Posts tagged with "journey"

Bike Ride illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Bike4Tourism × Cycle the World

Bike4Tourism Invites Would-Be Travelers to Cycle the World, Virtually

Seeking a Global Community to Bike Together While Apart and Share Images of Each Other’s Routes

Missing international travel?   Wishing you could host some out-of-town friends to show them your most beautiful locations? Then Bike4Tourism has an inspiring global event tailor-made for you this Memorial Day weekend, on Sunday, May 30th.

Bike4Tourism aims to promote healthy living and sustainable tourism. The goal of the event is to have as many participants as possible, in every country, riding bikes and sharing photographs to the global community of the most beautiful places near their homes.

In sharing each other’s images, cyclists will virtually visit cities, countries and continents, without need for a passport — just a helmet and the will to discover or rediscover the places that surround us and show them to others.

Organizers are hoping for more than 115,000 participants around the world to break the current record.  Proceeds will support environmental conservation charities and aid tourism businesses in financial need following Covid-19 travel restrictions.

It’s hoped that participants are left with even more desire to travel, sustainably, with a huge selection of photos of beautiful places from which to choose their next journey.

All are welcome to participate, and free tickets will be made available for children to encourage family bike rides.   Early bird tickets are available from April 20th.  For more information, visit Bike 4 Tourism, and Facebook.

Heather Ann illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Heather Ann

Dreaming the Impossible and Accomplishing the Unbelievable

Her name is Heather, and she is a statistic. Since the age of sixteen, she has been a statistic due to becoming pregnant with her firstborn son, Zachary. Heather had always believed that she would only be known as that: a teenage mom. She worked hard and graduated high school a semester early to entirely focus on being a full-time mother. Heather then put off college and any thought of childhood dreams because she felt they were unattainable. She worked minimum wage jobs to try and raise her son the best that she could.

Heather’s daughter, Tyanna, came along when she was 21 years old.  In that time, Heather found herself in an unhealthy relationship. She fought hard to pull herself and her children out of the situation; she eventually did. However, she found herself turning to alcohol to cope with the pain she had endured through the years. Alcohol became Heather’s best friend for over a year, and she was faced with losing her children and eventually becoming pregnant with her youngest son, Jaxson. He was her saving grace. An angel sent from above to remind Heather that she was worthy of love and that she was stronger than she had ever known. It took her a few months to get back on her feet for herself and children, but she did it with her head held high.

Fast forward to 2011 where Heather was working as a cashier at Walmart, barely making ends meet for her family. She met her now-husband, Joshua. In 2013, they became a big, blended family with six children. Heather gained three more beautiful children: Emmanuel, Lyric, and Benjamyn. Their children now range in age from ten years old to 22 years old! Also, Heather is a proud grandma to two beautiful grandchildren – Lydia and Jaxton, a.k.a. her Sweetpea and Monkey.

It hasn’t been an easy road, but it has been full of love and memories. Heather’s husband has been the sole provider for their family, sometimes working over sixty hours a week. It was decided that Heather stay at home with the children for many reasons. The most important reason was due to the emotional abandonment that Emmanuel, Lyric, and Ben went through due to their biological mother. Although they have learned coping techniques, it has been a stressful and emotional journey. It was always best for the children if Heather was available at all times for them.

In addition to the chaotic life they live with a large family, Heather’s oldest daughter was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome in 2016, which led to an emergency brain surgery to better Tyanna’s quality of life. This is a lifelong disease with no cure, so there have been quite a few struggles for her to find her new normal. She will never lead a “normal” life; however, she is doing her best to make life fun, and that is all Heather can hope for. Heather also has these health conditions, but they are nowhere as severe as Tyanna’s are. Heather also suffers from a dead talus bone in her ankle, along with two collapsed joints surrounding that ankle. This has contributed to continuing on as a stay-at-home parent as well. Heather’s family is big and unique, but they are full of love, and that’s the best thing she could ask for.

