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APRIL 2016

FAMILY A Year of World Schooling

ADVENTURE Northern Lights in Southern Vieques

PHOTO FEATURE The work of Oranatt Pernqvist

UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 1


Featured Content

7 PHOTOGRAPHER’S SPOTLIGHT

A Photographer’s Heart

26 A Year of World Schooling

43 FEATURE / ADVENTURE

Northern Lights in Southern Vieques

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE Glamping Gone Good The Elegant Café Royal Hotel Fishing the Inner Passage For Chocolate Lovers Post Vacation Blues Gemstones, Entrepreneurialism and Telepathy UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 2


Upward Staff UPWARD MAGAZINE ONLINE www.upwardmagazine.com

FOUNDER Summer Johnson

Facebook www.facebook.com/UpwardMagazine Instagram @upwardmagazine Inquires hello@upwardmagazine.com

SENIOR EDITOR Dakota Arkin

OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Sandy Anderson

CO EDITORS Nicole Stanton Brittany Templeton

GRAPHIC DESIGN Gabriela d’Amato Maria Gonzáles Iker Fernandez

WRITERS

Megan Collier, Lauren Johnson, Roseanne Murray, Anne Foong, Nicole Stanton, Adam Charles, Brittany Templeton, Maya Amoah, Reese Dowley

MARKETING Amber Hukari-Guerrero, Jenna Jackson

ADVERTISING Taylor Sherwood Jenna Jackson, Jessica Figueroa

OPERATIONS Jannet Nazureno and Ilka Pandilovska

COVER PHOTO Justin Hession, page 50


Founder’s Note APRIL 2016

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if

appreciation for it. My advice, if you have children and

there were no airplanes? The thought gives insight into

you really need to get away, that is ok. Everyone needs

what made the first nomadic civilizations. I don’t know

a break from their daily routine sometimes.You add to

about you, but being stationed for too long makes me

your family by getting the rest that you need. Taking the

very uncomfortable. We all have a choice, and for us at

children with you on every vacation is not mandatory.

Upward, we want to encourage you to let nothing stop you

Couples especially need time to rekindle romance and

from going exactly where you want to go.

nothing can do that like time away.

In this issue we focus on luxury travel. When

traveling for pleasure and leisure, those with families

Sincerely.

sometimes wonder… Should I bring the children? Well… It depends. There are some things you might want to consider when planning a lux trip with the next generation.

Summer Johnson,

FOUNDER Do I have to bring the children?

If you have no other options, try to plan your trip at

a low stress time of the year for you. Is a sitter available?

There are services at many hotels and resorts or you

can bring a trustworthy relative or your own sitter to help. Will the trip refine the children or make them spoiled?

Overindulgence is not a plus for anyone, and if

your children lux travel too often, they can lose their

UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 4


Contributor Focus

Brittany Templeton

Dakota Arkin

Gabriela Damato

Anne Foong

@BRITTANYZAE

@DAKOTAARKIN

@GABRIELADAMATO

@ANNEFOONG

A self-proclaimed travel

Dakota is a writer

Gabriela d’Amato is a

junkie, double her age

in New York. She’s

graphic designer & art

and that’s how many

lived in Paris, Berlin

director in New York

countries she’s visited.

and Brooklyn and is

City. She works with

48 and counting.

marrying a Missourian.

others to culturally

Brittany spent her

She is devoted to travel,

engage in the fields

college years studying

cultural immersion and

of print publishing,

in Europe, while

the study of languages.

environmental graphics,

taking advantage of

With a background in

sonic recording and

the culture shocks and

branding, marketing,

interactive design. She

currency conversions.

and editorial, she

has been commissioned

She most likely can be

collaborates with

by a wide range of

found with a coffee, a

various brands and

offices whilst also

camera, or teaching in a

cultural institutions.

maintaining an

Anne has a passion for life with a devoted heart to Christ, constantly looking out over the horizon of life and facing the challenges the world has to offer. One who loves running and really anything that is adventurous. She is a farmer by day and a freelance writer by night.

classroom. Brittany has

She holds a MA from

individually directed

learned first hand that

the American University

design and research

travel makes a lasting

of Paris and a BFA from

practice. She lives in

impact on worldview,

New York University’s

Brooklyn enjoying a life

self-confidence, and

Tisch School of the Arts.

of travel, athletics, and

maturity.

good times.

UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 5


All photos By Nuria of @travelera.es 1. Running 2. Over a camel in Egypt

Fire and Fashion The Tale of an Accidental Blogger —by Adam Charles Hailing from a small town in the north of Spain, Nuria

of people, attracting around a hundred comments on

moved to London as a freshly-qualified pharmacist after a

some of her travel posts, as well as over two and a half

stint of travelling around Europe. Since then, she has set

thousand followers on Instagram.

up a travel blog, www.travelera.es, which is making quite

a splash in the travel-blogging ocean.

a place where she connected with the world of travel

blogging. “I follow different blogs and I admire the ones

Looking at its success, it’s hard to believe that her

Nuria’s Instagram certainly seems to inspire her,

blog almost happened by accident: “My brother created

who are full time travelers.” Her role model is Jessica

a blog for me to advertise my apartment that I rent in

Stein who runs the highly successful travel blog Tula

a beautiful area of Turkey,” she tells me, “we were not

Vintage - an Instagram phenomenon with over 2 million

having visits so I started to post about Turkey and places

followers. “I share the same passion for traveling and

to visit.” Soon this blog expanded from articles about

fashion, so I have always admired the beautiful places

Turkey to include all of her travels. “I love photography as

where she travels and gorgeous clothes that she wears.”

my father was professional photographer... I have always

For Nuria, travel - like fashion - seems to be a thing of

seen a camera every day since I remember.” Now the

glamour: “I love beautiful hotels or cruises; I am not a

advertisement for her Turkey rental is relegated to a mere

fan of hostels!”

sidebar item. The blog has a huge following of hundreds

UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 6


A Photographer’s Heart The Work of Oranatt Pernqvist ­—by Anne Foong

UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 7


Instagram @jj_pernqvist

Recently, I had the lovely opportunity

The phrase on your Instagram page, all

to interview Oranatt Pernqvist (JJ), the

photos represent who I am has peeked

sensational photographer, who has been

much curiosity as to who is behind the

hiding behind the lens. “It took me a year

compelling photos. Can you reveal a bit

before I had the courage to post a picture

about yourself and your photography

of myself on Instagram!”

perspectives? What were your favourite

moments/places?

