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Deeper Shade of Soul

Kia Soul Turbo Media Trip

Show Me Your Soul

Remember Waldo from the Van Halen video? The part where he’s sitting at his desk in his uniform sweating? That was basically me growing up. I hated elementary school. Every. Single. Minute of it. Thinking back now could easily be defined as the most cringe worthy experience of my life. And that’s putting it lightly. I was a lonely human trying to figure out my existence. My soul. But high school saved me. I found my place. My people. My group. My lifelong friends. They may not have completely understood me, but that didn’t matter because I didn’t understand myself.  But there was no denying we were bound by a common thread. Together we shared a deep love for music. I will always look back on those four years as some of the very best of my life. I would go back to high school in a second. Shocking, right? High school was my comfort zone.

Soul Mates

For as long as I can remember, there has always been a soundtrack playing in my head for each of my great life moments. It serves as a way for me to ground myself, and connect with what’s going on. Remind myself to be present, just as much as when I should disconnect. Music also tells you a lot about a person. What they are like, who they are, where they’ve been, and if where they are going. The music they listen to is a snapshot into the their past life without even having to ask. If everything in life could be this simple.

When I agreed to take part in a recent media trip with Kia for the Soul, I was amped. I mean have you not seen the commercial with Baby Hamster Lemmy on the lam to Ace of Spades? I mean, c’mon. How rad is that? We called ourselves the Kia Soul Roadies because the team put in place was on a clear mission:

Two Cities

Two States

Two Concerts

Nine Roadies

Nine Stories

And a whole lotta of fun in between. Suddenly, I was back in high school, I had a new tribe sans prom, zits, and SATs, but this time was different because I would have actually chose to be friends with this crew in high school. Magic happens when the right mix gets together. It’s undeniable, unstoppable, and exactly what took place on this media trip. I found my people.

Kia Soul Turbo Media Trip

The Sunset Strip

The Rainbow, The Whisky, The Roxy, Viper Room, Sunset Marquis, Chateau Marmont, Shamrock Social Club, The Continental Hyatt House…theses are just a few of the iconic West Hollywood stomping grounds that made the Sunset strip what it is today. The place legends were born, and some legends died. In it’s 1980s hay day, there was no other place in the world like it. Rock bands such as Guns N’ Roses, Mötley Crüe, and Van Halen raised the bar, set the rules (which there were no rules,) called the shots and defined what the rock and roll lifestyle, but most importantly, it’s the place where the patron saint of rock and roll, Lemmy Kilmister, watches over those fallen from grace: 

“You win some. You lose some. It’s all the same to me.” 

I’ve always said I was born in the wrong decade, and while I sometimes wish I had a time machine to relive a Friday night when I worshiped Nikki Sixx in red leather pants, heavy black eyeliner, and Vixen hair living the Hollywood fast life, this recovering rock and roller turned stay at home mom completely content checking into a suite overlooking Los Angeles at The London West Hollywood in my blazer, loafers, and jeans. But that doesn’t mean I don’t long for a taste every now and then. My first question to the concierge was to find out how hard it would be to make a reservation for a small tattoo over at Shamrock Social Club. 

“So if you wake up with the sunrise, and all your dreams are still as new, and happiness is what you need so bad, girl, the answer lies with you.”

Kia Soul Media Trip

Soul Patrol

Here’s the man responsible for this amazing voyage. I would like to personally thank John Dominguez from Kia for inviting me to be a part of this group chosen for this trip, and the rest of his team (Eden and Cinnamon,)  for making this trip so much fun. This trip was more than just having the time of our lives, and experiencing the Kia Soul in a bad ass way,  it was about making friends, and having awesome conversations. Learning about each other and our lives, and our children beyond status updates. That’s what the true meaning of soul is, the connections you make with other humans beyond the boundaries of Facebook and social media. And John delivered with the most SOUL-ful event imaginable. 

Kia Soul Turbo Media Trip

 

Art + Soul

The two go hand and hand it was clearly apparent while touring The Broad in Downtown LA. I’ve been there many times, but never with a group who collectively “got it.” Wanting to devour every room, have fun, and be silly at each turn. We were escorted by a private tour guide who was able to share even more layers to the artwork, artist, and depiction of each piece. This happens to be one of my favorite haunts in Los Angeles. I could get lost in here for hours. It’s that special. And that hysterical if you’re with Jessi. 

Kia Soul Turbo Media Trip

 

Hey, Soul Sisters

Within minutes I met my partner in crime for the trip, Clarissa, I’ve nicknamed her “Bernie.” As in “Weekend At Bernies.” She’s the type of girl you know instantly you want to spend time around. We hit it off right away and I am so glad we did because she made me laugh until my sides hurt.  But we’ll get to why I coined the name “Weekend at Bernie’s” part in a few. Toss in Jessie and Amy to the mix for good measure and all bets are off, you know you’re going to have a great time. 