Heather has spent years being unable to provide for her family financially. As a parent to six children, this has always weighed heavily on her. She has watched her husband work from four in the morning to close to midnight in the same shift. He is hardworking and very dedicated to providing for his family. In 2018, Heather decided to start exploring the idea of college. She knew that she wanted to be in something art related. Art has been a coping mechanism throughout life; sketching, painting, and inks are her mediums of choice. She believed that the career she landed with should be something that she loved and would be proud to do. This led Heather to enroll at Independence University to obtain her associate degree in graphic design. This career choice allows Heather to share her art with the world and also contribute to her family.  She has worked hard to keep an impressive grade point average while learning as much as she can about graphic design.

Heather will officially graduate in January 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design. She decided after a year into her associate degree that she wanted to pursue her bachelor’s degree. Obtaining this degree would open opportunities for Heather to work within public relations, publishing, and digital media businesses.

Heather had been asked by quite a few people why she wanted to pursue her bachelor’s degree so soon after graduating with an associate degree. Many assumed that she wanted to stay focused on her education; that is true. However, that was not the decision-maker for Heather. This decision comes from a life-changing situation that her family encountered at the beginning of 2020. You see, Heather’s father was taken away from her when she was three years old. She found him again when she was sixteen and had not been away from him since then. Her father, Mike, was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as ALS, in March of 2020. This disease has continually cursed her family throughout the years. It has taken her great-grandmother, paternal grandmother, an aunt, an uncle, a distant cousin, and now her father. Heather always doubted that she would be able to attend college and succeed, but Mike was always the voice telling her that she could and that he was so proud of her. Mike was an amazing person and had always been Heather’s biggest cheerleader in life. She has many reasons to continue creating art; however, her passion comes from wanting to pursue more for her family, especially her father. She would love the opportunity to make him proud continually, even though he has been watching her from heaven since November of 2020.

In February of 2021, Heather took a big breath and reached out to Vaughn Lowery, President of 360 Magazine, in hopes of obtaining an internship through the magazine. 360 Magazine stands out from other magazines on many levels. 360 is an edgy fashion, lifestyle, and culture magazine. The founding members have over 30 years of collective experience both as notable talent and uber professionals within fashion, music, art, design, and entertainment. They are an LGBTQIA-friendly publication. Quality art content is the constant goal – No magazine like it is available today, constantly celebrating racial and sexual ambiguous talent and artists. Interning with 360 Magazine was definitely an opportunity she was ready to take on!

The morning Heather interviewed with Vaughn, she was battling the flu that was running its course through her household – she nailed the interview and started the next day! Heather continues to learn every day during her internship and through her classes. She has become increasingly more confident in her illustrations with Vaughn’s guidance. In addition to her internship with the magazine, Heather is also the Communications Director for her school’s AIGA Student group. She was recently nominated and is looking forward to learning her new role within the group!

While Heather stays really busy with art-related things, she really does enjoy doing other things! Her family has five dogs (Beethoven, Duchess, Ruby, Lucky & Alaska) and six cats (Pepper, Chewy, Tom, Jerry, Ebony & Dolly) that fill their home with fur and love. Heather and Josh try to hop on the ps4 a few times a week and play some Warzone. They have always been gamers! They enjoy having game nights, outdoor experiences, and hiking. Her husband is in the process of finishing their home gym – which they are pretty excited about it! Oh, can’t forget reading! Heather has a ton of books that she has bought over the years or have been given to her. She loves being able to curl up and spend an entire day just reading. Music. Music is her saving grace as well! Heather has such a unique playlist(s) – pop, country, r&b, hip-hop, rap… the list could go on!

Heather has a new mantra that she tries to tell herself daily: Keep going until YOU’RE proud. Heather has always doubted herself…but she needs to remember – like many others – that she needs to keep pushing and straighten her crown!

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VIDAS book illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

VIDAS: Deep in Mexico and Spain

ADVENTURE AWAITS IN THIS NEW COMING-OF-AGE TRAVEL MEMOIR 

“VIDAS: Deep in Mexico and Spain”

A Tribute to The Glorious Diversity of Our Worlds

Shortly after the American ministers of hate started demonizing the people of Mexico, New York Times Best-Selling Author Edward Stanton began writing about his own wide experience living in that country, confounding the bigots and their bogeys, showing the real women, men, and children he knew there. When the coronavirus struck Spain last year, he decided to include that country as a homage to it and its people, whom he also knew and loved. 

