What does it mean to live the good life? We set out to find the answer, and return with stories of travel, food, family, and the desire to do good.
On the cover: Jenny Rockett photographed by Sonny Thakur
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What would you do if you won the lottery tomorrow? I always thought that that was an interesting thought experiment. Would you quit your job? What would you do? And, it almost goes without saying, where would you travel?
It’s a question that’s always nagged away at humans, because it’s one of those questions that makes us face the very nature of our humanity. After all your base needs are met, what would you spend your life on?
(Pardon this sharp turn into geekery, but consider the idea of the Star Trek future. In this imagined Earth, all hunger and all need has been solved by the invention of a machine that could conjure up anything at all. Money is no longer much of issue. Food is plentiful. Scarcity of any sort is a thing of the past. And what did humans do? They focused on scientific progress and on space exploration, on boldly going where no man has gone before.)
This issue was originally meant to be the GRID Luxury issue, because—let’s face it—travel and luxury go hand in hand. But then, we began to debate the idea of luxury. Is it the best and most exclusive resorts in the world? And what does that mean, “best”? Clearly best doesn’t always mean the most expensive thing—priceless always trumps the pricey.
And so we began to think about luxury in a new light. It isn’t about the price tag— it’s about the life that it helps us lead, and the fully realized human beings it helps us be.
Our cover for our renamed and reconceptualized The Good Life issue was shot in El Nido, because here is a resort that brings together so many different facets of “good.” As our executive editor Paco Guerrero observed, any resort can offer a bigger bed or a newer flatscreen TV. But not every resort makes the effort to truly showcase the place it’s in, or to be a genuine boon to the people and to the community that it is now part of. El Nido Resorts shows the way forward for all resorts of its class. (It’s really a Star Trek kind of place, if you think about it.)
But a Good Life also needs more to it than that, by its very definition. The places that Black Pencil Project ends up in, for example, aren’t where most vacationers would go. In fact, our writer for this piece cried and cursed a lot during the assignment—but she’d be the first person to tell you about the transformative nature of that hard trip. I’ve met BPP founder Mon Corpuz a couple of times over the years, and even my limited interaction with him points to a clear, almost physical transformation within the guy. That’s a good life.
And so this issue challenges the narrow definition of luxury. We appreciate money, nice clothes and a fast car as much as the next guy, but that’s not all there is. This issue is dedicated to that ineffable, priceless “everything else” that makes us happy, and that makes us human.
Editor at Large