and the transformation process of life champions, which happens when we spend time making a heartfelt connection with the kindness and the authenticity of a horse. That said, we partner with horses because they are instinctively wise. Horses don’t judge you nor do they lie; rather they speak to you non-verbally and mirror the truth about who you are, how you show up and where you are in your life. They showcase your gifts, imperfections, vulnerabilities and wounds. They address your contradictions and empower you to let go of the core patterns and obstacles within that are holding you back. Horses meet you where you are at; they then teach, test, awaken and heal you.

What is your long-term vision?

Our vision over the next five years is to create a roll out of spa retreats at the finest destinations in the world – in the mountains, deserts, by the sea and in the great cities.

Is there a selection process for potential residents to ensure alignment with the retreat center’s vision and values, and if so, what does this process entail?

Easy by West has grown so quickly with the support of early investors and supporters who see the opportunity to reimagine how we “live” and the opportunity to consciously create intentional luxury lifestyle residences by design. Residents are curated by application and those approved are added to the waitlist. The criteria is for residents to prioritize a holistic perspective of success and to share in East by West’s mission and values.

For more information, please contact our team at: +1 484-888-0248


JULES, what does an unconventional life mean to you?

Living an Unconventional Life means committing to bringing your soul’s greatest gifts into form. It means believing you deserve a 10/10 “HELL YES” life, and are capable of achieving wealth in all areas: money, career, spirituality, relationships, health. I believe your life force is your most precious commodity, and you have the power to be the architect of your own world.

When you embody the Unconventional Life, you dive headfirst into a path in alignment with your deepest desires. It’s all about growth, expanding the realm of what is predictable to possible to releasing and re-releasing old patterns, and taking big leaps for the potential of what you don’t know that you don’t know, living in the field of miracles to make it all happen.

You accept that you are capable of creating enormous impact. You are the source of transformation for others. You deserve a life that surpasses your wildest dreams. You are courageous enough to bet on yourself and allow your wisdom to ripple through the world.

When did you first realize that there was a life outside of the box? Did you have a eureka moment?

After suffering a near-death experience in 2015, everything changed for me. I remember that morning like it was yesterday. It was a beautiful summer morning at Stanley Lake Reservoir in Colorado. I was out wakeboarding with the boys. We were all playing a game to see who could launch off the wake to get the most air. As the oldest of five and a former competitive gymnast and snowboarder, I became fixated on winning. Finally, after an hour of misattempts, I succeeded. I hit the wake, launched higher than I ever had, and immediately came down, caught an edge, and face-planted.

About an hour later I began to lose feeling in my arms and legs and immediately knew something wasn’t right. A few friends rushed me to the hospital and my next memory was coming out of the MRI and being approached by a white figure and six black shadow council members. I remember having a conversation in this out-of-body experience where they said, “Jules you have more work to do in the world, do you want to do it?”

At the time the doctors thought my neck might have been broken or I might have been paralyzed, and I remember saying, “Yes, as long as I don’t come back as a vegetable”. In that next moment, I was zapped back into my body. I felt this energy forge my neck back together and shoot down my spine, and the moment I woke up everything shifted. It was the start of my life being created through me rather than being created by me.

Weeks later I got a call from a friend who was partnering with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals at the United Nations who asked me if I wanted to be a global ambassador for the People & Planet Foundation for education. I remember being on the phone, laughing silently to myself, still in a neck brace, being like, “this isn’t really the best time, having just had this accident,” and yet I heard this voice tell me to tell her about “Create U”, an initiative to reimagine higher education.

On the way to the UN, I got invited to Forbes 30U30 (30 Under 30) in Boston, and then months later they asked me if I wanted to start writing for them. I heard this ‘voice’ yet again guide me to share that I wanted to launch a

podcast and call it ‘Unconventional Life’, to tell the stories of people following non-traditional paths. They offered to partner with me to have it be on Forbes 30U30 and embed the episodes in my Forbes articles.

I still remember the day in early 2016 when I was sitting outside of the Iceland hot springs on a portable wifi device with my then-boyfriend, and (thank God) copywriter, who was with me when I hit send on my first ever blog post and podcast just three weeks later.

Since then I’ve built a global community of high-performing entrepreneurs, creatives, and thought leaders. People who say yes to living a life outside of what is conventional or predictable. People who realize, “so I can make money in the world, but now what?” How do you also have great relationships, lifestyle, health, travel, impact, and so much more? People who crave the ‘and’ reality – a holistic perspective of success.

People, like myself, who have felt like they have been lone wolves in the world. Like they have never really fit in. Where from the outside everything “looks” pretty good. Yet on the inside, there is this nagging feeling telling you there is more. It may even be nagging at you right now. You may feel it when you wake up in the morning or in the shower or on the way to work.

For most of us, we have been conditioned to ignore that feeling or knowing. To pretend it’s not there or to stuff it down. That you “should” be happy for your job, or a stable income, or kids, or family, or what you have, and to not rock the boat. That is what I did for many years before I had my near-death experience. I fixated on setting more goals, creating more companies, more clients, and more money to avoid the inconvenience of feeling there may be another truth of why I am here. It took me almost dying and coming back for me to realize there is another way.

How many lives have you affected, unconventionally, to date?

