Hawaii Sunrise on Oahu, Lanikai Beach

Suddenly I crashed my motorbike in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

What to do?

Here’s the thing: an accident forces you in a new direction.

I didn’t have much to do, sitting there with my stitches, sprain, and what looked like a disfigured face so I googled Best Beach in the World.

Lanikai Beach, in the video above, popped up. My heart surged.

And it said, go live there. Loud and clear.

This was my first walk to the beach to see the sunrise from my new place.

Lanikai_bartnikowski.com

I was stunned. And it was the first magazine issue I wrote and photographed in Hawaii.

Vagabond, Hawaii Issue

Vagabond, Hawaii Issue

I’d been on Oahu for only 2 weeks. I landed from Thailand and drove straight to the north shore of Oahu, where the Triple Crown Surfing competition was happening in full force. I’d never seen so many thong bikinis in my life.

Surfing_Bartnikowski.com

And the air was so pure that I knew I was home.

I hadn’t been to Hawaii in 9 years. And I’d never been to Oahu, I had been to Maui for my 5 vacations.

My soul said, this is what you’ve been searching for! Fresh air and pristine water.

Slamdunk.

Hawaii, Kailua Beach, Oahu

Hawaii, Kailua Beach, Oahu

It felt like heaven. I hadn’t seen the ocean since Cambodia, 11 months before.

If you go to Oahu you must visit Lanikai Beach, 12 miles west of Honolulu. You’ll be mesmerized by the divine turquoise water and the sugar white beach. It makes you calm and puts a smile on your face for the entire day.

Just thinking about it makes me sigh in gratitude.

Feeling blessed and happy I followed my inner nudges to the heavenly water. You can do it too. The no 72 bus leaves from Honolulu and brings you right to Lanikai Beach, you don’t even have to drive.

Kailua Beach, near Lanikai, Hawaii

Kailua Beach, near Lanikai, Hawaii

Often times the more you re-visit a platiunum place in your stellar journal of world wanderings the more you fall in love with it.

Lanikai Beach, bartnikowski

Lanikai Beach, bartnikowski

Secrets of Kauai

Secrets of Kauai

Learn Yoga and Photography with Any Camera

Dates vary: Apply for your private training October to September

3-Day or 5-Day Intensive

Call me 808-542-4566,

or email, [email protected]

Escape the city, relax and refresh your soul on Kauai, the pristine, sacred, and undeveloped island of Hawaii where no building is taller than a coconut tree.

Learn how to get the best photos you’ve ever taken, shooting from the heart.

Anini Beach, www.bartnikowski.com

Don’t read the dry camera manual, join me and have a spectacular time discovering and shooting power spots on Kauai even if you’ve never picked up a camera before.

Each day will be different starting with Yoga and Meditation under swaying palm trees on a bright green lawn next to your oceanside luxury accommodation.

Or you can sleep in if you like, this is your private retreat for you solo or with a friend/partner.

Poipu Beach www.bartnikowski.com

Poipu Beach
www.bartnikowski.com

We will explore, discover, eat delicious food, and be astounded at the lush landscapes and stunning shores of Kauai.

What Shirley Wu said after her 4 Days of Yoga and Photography Guidance:

Optional Morning Yoga, it’s guaranteed you will recharge and transform doing kundalini yoga and meditation every morning. Even if you’ve never done a pose before. 

This session is not for advanced yogis, it’s for beginners. But if you’ve been doing yoga for a while, I am a certified instructor and can inspire you more deeply with your practice.

Yoga blooms open your heart. You’ll enjoy the day more fully and get that little kid ecstasy feeling.

Yes, you get the benefit of teachings I’ve learned and practiced from saints and meditation masters in Thailand, Nepal, and India.

Private Retreat Waimea www.bartnikowski.com

Private Retreat Waimea
www.bartnikowski.com

This is not only about learning photography and yoga, it’s a kick in the pants for your spirit that will open your world to a new you and change your life.

This is what Kauai did for me and this is why I live here now.

You’ll discover the power places of enchanted Kauai, the most gorgeous island in the world. Yes it will all be revealed to you from a local who loves living here.

Contact me for more information and to schedule your 3 or 5 day retreat at a time that is good for you in the next 6 months:

Phone: 808-542-4566 in Hawaii HST

Email: [email protected]

Who Am I?

I’m an author of 4 books, award-winning photographer for 27 years, and educator in Silicon Valley and worldwide.

I’ve led programs at Stanford University, Apple Computer, Intel, and globally.

You’ll get the benefits of the photography business I founded in Palo Alto, California in 1985 shooting for $500 per hour, down the street from Steve Jobs. I worked with clients from Apple, Intel, Yahoo, Google, and the lawyers, angel investors, doctors, CEO’s and realtors who lead and inspire Silicon Valley.

