Gus Franklyn-Bute Editor-in-Chief
Photo: Gus Franklyn-Bute, St. Peter’s Square (Piazza San Pietro), Vatican City, Rome
DESIRE for me is to BE Where The Magic Happens. It is to GO Where The Magic Happens. And when the moment takes, it is to CREATE the Magic, wherever I happen to be.
If desire is just longing, wishing or craving for whatever then I am not the person to comment. For me desire is not about dreaming or lusting for things, it is a call to action to go experience, taste, see, touch and feel the countless treasures life offers without pause or regret. Desire is carpe diem – seizing that moment and making it count.
Photo: Gus Franklyn-Bute, Hoi An, Vietnam
In all honesty, I delight in those moments of silent satisfaction when I travelling the globe and touch down in a new country or city. Growing up in the Caribbean, it seemed that you had no business travelling any where outside the region unless it was Canada, England or the States for work or join your family, unless you were a sports person, politicians or possibly a musician. My genuine joy comes from knowing that every new experience takes me further and further away from the constricting taxonomy of just being someone from a small island – a label I will never wear.
Photo: Anesta Broad Photography, Gus Franklyn-Bute
The ankles of black people are not tethered to cane and tobacco fields. There are no ‘coloured only’ seats at the back of bus. Are our lives predetermined to walk only along paths of mediocrity? Hell no! With guile, handwork and shrewdness we may take our seat at any top table in career, ravel and lifestyle. Our feet are just as beautiful to don a pair Lanvin’s python and Berluti ferro high-tops. Our palettes may equally delight in mauby and fried chicken and world gastronomy like avant-garde Peruvian cuisine. Our eyes are equally and beautifully made to marvel wide-open at the spectacle of a carnival procession in full flow in streets of Port of Spain, Kingstown or Rio de Janeiro, and to the wonders of renaissance architecture in northern France or Rome and to relish in the creative excellence that adorns Africa’s first museum of contemporary art in Ouidah, Benin.
Photo: Gus Franklyn-Bute, Chancery Lane, London
In London, recently, over dinner and drinks with a friend visiting from Barbados, who was heading onto a new vacation experience in Egypt, I was reminded of two things: Caribbean people at home and abroad are increasing audacious in their travels for work, studies and fun. Yet, too man of us are still mind-locked that ‘going foreign’ for vacation means a trip to Miami or New York City to crash on some friend or family’s sweaty sofa, stuff our arteries with junk food, then gleefully return home with bagsful of fake branded clothes and cruddy discount sneakers. Where is the magic in that? Are there limits to our desires?
Photo: Gus Franklyn-Bute, Hotel Penaga, Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia
Get a map of the world and with a pen place an X on the location where you currently reside. Close your eyes and draw a circle around the spot. That circle represents the outer boundary of your imagination as traveler. Think about it for a moment.
Of course, that is bullshit. I just made that up. I know nothing about psychology or the like – but it got you thinking.
Photo: Gus Franklyn-Bute, Elgin Street, Hong Kong
Cities like, New York, London, Hong Kong, Vienna and Berlin are magnificent destinations and each hold their unique magic. When ambling through the streets and boulevards of world cities, I focus my gaze beyond the popular tourist destinations in search of where the magic happens. That magic is an evocation of my senses and it creates experiences that conjoins and evokes memories of home, childhood, the Caribbean, friends and family – all of which serves to enrich my life and impels me on towards new journeys, new experiences and greater desires Where The Magic Happens.
HONG KONG | STAY: LANSON PLACE Boutique Hotel
SHANGHAI | STAY: THE LANGHAM, SHANGHI, XINTIANDI
LONDON | DINE, COCKTAILS: QUAGLINO’S
ST VINCENT & THE GRENADINES, BEQUIA | STAY: SEA SHELLS HOLIDAY APARTMENTS