This is how VIDAS: Deep in Mexico and Spain was born.

A wayward descendant of Mexico’s national hero, a femme fatale who recites poems in cantinas, a Tunisian prostitute in Barcelona, a Spanish psychiatrist who fights brave bulls, the wise owner of the world’s oldest restaurant. They are just a handful of the characters portrayed in VIDAS: Deep in Mexico and Spain, the first memoir to capture Mexico and Spain from the perspective of an American and the knowledge of an insider.

VIDAS explores subjects as diverse as the art of blasphemy, the cult of the Virgin Mary, superstition and witchcraft, the bordellos of Mexico, Spain’s paradise of drink and food, the bullfight, and the running of bulls in Pamplona, the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Every chapter of this vibrant travel memoir depicts a different person or place, which combined create a cross-section of the most populous Spanish-speaking countries in the New and Old World. VIDAS is a passage from childhood to adolescence and maturity, a tribute to nature and the open road, an exaltation of love, food, and wine, a journey from the tender, mortal flesh to the luminous world of the spirit.

-RELEASE DATE: March 1st, 2021
-PUBLISHING COMPANY: Waterside Publications
-ISBN-13: 978-1-949003-47-5 (print)
-ISBN-13: 978-1-949003-48-2 (eBook)
-GENRE: Nonfiction, travel, memoir, culture, diversity
-PRICE: $17.95 (print) $9.95 (eBook)
-PURCHASING INFO: VIDAS is available for purchase on Amazon here.

Why You Need This Book

Filled with photographs, this engaging and unique memoir provides a sensory travel experience many of us are craving today. VIDAS: Deep in Mexico and Spain offers the opportunity to learn about faraway lands and striking events while never leaving home. This timely “armchair travel” memoir is for anyone searching for an escape during our troubled time.

“Lyrical…Iconic…Elegant…” –KIRKUS REVIEWS

“A love letter to the Mexican and Spanish peoples, a pure affirmation of life in countries with radical cultures of death.” –ANA MERINO, WINNER 2020 PREMIO NADAL

About the Author, Edward Stanton:

Born in Colorado and raised in California, Edward Stanton has lived in Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, and Spain. He’s the author of twelve books, some of them translated and published in Spanish, Arabic, and Chinese. Road of Stars to Santiago, the story of his 500-mile walk on the ancient pilgrimage route to Compostela, was called one of the best books on the subject by the New York Times; Stanton’s environmental novel Wide as the Wind, the first to treat the tragic history of Easter Island, won the Next Generation Indie Book Award for Young Adult Fiction and three other international prizes. 

Rita Azar illustrates travel article for 360 MAGAZINE

9 Tips to Remember Your Journey Forever

Any trip is an excellent opportunity to learn many new things and break out of the routine. No matter if you have just recently returned from a vacation filled with new impressions or vice versa, are just getting ready to go and planning your route, you may be interested in this article. We have collected nine small tips to remain inspired by the journey and remember it forever.

Make Yourself a Talisman

Some trips become something much more than just a break from work and truly open up a new chapter in our lives. If you want to capture this momentous moment for yourself or your friend, a 3D crystal photo can be a great option and one of the best gifts for avid travelers. 

ArtPix 3D creates customized 3D crystals, such as keychains, necklaces, or figurines of different crystals types and shapes. Such a volumetric 3D Image created by using a laser-etching method looks beautiful and original. ArtPix 3D allows ordering unique personalized crystals online and shipping within the US in the shortest terms.

Write an Article or Post About Your Adventures

Even a short story about the trip will help you remember the vacation better, and it may become an inspiration and motivator for other travelers.

Also, your personal experience and fresh travel tips will help others to avoid mistakes and pitfalls. 

The sharing of practical knowledge is invaluable because it makes travel more comfortable, safer, and more beneficial.

Feel free to share your findings, overcome difficulties, and even curiosities during the trip via social media. This information can come in handy for other people!