Unconventional Life has reached millions of people in over 75 different countries with 150+ Forbes articles and 300+ podcast episodes and has been ranked the #1 event for entrepreneurs to attend by Inc Magazine. I have created sold-out retreats on six different continents, from castle towns in Italy to private islands in Madagascar, to a super yacht in Croatia, to tree houses in Nicaragua, Nile Cruises in Italy, private islands in Fiji, and now our Nepal event in December 2023. I have had the pleasure of coaching thousands of people through my various events, online coaching programs and masterminds, and really believe in the business of transformation at scale.

How important is the philosophy of freedom to what you do at UL?

Freedom is the core of living an Unconventional Life. I believe true freedom comes when you can master deep listening; the ability to release attachment to a specific outcome and discover the opportunities that show up in realtime. It’s so easy to get fixated on achieving a result that you don’t hear the signs that you need to pivot. Yet when you give yourself permission to coursecorrect you can access greater alignment with your true desires and uncover possibilities far beyond what you could have imagined. I love having the freedom to allow life to unfold in miraculous ways and work in tandem with the opportunities that show up all around me.

The more you practice this relationship to deep listening, the more consistent and reliable your intuition becomes. Then the more free you are to grow into the truth of who you are and uncover the gifts your soul wants to





express in this lifetime. I believe this can only happen in community and in the reflection of others. It is why I see such success in people having big transformational moments at our events and that being the catalyst for big shifts, especially when they continue the work through our various coaching programs and masterminds we offer as support in between the events. When we are in an environment where we are with people doing the impossible we get to believe in ourselves and be the match for our most resonant and wild expression for why we are here.

How important is travel to you in your mission to offer people freedom?

It’s everything! It is the ultimate pattern-interrupt. Travel connects people to life’s most extraordinary experiences. Seeing the world sparks a desire to create a life you love, and breaks you out of habitual ways of being.

Why does freedom always start with finances?

Growing up my Dad used to say, “freedom is not freedom without economic freedom.” It’s so true. Money is optionality. And when you can master money as an energetic currency, you learn to own the value you provide to the world. The world becomes an expansive place of opportunity. I truly believe that making money is about mindset because abundance is an experience. It’s not just about material wealth; it’s about being able to wake up every day and say I get to choose a life where I thrive. My mission is to create abundance in all areas of my life: relationships, health, spirituality, career, and of course my bank account.

What do you consider to be a successful UL trip?

I measure success by the f*ck yeah feeling that gets created when you are truly in aligned and resonant energy. The feeling where you look back and you’re like, that trip, that moment, it changed my life. It is all about the deep connections that are forged, the breakthroughs that are created, and the way people’s futures are altered in an instant. I like to say these events create the field of miracles. When you have resonant heart and brain coherence you can shortcut the time of creation by creating from the field and bringing it into form. There aren’t really words to describe watching someone release anything in their way of the life they truly desire, and at the same time meet key collaborators that will help them fulfill that vision. It’s breathtaking to collectively shed the weight of the past while being in a bucket list location.

Where do you source the trainers you use in UL retreats?

The selection process is driven by my profound appreciation for the art of event facilitation, as I carefully choose leaders who exemplify mastery in their respective domains, whether it be in life or business. These exceptional individuals embody the true principles of living an unconventional life and inspire and energize our event participants. I always have a personal connection to the facilitators either through relationships I’ve formed throughout my career, my podcast, or referrals from close friends of mine.

What’s been the most satisfying aspect personally to what you do?

I believe that your personal story is a mirror for the transformation you create for others. Without a doubt, the values of the Unconventional Life brand have transformed my life. Through this work, I’ve learned to channel the core essence of my soul’s gifts. The best example of this in action is my music career. I always knew I wanted to sing, but had to conquer a lot of imposter syndrome to believe that I could reach the same heights of success in music as in business. I did a lot of work to release the limiting beliefs about what I was capable of as a vocal artist. In the same way I would coach my clients, I got present to the fact that this area of my expression was non-negotiable.

I took the leap and invested thousands of dollars in high-level vocal mentorship, devoting myself to the craft.

Life surprised me in spectacular ways. A friend put me in touch with a music producer who turned out to be the manager of an artist I deeply admire, Lauren Daigle. I had to catch my breath when this guy said “YES” to managing and mentoring me! For the past year, I’ve been working in Nashville creating a non-denominational worship album under the name Jules King, my mom’s maiden name. I remember a moment in a song writing session a few months ago, glancing over a piano to see a wall with 27 Grammys, surrounded by pros of the caliber I only ever dreamed to work with. It was a moment of self-reckoning, where I embodied the current of transformation I teach at my events. We have written 18 songs this year with some of the best names in the industry working with a strategic partnership with a major Christian label out of Nashville. We are launching early next year with an album and a series of singles. The most beautiful thing is that as I stretch and grow, I bring new facets of that evolution into my leadership. It’s like a crescendo of possibility that extends far beyond what I can see. I love bringing my soul’s gifts into form, and helping others do the same.

What makes UL different from other similar companies out there teaching financial and lifestyle freedom?

The community. Every single person at our events is playing a big game in the world: entrepreneurs, creatives, thought leaders, influencers, and visionaries. When you sit down for a meal, you’ll be blown away by the people around you. And the events are designed to blaze past the superficial and create instant, authentic connections. We believe collaboration is everything, and strategically introduce people that can co-support each other. Each applicant is carefully reviewed to maintain a highly curated environment.