All my secrets are revealed in my private sessions.

It’s guaranteed you’ll see improved results in your own photos, learning my tips from photographing people and nature in 32 countries. And it’s fun!

What People Are Saying About my Photo Safaris and I am Loving It.

Where will you sleep?

Direct Oceanview Deluxe Studio

Your deluxe room is included in your private retreat. You don’t have to hassle with searching for the perfect spot to stay, this is it!

www.bartnikowski.com

www.bartnikowski.com

Here is the view from your private lanai, above.

In the afternoon/morning we’ll be visiting potent power places on Kauai.

Hanalei Bay,

Secret Beach in Kilauea,

Ke’e Beach on the spectacular North Shore,

Poipu, on the south side…

Does this appeal to your sense of adventure? Join me!

You’ll get the benefits of living life here as a local. But with deluxe accommodations by the ocean in a stunning setting.

After your heart-expanding yoga session, we’ll discover remarkable, secluded places and learn how to mindfully capture the incredible nature here with any camera you have. Angle, Light, Composition and Timing are the focus, not Photoshop or fancy digital trickery. Nope!

You can shoot with a digital or film camera, point and shoot, or DSLR with all the bells and whistles.

It’s guaranteed you will return home with amazing photographs.

You’ll be visiting Ke’e beach, a sacred Hawaiian (Hay-ow) where we’ll swim, snorkel, and enjoy the Bali Hai cliffs around us. And Polihale State Park, the longest pristine beach in Hawaii.
Allerton Garden, www.bartnikowski.com

Allerton Garden, www.bartnikowski.com

 

We are all flowers on this earth and we need open space around us.

You’ll get that here. And smiles are plentiful on this island.

Come with me to catch the seductive effervescence of ocean, sky, and emerald green cliffs. Serene places, stunning nature, waterfalls, and art walks in picture perfect tiny towns, Hanapepe Art Walk, and dinner at Hanapepe Cafe which is only open Friday night.

Yoga and meditation every morning under swaying palm trees on an emerald green lawn.

Or you can sleep in.

Easy photo walks every day and I do mean easy of Kauai’s incredible and stunning power places.

April to October private retreats are available

3-Day or 5 Day personal retreat

Your private retreat on Kauai includes

Oceanside deluxe lodging. 3 nights.

All yoga/meditation, photography, and guidance

Bon Voyage drinks and pupus for a divine sunset at the St. Regis on Kauai photo below 

$2000

5 Day Retreat

$4500

Testimony from the last private retreat I led here on Kauai:

“It was the best vacation we’ve ever had and I never would have gotten the amazing photos I got without you.”

– Obie V.

“It transformed my life.”

– Shirley Wu

www.bartnikowski.com

www.bartnikowski.com

Write me at [email protected] for details.

Or best to call me in Hawaii, 808-542-4566, you’ll get a real live human on the phone, me.

More Praise from private photography sessions with me:

“It made me see in a new way.”
– Satya, Spain
You are a great teacher!”
Kristin Adolf, Germany
“I learned so much today, I’m inspired.”
V. Geronton, France
By clicking the button below you will be brought to the payment gate where you can use your credit card. Or paypal. Happy to see you in paradise! We can also do credit cards over the phone or a check if you prefer. See you next month.Call me 808-542-4566, or email, [email protected]


And you’ll get plenty of time for rest and relaxation too.

North Shore Kauai

North Shore Kauai

Aloha and Blessings,

Mary

PS. Ready to discover your true north? Come to Kauai!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Photo Safari and Yoga Retreat in Amazing Hawaii

Learning the Secrets

Learning the Secrets

The Easiest Way to Learn How to Get Amazing Photographs

in the Best Place in the World to Relax

April 14, 15, 16

Discover your joy and spirit on the Incredible Island of Oahu

Join me in Hawaii

You’ll learn how to use your camera (any camera) and how to see light, choose the best angle, create kick-ass composition, and practice your timing.

I guarantee you’ll get better photographs after shooting with me. 

Here’s what retreat participants have said:

“It made me see in a new way.”
– Satya, India

“I had an awesome time and learned so much!”
– Kristin, Germany

“You are a great teacher!”
– Michele Darby, Australia

I learned more in 2 days with you than in 20 years of trying to figure it out.

– Becca Hamar, USA

You don’t need a fancy camera. Bring your point and shoot, phone, or DSLR

Small group only. 4 people max.

Linda reveals her thoughts on learning how to take better photographs

lanikai

Suddenly your body and soul will be set free on astoundingly vibrant Oahu,
in Honolulu where I am right now!

