marcofreyMy girlfriend is about to visit one of the happiest countries in the world: Iceland, land of otherworldly landscapes and geothermal hot baths. Each year, the United Nations publishes its World Happiness Index, and Iceland has topped the list each year along with the same 12 or so countries. What qualities do they share? While there’s certainly no formula for happiness, each of these countries seems to possess a strong cultural identity, a government in tune with its people and a generous welfare system. 

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What was a 21-year-old kid from Hilton Head Island doing driving a Rolls-Royce down Manhattan’s West Side Highway? It was 2010 and through some divine serendipity, Charles Mangan had just landed a dream job as assistant to his idol, hip-hop mogul Damon Dash, who also co-founded Roc-A-Fella Records with Jay Z.

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Anuska mai17Dear reader,
May is generally considered a month of renewal, with nature in full bloom all around the Lowcountry. It seems an appropriate month to announce that Lori Goodrige-Cribb, the long-term publisher of Hilton Head Monthly, has decided to take on a new challenge in her life. We thank her for her many years with the company and root for her to be successful in her new endeavors. My husband, Marc, who grew up with ink in his blood, and I will take a more active leadership role while at the same time making room for a younger generation to carry forward the mission of Monthly: Connecting the Lowcountry by publishing inspiring and informative stories covering all aspects of life in the communities we serve.

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marcfrey02It’s only an 8-hour drive away yet a world apart. The first thing that hit me when I got out of the car in Miami is how blue the sky and ocean are and how the constant breezes reminded me of the Caribbean. Exactly the reasons wealthy New Yorkers started visiting via railroad as early as the “roaring 20’s” remain the reasons it is magnet for our second gilded era and a showcase for wealth inequality.

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Lance Little was still in high school when, sitting on the porch shooting the breeze, he came up with an idea that seemed far-fetched — a restaurant that cures world hunger. It was clever, but wasn’t it a bit naive? The fast-food giants were making billions, but the fry cooks came home smelling like cheap grease, earning minimum wage while the money funneled upwards. Meanwhile, even in first-world America, children were going hungry. Of course, this was high school, and Little wasn’t too concerned with the economics of the idea. Enrolled in Hilton Head Island High School’s ROTC program, he had plenty to keep him occupied, along with being an average teenager. But his idea to end world hunger would not be ignored, even as he grew up and moved on with his life.

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Lori Goodridge Roxanne GillandIn many parts of the country, April showers bring May flowers. Here in the Lowcountry, April brings more than 100,000 people to our tranquil island for the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing.

Locals simply call it “Heritage Week.” Saying it’s important would be a huge understatement. For many local businesses, it is the most important week of the year. And considering the adversity faced during and after Hurricane Matthew, many need this to be the biggest and best Heritage Week ever.

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marcfreyRecently an engaged reader thanked us for being a dependable and relevant source of non-fake local news. The compliment made me think deeper about the topic of truth.

It is easy to assume that in the age of the internet, finding the truth would be one of the great benefits that the communication revolution has enabled. But there are several fundamentals reasons why the “truth” can be hard to determine.

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During our telephone interview, Jillian Traver is negotiating a narrow English country lane in her compact Vauxhall Tigra while chirping away about music festivals in Latvia and the rich craft of winemaking. She’s picking up her fiancé, fresh off work in London proper, at the train station and they’re driving to their very first home in a village outside the city. He hops in the car and greets me in British English that seems to have rubbed off on Traver.

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lori march17Creating a “Power Issue” is not a new idea; many lifestyle magazines have done it before. In most cases, the end result is a collection of “powerful” individuals from the community. We tried to do the same thing but were unable to agree on the selection criteria.

Do we include part-time residents? Do we just list people who are powerful now, or do we also include powerful people from the past? Do they have to be alive? Do we let our readers vote? Is it subjective or based on fact?

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marcogrIt’s times like these, with rain and snow blurring the shrill light of fire trucks lined five deep down the Brooklyn street outside a raucous jazz session at my neighborhood pizza bar, that I recall the South.

What I cherish most are the in-betweens — some clash between open space and strange timing. One time, driving home from Charleston for Christmas on Hilton Head Island, I remember dozens of eyes suddenly shining from the median of Interstate 95. The deer had taken the quiet for their own strange church revival. I knew I wasn’t supposed to be there.

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It’s 2009, and Vijay Viswanathan is fly-fishing on a remote river in Alaska’s Togiak National Wildlife Refuge.

This is grizzly country, where glacial peaks give way to an endless sea of green scrub valleys, through which weave streams where virgin trout that have never known the taste of a steel hook die of old age. Viswanathan embarked with a small team of professional athletes and biologists carrying all they needed to live and fish for a week. “Trips like that give me the same feeling I get when skiing through fresh powder,” he said. “These are memories that will stay with me forever.”

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Lori febr17“I love you.” I say those three words quite often. If you know me well, you know that I am a very passionate person. I’m passionate about my family, my friends and my work. I tell many people in my life that I love them, and those three words have meaning when I say or write them.

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After sailing through the night, the flash of a lighthouse signaled hope for a safe passage to the chartered destination. For centuries, lighthouses helped sailors reach safe harbor. 

In a world that at times can feel dark and uncertain, it is more important than ever that we know how to plot our own courses and navigate ourselves and our loved ones to safe ports. How do you overcome the daily stress imposed on you by an environment that is full of noise, chaos, hatred and anxiety?

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lori janhhmNew beginnings, fresh starts, reaffirmations of love and promises for a brighter future all come to mind as we ring in a new year. Country musician Brad Paisley may have said it best: “Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.”

Here at Monthly, we begin each new year with our “Intriguing People of the Lowcountry” special section. It’s something we’ve been doing since 1997.

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