Also, everything we do revolves around “pattern interrupt methodology”— the process of creating strategic pattern interrupts that break people out of habitual ways of thinking and being so they can experience a new version of themselves. We focus on “timeline hopping”— i.e., experiencing rapid breakthroughs and life-changing downloads that hop you into new domains of success, faster than you ever thought possible. We help people return to the core of who they are, so they can take radical ownership of the life they are creating. Every event is a catalyst for rapid clarity, soul renewal, and visionactivation.

Furthermore, it’s unique to host retreats in bucket list locations around the world. It’s like one “pinch me” moment after another when you can network at an Egyptian temple, or a yacht in Croatia, or a private island in Fiji, or in the Himalayas. Lastly, I’m a total geek about designing experiences. I consider “event planning” to be “the art of experience design.” I have even created a program called “The Art of Experience”, where I teach others how I do what I do to create their own events and additional revenue streams into their business. I also produce events for some of the biggest names in the world. I have done events on all 7+ continents including most recently taking Jimmy Buffet, right before he passed away, to Antarctica. Every detail is a sensory opportunity for participants. Every variable contributes to the global current of transformation. In this way, obsessive intentionality creates magic.


IG @liveunconventional

FB @unconventionallifeshow




IN a world where conformity reigns supreme, there are those who dare to dance to the beat of their own drum, painting the sky with the vibrant colors of their unique journey. Enter Starrwyn, a sassy lifestyle maverick whose unconventional approach to education and adventure has rewritten the script of family life.

Originating from the kaleidoscopic landscapes of South Africa, Starrwyn embarked on a whirlwind adventure fueled by a passion for unschooling her children and a zest for cultural exploration. Dissatisfied with the cookie-cutter confines of traditional schooling, she embraced unschooling as a radical act of rebellion, transforming every moment into a canvas for creativity and curiosity to flourish.

With a flick of her metaphorical wand, Starrwyn whisked her brood away to the bustling streets of Taiwan, where the clash of East and West served as a playground for their imaginations. Amidst the neon-lit chaos and the fragrant whispers of street food stalls, she nurtured her children’s sense of wonder, fostering a love for diversity and a hunger for adventure that knows no bounds.

power of the digital realm, unlocking the secrets to online success and paving the way for a life of freedom and flexibility.

At the heart of Starrwyn’s philosophy lies the belief that age is nothing but a number, and that

party, because with Starrwyn at the helm, every day is a magical adventure waiting to unfold.

But wait, there’s more to this enchanting tale! As Starrwyn’s children have grown, they’ve blossomed into entrepreneurs in their own right, each adding their own splash of color to the family’s vibrant tapestry.

But the adventure didn’t end there. Oh no, Starrwyn had her sights set on something even more magical: the sun-kissed shores of Mauritius, a tropical oasis nestled in the heart of the Indian Ocean. Here, amidst the swaying palms and the crystal-clear waters, she found her tribe, weaving together the threads of her unconventional lifestyle amidst the island’s laid-back charm and vibrant culture.

Living life as a maverick mama, Starrwyn has become a guiding light for those over 40 looking to sprinkle a little fairy dust on their personal brand and business ventures. With a wink and a nod, she empowers her fellow unicorns to harness the

it’s never too late to unleash your inner unicorn and chase your wildest dreams. Drawing upon her own journey of reinvention and resilience, she encourages others to embrace their quirks and embrace the magic within, guiding them on a whimsical journey towards a life of abundance and joy.

In a world where conformity is the norm and conventionality reigns supreme, Starrwyn stands as a vibrant reminder that life is meant to be lived on your own terms. Her journey from South Africa to Taiwan and Mauritius is not just a tale of travel and adventure, but a testament to the power of sass and spirit in shaping a life that sparkles with joy and possibility. So grab your glitter and join the

Her daughter, Asia-Faith, was adopted from Taiwan during their time living there. Now, she’s not just a barista at Kind, her brother Willow-River’s coffee shop in La Gaulette, Mauritius, but also a talented singer-songwriter, enchanting audiences with her soulful melodies and poignant lyrics.

Willow-River, the eldest son, is the proud owner of Willow Surf Center, where he and his brothers, Talis-Rain and Keanu-Storm, teach the art of wing foiling and kitesurfing. Located on the pristine shores of Le Morne Beach in Mauritius, it’s a dream destination for water sports enthusiasts from around the globe.

Meanwhile, Talis-Rain and KeanuStorm have also carved out their own entrepreneurial niches. Talis-Rain lends his expertise to Willow Surf Center alongside his brothers, while Keanu-Storm runs a thriving scooter rental business, offering visitors to Mauritius the freedom to explore the island’s beauty at their own pace.

Together, this family of mavericks embodies the spirit of adventure and entrepreneurship, proving that with a dash of courage and a sprinkle of imagination, anything is possible. So here’s to Starrwyn and her band of unschooling unicorns, blazing trails and spreading magic wherever they roam!



Villa Anaya Manis

Bali, Indonesia


BALI, INDONESIA - Villa Anaya Manis is the perfect tropical getaway in the heart of Seminyak for groups of up to 14 people! With two villas and two private swimming pools, this colonial-style villa will surely tempt you to stay inside and enjoy every corner of this property. The sleek and spacious interior is equipped with a total of 7 bedrooms, a gym, and a wine cellar balanced with indoor and outdoor living spaces. On top of this, the trendy neighbourhood of Seminyak is within your reach, Villa Anaya Manis is just a short drive away from cafes, restaurants, shopping areas, and the beach!