It is widely known that Hawaii is one of the most powerful places on earth.

You’ll feel it as soon as you step off the plane.

Soft white sand and the pristine Pacific will infuse you with peace and well-being.

Exhilarating swims in crystalline turquoise water will jumpstart your spirit.

You can do it every day, It’s like swimming in silk.

We’ll be doing yoga every morning in the lush beauty of Kapiolani Park steps from Waikiki Beach with a drop dead view of the turquoise water.

“It is the best practice for finding that most tender, gentlest, softest
part of your self and restoring health.”

– Diana Celeste, Guatemala

“My body feels good, my mind feels good – I feel so empowered!”
– Yoon Leem, Belize

“I feel energized”
– Eva, Spain

After our kundalini yoga session, we’ll be shooting and learning how to see light and get photographs that will astound your friends.

You’ll also get a great shot of your self in our people shooting sessions.

If I was doing a portrait for a client it would be $500.

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You’ll receive expert advice and tips on your work; what you are doing that works in your photographs and exactly how other photographs can be more amazing so you have practical advice on how to shoot better right now.

You will return home knowing how to shoot better to get the results you want.

Heaps of one-on-one private attention in a bird sanctuary setting by the sea.

You’ll have time to relax, swim, walk, shop and spa. It’s easy to get around here in Honolulu, walking from the Queen Kapiolani Hotel will get you to the beach, shopping and park in 5 minutes.

Don’t miss this, you’ll be astonished how just being here

will quiet your mind and inspire your soul

Photography and Yoga Guidance 

April 14, 15, 16

$500 for all yoga and one-on-one photography guidance

My private photo safari sessions are $300 and

$100 a session for private yoga instruction

Yoga is optional if you would rather sleep in!

Soak up the serenity and creative empowerment for a lot less cash.

Escape from what ails you and give yourself new life and energy.

Exclusive and private.

Get recommendations on lodging, transport, activities, spa treatments, paddle boarding, surfing and sightseeing.

You want to extend your stay? Great deals on fun North Shore activities, see the gigantic waves in Pupukea, visit the center of surf culture in Haliewa, and enjoy organic farms, a drop dead amazing coastline and stunning vistas.

You’ll walk away from this trip with renewed purpose and peacefulness. Guaranteed.

Or you may want to travel the world and never go home, I’ll show you how to do it.

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Who am I?

I’m an author, award-winning photographer, mother, yoga instructor, app publisher, and CEO of fun.

I’ve been traveling and teaching for 7 years, after selling my belongings in the heart of Silicon Valley to live my dream and discover the world.

You can read about it on my app in the itunes store for ipads and iphones on how to be a location independent entrepreneur and have an amazing life. 

I’ve had my own business for a quarter of a century in Palo Alto, California, down the street from Steve Jobs.

Yes I’ve been a veteran pro for decades and have the expertise to guide you into taking the best photographs you’ve ever captured.

I’ve led programs at Apple, Intel, Stanford University and worldwide. You’ll benefit from the tips I learned earning $500 an hour shooting in Silicon Valley.

Join us, it’s guaranteed you’ll change your life, be amazed, learn how to take better photographs, feel more healthy, and jumpstart your energy.

Bartnikowski.studentsLakeAitilanGuatemala

Here are the benefits and reasons you can’t miss this:

1. Oahu has the freshest air I’ve inhaled in 31 countries worldwide.
2. The cleanest water I’ve ever floated in, it’s pure salty goodness and astonishingly pristine.
3. The sacred energy of Hawaii is real. There is no place like it on earth.
Come and find out for yourself.
4. The best food ever as I now know the good places to eat, including farms, grocery stores and markets, that meet my zesty standards of remarkable quality.
5. Guidance and inspiration on yoga, meditation, photography and expressing your most creative and amazing self.

Doesn’t matter if you’ve never picked up a camera or done yoga before. 99% of it is showing up. You don’t need a fancy camera either.

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Here’s what you need to bring:

Your enthusiasm
Bathing suit and clothes for yoga
Camera: point and shoot, phone, or DSLR
Charger, cords, cards and case for your camera to protect it
Sandals, flip flops to get wet
Yoga matt if you can

PS It’s guaranteed that you’ll love being here.
Ask me anything about the 3-day retreat and how you can be a part of it.

Queen Kapiolani Hotel in Waikiki is the best deal in town for lodging. And you can walk to eat, swim, shop, surf, and see the sights.

MaryBeccaNorthShorePhotoSafari

More accommodations? Kindly write me

There are 2 spots available.

Suddenly you may find your self in paradise.