Relax and Take Pictures

Going on vacation, forget about work issues, and monotonous routine. Just have fun, and don’t forget to take pictures! Human memory is unreliable, and even the most vivid memories fade over time. The photos will become a “time machine” for you, helping you to relive your trips in all details.

To not be distracted from your adventures by monitoring likes and views your posts get on Instagram, try not to upload photos right away, or even use a good old camera or instant camera instead of a smartphone. 

Take photos of not only what “is supposed to,” like places of tourist attraction, and not only what will collect more enthusiastic comments on social networks. 

Notice and capture all these little things, details, and stories that will be understandable only to those who were next to you during this journey. Such shots have a unique nostalgic atmosphere.

Taste Masterpieces of Local Cuisine

Each nation has its gastronomic preferences and delicacies. In France, there are excellent cheeses and wine, in England – ales and puddings, in Italy – prosciutto, pizza, and lasagne, in Spain – paella, gazpacho, and Jamon serrano. Any country has something to please and amaze guests from abroad.

To appreciate the local cuisine, you should better avoid restaurants in tourist areas and near interest places. The food there will be much more expensive and, very likely, of lower quality. Walk a few blocks, and you will find nicer and cheaper local restaurants.

Besides, locals do not eat in cafes and restaurants every day, so that you can follow their example. Go to the supermarket or grocery store, pick something you would like to try, and cook dinner yourself.

If there is no kitchen where you are staying, that’s no problem. Visit a local farmers market, grab some fruits and sandwiches, and have a picnic in the park. New impressions and small savings are guaranteed for you!

Visit Quirky Spots and Museums

Besides the well-known museums of art or places of historical interest, popular and crowded with tourists, each city has small, but no less attractive educational and entertainment spots.

It can be a house-museum of a famous musician, scientist or writer, or a little-known but unusual private exhibition. For example, in Paris, why not go to the Museum of Erotica or Magic, the ancient Père Lachaise Cemetery, or the catacombs? So you will look at the city from a different angle and learn something new.

Make New Acquaintances

Do not be afraid to strike up a conversation with new people – fellow travelers, neighbors at a table in a cafe, locals. A conversation with a stranger is an adventure, albeit a small one, thanks to which you can learn a lot about little-known but worthwhile places to visit, local culture, customs, and sense of humor, as well as various useful life hacks.

Feel free to be the first to start the conversation.

First, you will learn foreign words, and you can show off new knowledge in front of friends or on a date. Secondly, it is good memory training. And finally, in this way, you will find mutual understanding with the locals and show respect: not everyone knows English. 

Collect Some Souvenirs

Those who love to collect various memorabilia will appreciate this idea. Returning home from a foreign country or new city, you do not have to buy yourself keychains, magnets, and other typical souvenirs.

Take them for friends and loved ones, and leave yourself something more intimate and personal:

  • a tram ticket
  • a beautiful tree leaf
  • a coin
  • an old book from a flea market
  • a sugar stick from a cafe you had visited

These things will bring the ride back to mind with every touch.

Ride Public Transport

Become acquainted with the country or city from the inside through the window of a tram, bus, electric train, subway, and observe the locals.

You will see how people discuss the latest country news, reading the press, joking, or rushing to an important meeting. Such a casual experience will let you have a cheap sightseeing tour and see the city in all its details, not only well-known tourist spots.

Add Some Extreme

Long promenades through the streets, museums, and galleries are undoubtedly impressive. But why not add some adrenaline rush to the entertainment program?

Visiting attraction parks, horseback riding, visiting a crazy festival, riding on a cable car, or at least cycling or rollerblading will make your journey more eventful. Give yourself some vivid emotions!

Beyoncé - Black is King illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

A Gift From Beyoncé

‘Superb. Reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s Remember The Time!’Vaughn Lowery, 360 Magazine

By Mina Tocalini

Beyoncé’s new film “Black is King,” a celebration of the “breadth and beauty of Black ancestry”, released on Disney+ today. Similar to Beyoncé’s 2016 film, “Lemonade,” “Black is King” acts as a visual album to her soundtrack, “The Lion King: The Gift.” Black Is King” explores the “timeless lessons” from Lion King in a visually rich modern journey of Black empowerment and resilience.