With the holidays closing in, you can escape to Villa Anaya Manis today by booking through The Luxe NomadAsia-Pacific’s leading and largest villa management company. The Luxe Nomad’s mission is to inspire and enable guests to travel well so you can definitely expect first-class treatment when booking through them. With a dedicated team on the ground and a personalised concierge service, you will have the fuss-free holiday that you deserve.

Learn more about Villa Anaya Manis and The Luxe Nomad by scanning the QR code.

Dream a little. Travel a lot.


life of





BRIAN, the first thing I noticed from your resume, and having known you for a while, is that you used to be a robotics engineer. Tell us about that …

When I was a senior in high school I had a 10-minute meeting with my guidance counselor and he asked me what I was good at … and I said math and science. He told me that engineering was one of the top professions post university, so I made a decision there and then to become an engineer. That dictated the next 14 years of my life. What followed was four years of university and a decade in the corporate world working for Parker Hannifin as a robotics engineer living in San Diego.

I remember you once telling me a story about meeting Elon Musk at one of your places of work…

As a surfer living in San Diego covering the Western USA, I learned to schedule my sales calls for Southern California around the surf reports. If I could get on the water either before or after my sales calls when I traveled it was a good day. I looked on Surfline and saw that a strong southerly swell was on the way for Wednesday, so I asked for an 11am meet, giving me the opportunity to surf “Trestles” in San Clemente beforehand.

Passing by LAX I made my way to El Segundo. Usually my mind would be on the impending sales call but since I was deep in the projects, carjacking was more top of mind as I pulled into a very unassuming facility. “Really,” I thought. “You build rockets here?”

The receptionist ushered me into a room where a waiting rocket man greeted me with an outstretched hand. He walked me down a long corridor before turning the corner where I couldn’t believe what I saw. I gazed out onto a 100m-long rocket sitting on the hangar floor. Choosing my words more carefully, I said, “That’s a real rocket,” and he replied with, “Of course. I’m a rocket scientist…” and we both chuckled.

With the ice now broken we entered a huge boardroom. A small group of engineers occupied four of the 50 chairs as we sat across from each other with their backs to the ship. During our conversation I couldn’t help but gaze past them through a huge window staring out at the soon-tobe interstellar craft.

Handing them our proposal for Thrust Actuators, I went through the details over the next 30 minutes before shaking hands and heading out the door. I hadn’t even left the parking lot when my boss called and said, “Nice $60K order Brian.” I was like, I’m just leaving the facility ... I don’t know who these people are, but they have a freaking 100m rocket on their manufacturing floor. What an incredible experience that was. This was the real deal and my new friend, Elon Musk, and I had been sitting in SpaceX.

What do you still carry with you from that time? What’s interesting is that even though it took place two decades ago, I still don’t relate much to my time as a robotics engineer.

You’ve transformed yourself a few times over, then another thing I wondered about reading your CV … how has change been a part of your life so much?

Change has been my whole existence, and it all started from when my father died of Aids when I was 16 years old. My world was turned upside down when he broke the news that he was unwell, terminal in fact. At the age of 11 years old, coming to terms with the knowledge that my Dad wouldn’t be around forever was unfathomable. The thought had never entered my mind.

What he did next is the stuff of movies. In fact, years after his passing, Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson brought a similar tale to the big screen in the movie The Bucket List. But my Dad was different, he did it with his family in tow and we began a journey of search and discovery during his final years, one that has left a lasting

impression on me. An impression that remains deep in my psyche today. That period in my life taught me to open my mind to a plethora of possibilities: from a Midwestern boy with limited understanding of what the world had on offer, to a world we have created years later, that quite frankly knows no boundaries.

When did you meet Rhonda?

Around the same time I was at university I went to Australia in my third year for a study program, which is where I learned to surf. Later I only accepted jobs if there was surf, which landed me in California. That’s where I met my wife Rhonda, and then in 2006 she literally retired me and I entered the world of digital marketing.

In the years that followed we went from affiliate marketing in the personal development industry to creating “Freedom-Preneur” programs that helped people make the jump from regular jobs to running a laptop lifestyle anywhere around the world. We were out traveling since 2008, working online as one of the first digital nomad families.

I also see you at your home sometimes near the big waves in Bali … Surfing is such a deep and difficult thing to do, how does it relate to your life’s thinking?

I remember stepping off the plane in Australia and I went to the beach and saw a girl in a bikini and a guy catching a head-high barrel. At that moment I made the decision to be a surfer. Fast forward 29 years and I’m still as excited by surfing as I was on that day.

Today I’m 49, and at this age what I have learned is that I have to keep my body in peak physical condition in order to deal with the life or death situations that big waves can bring. This relates to my life thinking in all areas. I’ve taken this on with my body, my relationship with my wife and my daughter, my spirituality, and all my business ventures.






SOMETIMES, I forget how it all began. I think back to the moment when I could feel the wind flowing through my hair, and all I could hear was laughter in the air. Beams of sun danced on my skin as I danced with my feet in the sea, completely carefree. Sand scattered across my face like a painting from the ocean. I found my heart buried in the sand; on the beach, I was fully me, like raw light, undisturbed by the pressures of life. I never thought anything would change, this infinite love for the world around me and for myself.

Now, I often forget that little kid is still inside of me.

As you grow up, you realize the world is growing faster than you. Things that once seemed small when you were young suddenly become skyscrapers looming over you. The pressure from the sky pushes down on you like bricks, becoming heavier and heavier the longer time ticks. When I finally opened my eyes and looked up to the sky, I realized how small I actually was.