Kia Soul Turbo Media Trip

The Desert Sessions

So anyway, my girl “Bernie” a.k.a. Clarissa was passed out cold in the passenger seat for most of the trip due to a raging full on case of strep, but I didn’t mind. Sure I was baking through the long stretch of desert in a glorified petry dish, but I made a quick pitstop at Rock and Roll Ralphs to grab her some Saltines and ginger ale, grooved to my tunes, and did a lot of thinking. We’re talking deep thoughts — it almost felt like a therapy session of sorts where I could enjoy the silence, and feel the warmth of the sun on my face.

Kia Soul Turbo Media Trip

The radio was blaring, but Bernie had no clue, she barely moved. I was on a mission to cannonball to Vegas before sunset, and then it happened. I quick glance in my rearview mirror reflected what seemed like hundreds upon hundreds of Hell’s Angels bikers coming up behind me. Needless to say I casually moseyed on over to the right lane as they commanded the road and the roar of the bikes shook my soul. Just me, Bernie, and our Kia Soul amongst a pack of the biggest, baddest, and raddest of the road as we approached State Line. The romantic in me immediately began to wonder what it would be like to be an Unknown Legend, the bad arse in me instantly felt the power of Highway Star, but sadly Apple Car Play was in sync with my PTA mom persona and bee-bopped to Gheggy Tah…

“All I want to do is to thank you, even though I don’t know who you are. You let me change lanes while I was driving in my car.”

Kia Soul Turbo Media Trip

 

Soul Searching

“Bernie” finally rose from her catatonic state just as we made a quick stop to see Seven Mountains. The desert really is a mystical magical place and Bernie is proof. I love this photo because exactly 4.5 minutes before this photo was taken, she could have been a casted as Zombie #606 in the series Walking Dead. 

Kia Soul Turbo Media Trip

 

Feed Your Soul

Those who know me, are quite aware that my last meal would without a doubt be Nobu. Truthfully, I couldn’t get to Vegas fast enough to feast on the culinary goodness that awaited me. Nothing was keeping me away from sake and Kobe tacos before VIP access at The Joint to see Kings of Leon. Welp, nothing except a rising fever throughout dinner, and feeling as though I was experiencing a proper hangover even though I hadn’t even had a sip of sake yet. Yet being the key word.

Kia Soul Turbo Media Trip

“If you’re sake and you know it, clap your hands…”

By the time I ran back upstairs to change, and meet everyone I knew I had to sit this last hoorah out and it killed me. I’ve waited ages to see KoL perform The Bucket live, and there went my chance. So glad the rest of my KiaSoulRoadie pals soaked in every second. 

“Always remember the pact that we made. Too young to die, but old is the grave.” – The Bucket, KoL

 

Soul Connection

Kia Soul Turbo Media Trip

This trip happened only days after the Las Vegas 91 shooting. Since the final stop of our “tour” was Vegas, we could have easily switched around plans and visited another city and show, but it was more important for us to show up and be a part of the healing process. Each one of us had a deep appreciation for music, but most importantly the overwhelming urge to head to Vegas and support the VEGAS STRONG movement. I mean that’s the cornerstone of music isn’t it? Storytelling, healing, and bringing people together. Kia helped us do that. 

“Trust in me, my heart is whole I need to see show me your soul. Please my friend Show me your soul.”

 

What is the best road trip you’ve ever been on with friends?

We would love to know more about your story. By sharing your experiences and memories, in our comment section below, you help bring together fellow travelers in The JetSet Family community. So don’t be shy and let us know what you liked most, or if you have any questions about the Kia Soul Turbo.

 

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Written by Nicole Standley

Nicole Standley

Founder + Creative Officer, Nicole Standley, shares her favorite trends in travel, food + wine, fashion, health, and fun on The JetSet Family and is a long time travel + lifestyle contributor for CBS Los Angeles, Huffington Post, and Hilton Hotels. She is a brand ambassador for Netflix and O, The Oprah Magazine, and has been named Top Family Travel Blogger by Trip Advisor and Red Tricycle. Follow her on Instagram at: nicoleDstandley

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2 COMMENTS
  • Clarissa December 1, 2017

    I absolutely LOVE this post and couldn’t be happier (despite being sick) that we meant, hung out and you were there for me.
    You are truly an incredible person who is so giving.

  • Whit December 8, 2017

    This is fantastic! Great photos (even the ugly guy with the rosemary mustache).

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