Big Love,

Mary
[email protected]

808-542-4566

01Barbarashooting

How to Change Your Life

 

marykidsarnikoRoll002036www.bartnikowski.com 

Living out loud and laughing is the prescription to life’s monsoons. If you don’t laugh every day your enthusiasm gene dries up. It’s that simple. But it took me decades to figure out. What happened?

I got out of my comfort zone, left my leather couch and plump pillows, and started traveling. And not the way I used to travel; spending $500 a day for trips to Maui, staying in luxury resorts, skiing at Squaw Valley sipping cocktails, jetting off to Bora Bora and scuba diving in the Caribbean.

So there I was in the heart of Palo Alto, California, down the street from Steve Jobs, home of all things silicon chipped, 25 years of a successful photography career: great clients, author of a book, what was missing?

I didn’t know the name of it yet but when my 18-year-old son, Wolf, asked me to visit him in Nepal while he was volunteer teaching I said hell, yes!

Kathmandu. It sounded mystical. A dream destination. So I took 2 months off and left California with 50 rolls of film, my Nikon F-3, and a heart full of wonder and awe on Christmas Day 2005.

Suddenly, the unknown snatched me in its jaws.

It was that exact moment after flying over the Himalayas and seeing my son waiting for me in the tiny Kathmandu airport that my heart leaped into overdrive – this was it! The life of being a vagabond I had always wanted but didn’t know what it was called. The air sparkled with possibility and luminescent light. The atmosphere shown with a prism quality that shivered my nerve endings and made me wake up.

Yes, being on the rooftop of the world made me see the light.

Kathmandu felt like 3rd rock from the sun – everything was different – the food, the light, the people, clothes, statuary, and religion. I’d never been in a tuktuk, or eaten Tibetan momos, never seen such gorgeous people before. Nepal was on the US embassy’s unsafe-don’t-visit list but my son was there. I’d walk through fire to see him.

So I was getting my Nepal visa at the airport paying with US dollars not knowing what I was spending until he told me the exchange rate. I could get a hotel room for $12 a night not $200? And it was clean and quiet too.

I was off and running. Drunk on my own freedom.

In Kathmandu, I taught photography to the staff of the Nepal Youth Foundation. Olga Murray, the charismatic and brilliant founder of NYF invited me to teach after I asked her if I could help and it made my trip to Nepal an experiential dream. But it was real and they even gave me taxi money, instant friendship, and wildly delicious meals.

I fell in love with the staff and it fueled me onwards to lead more projects in other countries; many times receiving room and board to do photography, teach, write or all three.

And I discovered it was fun to work without a thought of money; to be liked for doing what I love to do. Taking photographs, teaching, writing, playing with people, babies, elephants, and laughing. And that’s how I became the CEO of fun.

I’m getting rich with experience on seeing how the world lives outside my former bubble of a life devoted to the almighty buck, cashmere, and comfort.

I’ve had an astounding education in life: being a professional photographer, a published author, a hitchhiking hippie, leading programs at major corporations in the USA, photographing the Dalai Lama, riding elephants bareback in Nepal, and learning how to fall off a surfboard, not to mention all the other crazy capers.

But when people tell you you are nuts that usually means you are on to something wonderful.

The thing is…

There’s no better way to learn how the world works than to roll up your sleeves and get filthy with experience like this. I’ve been stupid, smart, lucky, well-off, broke, mocked, and loved and I’ve learned something from every second of it.

People with more money than I have, ask me how I do it. But it doesn’t take a lot of money to do what I do. Doesn’t take much planning either. I just go where my heart calls me to go. And I discovered after teaching photography and yoga in foreign countries worldwide that I could make a living at it. How?

I started teaching travelers and ex-pats in Dharamsala and boom! I had a pocket full of Indian rupees and noticed I didn’t need to visit the ATM.

That’s when it hit me: I don’t have to go back to the USA to earn money. Scotty, beam me up into the ethers of my greatest dream – being free and discovering the world!

So I went back to the USA sold all my stuff and gave the rest away – no more stress, furniture, insurance, car maintenance or rat race. Poof! All gone.

I’m a permanent traveler now on an open-ended worldwide adventure.

Take the leap and do it now before you think about it too much. Grab the time off for yourself and don’t wait until its been 15 years since you had 3 weeks off in a row like I did.

Start with an easy country like Bali or Thailand, you’ll be safe in an exotic world spending very little money if you enjoy homey guesthouses for $10 to $15 a night. You won’t be inside much anyway.

Spread your wings and take off – you know you want to!

Stay in touch, find out where I am now on the planet, and get seriously kick-ass advice on being a location independent entrepreneur. Go to Vagabond Travel Mag now and subscribe in the itunes store.

