Jonathan Kalan is an award-winning photographer, journalist and media entrepreneur. He's traveled over 70 countries, and lived for extensive periods in Africa, the Middle East and Asia reporting for BBC, The Atlantic, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, and Huffington Post, among others.
Before launching into Unsettled, he was the founding editor-in-chief of Timeline, a mobile-first newsroom designed to "break history", providing deep historical context to breaking news and current affairs.
In his spare time, he hustles leaf plates and is an avid surfer, kayaker, biker, sailor and all-around adrenaline junkie. He recently graduated from TED's inaugural Residency Program in New York City, along with Michael.
MICHAEL YOUNGBLOOD, CO-FOUNDER.
@YOUNGBLOODM | LINKEDIN | EMAIL
Michael is an adventurer and entrepreneur who loves starting new (ad)ventures in work and in life. In addition to Unsettled, he is the co-founder of Idea / Shift, a digital creative agency for early stage ventures.
He is the co-founder of Innovations Stories, a multimedia storytelling publication out of MIT and has a decade of experience as an entrepreneur or innovator building new ventures and programs for Fortune 500 companies, investors, and leading academic institutions.
He's an avid mountain and road biker, sailor, traveler, and backcountry explorer. He recently graduated from TED's inaugural Residency Program in New York City, along with Jonathan.
Head of community
Taylor is a professional problem-solving people-person. As a Philly native who thrives in the outdoors, she followed her long-time dream of moving to Colorado and has been exploring through mountains ever since. She never turns down adventure nor a challenge, so she left her beloved CO home to live out of a backpack in Nicaragua and Peru to hike the Huayhuash Circuit in the Cordillera Blanca. Life is short, and meant to be lived to the fullest! When she’s not out roaming nature or helping answer any and all Unsettled questions to assure your inquiry is answered, you can find her somewhere with dogs (always), out for a trail run, painting, doing yoga, reading in a hammock in the sunshine or finding the perfect campsite.
Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Clara is a global soul with a flair for adventure and exploration. She has spent the last 6 years coordinating and producing events for art fairs, galleries and cultural institutions around Buenos Aires as a passionate leader in the arts. In 2017 she made the move and left her job with the Argentine Ministry of Culture to learn the art of living Unsettled. Her travels took her through Southeast Asia before she returned home to join Unsettled in sharing the rich art, culture, and creative scenes that give Buenos Aires its unique flavor. She cares deeply about creative personal connections and living a balanced life - something she does regularly through her yoga and meditation practice, sharing a meal with friends, and hunting down Buenos Aires’s newest cultural hidden gems.
GLOBAL Operations Manager
Liza’s experience has taken her deep into the world of international education, first as an international student herself and then in a variety of management roles. She has managed international relations and study abroad programs at a major Colombian university, overseen student relations at an international experiential education provider, and managed volunteer programs at Colombian nonprofits. She brings all this on-the-ground experience , as well as her experience as a Location Manager and Experience Leader at Unsettled, to her role as Operations Manager where she kicks ass getting thing set up and working with our local partners! She currently lives in Medellín, Colombia where she founded La Vaina News, a weekly Spanglish news bulletin, and believes life is better when she can speak Spanish, dance salsa, make jam, and listen to people's unique stories. Reach out to her to share yours or why you think your hometown could be our next best Unsettled destination!
Head of experience
Born in the states to a Californian-hippy mom and a Fijian-islander dad, Leilani (Lala) has lived in Asia since the age of 7. She is your quintessential multicultural TCK (that’s Third Culture Kid in plain-speak) who has a hard time answering the question ‘so where are you from?’. Lala has called Thailand home for the past 18 years where she has indulged her love of art and design as a Bangkok-based fashion and textile designer, and freelance teaching-artist. Her latest adventures have seen her walking across Spain, dancing Sevillanas, and exploring Europe as a digital nomad and the Creative Content Director for JetsettrAsia. She has a life-long fascination with creating “stories” that move and loves bringing seemingly mismatched pieces together into a thoughtful and inspiring whole, something she can be found doing on Unsettled retreats as the Head of Experience.
Originally from Illinois, Corey knows something about embracing an Unsettled lifestyle. Feeling unfulfilled in his career as an educator and fundraiser for science museums and universities in the States, he left it all behind a few years ago for a new life in Southern Africa working with the Peace Corps. He lived among African Elephants, Spotted Hyenas, and Black Mambas in Botswana's Okavango Delta, where he worked as a primary school teacher and capacity builder. Today, as an Experience Leader, he is eager to curate exciting moments - from organizing book clubs and discovering new cooking techniques to spontaneous accent battles and learning a new joke in every language.