One of the first times I felt small was under stage lights. The moment my breath became short, and my voice became grand, bouncing off the walls and into the crowd of hundreds of people all waiting to hear what I had planned. Illuminated underneath a microscope, the pressure set in. I could only wonder if I was doing enough for these people to be proud of me. I could only imagine what they thought of me. Who is this girl barely thirteen, telling me what to think? Look at the way she walks, look at the way she talks. I bet she can’t even come up with a coherent thought. I could only imagine what they thought of me.

As my years passed, these towns populated by the problems within my mind grew into cities. If you ever want to feel small, go to a city. While you’re there, walking down the neverending streets, you’ll wonder if you really matter in the grand scheme of things. If you were to leave this place would that change a thing, or would life continue on never to remember your name? It probably would never remember my name. These thoughts corrupted my brain.

Will I ever be enough? Do enough? Feel enough? Enough, enough, enough. Shame settled all over me like the dust from a construction site, making its home in the cracks and creases of my skin as these skyscrapers of worry continued to rise from my mind. Each floor built with self-doubt and missed opportunities, overshadowing the vibrant landscape of my younger self, turning my aspirations into mere foundations for what could have been. I could no longer stand the person I was within.

I need a disclaimer plastered on my body for anyone who may dare talk to me, telling them not to worry because I hated myself as much as they probably hated me. I’ll tell them all the lies they thought about me are probably true, and I’ll wear their lies with pride because I have begun to believe they are real. You don’t know how desperately I want to change the person I am within and swap into someone else’s skin. It’s easy to fall into this trap of losing yourself when you believe the whole world wants you to be someone else.

I forget that little kid who found light in the darkest of places and painted with the everchanging hues of the sunset is still within me, buried underneath towers and the concrete rubble of lies I told myself, saying I would never be enough, like a bird in a cage trapped without a key, waiting to be let free. She is still there, but over time her voice has become bare as I have learned to ignore the tendency to listen, to put my ear up to the door of the cage. I had begun to silence the want to be free.

Like a solitary star fading into twilight, sometimes I wish I could go back in time to grasp that fading light before it slipped beyond the horizon, where memories and possibilities intertwine like constellations in the night sky.

If I could, I would look that little girl in the eye and show her all the things she could never see, help her remember all the lessons she lost, lift her up, and show her that the sky isn’t so scary.

I’d tell her to never be afraid to cry. Let the tears that pour from your eyes soak into your skin and release the emotions you’ve held within.

I’d tell her to release the pressure. You place bricks of worry on top of your body, building your towers taller and taller, crushing you smaller and smaller until you feel like nobody.

I’d reassure her that you are somebody. And no matter the pressure you may feel from the world around you, you still matter. You are here not to die, not to just stay alive, but to truly live. Promise me that you will truly live.

If I could see my younger self again, I would sit her down and tell her I’m sorry. I’m sorry for all the time I spent thinking I wasn’t good enough.

I’m sorry for all the hopeless nights dwelling over the things I could never do right.

I am sorry for pushing you to the side and leaving you to dry, like a flower starved of light. I watched you slowly begin to wilt away, and I never did anything about it because I found comfort in the falling of your petals and my newfound solitude. But as the seasons changed, your petals still did not bloom, and I realized how empty I was without you. Because you were the light in my eyes that always managed to find the simple beauties held within life. Watching the delicate beams of sunlight filtering through tree leaves. The feeling of sand slipping through your hands. The ways the dust dances under the light, like glitter thrown into the sky. No matter how faint, I can still see through your eyes. I would remind you that the stars in the sky are not as far as they seem, these buildings around you are so much smaller than you believe them to be. You are so much bigger than you know. Let your roots grow through the concrete, in between the little cracks of the streets, and deep into the soil beneath you. Watch as those cities begin to dissipate as your roots spread, and the love for yourself begins to regrow again.

Those buildings with bricks made of the worries you gave yourself and the problems you’ve collected that you’ve held on to so dearly are not structurally sound, remember who you really are and knock those buildings down.



bridging the gap


HAVE you ever felt alone among friends? As if you were having a conversation, but nobody was really listening to you. In this difficult situation, when you reached out for support, they didn’t show up. It seemed like your friends were uncomfortable with moving beyond the surface level.

Maybe, in those moments, you asked yourself: “What would happen if I really needed support? Will I feel comfortable the next time I ask for support from the people I trust?”

It’s a scary feeling, and, unfortunately, a very common one. This negative experience is necessary for your growth and evolution as a person, moving us away from unfulfilling or even toxic relationships.

We all need support in different forms: some people lean on their families, while others find friendships, mentorships and other affirmative relationships. Support is one of the fundamental aspects of human relation: providing someone else with help, understanding and empathy. Closeness in a relationship implies mutual support: being unsupported in a close relationship is unbalanced.

Does this mean your relationship with this person is toxic, and you should cut them off? Not just yet! There is likely a gap in communication, meaning they might not have any idea how you feel. You could think that your desire for

connection is not reciprocated, but you’ll never know if nobody addresses it. It’s about taking responsibility for your role in the relationship by expressing your desires. That is the only thing you have control over. When you communicate maturely and effectively, the way the other person responds will teach you exactly what you need to know.

In order to do that, you first have to ask yourself what, exactly, you want? Do you want to feel heard? Do you want people to respect your time? By making your desires specific, they become achievable for the other person.