During my interview with her, you

could sense her gentle soft nature. Though

she appears shy but when asked about her

going on to 35 soon. I’ve worked in IBM

passion, she guards it ferociously, “I want

corporate company years ago and later

the photos to be the thing that capture

the Swedish company, Tetra Pak. There’s

people’s attention. The photos that I take

where I met my husband. During those

should be able to relate who I am without

years, I realised working in corporate

them knowing me. That is my ultimate

companies isn’t for me. So I quit my job

goal achieved.”

and found myself working with UNHCR by

the Thai-Myanmar border to help refugees

She is currently in Sweden, her

I’m from Bangkok, Thailand. I’m 34

husband’s home country spending their

get resettled. I’ve learned a lot through

holiday seasons with family. Instead of

that one year experience and it shaped the

snuggling down under a duvet drinking

way I look at life.

hot chocolate, she braves out into the foggy

cold to explore with the hope of capturing

gratitude knowing that I have a place

moments of beauty in the nature. “If

where I belong. For some, they don’t even

you see the photos, it includes me. It

have a nationality and they have a life to

(the beauty) is like a part of my life, my

live as well. It hurts, and I ask myself what

journey. What I see is what you see and

can I do? If we can give anything, at the

sometimes a great shot requires

least give sympathy and understanding.

great effort.”

That is the message I want to give in every

Every morning I awaken with

UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 8

COVER: Maroon Bells BANNER: Chandrataal Lake, The Himalayas Slovenia 1. Rotorua, NZ. 2. Picture of JJ – Kaza, Spiti Valley, India 3. Florence, Italy 4. Orangutan from Kalimantan. Indonesia 5. Vintgar Gorge,


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photo post alongside some captions, maybe it will help a

Starting from an amateur background, what tips can

little.

you give to young budding photographers?

That’s why I don’t like Photoshop so much. I like to

You have to practice, a lot. Try to find your own

photograph the real scenes of life, the real nature along

style and stick to the basics in the beginning. For the first

with its imperfection.

5 years, I used a mid-range camera and not until recently I

switched to Nikon D810. You don’t need to have the most

I like Italy specifically, and I’ve stayed their long

enough to say the charms of Italy are in the suburbs;

expensive gear to be a good photographer. It depends on

villages that are off the tourist track. Those unfamiliar

how you see the world. It’s like art. Be creative and try as

places come with certain kind of exciting adventures to

much as you can. My first 5000 photos were so crappy, I

explore. You never know what you encounter. Maybe

deleted most of them. Play around with the settings and

you’ll get invited to grandma’s house for cooking or

do a little editing with your own style. You will find them.

capture local life and moments which you don’t see often.

environment. At first glance, it was no good but fiddling

I give a lot of respect to people when I travel,

For an example, I took a picture in a foggy

regardless of their nationality, race, religion, gender, or

around with a black and white feature, it turned out to be

whether they are rich or poor, none of it matters. With

a nice one. Keep practising and be willing to go the extra

this attitude and understanding, comes a comprehension

mile to capture, and step out of your comfort zone.

of what traveling is all about and you will see that the simplest things of life make your heart more full of joy.

What are your other interests besides photography?

We actually need very little.

Any ambitions in life?

This is how I see the world; by capturing moments,

Le Gordon Bleu cooking courses! My interests are

things that interest me. Be it people, architecture, fashion,

very basic; cooking, travelling, running, photographing

food or nature. It’s nice as you travel, you share and

and spending time with my husband and family. We are

exchange what you’ve seen and experienced, even as

planning to buy a house in the south of Sweden and make

simple as sharing candies.

it a Bed & Breakfast. I would love to talk to the guests,

exchange travel experiences and care them with warm

When I travel to a remote area, I doubt if I should

really take photos of children or people who live on

hospitality.

the street. I would ask for permissions every time I

photograph them but when I review them, I ask myself, “If

time traveling to new destinations like the Himalayas (I

I were them, would I want to be seen by the world in my

can’t get enough of these mountains). I also want to take

hardships and struggles? That’s why I rarely post those

photography courses. As our future is often unpredictable,

photos on social media.

if all plans fail , I shall work with the UN again in the

In the winter I would close my B&B and spend

country I would be staying in. What camera do you use? Any extra gadgets? And

how do you pack everything into one suitcase?

current preparation for her next adventure – the wildest

trek in the world, the Chadar Trek in Ladakh, India.

I use a Nikon D810 with 3 zoom lens of 50mm

As we end our conversation, she mentioned her

f/1.4G, 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR and 80-200mm f/2.8D

“People find it hard to believe that I do tough treks. I

ED. All that and years of practise! You know, I don’t even

wonder if I can do it...but others have done it before, so

own a tripod! I sometimes balance it on a bench or on a

why can’t I? I have been training a lot, running, strength

rock, really anything where I can put my camera on to

training to be fit and it requires a lot of dedication. I have

capture the moment. I travel light. In Asia, it’s easy, but

to sleep in the tent in -20 to -30 degrees below! I have to

in colder countries, I pack more. If I am on a trek, I try to

equip myself as to not burden the others and come back

bring a lot of trekking gear. But most importantly, try to

safely.”

have comfortable shoes and extra batteries.

UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 10


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4


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UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 14

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Vintage by Crystal ­—by Reese Dowley Anyone seeking a unique holiday gift for a friend or loved one would be lucky to stumble across Vintage By Crystal, an online shop vending the strange and whimsical spun cotton creations of Skylervillebased artist Crystal Sloane. The art of creating figures out of spun cotton was commonly practiced in Germany leading up to the first world war. When World War I wiped out the German cottage industry, the knowledge of spuncotton techniques began to deteriorate along with the majority of the figurines still in circulation. However, a handful of artists have managed to keep the art alive using techniques of their own invention. Crystal Sloane ranks highly among these artists. In 2010, she showcased her craft on the Martha Stewart show. Last summer, she singlehandedly spun an enormous display of figures ranging from four inches to fortyeight inches tall for Bergdorf Goodman’s Manhattan location. The success of Sloane’s craft owes largely to the charm of her style. She uses wire and long strips of cotton to create additions to a quaint and unusual world that is distinctly her own. Animals are a major theme in the Vintage By Crystal universe, many of which are wearing holidaythemed clothing and holding signs that greet the reader. "Well I always liked the animal society type children’s books and stories and movies and all that," explained Sloane when asked about the development of UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 15


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UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 16


PHOTO: Set of figurines

A shadow box is a thin box that can be mounted onto a wall like a framed picture, but a 3D scene can be viewed through the frame. "I did a series of them for Bergdorf Goodman, they were like winter scenes, but I want to do a smaller series and kind of go crazy with them, put all kinds of weird stuff I’ve collected into them."

UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 17

It looks like followers of Crystal Sloane can expect a continuous expansion of the Vintage by Crystal universe. If you’re interested in entering into her world of spun cotton owls, logs, and catpeople, you can check out her springtime creations at vintagebycrystal.com or follow her on instagram @vintagebycrystal.


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UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 19


Café Royal Hotel, staying true to its original glamorous spirit, has recently reopened as a 21st century contemporary and luxurious hotel in the heart of London.

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Offering an eclectic mix of restaurants and UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 20

All photos by Nestor E. Lara Baeza


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UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 21


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UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 23


4

Top Left: Entrance Top Right: Front Bar Bottom: Front Garden

UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 24


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FEATURE / FAMILY

A Year of World Schooling By Dakota Arkin

UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 26


On a late evening in Kuala Lumpur, Jo Ross is seated at a restaurant with her husband Lindsay and two daughters Ellie, 13 and Camryn, 11 to chat with me about their world travels from a mere 13 hours behind. The Ross’ arrived to Malaysia that

conduct and present research projects on

morning and in three days will head for

each destination they’ve been — places as

Chiang Mai at the appeal of precocious

far reaching as Glasgow and Abu Dhabi.

Camryn who conducted a research report

Earlier this month, Ellie taught her family

for the entire family on the city. After

about Nyepi, the Balinese Hindu New Year

Thailand, they’re off to Vietnam: Hoi An

celebration that took place to their surprise

and Hanoi, to begin with.

while visiting the Indonesian island.

All photos by Jo Ross

The family sold their home in

A testament to fostering

Victoria, Canada last summer but having

independence and empowerment, the

not yet found a new house, the opportunity

young Ross women help plan each

to be completely free thrust them into

itinerary creating a portfolio of things to

this great adventure. Lindsay and Jo, a

see, places to stay, information about the

teacher herself, decided to set off on a

currency and key vocabulary — all through

yearlong voyage with their two daughters,

their own eyes and examined together as a

taking the approach of world schooling

family. They rarely secure a final itinerary

and online math courses to educate their

more than a week out, giving each place

absorbent minds. It is a year that has

the time to love or leave. “Travel opens

enriched young Ellie and Camryn far

up minds,” Jo aptly describes. When the

beyond any classroom walls. The girls

family does land by plane or boat or train

UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 27


to a new destination, Ellie and Camryn also take on the responsibility of leading the way to their local abode.

While the girls admittedly miss

their friends home in Victoria, they are enthralled with the adventure, chiming in with a vignette about driving around Italy in a Fiat 500, a bike tour in Ubud, or an 8 km hike to Bondi Beach.

UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 28


This isn’t the first world tour for Jo and

and in their upcoming travels through

Lindsay’s family. These adventurous

Southeast Asia will learn about

parents took their daughters on a three-

Buddhism. Lindsay adoringly recalls,

month voyage when they were only

“listening to them [Ellie and Camryn]

toddlers. So with their young ones old

explain to people what we are doing, the

enough to create enriching, long-lasting

intonation in their voices is so positive.”

memories, Jo and Lindsay leapt at the

opportunity to do it again.

that her family can get through anything

together. Independence and flexibility are

Jo’s perception of the world has

Jo has a newfound sense of strength

changed as she has seen it through her

just a few of the life skills they’ve earned.

own children’s curiosity. “Diversity

She hopes to not only instill a sense of

is beautiful and rich,” Jo says as she

adventure in her children, but also an

describes what she hopes to instill into

ability to take comfort in not knowing and

her daughters. They’ve learned about

the courage to take a leap of faith. They’ve

Islamic culture in the United Arab

relied on resources like Skyscanner and

Emirates, partook in Hindu celebrations

Momondo to book flights, and at other UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 29


times have simply shown up at the airport

also forging a small world of inspiring

on standby. Camryn quotes her mom’s

families (Follow along with the Ross

adage, “Life is short,” in a sweet, yet

journey @joannlross). Through it they’ve

confident voice. Each girl keeps up a travel

made lifelong, like-minded friends. This

blog — Ellie’s is Living from a Suitcase —

has been especially important for the girls

to record their trip and stay in touch with

who, while grateful for the privilege of this

friends and family, along with diligent

adventure, crave more interaction with

postcard writing.

peers. They had even asked if they could

go to the local school when they were in

Instagram has been a touchstone for

sharing ideas and recommendations while

Australia for two months.

“Listening to them explain to people what we are doing, the intonation in their voices is so positive.”

UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 30


Routine does not come easily when

they may be in a destination for as little as three days, but Jo does have a formula for keeping up with familiar activities they love while also introducing themselves to the local community. Avid sportsmen, each Ross carries a tennis racquet along with a medium-sized Eddie Bauer roller bag, which Jo swears by. For the seven weeks they lived in the southern tip of Puglia, Ellie and Camryn played on the local boys’ soccer team. They have dived into everything from swimming, pottery, gymnastics and jewelry making, and through the website BookaLokal took a cooking class in Brussels. They also attended the Australian Open and are looking forward to Roland Garros and Wimbledon later in the year.

Jo especially loves visiting smaller

towns and says they are easier to explore with her family compared to the big cities. In St. Mawes, a small town in the English countryside of about 1,000 people, Ellie and Camryn had the freedom to go about town, taking independent trips to the local bakery. Of course, Jo could track their whereabouts but notes that in these smaller communities the children can take on more freedoms. In larger cities, Jo recommends finding centrally located accommodations. “It’s rained in every city,” Camryn giggles as she reminiscences.

Early on in motherhood, Jo was

told that children grow up quickly and now her eldest is due to begin high school when they return to Canada. This year brought pause to fleeting childhoods, allowing the Ross family the time to bond over unknowns and adventures that can never truly be summed up. “It’s a true gift that I get to spend every day with them and watch everything through their eyes,” Lindsay said. UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 31


Looking back at photos of Canada, Jo a self-described “proud Canadian,” realized that she has not explored her own home the way she has dedicated herself to exploring the rest of the world and looks forward to getting to know her own Province of British Columbia more deeply. While this particular trip only covers Europe, Australia and Southeast Asia, Jo asserts that this will not be the last adventure for her family. She and Lindsay are immensely grateful to explore the world through the eyes of their children. Several more months stand between the Ross’ return to North America. After Vietnam, they’ll head to Nepal and India, and eventually back through Europe where the idea of living in the south of France for six weeks is beguiling them. In the meantime, Jo is enjoying meandering the world with her family, cherishing this year of tight knit exploration before her daughters become young women and forge adventures of their own.

UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 32


Fishing the Inner Passage:

From Seattle to Juneau, and Back Again By Nicole Stanton

PHOTOS: Courtesy of Brittany Templeton

When entering the yachting world, one never really knows what to expect: I signed up for a job as a cook travelling the Inner Passage, but in truth, the trip turned out to be much more: I got to see a part of the world I would never have gotten to experience in that way—glaciers, fjords, mountains and wildlife—everything really is bigger in British Columbia and Alaska. I will never forget the day I caught an eighty-pound halibut, fileted it that afternoon, and served halibut cheek sliders for appetizers. Green to the yachting industry, the range of

fresh fish and I can definitely do family-style

wealth, the type of boat, and the itinerary

food,” I said, sure of myself and eager to join

are all completely random. I knew it wasn’t

a boat.

going to be a big glitzy super yacht, but

I wasn’t expecting a 95’ Sportfisher. My

“Yes. I definitely can do that…” Little did

interview was straightforward.

I know my experience with small reef fish

was not fileting a 50lb king Salmon or a

Captain Chuck asked, “Do you know

“Can you filet fish?”

how to cook simple, American food? John,

100-pound halibut, and I had never even

the owner, is 83 and very old school. He likes

seen a lingcod before. My first job as a cook/

eating the fish we catch, do you have any

deckhand was provisioning for the first leg

experience in fishing?”

of the trip. Our 500-gallon fridge was full

to the brim with fruits and vegetables, in

“Sure. I was born and raised in the

Caribbean, I’m pretty familiar with cooking UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 33

addition to a backup deep freeze with meat.


“I got to see a part of the world I would never have gotten to experience in that way—glaciers, fjords, mountains and wildlife— everything really is bigger in British Columbia and Alaska.”

Plus, the hope of catching lots of fish. For the first month of the trip, we did not see a single other living being—other than the whales, dolphins and sea lions—not even another boat for weeks!

I know many people are not familiar

with the Haida Gwaii, I surely wasn’t: they have a saying in those parts, “if you don’t like the weather, wait twenty minutes.” Completely exposed to the North Pacific breezes and strong currents, one minute there are thunderstorms and rough seas, that transform into a gorgeous sunset and calm waters with a pod of orca whales bubble feeding. UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 34

Our routine for more or less of four

months: early breakfast, trolling until lunch, an afternoon session of fishing, shrimping or Dungeness crabbing, and dinner at 6.

The further North we went, the more

fishing we did: the more fish we caught, the happier we were, and the longer I had to stand in the cold, with numb fingers, fileting and processing hundreds of pounds of fish. Who else gets to keep a bottle of soy sauce on deck so to eat the fresh salmon sashimi right off the bones! And the food? Lingcod fish and chips, Salmon and feta cheese quiche with a pesto crust, Dungeness crab eggs benedict on


“Little did I know my experience with small reef fish was not fileting a 50lb king Salmon or a 100-pound halibut never even seen a lingcod before.” homemade English muffins (quite tricky poaching an egg in rough seas), John’s saltine cracker breaded razor clams always served with a Caesar. Years later I look back on that summer and cannot appreciate enough the rare privilege I was given to cook and experiment with such amazing, freshly caught seafood.

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For Chocolate Lovers By Summer Johnson

Sasha & Trent Lewis are the founders of Barefoot & Chocolate, an independent food brand with a cult-like following of its chocolate spreads.

From early childhood Sasha had an

Upon tasting their signature chocolate

intense love for chocolate. This passion for

spread, you can immediately discern that

chocolate caught on quickly with Trent,

Barefoot & Chocolate uses only all-natural

who worked as a chef as well as the resident

ingredients with two times the nuts and

cook at their house. Bringing together their

20% less sugar than other brands. Barefoot

passions, they started a chocolate business.

& Chocolate is fair-trade certified—using

Many nights in the kitchen together

ethically sourced ingredients, their spreads

experimenting with different chocolate

are non-GMO and gluten-free. The cocoa

recipes resulted in several flavors that they

and nut flavor are the heroes of the spread,

felt were the best ever.

rather than the traditional sugar and oil

used by other brands. UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 37

All photos by Trent & Sasha Lewis


Now only three years old, Barefoot and Chocolate is available nationwide, at select retailers, and on their website. They have gained quite a bit of interest from both Canada and the UK, and plan on bringing Barefoot & Chocolate international in the near future. Given how amazing it is, they are well on their way to sweet success! For more information, check them out at Whole Foods Markets, or online at wwww.barefootandchocolate.com

Top RIght: Trent & Sasha Lewis Top Left: Pastry Bottom: Barefoot & Chocolate

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LEAP Global Missions

Serving the World’s Surgical Needs One Child at a Time By Megan Collier In a world with so much need and so little resources to meet them, those who have a desire to help often struggle with knowing where or how to start at all. Nearly 25 years ago, Dr. Craig Hobar aimed to address that need by founding LEAP Global Missions, where he serves as Founder and Medical Director. What started as a single trip in 1991 to the Dominican Republic to provide medical care to those in need evolved into what is today, a successful and impactful non-profit organization. Today from the Dominican Republic to Zimbabwe, LEAP offers ongoing care to children with otherwise unmet surgical needs, and continue care for those who require long-term medical treatment. Hobar and his team are a group of compassionate individuals dedicated to making a positive difference worldwide.

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Gemstones, Entrepreneurialism and Telepathy The Modern Face of Fine Jewelry By Adam Charles

PHOTOS by Jane Taylor Jewelry

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Cleo Zancope runs Jane Taylor Jewelry with her mother, an award winning fine jewelry designer.

So, Cleo, did you always know you wanted to join the family business? In fact, I did not! I was surrounded by jewelry my whole life, wearing my mom’s creations, going to the Manhattan Diamond District. I wasn’t one of those kids who wanted to grow up to be ‘XYZ.’ I wanted to travel, to use both sides of my brain, and to take advantage of my social personality. My mom just happened to need temporary help with her business when I was a recent college graduate - almoast 6 years ago! And where does Jane draw inspiration from when designing new jewelry? This is truly a mystery! She’s a deeply nuanced woman and has experienced so much. I think she has a magical power to transform all of the bits of information and inspirations in her brain into beautiful jewelry. Art history, pop culture, fashion, interior design, jewelry design, gardening, cooking, baking... UM How would you say travelling has inspired Jane’s work? Travel has influenced our lives profoundly, even if it isn’t always literally displayed in her design motifs. Paris, for example, inspired her stylistically; Thailand did so spiritu aally. I’m not sure how to say this without sounding too hippy dippy, but we both share a great interest in people and what makes humans tick. She has taken me traveling near and far ever since I was a little girl. What do you mean by "Totally Everyday" jewelry? My mom is always wearing jewelry. It’s a form of adornment, of memory keeping and storytelling, and of celebrating the beauty of life. She believes that fine jewelry is a possession to be honored by wearing it, everyday. So in the 90s when she started her company, she made her first advertising slogan "Totally Everyday" to reflect that.