Beyoncé announced her excitement for the film’s release via Instagram, while further acknowledging the impact of its release and message: “The events of 2020 have made the film’s vision and message even more relevant, as people across the world embark on a historic journey… I believe that when Black people tell our own stories, we can shift the axis of the world and tell our REAL history.”

Beyoncé’s prideful film explores the Black experience and history through a young king’s story of “betrayal, love and self-identity.” Additionally, given the timing of its release, the film presents the necessity of honoring and telling stories from the Black perspective and that of any underrepresented community.

Simply put, the film is a celebratory visual journey of the Black experience. Initially the flow of the story seems interrupted and fast paced, but further on, it becomes clear that instead of following a linear narrative, it challenges the audience to find the connections within the short moments that frame each message.

Reiterating the same story we know and love is unnecessary, so rather, “Black is King” reinvents the Lion King through thematic experimentation intended to ignite pride in the Black identity. In a stunning collage of Afro-Soul music, narrative driven reflections and strikingly beautiful imagery, the film successfully expresses inspirational messages of hope, growth, love and community.

Some have critiqued the lavish presentation of Blackness via art, dance and fashion to be excessive and fast paced. Yet, this film’s message is focused on individuality and self love derived from the appreciation of Black culture. A culture of an entire continent and of Black communities around the world, it is anything but simple.

The immense detail in this film celebrates the complexity of Black beauty and the fast paced editing can not only be considered a reference to music video styles. It may originate from there, but can we not interpret it as being part of the overwhelming journey of defining your identity while struggling with the racial tensions in society.

Beyoncé did not create this to simply further enhance her image in a display of wealth, popular culture already associates her persona this way, we expect it and should not disregard the artistry for embracing it. She is simply using her power as a superstar to lead the unifying celebration, as should be done by those who can.

Additionally, Beyoncé is not the only star in “Black is King”, although American audiences may mainly recognize her. Emerging African artists such as Wizkid, Busiswa, Shatta Wale, Salatiel, Mr Eazi, Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Burna Boy, Tekno, Moonchild Sanelly and Lord Afrixana were part of the album and in some in the film. Black American artists also include Kelly Rowland, 070 Shake, Childish Gambino, Jessie Reyez, Pharrell Williams, Nija, and Tierra Whack. The presence of these Black American legends establishes the familiarity necessary to create an alliance between both Black cultures and induce a movement of African diaspora celebration.

Follow Beyoncé: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Vilnius Lithuania: Hidden Gem for Travelers

Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, is launching a new campaign that is making fun of its own obscurity among travel destinations globally. The campaign, called “Vilnius: Amazing Wherever You Think It Is,” follows the tradition of the award-winning “Vilnius – the G-spot of Europe” campaign, which claimed that “nobody knows where it is, but when you find it – it’s amazing.”

The idea to use the city’s obscurity as a tool to draw more tourists is also backed by data. According to the 2019 study, done by Go Vilnius, the official development agency of the city which initiated the campaign, only 5% of Brits, 3% of Germans, and 6% of Israelis know more than the name and the approximate location of Vilnius.

A campaign-dedicated website will ask visitors to guess where Vilnius is for a chance of winning a trip to the city while being informed of myriad reasons why Vilnius is amazing. Both locals and tourists agree that Vilnius has a lot to offer in terms of culture, history, nature, and food. The city seems to be immersed in a forest, thanks to its parks, tree-lined streets, and actual forests surrounding it. It’s a walkable city – locals and tourists usually reach all their central destinations on foot. Those who like to fly, won’t be disappointed either – in Vilnius, you can fly over the city center in a hot air balloon, admiring its picturesque medieval streets, Baroque churches and open squares. Vilnius is also diverse in its architecture and neighborhoods – no wonder it is being chosen as a preferred filming location to such popular series as Chernobyl and War and Peace.

