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Spirit of Summer – Necker Island

By Amra Beganovic

Posted almost 5 years ago

I have admired Sir Richard Branson for many years, and particularly his involvement with Virgin Galaxy (commercial space travel) as well his charity – Virgin Unite. When I received an invitation from him to be a part of his Change Makers Rule Breakers initiative, and be a guest on his private island, I was beyond thrilled. At the moment, I am writing to you from one of the beautiful open villas where you can see wild flamingos bathing at the lake on one side, and turquoise blue waters of the Caribbean on the other side.

View of the turquoise waters of Necker Island.

One of the most thrilling experiences is that twenty of us invited to this island have gotten to work with Richard as our mentor. The Change Makers Rule Breakers is envisioned as collaboration between those who work in variety of industries (from NASA and space travel programs, to CEO coaches, marketing gurus, techies, and medical industry specialist, there is a variety of talents and knowledge.

Another obvious bonus is that we get to explore Necker Island, a little slice of paradise that took Richard over 40 years to create. There are numerous sea activities such as kite surfing, snorkeling, sailing, and kayaking. For those of us that enjoy great food, private chef is available to grant our every wish, making us feel kind of like Aladdin with his own genie lamp. Everywhere I look there are numerous exotic animals; many of them like Lemurs, Cacatua alba parrots, and Giant tortoise have all been imported, while others like flamingo, iguanas, and many other species of birds and reptiles are native to the island.

Most importantly, we get to learn from one of the best – Richard. I will leave you with the most important lessons according to Richard:

1. Listen – Richard says that this is one of the most understated but often one of the most valuable traits.
2. Treat your colleagues or employees like family – he believes that any successful business has to facilitate an environment that is open and encouraging for growth. According to Richard, all of his businesses have one thing in comment – they feel like you are amongst family.
3. Praise others – Richard believes that it is our ability to praise often and criticize less that allows others around us to excel.
4. Find someone who is better than you to assist you in your work – he believes that having extraordinary teams of people working on a project collaboratively is what makes all the difference

Below are some photos from the trip as well as the summer essentials that I travel with:

Small stone pathways and secret spots are everywhere on the island. Dress by Nicole Miller.

What I took the island : loads of bikinis, large hats, strappy sandals and one my favorite sea inspired skin care lines – Sea Radiance.

Wild flamingos at Necker Island.

Stunning view of the sunset from the main house on Necker.

One of the many private spots on the beach. Dress by Nicole Miller.

One of my favorite spots on an island – Turtle Beach. Perfect for curling up with a great book.

There are many hidden spots – including this rocky beach with patches of sand.

Dress – Nicole Miller

View from one of the pools – there is no chlorine used, and the water is so gentle on the skin.

Dress by Nicole Miller

Pool overlooking Mosquito Island.

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