 

7 Things to Never Do On Your Flight

Going to India with my Lunch

Going to India with my Lunch

www.bartnikowski.com

1. Never forget your lunch. You will not find fresh fruit or fresh anything on board so plan ahead. Your pastrami sandwich (I only did this once) may annoy others with its fragrant aroma but you won’t have to wonder if you’ll get sick from the scary Styrofoam contents of an in-flight meal. Singapore Airlines and Japan airlines are the exceptions. I have never eaten better food on an airplane in my life.

Food items that travel well: nuts, cheese, apples, and dark chocolate

I always get hungry when I arrive at the airport as I’m finally relaxed after frantically packing. I usually eat my lunch in the waiting area before boarding.

2. Be warm enough – dress in layers. Wear your heavy clothes, and strip down if it’s too hot. It’s always too cold for me.

3. Do not get irate when they try to take your hand luggage away, ask to talk to he manager as you have sensitive video/photo equipment and don’t want anything damaged. He may ask to inspect your bag and then you smile engagingly, and produce your professional photography card. If you don’t have one invent one. This is a secret and I shouldn’t even be telling you this.

4. Earplugs. I don’t mind squalling babies at all. I mind hearing someone else’s idea of good music, plane sounds, loud talkers engaging in annoying conversations when you are trying to sleep in the middle of the night on a 20-hour flight across the Pacific Ocean. Loudmouths in any nationality take heed. Just close your lips and let us sleep.

5. Never feel you are bothering the person sitting on the aisle when you ask if you can get up every hour. Too bad. Sitting in coach is ultimate confinement. Get up, chat, move around and have some fun. I always end up meeting some kind people at the toilets in the back of the plane.

6. Never forget your reading material. Your computer, Kindle, and iphone will run out of juice and you’ll need a real magazine to get thru the hours. Pony up the cash and just do it. Its fun to see real photographs printed on paper that you can touch.

7. Never look at the clock. It’s just like being in labor to have a baby. My midwife covered up all the clocks in my house with infant size pampers when I was in labor and it helped enormously. If you don’t know what time it is you can’t complain how long it’s taking.

There are many things you can do on a 19-hour flight. Eat, read, chat, rest, meditate, watch films, walk around, write, or make a new friend.

What ways have you endured, I mean managed long flights?

What I’ve Learned After 7 Years of Full-time Travel

 

bartnikowski.com

How did I get here in Chiang Mai, Thailand drinking smoothies every morning being happy and grateful to be alive?

I didn’t listen to people telling me I was nuts. Who said, “You shouldn’t go to that country because you can’t be sure of being safe.”

30 countries later I’m still going strong!

My eyes have been opened so wide it almost hurts to see the world without sunglasses. The light is so brilliant — its hard for me to see that at one time I didn’t have this life.

 You can have it too. I know what you’re thinking. Actually we think too much. And you can think yourself right out of doing anything if you give it too much of your attention.

1. Attention is a gift.

That’s the first thing I learned. Whatever you set your mind on blossoms and takes off.

Works the same with negativity and voices in your head telling you can’t do something. If you listen then you can’t do it. Put your attention on what you want to happen. Act as if it all ready is happening. 

Say you signed up for a Women’s Only coach on a train in India and you get on the train at 2AM and find out your coach is full of only men. You either leave or accept it.

They didn’t listen when I told them to stop smoking and cut the chatter crap so I could sleep but thats another story.

2. Time is not the hours on the clock face.

Time is your life span from birth to dying. What do you want to do with your time?

I want to travel and see the world. Work and play all over the globe.

Take the first baby step and the universe opens up to you. I didn’t believe this either at first but it miraculously happens when you decide to walk towards your Big Dream.

3. Money is attracted to boldness and magic.

Yes you can be a location independent entrepreneur. You can do your job on the road, you can teach English in almost any country on earth and get paid for it, you can have an online business, and you can teach belly dancing. I teach photography all over the world and write books.

And I have a magazine in the itunes store Vagabond Travel Photography Mag. Discover the world and learn how to take Amazing photographs Go see it here.

4. The Unknown is Your Friend

I used to plan too much. “Honey why can’t you meet me in Colombia in February – how come you don’t know when you’ll be there?” I said to my son who has been to 50 countries. I’ve only been to 30, I gotta catch up.

Now I know why, because I’m not planning either.

Less planning is more fun.

5. You never know what is around the next corner or who you’ll  meet today changing your life instantly. Today you might decide you gotta go to Bali to work on your surfing skills. I don’t stay on the board too long so I need practice.

Or I need to photograph Ladakhi people high in the Himalayas and how they live life, or teach yoga to women in Nepal living in mud huts. Or go live in an igloo, ashram, temple, seaside bungalow, or tent.

