Interview with Sonia Sebastian
Editor-In-Chief of JETSET Gypsy
GO2KIEV: What is JETSETGypsy?
I created an online magazine for people who label themselves as global nomads. This phrase conjures to the mind a lifestyle that is about sharing a global outlook and having an independent mind-set. The magazine is a lifestyle publication focusing on a diverse mix of features and fashion.
Although it’s for ‘JETSETGypsies’ around the globe, we’re going to start by targeting ‘JETSETGypsies’ based right here in Kiev.
GO2KIEV: Describe the readers of your magazine?
I believe my readers feel they are citizens of the world. Let me explain: If you were born somewhere, raised somewhere else and currently living in yet another country, you know exactly what I mean. You probably have a difficult time explaining where you’re from because you’re not tied to any one place. But let’s get something straight. It doesn’t matter if you have lived in one country or so many that you have lost count; it is the shared mind-set of not being tied down to one culture or one way of thinking. I think being a JETSET Gypsy is a lifestyle.
GO2KIEV: What are some the article topics that are featured in your online magazine?
The JETSET Gypsy community group of readers can learn about topics that range the gamut of lifestyle, health and beauty and fashion. The magazine also has book reviews and a community photo gallery. The topics published affect all global nomads irrespective of ages for the content is based on what these global nomads want from their lives. In the future, the site will also provide an insider’s view to cities around the world with news on events, restaurant guides and much more. An illustrative point within the magazine is the Photo Gallery section which displays a visual representation of expatriate community happenings.
GO2KIEV: It appears that Health and Beauty are predominately featured within the magazine.
Yes, that is correct. I grew up in Dubai as a 2nd generation expatriate and I am fully cognizant of the challenges and stress of relocating to a new home country even it is not to be on a permanent basis. The Health and Beauty section topics are meant to be informative and mentally uplifting. An example would be a recent article written entitled “10 Ways to Feel Good” which categorizes the free of cost and clearly effective ways to reduce stress through the means of a relaxing scalp massage, an invigorating walk, or a bartering exchange of goods and services amongst friends. A positive and healthy emotional release is absolutely necessary for people who are newly relocated to a different home city.
GO2KIEV: Is there a way for your readers to share their personal life experiences within the magazine?
I want to develop a forum or discussion group where friends can meet online and ask questions. The participants will be able to remain anonymous yet they can ask all those questions or vent a release of a strong feeling that they normally might be hesitant to share. Sometimes this is a better format for it allows the individual not to dump these feelings on newly formed community friendship. The discussion group can also communicate ordinary information that promotes services, products, retail establishments, and more. It is intended to be helpful for those of us who want to know what is “out in the world” within as well as outside Kiev and how we can apply that information to our newly relocated lifestyles in Ukraine. To be in the know – how to venture out of an insulated shell.
GO2KIEV: What are your previous professional experiences?
I was a marketing manager for one of the largest fashion retail companies in the Middle East that sold high street and bridge brand clothing. The terms ‘high street and bridge brand fashion’ refers to designs that have been taken from the catwalk and copied by shops so it is easily accessible to the mass market. It was an industry that allowed me to “work hard and play hard” with the completion of a full work day; then, following with restaurant, gallery openings and social events that lasted late into the evening.
Also, in Dubai, I worked over 10 years as a television host presenter with a local entertainment and music television channel. I produced a ‘behind the scenes’ documentary for the World Wrestling Federation as well as serious news capsules about the International Monetary Fund.
GO2KIEV: Why do you call yourself a 2nd generation expatriate?
I was raised in the city of Dubai which is a virtual melting pot of expatriated people with various nationalities and cultures. My parents relocated to Dubai over 20 years ago and I suppose I have carried on the tradition of moving and relocating to international cities around the world. The beauty of this lifestyle is that I am open to a more alternative, stimulating, progressive and creative approach to life. In Dubai, people of different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds connect on the basis of similar interests. Age is not an important factor. It’s the similar mentality of life.