Originally from Philly, Patrick has spent the past 15 years studying, living, and working around the world. He comes to Unsettled with a strong leadership background from his time in the U.S. Army and State Department where he served as a Platoon Leader in Iraq, a Company Commander in the Army National Guard, and a Foreign Affairs Officer for the U.S. State Department. He recently made South America his newest home by moving to the mega city of São Paulo, Brazil, with his equally adventurous wife. As an Unsettled Experience Leader he also secretly hopes to further his quest of learning new languages, taking awesome pictures, and finding the world's best ice cream.
A Cape Town native, Lynne’s career has been filled with projects aimed at reducing unemployment, increasing skills transfer, and developing human potential in a desire to live a “life less ordinary.” She is the founder of many firsts in South Africa, including the first in-cinema coffee bar, the first pizzeria in Soweto and Scully Scooters, South Africa’s first business-on-a-bike scooter employment initiative. An avid traveller and Unsettled Experience Leader, she is drawn to anything that lets her experience new cultures, places, and people (preferably on a scooter herself!). She is Certified Entrepreneur Mentor who loves partnering in the development stage of new and growing businesses. Ask her about her own life journey, including her days as a ski bum and sous chef and find her zipping around as she launches Unsettled’s first ever Cape Town retreats!
An epic go-getter, Christiana (aka Christy) has spent the last five years facilitating local and international programs for entrepreneurs, startups, and SMEs in her home country of Cyprus. With a focus on meaningful collaboration, exploring innovations, and building trust she has worked in everything from environmental and social projects to sustainable tourism initiatives, local festivals, and off-grid workshops. To feed her own entrepreneurial and nomadic spirit she loves building multicultural communities where each individual can bring their unique skills, cultures, and perspectives… something she gets to do regularly as an Unsettled Experience Leader. Her spare time is filled whatever gets her moving - beautiful hikes, deep conversations, big laughs, busting a pose on the dance floor or yoga mat, and sharing her contagious energy on Unsettled trips.
HEAD OF COMMUNITY GROWTH
Born and raised in Amsterdam, with a Dutch passport and Indonesia heritage, Carlijn feels grateful for her many opportunities to travel. The journey of living an Unsettled life started in her third year of University when she traveled for 1 year through Southeast Asia with a mixed group of digital nomads and students. Living Unsettled is her path and where she feels most alive! She beliefs in experiences over possessions and her mission in life is to inspire others to emerge themselves in an Unsettled lifestyle for at least once in their lives. When not traveling, Carlijn can be found in a dance studio, zenning in a yoga pose, reading books on mindfulness, or sitting with a big silly smile on her face watching the sun rising or setting.
HEAD OF STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS
Originally from small town America, Alana learned quickly that her desire to get out, explore, and meet new people would be never ending. Having worked across the NGO sector, philanthropy, and global development, Alana has committed many years toward building collaborative relationships to strengthen entrepreneurial ecosystems in more than 140 countries. Most recently, Alana has worked with corporations, social enterprises, start-ups and the communities that support them to create valuable partnerships that advance global development issues. The one thing she knows for sure is that it will be people who solve the world’s biggest challenges, and her aim is to increase global understanding, create meaningful relationships, and promote empathy for a better world.
LOCATION MANAGER, COLOMBIA
Our local Medellín expert on the ground, Yuri has spent most of his life between the two worlds of Medellin and London, with a few sneaky places fit in between. From training local bartenders in Phnom Pehn and managing major event venues in London, Yuri loves to host visitors and friends alike! For the past three years he has spent time producing a local arts and music festive, Invazion, aimed at connecting with Medellin’s community of youth, something that keeps him young at heart! For fun, you will also find him cycling, woodworking, strumming the guitar or play-fighting with his kitten as he aims to live a full, fun, and healthy lifestyle.
LOCATION MANAGER, Bali
Originally from Jakarta, Kelly has called Bali home for the past 5 years and has spent her time exploring everything the island has to offer and amassing a wide network of awesome people, places, and thing. With a background in hospitality and restaurant management and a side passion for fine art, she joins Unsettled in Bali to share her best cultural tips, tricks, and hotspots. Ask her about where to find the best beach dance party, her favorite local bites, her background in ceramic throwing, her surprising love of data entry, and her drone pilot husband.
