Meet the TeamExplorers, Entrepreneurs & Misfits.
Jonathan Kalan is an award-winning photographer, journalist and media entrepreneur. He’s traveled over 75 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 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.
VP 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.
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 Andean circuit in the Cordillera Huayhuash. 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 her dog, Bo, out for a trail run, painting, doing yoga, reading in a hammock in the sunshine or finding the perfect campsite.
Director of Social Media
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 and curates inspiring content (among many other things, of course!). When not scheduling posts on Facebook, connecting with 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.
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.
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.
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.
Lynne Scullard ( AKA "Scully" )
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!
Renee is a Colorado Native who feels most at home in the great outdoors. Always opting in for an adventure, she recently faced her fear of heights, bungy jumping off of the highest bridge in Africa and abseiling in the canyons of Morelos, Mexico. Fascinated by the human psyche, Renee enjoys philosophical conversations and connecting with people from all walks of life! With a background in the startup world, she loves the challenge of wearing many hats, bringing creative approaches to problem-solving, and learning alongside small, tight-knit teams. She makes a mean tortilla soup, instantly falls asleep to the soothing voice of NPR’s Guy Raz, engages in any activity that serves as a competitive outlet, and is admittedly an old soul who happens to be tech-savvy.
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.
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.
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.
Location Manager, Buenos Aires
Victoria Viola was born by the sea, then she moved to the mountains and finally arrived to Buenos Aires at the age of three. She feels as much porteña as one can get. She’s got a Graduate Degree in Communications and worked for several years behind cameras until she accepted she wanted to be in front of one. Since then she’s been part of some indie plays and written some more. Together with Fran, her husband, they have travelled across four continents (but Africa is yet to be discovered). Victoria has a special talent for solving people’s problems, so when not helping curate local experiences in Buenos Aires with Unsettled, that can be found working for her social media and creative experiences agency that she founded called FUA.
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…
Location Manager, Portugal
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, co-working spaces and is Unsettled’s Portuguese expert on the ground to help us connect to the vibrant local scene.
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.
Unsettled Sailing Captain
Ayesha is an avid traveller, adventurer and entrepreneur. Her life is charmed with experiences that have taken her closer to her dream of exploring the world. As a sailor and founder of one of the top sailing institutions in India, she is known to be a legendary captain recognized for her contagious energy, lithe dance moves and a feisty approach to life. This badass Asian women’s champion hails for Mumbai city and is also listed vogues 25 under 25 most influential trendsetters.
She’s a go-getter, and one who looks forward to crossing new hurdles and surpassing her own accomplishments. While enjoying a nice cup of tea she loves sharing stories inspired from her various travels and experiences. She is heavily involved in coaching and mentoring many sailing enthusiasts in India and while she’s not busy promoting sailing she rock climbs, scuba dives, bungee jumps, paddle boards and hikes. She loves living her life to the fullest and anything less than that is something she will not settle for.
Naomi is from Toronto, Canada but can feel equally at home anywhere there is sunshine, coffee, and philosophical conversation. She has wanted to be a writer ever since she can remember, turning her early sticker books into multi-part storytelling projects. She feels the most creative while exploring new cultures, meeting people from all walks of life, and experiencing the common threads that make us all human. With a background in writing for the stage, Naomi has fallen in love with travel writing and is thrilled to bring her passion for people, self-discovery and adventure to the Unsettled blog. When she is not writing, Naomi enjoys listening to podcasts, especially On Being with Krista Tippett, watching comedy specials, practicing yoga or meditation, and planning her next trip to an ocean somewhere.
Location Manager, Bali