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And you can do it!

 

Your mind is malleable. It may be more flexible than your body. Get inspired by people who are living the life you want to live and open the ethers in your soul.

Queen.Dancer.bartnikowski

How do you do that?

 

You stay fresh, eat fruits and veggies, relax and be like a kid. Open to everything but if it feels off you walk away.

 

Being Happy Inside my Skin. This may be the title of my next book.

 

And then being so happy and grateful that you can give things, time, love to others.

That’s the secret to success. It’s not money or big achievements and awards.

I’ve done a lot of things I set out to do, but with many more I want to discover, I expand every day and want to leap into the fresh waters of the unknown; I see that time is this — it’s what our spirit loves doing and being. It could be meditation, travel, teaching but whatever it is the message is live today like you will die today. Because we will die. And it could be today so lets live at a higher exalted octave than we ever have before.

1. Be inspired by the birds singing. I hear them right now off my terrace in Thailand. They know how to fly. So can we.

2. Sleep enough – then your skin looks better and you have energy.

3. Move that amazing body of yours – yoga, walking, surfing, swimming, skateboarding just do it. You don’t have to motorbike across 4 lines of roaring traffic praying today like I did. Go walk around a lake with no cars intruding.

4. Take steps towards your dreams. Don’t give up.

Your new mantra: You can do it, you can do it, and you can do it.

Thank you for your enthusiasm, attention, and beauty, I am grateful to all you darling hearts – you have been there for me, and I couldn’t have done it without you.

Love, Dream, Discover,

Mary

8 Things to Do in India

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You won’t be reading about the Taj Mahal here. Now, I’m not saying don’t go. But I’d like to inspire you to have experiences in India you can’t have anywhere else but in India.

India confounds me, trips me up, shakes me to the core, and blasts my preconceived ideas every time I show up here. It’s a good thing. My heart is drawn to the Himalayas and this is where I have spent all of my 4 visits here; for months at a time in the northern most states of Ladakh, Himachel Pradesh and Sikkim.

This is where I am called to go.

Don’t go to India for less than a month like I did on my first trip. You’ll soon see that you need at least 6 months to dive into this vast country. But don’t see it all – pick any one of these 8 things to do and you could easily stay in that place for many weeks as I’ve done and I never felt it was too much time in one location.

You realize how much India affects you after you leave her. Just like an old lover. You realize how good they are after its over. And once that happens you’ll keep coming back for more.

I still haven’t seen the Taj Mahal… it’s on my list but I never seem to get to it.

Here’s what has inspired me to stay in India and discover her secrets. Enjoy the journey, you don’t know where it will lead you but that’s most of the fun!

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 Tikse Monastery in Ladakh

High in the ethers of the Himalayas is this ancient monastery. Just down the street is Hemis monastery, so old that even Jesus visited it. You can stay here at Tikse (near Leh) for about $6 a night and the view is drop dead incredible. You even get a bed. The monks do their morning chanting and you can join them or not. Food at the monastery isn’t bad either. Go and go now, this place has a celestial feeling that flows through your veins. Your feet just might lift off the ground. See my video here.

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Go to the International Yoga Festival at Parmarth Ashram. Its the first week of March every year and has a full line up of amazing teachers from all over the world. I have gone to the festival twice. It changed my life. You’ll enjoy being on the banks of the Ganges River in the holy section of Rishikesh, in Ram Jula. Saints and sages have walked here. You can too.

Go to the Golden Temple in Amritsar,

Dharamsala to see the Dalai Lama and

Sikkim, a Northern state of India filled with forests, on the backside of Mount Everest.

Check it out.

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The Golden Temple in Amritsar will knock your eyes out. Here it is in all her midnight glory. Yes that is really gold leaf!

Go see a teaching of the Dalai Lama. ImageYou will be blessed by his love radiance and we all need that.

See more photography of the Dalai Lama and get it for your own delicious projects.

Want More Travel Advice? Read Vagabond Travel Photography Mag for your ipad and iphone in the itunes store. Try out a complimentary issue.

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10 Things to do in Thailand

DCIM109GOPRO I am back in Thailand after 8 months of traveling in Cambodia, Myanmar, Nepal and India. I am falling in love with the Land of Pad Thai, Dragon Fruit and Orchids. Absence does make the heart grow fonder. Here is what I love to do in Thailand: Motorbiking in the hills of Pai as seen in the above photo. Absolutely jaw – drop gorgeous scenery and no traffic until the tourists arrive in November.

