Travel diaries
Editor | Head of Content

Mark Laitflang Stone

Founding Chief Executive | Managing Director | Group Avenues

Founder | The YouthMENTORS Platform, connecting young people with inspiring speakers 

Founding Curator | Shillong Hub of the Global Shapers Community at the World Economic Forum

Award winning Social Entrepreneur

Founder of the Avenues Youth Icon Awards

Mentor and Motivational Speaker

Coffee With Stayzilla: A Conversation With Mark Laitflang Stone

 1. Would you trade Shillong with another town? If yes, which one?

Here’s what I know: once Shillong has wrapped her arms around you, and you’ve caught that sunset and listened to the echoes of music in the hills, the imprint on your Soul stays with you forever. When you leave, you can’t help but return to her in the gentle landscapes of your dreams or the rustling of an Autumn breeze. I’m blessed to be giving back to the city that has taught me so much. There are many reasons I’d never switch base, but the reason that beats every other reason, is Hope. I can still look up on a clear night and see the stars. Wake up to a clear morning and breathe in fresh, hill-station air. Catch a glint of Summer Sun bouncing off my girl’s hair. That sort of surreal beauty keeps us Human. And against the ebb and flow of old and new, are values and traditions that keep us true to our roots. Shillong is where your Soul comes home.

2. You are a great mentor for the youth. Who is your inspiration?

I believe mentorship is more about learning and less about telling someone what to do. I learn wisdom from the women in my life. Patience, tenacity, humility. Forgiveness and Unconditional Love. Faith in our Dreams. Courage in our Hearts. Fearlessness in Leadership. If you seek inspiration, all you have to do is open your eyes. She’s right beside you. (Aishisha Lamshane, that’s for you love.)

TEDx Talk: Unconventional | Inspiration in North East India, 2013


3. A wish you’d make upon a shooting star?

I’d wish for a child to find his first shooting star tonight. There are very few miracles left in the world. Seeing a star shoot across the sky is one of them. Keeps our faith in the impossible alive.

4. Which one would you choose and why?

Tree house | Jungle house | Boat house | Hill top house | Beach house | Tent | Skyscraper

Hill Top House: For the view and the air, the rain and the lightening. For silence and thought. And for the stumbles down grassy slopes with the kids. (He smiles)

5. Most memorable holiday stay experience other than a hotel?

If you really want to breathe in and truly experience a destination, don’t stay in a Hotel. Some of my most memorable experiences have been in the homes of friends and family. I honestly cannot think of a better way to discover local sentiments or tradition! How else would you savour home-cooked local cuisine or tune in to community spaces and culture?

Your Holiday is the company you keep. My most fond recollection of a stay away from Home would be India House in Geneva, Switzerland, the residence of our Ambassador to the United Nations.

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