Shitika is a social media strategist and a digital convert with a journalist’s heart. In the last 10 years, she has penned words for publications like Time Out, Grazia, Huffington Post, CNN, Forbes, and Cosmopolitan while living in New Delhi, Brisbane, Sydney, London, and Dubai. In an unexpected plot twist, she left her job with a top lifestyle magazine and set out on a 6 month digital nomad adventure that took her across Asia. She finally landed with Unsettled where she analyzes emojis on Instagram for a living (among many other things, of course!). When not scheduling posts on Facebook, connecting to our active online community, or sharing pics from our adventures on the ground, Shitika can be found making the perfect Old Fashioned cocktail or settling into a meditation session on her own quest for balance.
As an Indie magazines junkie, Liliana launched FES Agency and is a communication manager dedicated to tell stories and give the stage to startups, entrepreneurs, and creative projects. She is a dedicated do-er of things, with a special ability to get it all done even when working on multiple projects. Highly connected to Portugal’s startup scene, she also launched Press Pause - an after-work networking event and Portuguese Women in Tech, a community that showcases the awesome things Portuguese women are doing in the tech industry. Nowadays she spends her time between communication, events, coworking spaces and is Unsettled’s Portuguese expert on the ground to help us connect to the vibrant local scene.
Raul is a service and product designer who loves to solve problems. Born and raised in Guadalajara, Raul have been on the move in the last years living in London, Montreal, Playa del Carmen, Santiago de Chile and recently made Mexico City his newest home. Having worked across the educational sector in South America, he learned that working collaborative and creating social value through empathy is the way to deal with global challenges. He loves to connect people and purpose through design, entrepreneurship and innovation. When not sticking post-its to the wall, doodling around or drawing concept maps, you will find him exploring local markets looking for the best spots to eat, designing and building stuff or at some art/music show. He believes that common sense, a pencil and a paper are always the starting point for solving any problem. He's also the best person to follow for taco and mezcal tastings...
gizella RIZO Patrón
Location manager, Peru
Having lived the life of both a local and an expat, Gizella was born in Peru and raised in Ecuador before returning to Lima in her early twenties. She immersed herself in the study of psychology and has worked as both a cognitive behavioral psychotherapist and certified life coach in order to help people connect more deeply to their personal journeys. With a background in hospitality, she regularly welcomes visitors to Peru from around the world, sharing her local knowledge and unique perspective on Peruvian culture. In her down time, you can find Gizella riding local Paso horses, working on her blog, cooking up some delicious vegetarian food, or diving into new intellectual pursuits to quench her curiosity.
VP OF MARKETING
Born-curious, Matt ponders profoundly about what motivates people to identify with culture, movements and ideas. One part trend anthropologist, one part technology nerd and one part content curator, Matt loves to build brands, experiences and companies that bring people together… all around the world. His adventures have taken him to Skywalker Ranch to introduce Star Wars to a new generation of Jedis, to Beijing to make mobile games for basketball behemoth Yao Ming, to Sao Paulo to debut the first 3D movie theaters and those goofy glasses, and to the depths of our imaginations to launch a dystopian robot-slaying virtual reality video game. Currently in sunny Los Angeles, he’s urban-dwelled in Chicago, New York and San Francisco… but his Unsettled happy-place is spiritually deep in nature. Matt loves to swim, camp, do yoga and be with his family— toy-designing wife, dancing and tumbling daughters and his four-legged-&-furry best friend, Murray.
LOCATION MANAGER, CAPE TOWN
Mel Cook is a born and bred South African whose Instagram feed consists mainly of cute dog accounts, interior spaces and beautiful cutlery. She is Unsettled’s Cape Town Location Manager, a Bali Alum, is on the Unsettled admissions team and is a firm believer in finding the fun in every situation while she works on building a life of connectedness. She is highly passionate about female empowerment and is a co-leader for the Cape Town chapter of Ladies, Wine and Design – a movement geared towards championing women in the creative industry. Mel’s heart lies in all things creative, and this reflects in her work as an interior design lecturer, and founder/ head designer of interior design company, Cooked Studio. Some of Mel’s favorite things: “Too-full” glasses of wine, awesome conversations, and of course, pictures of your pets.
Alex lives a life she doesn’t need a vacation from, using the world as her office space and playground. Whether while backpacking Patagonia, living on a sailboat in Croatia, or visiting her swamp home in Florida, she mixes work and adventure simultaneously. Her background is in international relations, where she worked in the humanitarian assistance field throughout eastern Europe on refugee relief. Over the past few years she established a travel blog to share her stories, which has evolved into a social media marketing platform and brand influencing tool. When she isn’t side hustling on Instagram, you can find her sailing the seas, partaking in political conversations with taxi drivers and tasting local beers of every country she visits. Always hungry and never bored, this digital nomad isn’t afraid to swim the sharks and live our Unsettled motto of “embrace the unknown”.
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