Eating! 

fruitshakes22sushisashimishake22And the best part? You won’t gain weight. No bread or cheese, mostly small portions of noodles or rice with spicy meats/fish and veggies. Barbecued fish is sold on the street for $1 to $1.75 US, what’s not to like? I was looking forward to cooking but since stoves are not standard issue in apartments I just walk out my door, hop on my motorbike and today for lunch I had roast duck with rice and it was crazy delicious. $1.50 US. My neighborhood in Chiang Mai is full of wonder and yumminess. Sap Li! (that’s Thai for very delicious) KhaoSoisoup22Khao Soi soup – my favorite!

Commune with an elephant. VagabondCoverIssue1Read my Thailand issue of Vagabond in the itunes store for your ipad here.

Go see temples in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and in Issan: Wat Suan Dok in Chiang Mai and there is a Vegetarian restaurant in the back. DCIM109GOPROGo to the markets – if you can stand to be shell-shocked by consumerism. But its all in fun and entertaining to watch other shoppers buying bags of loot. And its mostly all cheap too. You can always stop when you are getting overwhelmed. But you never know when the perfect pair of sandals will fall on your head out of the sky or you will just get so hungry you have to eat again – take your pick.

Make Friends. JolieMary22 englishclasswithnong22 Volunteer to speak English with a class – its great fun and you laugh a lot! nongmaryyoga22Do yoga and have a Thai massage.

Enjoy the flora and fauna.

Discover waterfalls and hot springs in Pai.

Write me at [email protected]

Web site: http://bartnikowski.com

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ADDpink flower in paiLove from Thailand!

Vagabond Mary

 

10 Reasons I Love Nepal

Grandma in Inawura, Nepal

Discover the Secrets of Nepal in Vagabond Mag for your ipad click here

It is said that Nepal is the holiest place on earth. Why?

It’s the rooftop of the world, home of Mount Everest and the Annapurna Mountain range but what keeps me coming back is the people. The kindest people I know live there.

Nepal breaks my heart and makes me cry and laugh within the same minute. How?

Well my favorite Grandma in the world lives in the Terai in Inawura.

Grandma in Inawura, Nepal

She’s 90 years old but never complains. She has a lilting girlish voice that resonates with wisdom even though I don’t know what she’s saying because I haven’t learned Nepali but we understand each other.

One day we found ourselves alone with no others around and we were chatting after I made her a hot drink with peppermint and she would say what she wanted to say in Nepali. I would listen to her then I’d talk to her in English and she carefully listened to me. We understood each other but not so much with language.

My son who has stunned me with his generosity and beauty got me there. I’d never heard of this little town but I found myself flying domestic from Kathmandu to get there.

He discovered this village when his friend brought him here to meet his family and now they are my family too.

Wolf Price inspired American Apparell to make a tee shirt to sell globally to fund education and wifi for the girls who live here so they don’t have to get married as teenagers and live a life of servitude. He’s also making a documentary about it all. Find out more about him click here. You may want to donate to empower girls in Nepal and buy the cool tee-shirt.

wolfinterviewingladiesatEnd

I met many wonderful ladies and taught them yoga in the bamboo grove – they were courageous to try it out after saying they had aches and pains.

Yoga Class Teaching in bamboogrove22

It was a non-stop love fest from morning to night.

Mom would wake me up with chai every day. Her smile made me never want to leave.

And then…

I discovered the Sacred Places in Kathmandu Valley
If you want to invigorate your soul go to Namobuddha Monastery

Namobuddha Monastery in the morning
Then go to Bahktapur just outside of Kathmandu.

Bhaktapur on a Misty Morning 6AM

View from my $10 Room

Bhaktapur Stone StatuesWoman in Bhaktapur Doing Puja

Then go to Kopan Monastery on the edge of Kathmandu.

Kopan Garden

And You Will Fall In Love with Boudha below, the largest Buddhist stupa in the world.

Boudha in Nepal

Incense Infusers Boudha

Be Enchanted by Nepal, Learn All About it in Vagabond

Praying at BoudhaDance Recital Near Boudha

Wolf brought me to a dance recital he was shooting so I took some photos too. I loved the girls expressions and their enthusiasm.

If you have time, go to Lumbini where Buddha was born. He was not born in India as most people think he was born here in Nepal and you’ll be overjoyed to be in the sacred garden  –its far from Kathmandu and if you don’t hire a car you have to take a public bus. Or you could fly.

It’s worth it.

I didn’t feel this love struck after the 14-hour bus ride back from the village of Inawura to Kathmandu but have now realized that driving over rocky dirt roads on a night bus will not feed my sanity or give me easy access to a toilet so I will leave this pass-time to the youngsters who can stomach it as I noticed there were no other people on the bus over age 30.

Perhaps this is a sign.