Do you have a favorite piece? Oh. Man. It’s pretty much impossible to pick a favorite. But there is one diamond and platinum ring that she designed for herself about 15 years ago that I just go weak in the knees over. You’re really successful on Instagram! Has this helped you to reach younger or different audiences? Yes, I do think that the social media explosion has allowed us to connect with many people that we wouldn’t otherwise have been able to. Instagram is a place to seek beauty and innovation, cultivate creativity, and scope out interesting objects of desire. We’re grateful to be a little piece of the puzzle. One last thing... on your website you mention telepathic communication? I must have started absorbing my mom’s business practices early on. Between experiencing so much of the jewelry industry by my mom’s side at a young age, and the fact that our brains operate similarly on many levels, we often call each other to share an idea, only to find out that the other person had already been thinking the same exact thing! This freaks us out in the best possible way.

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Beating Post Vacation

BLUES

— By Rosanne G. Murray

You returned home energized and transformed by the sights, sounds and experiences of your latest travel adventure. This trip, be it your first or your fiftieth, was just what the doctor ordered to calm the itch of wanderlust.

You savored the positive brain chemistry you

enhance or inform our path. You can learn a lot from

experienced while planning the vacation and you

these feelings by sitting with them rather than being

thoroughly enjoyed yourself. So all is well with your

reactive to them. Keeping a journal, learning to pray,

world, right? Well, maybe not. If you notice that you feel

meditate or Focus, working with a psychotherapist,

sad or somehow bad emotionally after a wonderful travel

life coach or spiritual teacher or joining a spiritual

adventure, know that you not alone in those feelings.

community are all ways to address your blue mood

spiritually.

After the high of a very positive adventure,

many people find themselves dealing with something

Wikipedia defines as Post-Vacation Blues, Vacation/

neurotransmitters dopamine, oxycodone, serotonin

Holiday Blues or Post-Travel Depression (PTD). This

and endorphins a surge that probably did wonders for

“disorder” is described as feeling particularly stressed

your mood. Once the trip is history, there are less of

or experiencing a blue mood that can affect you in the

these ‘feel good’ brain chemicals around which you

period after returning from a long-awaited vacation.

could experience as a blue mood or depression. Since

Whatever you call it, the struggle is real and

many activities impact your neurotransmitters, this is

while there is no official medical diagnosis for this

easily rectified. Understanding that you can feel lower

condition, many travelers report feelings of mourning,

after a huge high can help you get along with life and

sadness, dissatisfaction with the life they are

not focus on your negative feeling, but just understand

returning to, a desire to change jobs, relationships,

that they are normal.

etc. Many people report tiredness, a loss of appetite,

strong feelings of nostalgia and in some cases, a

performances, parties, vacations, can be followed

deeper depression.

by sadness, because “the party is over,” and you are

In my work as a psychotherapist, I teach my

back to your normal life. Know this and try to enjoy

clients how to sense, sit with and gain wisdom from their

the mundane! Developing and celebrating smaller,

feelings. If it’s really true that feelings reveal a lot about

more readily achievable goals stimulates dopamine;

our thoughts and beliefs, then it’s also quite possibly true

practicing gratitude, remembering past achievement’s

that understanding those feelings will decrease and help

and victories, a walk in the sun and vitamin D

us navigate our negative stressful experiences. Here are

stimulate serotonin; a hug or receiving a gift increases

some ways to easily manage that after travel let down.

oxycodone and laughter, regular exercise, lavender

and vanilla aromas, dark chocolate and spicy foods

Sometimes a blue mood and even a mild

depression comes to bring us information that can guide,

Thinking about the trip gave your ‘feel good’

Anything in your life that is exciting: promotion,

increases your endorphins.

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FEATURE / TRAVEL

Northern Lights in Southern Vieques By Nicole Stanton

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The mind begins to race when one thinks of the ‘Caribbean.’ Scenes of riding horses down a beach, hanging one’s feet off the side of a sailboat while the sun sets, renting a scooter and exploring an unmarked nature preserve, all come to mind. However, quite often, it is hard to find any actuality in these visions of paradise. Where can we go for an authentic Caribbean experience and not feel like our dream has been packaged and sold to us?

COVER PHOTO: Nicole Stanton. Vieques Night Scape of Stars over Media Luna, Photo taken by resident photographer Karl Alexander PHOTO ABOVE: Nicole Staton. Feral horses enjoying the empty green pastures on the North Shore of Vieques

Born and raised in the Virgin Islands,

Puerto Rico, in 1898. After World War II, a

I have come to accept that I am quite

large part of the island was occupied by the

spoiled when it comes to beautiful water

US Navy and used for military exercises,

and fantastic seafood. However, what

including bombing practice. In 2003, after

makes Vieques so special is that it remains

many protests, the Navy departed and

a bit more removed from the cruise ship

turned the two-thirds of the island they

itinerary. There are not copious amounts

controlled into a wildlife refuge. “In a way

of cheesy t-shirts, shot glasses, and other

it’s a good thing that the Navy was here,”

paraphernalia that your grandparents

says James, a local Viequense who works

bring back from their week on a ship; but,

at one of the restaurants, “it means that

if you are looking to time travel back 30

Vieques was kept a secret that much longer

years before there was public wifi in the

and as a result we aren’t overdeveloped

parks or A/C in every room, then this is the

like many of the surrounding islands. The

place for you. So, how did such an amazing

Viequense people are very laid back: they

place remain so hidden? Vieques has an

want to let nature do its thing. No want

interesting history. The island was first

wants to control anything.”

discovered by Columbus, but remained untouched and frequently used as a pirate hideout until the US ceded it, along with

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The kindness of strangers on the island

The feral Paso Fino horses, chickens,

exceeds almost any island I have visited.

cats, and dogs roam the island, while the

Island mentality instills a strong sense of

waters are protected from over-fishing

community; only 21 miles long, everyone

and hurting the seafood populations. The

looks out for one another. If you are

islanders love their tranquil, carefree

walking to a hidden beach, like Playa

lifestyle and you will not find a single

Negra or Playuela, it is more than likely

traffic light, movie theater, or fast food

that someone will stop and ask if they

restaurant (other than the recently opened

can give you a lift. Because tourism has

Subway). Instead of bright lights and the

not exploded in the way it has on other

sounds of traffic at night, relish the glow of

islands, you are likely to be the only group

bioluminescence and the chirps of

at some of the smaller and harder to reach

coqui frogs.

beaches, (not that you need to go out of the way to find beautiful white or black sand beaches). There are more than forty beaches, so by all means, pack the kids in

PHOTO: Nicole Stanton. Playa Negra, A fifteen-minute walk through the jungle will bring you out onto the only black sand beach. The dramatic views showcase the raw and untouched beauty of the island.

the Jeep and go explore.