Besides the website, the campaign will consist of a video clip in which people on the streets of Berlin are asked if they know where Vilnius is. In this playful clip, the Lithuanian capital is placed everywhere from the Americas to Africa – everywhere but in its actual location. The video will be spread through online platforms along with advertising campaigns in target markets and selected media outlets. Finally, billboards in London, Liverpool and Berlin will portray Vilnius reimagined in various fantasy worlds.

According to the director of Go Vilnius, Inga Romanovskienė, the idea was to turn the city’s disadvantage of being a lesser-known European capital into an entertaining, fun campaign, in which Vilnius laughs at its obscurity. 

“Vilnius is continuing the course of presenting itself as an easygoing yet daring city, unafraid to laugh at its faults and break free from certain norms. Our goal is to show that no matter where people think Vilnius is located, it is a great place to go visit,” said Ms Romanovskienė.

The new campaign certainly has big shoes to fill, as its predecessor, the “Vilnius – the G-spot of Europe” campaign, was exceptionally successful at drawing attention from the global audience, making headlines in major outlets across the globe. The previous campaign was also named as the best ad campaign at the International Travel & Tourism Awards by World Travel Market in London.

The “Vilnius: Amazing Wherever You Think It Is” campaign launches on February 3rd. The campaign was created by Bechtle and Milzarajs ad agency.

ABOUT GO VILNIUS

Go Vilnius is the official tourism and business development agency of the City of Vilnius. The agency provides visitors, investors, relocating talent, entrepreneurs and businesses with all the essential information they need to know about the Lithuanian capital. Go Vilnius offers information on everything from real estate to leisure activities in Vilnius, simplifying the process of travelling, relocating to, or investing in Vilnius.

Stephen Friedman, 360 MAGAZINE, Ovation TV

STEPHEN FRIEDMAN

Was born in South Africa, with his European heritage coming from France and Latvia. He started surfing at the age of 11 and by 16 he turned pro and started traveling the globe and competing on the world surf tour. After 5 years competing full time, injury halted his career, but it wasn’t long before he was scouted by some of the world’s top modelling agencies and was on the road travelling full time again appearing in numerous campaigns and commercials worldwide.

Establishing his name in the South African media, they labeled Stephen as ‘the next big thing’ that will come out of South Africa. To all the media Stephen has appeared in all over the world, Cosmopolitan Magazine voted Stephen as one of the 101 hottest men alive of the world in their annual poll. But he really made his mark in the television and film industry by creating, producing and selling his first title – (“The Blueprint”) – to Fox Networks at the age of 23.  A subsequent move to London resulted in the founding of his company Save Your Day Films, as he slowly started to make his mark in the TV and film industry as an exciting Producer to look out for. He Just Wrapped up filming season 2 of his successful series Chasing The Sun that he once again appeared in front of the camera as the host and as the Executive producer alongside Ovation TV and Journy backing his series.

Now days he is based between LA and London. He is currently busy with several other TV series that are in production named Model Kitchen, World Unknown, Here I Come, as well as 2 kids TV series Found Home Farms and an animation series named Jaye the Psychologist Dog. With even more titles he has lined from factual, scripted, kids and even a feature film, the next few years are going to be an exciting time for him and his production company Save Your Day Films. To sum up Stephen, he gets to push his own swing in life.

C/o Stephen on Ovation TV.

Stanaj Releases Video For Sweat (When I Think About You) Today

Today, vocal powerhouse Stanaj releases the video for “Sweat (When I Think About You).”

Watch it HERE.

The video follows the recent release of the track via LAVA/Republic Records. Get it HERE.

Produced by d.a. doman“Sweat” illustrates the artist’s progression. Not only does it highlight his passion for throwback nineties R&B and soul, but it also shines a light on his slick signature style punctuated by sky-high falsetto. The track hints at more music to come very soon from the artist.

With the single out now, Stanaj announces a string of special shows on both coasts in April. He’ll perform at The Peppermint Club in West Hollywood, CA on April 4 and at Mercury Lounge in New York, NY on April 9.