Next, you want to ask the person if they’re open to having the conversation, rather than springing it on the other person randomly – it’s all about timing. This will make them more likely to hear you out, because it doesn’t feel like you are suddenly attacking them.

Lastly, you want to own all your emotions. This means that you speak in a way that does not blame the other person. This means using the phrase: “when you do X, I feel Y.” This keeps the situation objective and focused on the topic at hand.

For more insight, I recommend the book Authentic Relating by Ryel Kestano. Now, if the other person is receptive and committed to meeting your requests, you work it out with them. Remember, the key is not to make

them feel guilty, but rather inspired to support you.

They also have the right to say no to you. It would be easy to take that personally. But in reality? There could be any reason they did not want to be relied upon. If someone is not willing to fill that place in your life, you need to know. Some friends may have different desires and intentions than you. And that’s okay, as long as it’s known and communicated.

This last part might bother a few people, but it’s important. On top of your responsibility to communicate, comes your responsibility to make the people who support you feel appreciated, and your responsibility to offer what you wish to receive. These tenets of reciprocity help the people around you to feel good about being in your life. I think that’s what we all want. So if you notice someone’s been showing up for you a lot, ask how you can show up for them and watch the bond grow tighter.

In the tapestry of human relationships, we all tread the delicate path of seeking understanding, connection, and support. The beauty of the human experience lies in the ability to bridge gaps, to mend what’s frayed, and to weave stronger bonds of connection. Each vulnerable conversation becomes a step towards true authenticity. I hope that everyone can find the people who treat them with honesty and compassion.




EVERYONE experiences moments of internal struggle – be it anxiety, self-doubt, depression, excess stress, or other mental health challenges. When going through these rough patches it can feel like sinking beneath the surface or struggling to stay afloat.

I often find myself submerging under the rough waters of my problems, and letting myself get pulled into a whirlpool of internal chaos. It is effortless to allow myself to sink into anxiety and become submerged by the stress. Since becoming more aware of myself I’ve realized that when life presents these challenges we get to make a decision whether we want to sink, fight, or float.

It’s easy to stay afloat when the water is calm but the real challenge comes from learning to keep tranquil when life puts new waves in the way. Floating in the situations of rough water is about finding balance within your mind and allowing yourself to rise above struggles, while still acknowledging their presence. Instead of ignoring the things in your life that cause worry or distress, just like the feeling of sinking in rough water, you can learn to manage these emotions more effectively, like calming yourself and your breath so you can begin to float above the surface once again.

When learning how to float you can adopt different techniques and tools to flow with life’s challenges. Think of these techniques like your life vests and practices you can implement into your day to find calm in the sea. This could include mindfulness practices, self-care, creating art, journaling your thoughts, setting boundaries, and practicing positive self-talk. Though they may sound simple, implementing small things like this can move your energy into a better and less draining direction.

When I begin to feel these waves and relapses of anxiety I find myself needing time alone and use this time to refocus my energy on creativity, giving me space to find calm when I would usually dwell on my thoughts. Maintaining these practices and tools of mindfulness when encountering a new wave may initially feel challenging. However, when confronted with the choice of sinking, struggling, or staying afloat, remembering to refocus your energy and anchor yourself to your life vest becomes crucial to float past the wave.

Embracing the current rather than battling it can save you from sinking. As a surfer, one of the first things you learn is how to stay calm when getting hit by a wave. While surfing, you’re bound to fall off your board and be tossed around

underwater. Instinctively, you might want to struggle against it, but you soon realize that resisting and trying to swim frantically only makes you sink faster. In such a high-stress situation, the best approach is to calm your mind and let the wave carry you, before going to take a breath again. This applies to managing your emotions too. Imagine stress as a wave crashing over you; the more you fight it, the deeper you’ll sink.

Even when you have found ways to float better, life can still get pretty rough. These could be brought on by major life changes, unexpected events, or relapses in mental health. It’s important to recognize that floating doesn’t mean avoiding challenges, but rather facing them with resilience and adaptability. Even when these challenges may arise you can adapt to the waves by relying on your life vest. These problems will just become another wave that will pass you by.

The journey of learning to float is ongoing and takes time to integrate into your life. However, your personal growth journey and the lessons you learn about yourself are far more important than any final destination. Consider what in your life causes stress and ask yourself: Is this where I want to invest my energy? Does this weigh me down or lift me up? Is it worth the struggle? With simple questions like these, it becomes easier to identify what you need to release or how you may need to adjust in your response to the stress. Decide whether you’d rather channel your energy into fighting the current or riding the wave.

In the unpredictable seas of life, we all face moments of turmoil and turbulence. These challenges, like the crashing waves, can seem overwhelming, and it’s natural to feel like we’re sinking. However, our response to these challenges is a choice we can all make. Learning to float amidst the rough waters of our problems is a skill that requires practice, but it’s a skill that can be honed. By adopting mindfulness tools and practices as our life vests, we can navigate these challenges with greater resilience and clarity. Embracing the current rather than battling it allows us to conserve our energy and stay afloat. Remember, even when the waves are relentless, the journey of personal growth is the true destination. So, the next time you feel the undertow of stress, ask yourself where you want to invest your energy and whether it’s worth the struggle. Choose to float, adapt, and grow, for in doing so, you’ll find the strength to weather any storm that life may bring.






