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.
I was stunned. And it was the first magazine issue I wrote and photographed in Hawaii.
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.
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.
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
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.
Discover the best island in the world. Relax, rejuvenate, and re-set your life.
Escape your jam-packed life and luxuriate in one-on-one private photography instruction with any camera you have.
Breathe pristine air, see astounding emerald green cliffs, swim in silky turquoise water, and experience rainbows almost every day. There’s one in my backyard right now!
Soothe and ignite your spirit with me, a Kauai local, guiding you to discover the potent power places on island.
Yes being in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the furthest land mass from any other chunk of land, has its secrets.
Kauai is a blended holiness of earth, sea, and sky.
Allerton Garden, www.bartnikowski.com
What’s Not Included:
1. Crowds of people.
2. Bad food experiences (I know the best places to eat from surprisingly simple locally sourced food to lavish top notch restaurants.)
3. No wasted time doing things you wish you hadn’t done.
You’ll see remarkable vistas.
I guarantee you’ll fall in love with Kauai.
Yoga and Meditation with me on the stunning property of the Islander Resort where your gorgeous studio is located.
Wake up and do yoga and meditation with me every morning, or sleep in after sweet dreams in your ocean side luxury studio. No driving, I come to you.
Daily private shooting guidance with any camera you have.
Learn how to use the specific camera you bought.
Relax under palm trees on a drop dead gorgeous beach. Read a book, get a massage.
Eat at the best places with guaranteed fresh food, your culinary masterpieces are a foodie’s divine experience. I know where the best restaurants and local dives are that will make you swoon with a satisfied smile on your lips.
3 nights accommodation in a luxury studio on the ocean with your own private lanai. Hear the ocean waves all night long.
Every day, you’ll experience enchanting power places that will open your heart and as Shirley Wu, a recent private retreat participant has said below, “It will change your life.”
Get a new lease on life
Private Retreat Waimea www.bartnikowski.com
Experience the magic of Kauai and see your luxury studio here
Have the best sleep of your life hearing ocean waves all night from your luxury ocean side studio with private balcony overlooking the turquoise sea.
Your Studio on the Sea www.bartnikowski.com
Who Am I?
I’m an award-winning photographer, author of 4 books, certified kundalini yoga teacher, and worldwide educator.
After shooting professionally in Palo Alto, the heart of Silicon Valley, for 29 years, raising my family, and leading programs at Stanford, Apple, Intel and in 32 countries my home is now on Kauai.
Yes, I sold my belongings in Palo Alto, California in 2009 after photographing 722 weddings, families, babies, angel investors, and authors. I kickstarted my global life teaching, shooting, and writing.
Meeting saints, sages, the Dalai Lama, and remarkable people worldwide taught me how to change my life and stop worrying.
Yes I teach photography and yoga but the true essence is this, how to have more happiness and peace in a have not world.
I love what I do and strive to empower you to have profound adventures and live life full throttle at the highest octave.
3 Day Retreat for you solo or with your friend/partner, includes all one on one private photography guidance, 3 nights in a luxury oceanside studio with private lanai being lulled to sleep with the soothing sounds of ocean waves, and morning yoga/meditation under magnificent palm trees and a sapphire blue sky.
$2000 includes 3 nights accommodation
Private and exclusive for 1 or 2 people
$4500 includes 5 nights accommodation
Dates Available November 2016 to May 2017
Your retreat is scheduled at the best time for you. What dates are best for you?
Call 808-542-4566 and talk with me.
Or schedule a phone conversation at a time that is convenient for you and I’ll call you, to answer your questions.
“It was the best vacation of our lives! I never would have gotten the photos I captured without you.”
“It transforms your soul.”
– Shirley Wu
“I can’t wait to come back, my husband and I loved it!”
See you in Paradise. Book now as these spectacular oceanside units are taken fast!
If you want to learn more, get in touch now before 2016 steam rolls into 2017.
Here’s what you’ll discover here…
Suddenly you’ll be swimming with sea turtles, or simply luxuriating on spectacular Anini Beach on the north shore of Kauai. Here I am enjoying the crystal clear turquoise water with wild and free turtles, below.
I swam with sea turtles here yesterday. Don’t wait. Join me on Kauai – you may never want to leave.
Private retreat shooting in Princeville www.bartnikowski.com
The flora and fauna is off the charts astounding. They don’t call Kauai the Garden Isle for nothing.