An insane journey brought New York-born and Los Angeles-based Albanian-American singer, songwriter, and producer Stanaj to the doorstep of superstardom. His first smash came in the form of “Romantic” (NOTD Remix), which racked up nearly 120 million Spotify streams and counting to date. Stanaj’s first two EPs—The Preview and From a Distance—hit the Top 10 of the iTunes Top Pop Albums Chart. He received the sought-after social media endorsement of Kim Kardashian West, NBA star Brandon JenningsDrake, and Chris Brown. He canvassed the globe on tour alongside JoJo and Jessie J and shared the stage with other superstars like Dua Lipa.

Not to mention, he made his late-night television debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and the night’s guest Justin Timberlake gave a coveted co-sign. 2018 saw him drop the slick and seductive “Dirty Mind” [feat. Ty Dolla $ign] and lend his voice to Gryffin’s “You Remind Me, which he performed on Jimmy Kimmel LIVE! In the summertime, he hit the studio with the likes of Tommy Brown [Ariana Grande] and d.a. doman [Kodak Black, Chris Brown, Tyga] and ultimately honed his signature style as evidenced by the slick and show-stopping “Sweat.

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Holiday Destinations of Influential Women

8 Dream Holiday Destinations of Influential Women

Everybody needs to get away from time to time. And the rich and powerful are no exception! In fact, the stress and responsibility of holding an influential position and being constantly in the public eye can make the idea of a holiday even more appealing.

MyLateDeals has researched where the world’s most powerful women choose to go when they finally get a chance to let off some steam.

Queen Elizabeth II

You might think being the longest-reigning Queen of England would be an easy ride. But while Her Majesty may not have to worry about paying the bills each month, she has dealt admirably with personal trauma and national crises over the past seven decades – and remained adored by the national and international public the whole time.

Of course, no British royal is short of a holiday home or two. For Queen Elizabeth, 50,000 acres of moors, forests, and farmland at Balmoral Castle in Scotland provide both privacy and fresh air away from London life.

“I think Granny is the most happy there,” revealed Princess Eugenie a few years back. “I think she really, really loves the Highlands.”

Madonna

The Queen of Pop is the best selling female recording artist of all time and her influence on today’s music culture is inestimable. But rising to the top of the industry wasn’t easy – especially in the sexist atmosphere of the 1980s: “I’m tough, I’m ambitious and I know exactly what I want,” explains Madge. “If that makes me a bitch, okay.”

Madonna may be the archetypal urban woman, but when it’s time to get away nothing less than paradise will do. Soneva Fushi, an idyllic island in the Maldives, is the artist’s “definition of heaven – [a place for] riding bikes in the moonlight and watching movies under a starlit sky.”

With visitors able to reserve their own stretch of sun-baked sand far from the 24-hour news cycle, Soneva Fushi is a place where Madonna needn’t worry about reading, or becoming, hot gossip.

Oprah Winfrey

Talk show host, motivational speaker, philanthropist… president? Such are Oprah Winfrey’s levels of empathy and talent, it’s impossible to rule out quite what she’ll do next. And that’s just what you see on the surface: Winfrey’s business acumen is so sharp that they even teach college courses about it.

Like the Queen of England, Winfrey has an impressive property portfolio and holiday homes to spare. Her first choice destination is her ranch on Maui, Hawaii, where landscape and spirituality walk hand-in-hand: “The real substance and value of being in Hawaii is the unspoken “spirit” of the people and the surroundings,” she writes. “Hawaiians understand that the soul of the land is what matters.”

And what does a talk show host talk about on her time off? “We chat, laugh and rate the sunsets according to their magnificence.”

Pink

While her closest competitors embraced the hyper-sexualisation of early-noughties pop culture, Pink showed the world that it’s possible to stay true to who you are and still make a success of yourself. She has been a true ‘mainstream alternative’ in an age of mass production.

The singer and songwriter finds escape through a vastly different culture: that of the Indonesian island of Bali. She relaxes and has fun with her kids by attending cooking classes, chilling on the beach, and taking in traditional dance and music shows.

“Thank you to the people and the ocean and the energy of Bali,” Pink effuses on Instagram. “We love you.”