So if you are going and want to do something other than trek check out the sacred places of Kathmandu, go to the jungle and play with elephants, or just stop and go meet some Nepali women, maybe you can come to the picnic next year on Women’s Day March 8– here is me on the bus to the picnic Wolf Price puts on for the ladies.

Going to the Womens Day Picnic my son Wolf puts on every year for the Ladies

We had a blast and my face hurt from laughing all day.

Women Laughing while their Friends are Playing a Game at the Picnic

Women Laughing while their Friends are Playing a Game at the Picnic

My favorite new friend who busted out some amazing moves while dancing right here.

womandancinggoodmark

Do you want to escape the USA? Or just take a break and feel free?

You can travel all the time on a low budget and a high level of fun and adventure. You can work while you travel so all your costs are covered. Find out how in Vagabond Travel Photography Mag for your ipad here

I’m in India now and am head over heels happy I photographed the Dalai Lama here in Dharamsala where he lives. If you want to see photos click here

If you like, Comment below or Write me at [email protected]

10 Reasons to Quit Your Job Now

My New Backyard in Belize

10 Reasons to Quit Your Job Now

The Dalai Lama said, “Asians don’t know how to worry.”

He must have noticed that people in the USA are about to have heart attacks from thinking too much.

I have the solution. Quit your job and leave the West behind – spread your wings and fly!

Here’s my list to inspire you:

1.You’ll get younger (not older.) Studies have shown, keep learning

and you won’t age. Those brain cells need revitalizing.

2.Stress kills, quit, and find something you love

3.Go live in another country. It costs less than staying in the USA working.

For example:

My rent per month in 2012 in all the countries I lived in this year:

Belize: $450 for a shack – it was on the Caribbean Sea, folks!

Guatemala: $300 for a lovely house with private terrace overlooking Lake Atitlan utilities included.

Tulum, Mexico: renting a clean basic room on the Yucatan a few kilometers from the sea for $20 per night or if you like rustic, $8 per night for a hostel or camping on the beach, same price. I liked the beach until I got rained out.

Half Moon Bay, California $600 for 2 weeks for a small 2-room house walking distance to the glorious beach.

Bangkok, Thailand: fully loaded hotel room – AC, own bathroom, king-size bed, wifi in room, proper air flow, quiet and all for $21 per night.

Loei, Thailand in Issan. Room in guesthouse: use of kitchen, wifi in room, fan only, kind family, shared spotlessly clean bathroom, $6 per night.

Chiang Mai, Thailand: Guesthouse $12 per night; wifi in room, AC, fridge, good bed, Quiet.

Pai, Thailand Best Deal of the Year: $200 per month (incl. utilities) for my own house in Pai with a breathtaking view of the sunset, quiet, mountains, hot springs, and clouds floating by (no wifi in the house, no AC, I loved it!)

So the high cost is no longer an issue.

$200 US dollars per month folks!

$200 US dollars per month folks!

4. Don’t think about it – just dive in. Luangpo my meditation master and spiritual friend in Loei, Thailand says, “You thinking, thinking, you aren’t in Thailand. Look at heart, look at body.” It’s all about the moment.

Anything you have to think about for too long usually doesn’t work.

5. You discover the wonder inside you by slicing off the past.

There is nothing familiar: no anchors to hold on to — you are free floating.

I’m not saying the past is bad. Just that the Past is Over. The Present is where it’s.

6. What do you live on?

You live on your wits.

You can volunteer and receive room and board

You can give massages, cook, teach yoga/meditation, English, you can do it!

I currently, teach photography, yoga and meditation, write and shoot for Vagabond Magazine, and get hired to shoot photographs.

Set up a business for tourists – guiding, teaching.

Run an Internet business

Do the business you are doing now as a consultant from Asia, Belize, or Fez, Morocco.

Teaching yoga on the Caribbean in Belize

7. “I’ll do it next year”never happens.

Once you do it – you will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

Teaching Meditation in Pai, Thailand

8. OK you do have to pay back your bills before doing it. So did I.

Now I have one bill: for my storage unit back in California for my photography/art stuff, china dishes from my Mom, glassware and artifacts.

9. Being free is a choice. Choosing to be happy is also a choice. I choose happiness every day even when I’m feeling bratty.

Santa Cruz, Guatemala terrace of my home overlooking Lake Atitlan

10. Invest in your self. Rather than the stock market or a house.

Give your self the option of re-inventing yourself. Only you can do it – no one else will do it for you.

Dharmasala, india View from my bedroom

Jump in! Don’t think about it. Bathe in the sweet waters of wonder and awe.

Write and tell me what you feel and how you will implement your new plans!

Me, teaching yoga in Belize

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