You get 3 days of a customized program:
You decide what you want to do without an ironclad itinerary.
You want to go to the longest beach in Hawaii? No problem, we’ll take the day and go see this world treasure below that the Dalai Lama says is the place where souls leave the planet and you may feel like you’re in heaven here too, I do.
Polihale State Park
Or you may want to see what National Geographic says is one of the top 50 tours you have to go on in the world, Allerton Garden, in the National Tropical Botanical Garden. This is where the former Queen of Hawaii personally gardened and where Jacqueline Kennedy retreated after JFK was shot.
This a power place extraordinaire you’ll feel it in every step you take.
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!
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!
Here is the view from your private lanai, above.
In the afternoon/morning we’ll be visiting potent power places on Kauai.
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
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
5 Day Retreat
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.”
You can’t make appointments with wild dolphins. They show up when they want to.
That is the mystery. When they do show up they want to play. But you have to time it right.
I had been waiting and watching for 2 weeks every day going down to Kealakekua Bay and City of Refuge to see if they were frolicking in the Bay at 6:30AM.
They weren’t. I was missing them and their sonar sounds, their playful intoxicating presence that makes your spirit soar.
Cherri came out from Canada for my dolphin retreat and on morning 3 at 6:30AM I vigilantly found myself at the edge of a holy Heaiu – that’s Hawaiian for yes this is a sacred spot – and scanning the water for a flipper or spinner dolphin – any part would do.
Nothing. I looked far out at the horizon. Didn’t see them.
So i turned the car on and started to back away slowly.
Wait. Was there movement out there? 6 to 700 feet away is a little far to tell but I saw something move. Sometimes its just a wave or a snorkeler.
This time it was a tail or a head coming up for air!
I bolted to get Cherri down the street.
Driving to her door I could barely contain my excitement. The cars in front of me were crawling.
Don’t you know wild dolphins are in the bay?!
“They’re here!” I shouted to Cherri at her front door.
Her smile lit up the room. We dashed back to the Bay – it was walking distance but driving was faster.
Now we had to fight the waves to get in the Bay. But the waves weren’t so big. I got in first after a biggish wave knocked one of us down. But we were still going – the dolphins were out there.
The trick is to get in the ocean quickly and start swimming before another wave crashes on the rocks under your feet.
We’re in. It’s a long way to swim. I’ve never seen the dolphins that far out. So far out I could barely see them. Were we going to have to swim for a mile?
We kept swimming. After about 200 feet I started getting tired but knew they were out there – we had to keep going. I lifted my head above the water to try and see where they were.
Didn’t see anything.
Suddenly a group of fins were steadily swimming towards us. There was purpose in those fins charging through the turquoise water.
I tried to yell to Cherri but couldn’t be heard since her head was underwater festooned with snorkel gear so I kept on — all of a sudden a group of 12 dolphins surrounded us swimming all around on either side of us, under us, next to us, careening crazy close.
I almost cried i was so happy.
They came to see us!
I felt their aloha all over us – saying hello for 2 minutes – gleefully swimming around us and then…
Suddenly they all were leaving they had somewhere to go.
I’ve always wanted to live in a shack by the sea and now I do.
I’m writing and sleeping in an off-grid cabin, surrounded by trees, on a mango, papaya and coffee farm.
Never been happier.
I’m in Hawaii I have nothing to complain about.
Here’s what I do every day, awaken to birds serenading me after hearing ocean waves crashing in the distance all night long.
Walk 50 feet or 20 meters to our community kitchen, make a fresh cup of Kona coffee, (I’m in the center of the finest coffee bean estates in the world) and then walk 30 meters (90 ft) to see the Pacific Ocean outside my door.
After deciding yes, the waves are calm enough I get into my bikini and go see if the wild dolphins have turned up to swim in Kealakekua Bay here on the Big Island. They birth and nurse their babies right down the street.
My hut gets wifi but I can’t clearly connect with Skype. Oh well. Gotta get in the car to go Skype.
Same as India. I had to walk by the Ganges River avoiding cow flops to get to skype there at night.
But without the cow shits. It’s clean and pristine here.
If you really wanted to live off the land here on the Big Island without cash you could.
But I like to eat yogurt with fresh papayas in the morning and macadamia nuts sprinkled on top so I’m shooting, writing, and leading retreats here in paradise.
My work is my play.
Join us to swim with wild dolphins in July with me. Check it out here.