Beyoncé

They say the way to Carnegie hall is practice. For Beyoncé, building the stamina to blast stadium audiences with her formidable voice was apparently a matter of running around the block singing at the top of her voice by way of ‘working out’ in her youth. Her talent and hard work have won her 22 Grammy awards and a unique position in 21st-century western culture.

It’s Europe for Beyoncé and hubby Jay-Z when they want a break from the intensity of American living. The French Riviera (including Monaco, Cannes, and St. Tropez) may not be as remote as Bali or Soneva Fushi, but combining the deluxe privacy of a mega-yacht with the bustle and glamour of dining out along the Côte d’Azur seems to do it for the Knowleses.

Meghan Markle

Markle has brought a touch of reality to the royal family, and is becoming an important ambassador not just in diplomatic circles but between everyday people and the British elite. But even before she wooed Prince Harry, sixth in line to the throne, Markle was celebrated both for her acting and for her political activism.

So it’s no wonder her downtime with Harry is often spent in Africa, the continent where the couple pursue a great deal of charitable work. They keep things relatively real at the £580/night Mapula Lodge in Okavango Delta, Botswana, where thatched huts and outdoor showers overlook a stunning lagoon.

“I managed to persuade her to come and join me in Botswana,” said Harry of one of their early ‘dates.’ “We camped out with each other under the stars.”

Michelle Obama

‘First Lady’ was never a title that Michelle Obama was going to accept lightly. The Princeton and Harvard graduate worked as a lawyer and in prominent government positions before cutting back to raise her daughters and become an ambassador for human dignity and justice alongside her husband.

Obama’s holiday plans are as unpretentious as you would expect. Every year, she and her family arrive on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, where the Obamas cycle, play tennis, eat ice-cream, and spend quality time with their dogs, Sunny and Bo.

It’s more about wholesomeness than glamour – but you can be sure Obama returns to her daily routine refreshed and inspired.

Serena Williams

Some say Williams is the greatest female tennis player of all time. But the consensus errs towards her in fact being the greatest athlete of all time, regardless of gender. An astonishing 23 Grand Slam titles – including winning the Australian Open while two months pregnant – would be inspirational enough even if you didn’t consider the extent to which she’s set herself ahead of her rivals and the adversity she’s overcome to get there.

Romantic Rome is Williams’ destination of choice. She met her husband there while breakfasting with friends at the Cavalieri Hotel in 2015; he proposed to her on the same spot a year later.

As she told Traveller: “Rome is one of my favourite cities in the world! It’s such a magical place and I have so many wonderful memories there.”

Want to know which holiday destination is right for you? MyLateDeals has created  a quiz to determine which holiday and inspirational woman you have the most in common with, so prepare to find out.

Evan Konrad Shares Debut Single

Singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Evan Konrad uncovers his debut single “The Long Way Out” today.

Get it HERE via LAVA/Republic Records.

An unpredictable anthem teetering between manic energy and cathartic falsetto, the track invites listeners into the artist’s handcrafted sonic world. Produced and performed by Konrad, “The Long Way Out” hinges on an airy beat, haunting vocals, and a seesawing chant—“We take the long way out.”

On the track Konrad noted: “The Long Way Out is a journey through the act of letting go, and how romanticized it can be throughout the grieving process. Unable to accept the changes within ourselves, or the changes in another person, as we reach for a connection that no longer exists. I wrote this song to acknowledge and work through this within myself. I want this song to be a beacon of light for anyone who is looking for the same liberation I sought after.”

This is just the beginning for Konrad. He’s set to unveil more music throughout 2019 in addition to launching his first proper tour.

Born and raised in Abbotsford, BC Canada, Konrad devoted his entire life to crafting music. Growing up in a house where creativity would be encouraged at every turn, he spent countless hours writing songs and producing. Following stints in the studio and on the road with other artists, he locked himself away in the studio and commenced work on what would become his forthcoming debut. With nothing more than a few songs on his private SoundCloud link, he caught the attention of LAVA founder Jason Flom who signed him on the spot upon listening to his music, because of the downright mind-blowing songcraft. The best way to describe the music would be Thom Yorke translating Christopher Nolan’s Memento into songs, and even that only scratches the surface.