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

See my Photography

Mary TV 204,671 Downloads

Vagabond Travel Photography Mag for your iPad

Kitten Heels in Kathmandu, Adventures of a Female Vagabond

Yoga and Photo Safari Retreat on Lake Atitlan

December 3 – 10, 2011

Rejuvenate, Relax, and Surrender to the mystical energy of Lake Atitlan in the mountains of Gorgeous Guatemala. Expand and energize with daily yoga and meditation followed by enthusiastic and professional photo safari guidance with Mary, a portrait and art photographer for 25 years. You will learn how to use your camera, how to love people with your camera, explore and identify luminescent light, surprising angles, graceful composition and exquisite timing. Portraits, animals, and nature are emphasized.

A photographer is a painter in a hurry. The viewfinder is your canvas. Being in this lavish and lush environment will strengthen your vision and inspire your creative expression.

Be inspired to capture moments and express your vision on the shore of Lake Atitlan at the enchanting Villa Sumaya Hotel, a lush lakeside hideaway. www.villasumaya.com

Luxuriate in peace and creative stimulation. Enjoy delicious and healthy meals, serenity, the sun and blue sky shining above sacred Lake Atitlan. Day trips to lakeside villages, hiking, massages, and volunteering with locals if you like.

At this more relaxed time of year there are less people, more sunshine, and clear skies. You will also have free time to explore, rest, meditate or simply be still.

You will touch the bliss within you. Guaranteed.



Flex your imagination and  and  gain peace, confidence, and well being while flexing your creative muscles.

“It made me see in a new way!” – Satya, Spain

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

Learn how to love people with your camera, anticipate shots before they happen. and see with fresh eyes while traveling. Strengthen your unique perspective by learning all Mary’s photo secrets.

Mary Bartnikowski, a portrait and art photographer for 25 years and published author with her own thriving photography business in Palo Alto, California has led programs at Stanford University, Intel, Apple Computer, and her own photo workshops worldwide. She has shot thousands of portraits: babies, CEO’s, families, authors, yoga masters, teens, and over 700 weddings. Her latest book is Kitten Heels in Kathmandu, Adventures of a Female Vagabond, about her 6 years of wanderlust and teaching in 27 countries on 4 continents and including over 90 photographs. http://bartnikowski.com/book/

Contact:  mbartnikowski@yahoo.com    www.bartnikowski.com

Online photography course:


 Want to talk? Call me: 336-775-7171

Luxury accommodations, inspiring practice spaces, nourishing meals, exciting cultural experiences, and an exotic location at very reasonable rates.

7 days includes all meals, lovely room overlooking the lake, and all instruction.

$1500 for singles

$900 each for doubles.

Guidance and help on air travel, boat launches, and transport to the hotel.

More info: Call Mary 336-775-7171


The Magic of Uncertainy

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRWeFIki5Io&w=640&h=390]

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the true source of all art and science.” Albert Einstein

This is why I travel. This is why the open road, high seas, and vast skies calls to me. I am now familiar with the unknown way of life. I like the magic of uncertainty. I don’t make decisions anymore. I let myself be led by the wonder and awe that arrives in every day. Spontaneously living in each moment is the way I roll now.

I didn’t do that before selling everything I owned to enjoy a life of teaching and traveling.

The now moment is enchantingly pregnant with possibility—I don’t know what is coming next and I won’t consult a psychic to find out. I like the unknown – I am not sure of anything anymore. I don’t make plans. People have suggested I make plans but I know that the now moment will decide. I may not want to head north to Mexico; I may decide to head south to Nicaragua or Colombia. And I want to go back to Belize but will wait for my orders from grand central God. My internal GPS guidance, soul direction whisperings. Call it God, Buddha, Allah etc just call it up and it will tell you. The answers to every question are inside us.

And that is why I can travel without any furniture in my birth country waiting for me. That is the past and I know that the present is where it’s at.

Everything changes. Constantly.

I’ve noticed worry is unnecessary. It never helped anyone. In my past life worrying would consume whole days. When will he call, where is my son, can I pay the rent, will the check come, why hasn‘t my agent emailed me, when will someone do something that I need him to do?

Worry was engrained in my psyche like flies on flypaper or deeply rooted distress from the past sticking to me like peanut butter. It’s all crap.

As my Thai teacher, a Buddhist meditation master called it: “Garbage.”

This kind of thinking results in nothing good. We were raised with the idea that worrying about someone will be good for the person we worry about. Not. How could it be good? It will only engage the very problem or difficulty we are afraid will happen.

I am reading “Your Erroneous Zones” by Wayne Dyer. He wrote it in the 70’s and I read it in the 80’s but it did not sink in until now in 2011. Why? Because I am living my life like this day may be my last. And living each moment more intimately than I have ever done before.

I used to think when I smoked pot and drank premium red wine that I was high and happy but I was just stoned and drunk. There’s a difference. There is a crash and a hangover. Now I go to the mountains or the seashore if I want to be high and happy. Or I relax into the moment and wait.

I don’t know what is happening next. I like the seduction of not knowing. The mysterious calls to me with an inviting whisper. I am listening now.

Albert Einstein was right. The mysterious is beautiful. It is juicy to not be sure. To open a window in life and feel the breeze come in.

There are moments in life where the wonder and awe that is meant to guide us on our paths pops up in a kaleidoscopic way and you know in every cell of your being as the hair on your arms stands up and the soul feels full, that this is magic.

No Hurry No Worry: Slowing Down

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0uoNv5dU8Y?rel=0&w=640&h=390]

After three days on the farm I am slowing down and letting it be. I hurried out of my tent this morning to get to the natural lagoon to do yoga and I laughed at myself. Why was I hurrying to get to yoga?

I slowed my pace to a leisurely stroll.

Nowhere to go, nothing to do. Even when I have things to do I do not need to hurry and do them.

Long ago I read this somewhere: Slow down to speed up.

By this I mean slow down to see all the beauty. Life speeds up faster as the divine presents itself in the details. Slowing down we can see the details more clearly. Each moment becomes more full and ripe.

Slowing down is its own reward.

As my pace slowed on the path to the lagoon I realized I had not sat by the lagoon in four days of being here at Finca Ixobel an organic farm in Guatemala. I had hastily photographed it and then left the site. Swimming in the natural pool would be good I thought as I walked away from it. Now I am back by the pool and will begin to teach my private photography session here in 45 minutes. I did my chant for abundance this morning and an hour later a lovely traveling couple from England asked me to teach them. The abundance came fast.

We have goals in mind and sometimes that detracts us from the now moment. Before arriving here I wanted to leave the bush and then I found out that my ride had left without me. But it turned out to be a good thing as I was with my son and we had a wonderful walk to the river where he is building his new house. Wow. It is a courageous thing to do for a young man – it is a courageous thing to do no matter what the age. So we had more time together and when we got back Merlin the magician and his young girlfriend had come to visit us from the other side of the country. I’ve been told he has powers and I noticed he is a deeply joyful person. The youngsters were so glad to see him – I don’t know him so well but I was glad too – it added a new dimension to  our little band of 2 boys and me living in a big hut in the middle of the jungle.

It was good that I slowed down and was not in a hurry to leave.

So last night I saw the full moon with the clouds floating by underneathe it. The moon had a pink aura in the middle of the night as I laid on the ground in my tent looking at the moon lighting up my life. I had nowhere to go and nothing to do. I was lying on a bed of pine needles staring up at the sky happy. I was grateful that I had not left this farm yet. I keep waking up happy so I stay.