WOMEN Gone Wild: The Feminine Guide To Fearless Living launched to acclaim at Barnes and Noble in Huntington Beach, California, with a gathering of authors and supporters attending the book signing event and later a red carpet extravaganza in their honor.

The book is the first edition in a four-part series covering Wealth, Intuition, Leadership and Diversity (W.I.L.D) published by Rhonda Swan of the Unstoppable Branding Agency.

Said Rhonda, a five-times best selling author, CEO and advocate for female empowerment: “Anyone reading this book will be moved by the transparency of the shared experiences and inspired by the vulnerability of the writers. I like to describe this edition as a Chicken Soup For The Soul-type book focussed on female empowerment.

The Wealth Edition is about redefining wealth in every area of life, says Swan, and showing women the power of connection and collaboration by sharing stories designed to support each other.

“Women Gone Wild is a safe space for women to share their WILD stories and what they have been through to get to where they are today,” she added. “These are stories of triumph, failure and ultimately inspiration.”

Swan and her authors partnered with the founder of She Talks, Julie Ducharme and Combat Boots To High Heels [501c charity] supporting female veterans, for their official book launch and red carpet event, which featured a host of high-profile female figures, celebrities, renowned authors and inspirational speakers.

The events included book signings and entertainment from American Idol’s Jessica Meuse.

Read your way to success

Women Gone Wild: Feminine Guide to Fearless Living Wealth Edition is about redefining wealth and encouraging women to build their own financial success, says Swan. The book offers insights and strategies for wealth creation and management, with a focus on the meaning of W.I.L.D – Wealth, Intuition, Leadership and Diversity.

“This powerful book involves 25 female authors from all walks of life, and their stories reflect a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and challenges,” she said. “Together, they create a strong message of resilience, empowerment, and hope, providing a much-needed boost of inspiration and motivation.”

The 25 authors in the book include Rhonda Swan, Diana Wentworth, Jamie Anderson, Danette May, Danelle Delgado, Adriana Alvarez, Hanalei Swan, Camberly Gilmartin, April Ryan, Michelle Beltran, Kortney Murray, Stefanie Bruns, Blair Kaplan Venables, Ania Halama, Karen Whelan, Tarryn Reeves, Dana Kay, Ebony Swank, Barbie Layton, Genevieve Searle, Shar Moore, Michale Gabriel, and Robin Mullin.

Swan explained why Women Gone Wild partnered with She Talks for the launch: “It’s an important collaboration and partnership for us. In the end, we both want the same thing: to offer a platform for women to share their stories and knowledge. We want to break down gender barriers and promote and empower women.’’

Speakers at the event included experienced voices including Sharon Lechter, author, and businesswoman. Lechter has worked on the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy.

Also offering her experience and insight was Diana Wentworth, author of seven best-selling and award-winning books and the co-author of two Chicken Soup for the Soul titles. Film rights to her romantic memoir, Send Me Someone, were purchased recently by the Lifetime Network.

Justine Siegal, an American baseball coach, sports educator and the founder of Baseball For All offered her experience and knowledge from the stage. In 2009, Siegal became the first female coach of a professional men’s baseball team when she worked for the Brockton Rox, in the independent Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball.

Jen Welter, an American football coach who is currently linebackers coach for the Vegas Vipers of the XFL, brought more sporting tales of triumph. She was a defensive coaching intern for the National Football League’s Arizona Cardinals during their training camp and the 2015 preseason, making her the first female coaching intern in the NFL.

Swan says: ‘Each of these powerful voices as well as our other incredible speakers ensured our message to uplift women everywhere came through loud and clear.‘’

Kamin Samuel, First female African-American Helicopter pilot for the Navy, also starred at the event. She began her professional career in the U.S. Navy as first female African-American helicopter pilot and holds a PhD in Positive Neuropsychology, a Masters of Science in Information Systems, a Masters of Arts in Spiritual Psychology, and a Masters of Science in Spiritual Science.

Kamin’s unique background combines both technical and soft skills, allowing her to assist individuals in taking practical action in the real world that gets dramatic results.

Said Swan: “We’re grateful to all our authors, attendees and speakers and we look forward to our next edition of Women Gone Wild which we know will add to the significant body of work we’re putting together to enhance and empower the lives of women around the world.”



BREAKING into male-dominated industries can be challenging yet rewarding for women, and despite the hurdles in the financial sector, there are successful women entrepreneurs who serve as inspiration.

One founder created a company to empower women in business by providing resources for public speaking, securing grants, and coaching. Her company helps women achieve their career goals by providing them with essential tools regardless of their industry.

Helping Lead Women To Success

CEO and founder of Coastal Kapital, a prominent women-owned financial service provider in Florida, believes that she has a voice that can be shared with the world. According to Kortney Murray, empowering women in business and guiding them to build their own empires is crucial.

With the limitless opportunities provided by the internet and available tools, women are no longer confined by previously established borders in male-dominated fields. Her mission is to help others navigate the challenging process of finding the right funding and expansion tools.

"Public speaking is a powerful tool that can help women in business communicate their vision and values to a wider audience. Intuition plays a vital role in building a successful company and leveraging available resources to expand it. Seeking out guidance and help is essential for any entrepreneur looking to achieve their goals."

Guiding Them Through Their Own Process

Trusting your intuition and staying true to your personal goals can be the key to building a successful business. By taking the time to establish your goals and listening to what your intuition or gut says, you can create a business that is aligned with your values and vision.