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Did someone say the word ‘glow’? Yes, the

have. It’s like you’ve rediscovered your

Bioluminescent Bay or Puerto Mosquito, is

limbs, every time you touch the water,

one of the main attractions on the island.

it lights up!” When visiting Vieques, the

Claimed to be the brightest Bioluminescent island is the attraction. There are many Bay in the world, the government takes

activities to do during the day such as

extra precautions to protect it, so you will

snorkeling, sailing, fishing, kayaking,

need a tour guide to access its beauty.

paddle boarding, and surfing. You can

Many families and couples grab an early

even spend the day beach hopping or horse

dinner and wait in anticipation for 9

back riding. After all that activity, the most

o’clock when they will hop in a kayak or on

logical thing to do is grab a bite to eat at

a pontoon boat that will be followed by a

any of the spectacular restaurants.

neon turquoise trail. “The first time I went onto the Bio Bay, I swear I thought I had died and gone to Neverland,” said Anna, a frequent visitor to Vieques, “It might be

PHOTO: Nicole Stanton. Abandoned US Navy Train Cart in the overgrowth near SunBay.

the most magical experience you can ever

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Vieques HOW TO GET THERE Fly into San Juan (Americans can travel with an I.D) and can take a small plane, or hire a taxi to the ferry terminal in Fajardo and catch the $2 ferry into Isabel II. As soon as you pull into the harbor and step onto the dock you are in another world. Wild horses walk the streets like dogs, smells of empanadas and mangoes fill your nostrils, and an island dialect of Viequense Spanish will have you wishing you had paid more attention in your Spanish class. (Don’t worry, a majority of the people understand and speak English). HOW TO GET AROUND If traveling with your family you can rent a jeep; the island is perfect for a scooter, or hire a golf cart! Like most Latin countries, there are carros públicos, similar to a chiva or colectivo in South America, that will take you across the island for just $3. WHERE TO STAY There’s a big mix of accommodations starting with the most luxurious W Vieques, amazing villas, houses for rent, small boutique hotels, guesthouses, and for the

more adventurous, just pitch a tent on SunBay. Frequently, people will start their trip in a hotel and move to camping. Families rent a sailboat after staying at a guesthouse—there are many options and the locals are extremely accommodating. WHERE TO EAT There is quite a developed restaurant niche for such a tiny island. The main strip, the Malecón, in Esperanza, boasts a broad spectrum of food. Grab a Pastelillo or Rellenos de papa from any of the food trucks by the beach or have a fine dining experience overlooking the oceanfront. Be sure to try the Puerto Rican dishes such as lechón, slowly roasted pig on a spit; or mofongo, fried green plantains, breadfruit or yucca mashed with a mortar and pestle and featuring chicharron, lobster, or pork. Every restaurant boasts freshly caught Conch, lobster, Mahi-Mahi or Swordfish, and newly added, lionfish! In Vieques chefs are more than accommodating and willing to offer vegetarian and vegan options, which can be hard to come by on other islands.

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While the island is changing, Jennifer, an

at the top of your list. With countless

eighteen-year resident and artist on the

activities to keep you busy during the

island, says “Sometimes I worry that the

day and an abundance of restaurants

island is going to change too much. But

to tantalize your taste buds, there’s

thankfully, since it is a bit harder to get

something for every

to, we have been lucky to have tourists

traveler on this tropical sanctuary.

who respect the beauty of pristine waters and want to come and share the island, not take it over.” The best time to visit is in “high” season, December to April, when the climate is a bit cooler. But bear in mind, “busy” is not Martha’s Vineyard in the summer; the island only has 15,000 residents, so there is never the feeling of being too crowded. During the summer months, the temperature can be very hot and the annual hurricane season does pose a threat. Next time your planning your family vacation or romantic getaway put Vieques

For more photos of the island visit: www.karlalexander.photography For more information about exciting cultural events in Vieques, visit the Vieques Conservation Historical and Trust at: www.vcht.org UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 48

PHOTO: Karl Alexander. Stars over abandoned Lighthouse.


A Tale of a Brooklyn Queen Bee & Her Hive By Megan Collier Most urban beekeepers face the same struggles: limited space for their hives, the fear of overcrowding other pollinators, and the stress of seemingly endless zoning issues that arise. Margot Dorn, a teacher and Brooklyn beekeeper is no stranger to these issues. Yet despite them, she has not only gone on to ensure her bees are thriving, but is also responsible for getting her 6th grade students interested and involved in the wonderful craft as well. As a college student studying on the West Coast, Margot was constantly fantasizing about one day becoming a beekeeper and all of the constant challenges that came along with such a job. When she arrived in New York City in 2005, colony collapse disorder was just hitting the news and with it, bee lovers were celebrating the end of the band on beekeeping in the city. Joining in on the celebrations, Margot decided to put this dream into action and enrolled in a free winterUPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 49

long beekeeping class taught by hive master James Fischer through ‘NYC Beekeeping’. It was here that she learned the essentials of the trade and began to get some ideas rolling on how she could spread her innate love for beekeeping. Her plans were set into action with the start of keeping her hive in a community garden until fast forwarding to her third year when Margot received a grant to turn a vacant lot near her school into a


"As a college student studying on the West Coast, Margot was constantly fantasizing about one day becoming a beekeeper and all of the constant challenges that came along with such a job."

school garden with the proposed purpose of starting a beekeeping program that would involve her students. With an optimistic principal at her side giving her the push she needed to implement the program, combined with her enthusiasm and passion for the beekeeping trade, it helped to create the perfect platform to what is now a successful program, which she founded and named B’ville. When asked what the reactions of her students were when first introduced to what many would seemingly deem rather peculiar, she responded: They thought it was strange. They had no experience with bees. Many of them are very afraid of bees. I explained it to them when I was explaining the garden we made

budgets and videos about the garden to submit for grants. Though initially scared and unsure of such an idea, B’ville has now grown into a program that allows middle school students to foster hives and create a business selling hive products. As an unexpected yet joyous result, boys who struggled with behavioral issues in class, suddenly became laser-focused when holding a frame of bees. The first year saw the works of creating a business plan and logo, in addition to simply learning how to keep their first bees alive. The second year saw an increase to two hives and before they knew it, they began seeing the value in all of their hard work with the result of working their first selling event at the NYC UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 50