It is also crucial to find a team that is willing to work with and support you as you grow. A team that shares your values and is committed to your vision can help you navigate challenges and make better decisions for the long-term success of your business.

Finally, bringing positive energy into your workspace and culture can create a strong foundation for future growth. When positivity and a can-do attitude are present, teams are motivated to work harder, innovate, and support each other. This sets the tone for a successful business that can thrive in the long run.

Remember, building a successful business is a journey, and trusting your intuition and staying true to your goals can help you achieve success on your terms.

"I believe that by helping women trust their intuition and stay true to their personal goals, we can empower them to build successful businesses on their own terms,” says Murray. “By providing them with the resources and support they need to navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship, we can help them achieve their dreams and lead them to success through their own unique process."

Resource Strategies

Expanding a business can be a challenging and overwhelming task for any entrepreneur, especially for women who may be working in maledominated industries. However, there are resources available to help women in business overcome these challenges and achieve their goals.

One valuable resource is public speaking in the business industry and women in business. Attending events and conferences where successful women entrepreneurs share their experiences and insights can be inspiring and empowering. These events provide opportunities to network and connect with like-minded individuals who can offer support, advice, and potential partnerships.

Murray explains: “Expanding a business is a challenging but rewarding journey, and there are resources and strategies available to help women entrepreneurs succeed.”

Always Trust In Your Intuition

Trusting one's intuition and staying true to personal goals is also key. It's important to establish clear goals and listen to what one's intuition or gut is saying. This can help entrepreneurs make better decisions and stay aligned with their values and vision.

“Trusting intuition, establishing clear goals is essential for any businesswoman, “Murray continues, but finding the right help and support, and bringing positive energy to the workspace and culture can all contribute to building a successful business.”

The Sky Is the Limit

Public speaking can be challenging for most of us. As a high achiever, how has Murray set her sights on a new goal: public speaking while also achieving financial success? Murray explains: “Unwavering commitment to my community and the financial empowerment of women has earned me a reputation as a leader in the field. She explains: “With over three successful entrepreneurial ventures under my belt, I bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table.”

Her forthcoming book, “Women Gone Wild: Intuition Edition,” set to be released this year, and a movie slated for 2024, will provide readers and viewers with insight into her tried-and-true methods for success.

Murray continues: “I firmly believe that women supporting women is the key to success. My personal mission is to help guide others through the complexities of business financing, creating successful partnerships, and advocating for the challenges faced by business owners,” says Kortney. Her unwavering passion for helping women succeed and her dedication to the cause make her a formidable force in the business world.

www. coastalkapital.com


creating kapital




JOHN Flora, the founder of Orvino Wines and Flora Foods, stands as a testament to entrepreneurial spirit and culinary passion. With his roots firmly planted in Bari, Italy, John’s journey to America was marked by humble beginnings.

Settling in Brooklyn’s Bensonhurst in 1962, he swiftly embedded himself in the food industry, starting at Villa Cucci Italian Bakery. His quest for authentic Italian cuisine led him to establish Flora’s Drive-In pizza parlor in Miami Beach, and subsequently, Flora’s Italian Restaurant in Hollywood, Florida. Recognizing a gap in the market, John transitioned into supplying Italian ingredients to restaurants, a venture that evolved into Flora Fine Foods.

Today, it’s celebrated as a premier source for genuine Italian products, esteemed by national grocers and specialty markets alike. In an industry facing the winds of economic change, John Flora sees resilience as the key ingredient.

“The current climate has prompted a dip in the wine sector, but our familyowned operation thrives by staying dynamic,” he shares. Unlike larger conglomerates, Flora’s nimbleness has been a boon, leading to consistent growth even in tumultuous times.

Innovation is at the forefront of Orvino Wines’ strategy, as changing consumer behaviors demand a fresh approach to product offerings and marketing. “We’ve embraced the digital wave, driving our marketing towards sustainable and responsible consumption,” John explains.

His company’s dedication to data-driven strategies has allowed them to tailor their wines to suit evolving preferences in both retail and on-premise settings.

The volatility of the supply chain is a well-known challenge in today’s market, yet John and his team have crafted a resilient network. “It’s about building robustness into our logistics,” he says.

“Sometimes this means carrying larger stocks or providing manufacturers with sales guarantees to mitigate disruptions.”

Rising costs of raw materials and production are universal hurdles, yet John emphasizes the importance of inventory management and process optimization. “We’re constantly aligning our salesforce with our inventory, focusing on specific items, and diversifying our product range,” he notes. Collaborations within the industry also play a crucial role, sharing resources and marketing efforts to curtail costs and broaden customer reach.

As the economic landscape tightens, Orvino Wines has pivoted to employ targeted digital marketing, e-commerce, and personalized recommendations to stay connected with consumers.

Technology, John mentions, has been leveraged to enhance efficiency across the board, from quality control to distribution, optimizing the supply chain to avoid stock issues and align with customer satisfaction.

Looking to the future, John Flora is optimistic, predicting that the demand for high-quality products will only increase. “Being family-owned means we can make swift decisions, keeping us at the forefront as we adapt to consumer preferences,” he asserts. With a clear focus on premiumization and innovation in both product and packaging, John is confident that Orvino Wines is wellpositioned for sustained growth.

In the narrative of John Flora and his ventures, it’s evident that the food and wine import industry is not just surviving but thriving, driven by an indomitable spirit of innovation and an unyielding commitment to quality amidst the ebb and flow of economic tides.

www. orvinowine.com





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