Honey Festival. Being able to grasp an understanding that they could form a business from the products of the hive in order to gain profits was unquestionably motivating to her students who grew up in difficult economic circumstances. And the most rewarding part for Margot? The business I have created around the hive products and the relationships I have developed with people and other beekeepers. Though despite the present struggle of balancing a full-time career as a 6th grade art teacher and maintaining the ongoing work load of beekeeping, Margot would love to expand the program to other schools

in hopes of involving like-minded scholars to participate as well as the goal to begin selling the honey in stores. With an evident passion and true calling to beekeeping along with her determination to continue moving forward with the program, we have no doubts that Margot and her hive at B’ville will certainly do just that. Be sure to check out and keep up to date on what Margot and B’ville are up to at: www.brooklyn-queen.com

PHOTOS: Courtesy of Margot Dorn

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Panthera’s Resounding Roar as Wild Cat’s Protector By Anne Foong When you think of wild cats, what kind of image do you conjure up? A beautiful rosette spotted jaguar pacing restlessly back and forth from wall to wall in a clumsily constructed and confined area with artificial forest of boulders and man-made pond? Or would you envisage lions prowling freely in the midst of Serengeti plains? Or frolic orange and black striped tiger cubs rolling around playfully amongst the trees and mangroves of the Sumatran jungle? What do you see? In our human-dominated world, wild cats are heading towards extinction through illegal hunting and poaching, mass deforestation for industrial profits which severely damage landscapes and causes habitat loss disrupting their food chain and revenge killings from fear and for protection

of livestock and communities. We have lost about 97% of wild tigers in the last 100 years. This drastic decline of wild cats proved to have fatal consequences to the world’s ecosystems. Unless we do something about it, we will see grave impacts of the loss capstone of the ecological pyramid by allowing over-population of herbivores which will decimate the plant population, thus producing less oxygen and increasing carbon dioxide into our atmosphere. This is just a small part of the consequences. Is anyone aware of it? And who can provide viable solutions to this crucial declination? Panthera’s soul mission is to save wild cats and the ecosystem, the only global organization that focuses on securing stable and increasing

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PHOTOS: Courtesy of Panthera

wild cat population ... who shape landscapes and preserves the baseline ecological processes on which ALL life depends on. Panthera’s new model of conservation brings global solutions through technology and law enforcement against poaching and illegal hunting, setting up programs to help farmers and ranchers implement practises of securing livestock to prevent retaliatory killings and working directly with human development interests and national governments to ensure their infrastructures aren’t disrupting wild cat traversing habitats. Panthera is out there fighting on-site, devoting their lives to preserve our future legacy by showing how wild cats helps to maintain the diversity of ecosystem, upon which humans rely on. Through Panthera’s successful advances, we

are still able to witness leopards sleeping in trees, tigers traversing through jungles in freedom and lions retaining their presence of nobility - keeping the balance of our world’s ecosystems and forming a coexistence relationship between human beings and wildlife. The question is, where do we want to see our wild cats in a decade from now? To admire these beauties through cold steel cages and glass framed enclosures of zoos as part of vacation, or would you prefer to catch a glimpse of these majestic creatures in their own natural habitat, as we venture out into the world?

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Photographer’s Spotlight

Justin Hession Interviewed By Nicole Stanton

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Photographer’s Spotlight

Justin Hession Interviewed By Nicole Stanton

ALL PHOTOGRAPHY: Courtesy of Justin Hession Photography

In today’s society, it is not rare to look around a concert or restaurant and see numerous people attached to their phones: selfies, videos, snapchat—technology reins king. But, for photographer Justin Hession, photography started when he was backpacking around Europe Swiss twenty years ago, before the phone camera boom. Working at a Bungee Jump site in the Greek Islands, there he met a Danish

photography in Australia and learnt to be creative by following the rules of composition. Fifteen years later, it’s now mostly instinctive. Both the technical and creative sides are shaped by experience, making mistakes, not making those same mistakes again, looking at other photographers work for inspiration. It all builds in ones sub-conscience so when out on assignment it mostly flows.

photographer who let him play around with his professional camera. The next

When did you know that you were a

summer, when the photographer didn’t

‘photographer’?

come back, Justin bought a professional camera and started earning money from

I think I knew I was a photographer

when I became a staff photographer on

photography.

a newspaper in Melbourne, Australia.

When getting ready to take a shot, how

equipment and worked in a team of about

I was given a kit bag full of camera

much of it is instinctual versus planned?

In the beginning, taking

photographs required a lot of thought. One must always pay attention to both the technical side and the creative side. Neither came natural for me. I studied

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12 photographers. I remember it was nice having people so happy to see me as they knew that they would be in the paper the next day. It was a very positive experience.


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Do you have any long-term goals?

Photography. I don’t however think that always the best

images come from morning or evening light. I think any

For the moment I am working around Europe—

but I am planning to go and shoot at the Burning Man in

time of day if one pays attention to the lighting that nice

Nevada later this year.

images can be found.

When traveling, do you ever put down the lens or do you

Who are some of your favorite classic photographers,

always gravitate to your camera?

and how did they influence you? Who is another

photographer in your collective whose work you

Usually when I travel privately I don’t even take

my camera. It feels too much like work. I am very aware

particularly admire?

of how intense and overpowering photography can be.

It can consume you very easily so when I travel—I try

Salgado, Elliot Erwitt, Steve McCurry and Josef Koudelka,

to completely forget about it. I usually just take some

etc. because I was very into reportage photography. That

pictures with my Iphone for memories.

slowly changed as I took an interest more in Portraiture.

In my early career I was influenced by the work of

Photographers like LaChapelle, Sarah Moon, Newton. How does black and white vs. color play into your

There are just so many good photographers around

work? Do you find them to be totally separate

today. European portrait photographers are very different

beasts—or complementary?

from Australian or even American photographers. I love

I love color photography. I probably work 90% of

discovering via Google. Today it’s the styles like Vee

assignments in color, as usually that’s what magazines

Speers or Jimmy Nelson, the advertising work of Patrik

and corporations require. That’s not to say I don’t like

Giardino or Esther Haase that have been looking at lately.

Black and White. It’s beautiful to have both mediums and sometimes nature offers up the perfect lighting that lends

What is one question nobody has ever asked you—

itself to Black and White. I also like de-saturating photos

that you wish they asked you?

in Photoshop to give a slight grungy edge to a photo. What do you think are some clichés in street

The one question I wish someone would ask me is, “would you like to shoot an assignment for us on Tropical Island of the World!!!!” I am waiting still….

photography you steer away from yourself?

I don’t think I steer away from any clichés in Street

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T’s and Tots Success is in the Making for this T-Shirt Business By Summer Johnson

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“The chemistry is great with American Apparel. They supply blank t-shirts and we’re able to explore new possibilities!”

All photos by Jeremy Nguyen

When Jeremy Nguyen arrived to the U.S. in 1992, his mother couldn’t speak English and only earned a few cents per shirt as a seamstress. Now, just over two decades later, Jeremy made his own mark in the fashion industry, by scoring a deal with retailer American Apparel.

Jeremy took to YouTube to learn

posted, the public really started to notice.

how to sew. He checked out tutorials for

They started getting calls and orders and

sewing, and he and his sister Joanne would

the ball was rolling. After realizing that they

practice relentlessly. His interest began to

couldn’t keep up with demands, they decided

grow. Remembering how hard it was for

to reach out to American Apparel, who’s

his mom made him appreciate sewing that

now their main supplier. “The chemistry is

much more.

great with American Apparel. They supply

blank t-shirts and we’re able to explore new

As the demand grew, Jeremy went

to Target to purchase a large batch of tee

possibilities!”

shirts but didn’t feel inspired. So he decided to make his own T-shirts from scratch. The

You can view their website here:

excitement of friends and family pushed

www.tsandtots.com

him to start selling the shirts on Ebay and things were going really well. Once Jeremy made a shirt for his nephew, and after being

UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 63


Kiddie Corner

La Boullabaise By Summer Johnson

All photos by Summer Johnson

St. Tropez is usually known as a place for adults, with plenty of yachting and beach clubs to enjoy, but if you find yourself with the little ones, this option is a wonderful day at the beach that no one will forget. We brought our children to the South of France to soak in the lifestyle and after a few excursions from Barcelona to Monaco, La Boullabaise was one of our favorites. When we travel, we try to cover a broad spectrum of experiences for the children, and this one was worth the visit. This is the most “family friendly” of beaches in St. Tropez. The quiet, serene setting was the perfect get-away for us and the children for a day trip. It felt very private and the service from the restaurant was charming and attentive. We camped out on our beach chairs and had the fine dining of Provence right at our fingertips. Staying from morning till the afternoon, we filled our day with water games and visited shops for a change of atmosphere. Healthy

“This is the most family friendly of beaches in St. Tropez. The quiet, serene setting was the perfect get-away for us and the children for a day trip.” and kid-friendly entree’s are rare outside of the house, and here they were done in such humility that it was as if they forgot that legendary celebs have been dining there since it started over half of a century ago. Everyone is so laid back and fun. With all of the bustle of any French city but a calm charm a beach town, St. Tropez is a place full of fun and delight.

UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 64


Advertisement


Fiji’s Alluring Aura By Anne Foong

UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 66


Waking up every morning to a tranquil sunrise on the beach all to yourself may seem fictitious. The surreal spectacle of swaying hammocks hanging between coconut palms, surrounded by the sound of a gentle breeze rustling the fronds, augmented with the rhythm of the rolling waves that highlight the sunny shorelines of a tropical paradise, ultimately creating the ‘picturesque’ feel. Despite the allurement of a

the heat of volcanoes, and the rugged

perfect vacationing spot, there are more

mountains are fed by Mother Nature’s

refinements to Fiji than just a postcard

occurrences.

portrayal.

reality if it wasn’t for the joint efforts of the

Amidst the vast expanse of the

None of this beauty could remain a

South Pacific Ocean, isolated by the

local communities and small businesses

blues and situated in between Australia

acting as the frontiers in restoring nature’s

and New Zealand, are some of the most

balance against the environmental changes

secluded and unexploited “World of

in Fiji. Having set up 170 marine protected

Islands”. It is where the sea sets the

areas in a bid to shelter and monitor the

equilibrium. The Republic of Fiji consists

soft coral reefs and tropical fish, individual

of more than 330 islands forged within

areas are managed and protected by

UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 67


coastal and local villages. The diversity of coral reefs has been an integral part of the way of life and survival of the islands. No one knows the great cultural significance of the underwater life more than the Fijians themselves. The importance of the environment upon the economy and the cultural dependence on their biological resources has influenced the local communities and tourism businesses to combine their efforts to execute the best techniques,

“It is this combination of community and pervasive love of life that helps visitors foster deep connections and happiness that remains long after their trip is over.”

focusing on minimizing environmental impact and maximising community benefits. Such dedication toward their islands springs from the root of strong Fijian traditional and cultural ties of community living, where family is paramount.

Teaming together towards the same vision, many

island vacation resorts host multiple environmental programs, endeavouring to teach and educate their guests about a sustainable future for the island’s fragile ecosystem. Through their conducts, environmental awareness will reflect the traditional Fijian customary practises and their heritage. Such resorts are the JeanMichel Cousteau Eco Resort in Vanua Levu, which offers guided snorkelling trips with its on-site marine biologist teaching Fiji’s intricate underwater and above water ecosystems, alongside a guided tour to discover rare plants that are essential in Fiji’s traditional medicine and cultural excursions to villages. The Koro Sun Resort in the unspoilt tropical forest of SavuSavu where guests will have the opportunity to get a closer look at Fiji’s vegetation biodiversity and discover how Fiji’s nature is indispensable to the Fijians and its animals. The River Safari rafting adventures in Sigatoka gives authentic, natural and cultural experiences through well-trained

UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 68


Fijian guides whom provide insights of the many natural

it the perfect getaway vacation for families. The “Bula”

resources of the islands. The Taveuni Island, home to

greetings with enthusiastic smiles accompanied by

the National Heritage Park famous for its forests of soft

traditional Meke music are all part of the Fijians’ cultural

coral, offers great family exploration of Fiji’s relationship

way of life that highlights their friendliness. As they

with nature’s ecosystem. The approach of Musket Cove

extend their invitations to the sacred traditional Kava

Island Resort is through the participation of village

ceremony, it is their way of embracing you as family.

tours to learn of Fiji’s culture by gaining insights in re-

discovering the ancient indigenous traditions and customs

far and wide, throughout the world.

This is the beauty of Fiji, which carries Fiji’s name

of environmental management.

It is the community spirit of working together and

its strong sense of family values that accentuates the beauty of life which distinct Fiji from the rest, making

UPWARD MAGAZINE—­PAGE 69

Upward Magazine #002  
Upward Magazine #002