Sure, you can spend a fortune living in Hawaii but if you want to hear ocean waves crashing every night, and live simply then you too can live in an off grid cabin. But you have to be on the island to get it so farmers and owners can check you out.
You can find care taking jobs, house-sitting gigs, or for about 15 thousand $ you can move here and get a car and apartment but you know it’s also fun to drop out of the sky and see if this will all work — living off-grid and finding out if the communal thing is a yes.
My four walls are my own. No one above me but tree limbs and they did have to be cut back. It sounded like a horror movie in here every night. Couldn’t sleep a wink with clawing tree limbs on my roof.
But with dolphins for neighbors and birds singing all day what more could you want?
My neighborhood beach park
Write me at [email protected] or comment below and discover life in Hawaii – stay tuned for more.
Being the founder of a thriving photography business for 27 years you’ll get the benefit of my expertise of shooting in Silicon Valley, secrets I learned photographing angel investors, family portraits, babies, 722 weddings in Palo Alto down the street from Steve Jobs, and in my 7 years of global travel in 32 countries.
And 11 one-woman exhibitions in the Bay Area.
I’ve led programs at Apple, Stanford, Intel, University of Hawaii, and worldwide.
Here is how to claim your spot before it’s gone. Simply use this contact form to apply.
This will be the only 3-day session in 2015 of Wild Dolphins and Photography I lead here on the Big Island so come on down and bring your bathing suit and camera.
Doesn’t matter what kind of camera: high end model, point and shoot or phone camera.
Spring is the best season for the dolphins as they like to birth their babies here in Kealakekaua Bay,
play and mate. It’s the best show you’ll ever see!
$995 for the 3 days of Wild Dolphin swimming, and one-on-one photo guidance with 3 nights lodging
or $500 without lodging.
Rooms are $75 to $200 per night, if you want to book your own room.
Only 6 amazing participants.
There is also camping available at Hookena Beach Park for an ultra low cost sleeping solution.
You need to get a camping permit on the Big Island. Manago Hotel has rooms for $40 to $75 per night, basic lodging in Captain Cook above Kealakekua Bay and outstanding pork chops in their restaurant.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here’s what you need to bring:
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.
How did I get to live on this incredible beach? I googled it.
Where are the most mesmerizing beaches in the world I wondered, 2 months ago, in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Lanikai Beach in Kailua popped right up. It’s official. Its been voted on by global citizens and travel warriors; Lanikai is in the top ten of divine shorelines in the world.
I’ve traveled the planet in 31 countries and this is the best beach, the one I live 2 blocks from right now.
No matter how I wake up in the morning, on the wrong side of the bed, happily, or didn’t get enough sleep; I open my eyes and remember where I am.
I am walking distance to nirvana.
So I literally jump out of bed and get into my bikini, throw a dress over it, and walk or bike down the hill to my personal portal of the divine.
Lanikai means heavenly water in Hawaiian. Boy did they get that right.
Now I’m spoiled for life. Nothing compares to it. This morning I could not even wait for my cup of strong coffee I bolted out the front door knowing I could get an Americano at the old style Hawaiian market, the only store within walking to this hallowed and holy spot on earth.
It slips my mind a bit how luscious it is until I round the tennis courts and see the 10 billion dollar view cresting in front of me. A swath of cobalt blue with emerald green lush islands beckoning good morning. I quicken my pace or I slow it down. Depends on the moment.
The salty air calls to me.
I relax into my bones and my spirit is renewed. You can’t look at that view and be blasé.
It’s drop dead gorgeous. Nothing matters now. Only the crisp air warmed by trade winds, and the salty sea for swimming. Our local Lanikai beach with no facilities, no showers, no toilets, no cars, and no loud bad taste music blasting in your ear drums while people blow smoke in your face and yell at each other. No that does not happen here.
So that’s why there are 2 to 4 million dollar homes here. And most people rent out there homes to make a good bit of money. I’m renting a room now in a lovely townhouse overlooking volcanoes, trees and the golf course where Obama golfs for goodness sakes.
People are affected by the gorgeousness. We say good morning to one another. When I’m driving, other drivers let me in the line-up if there is a backlog. Politeness is off the charts here.
It must be because of the heavenly nature of the sea, the fact that turtles like it here and are regularly spotted, paddlboarders, babies and lovers frolic in the turquoise pristine water.
Every morning I swim at Lanikai, after doing yoga and chanting. I feel blessed.
Maybe I did something right in another life to land here.
This place is better than the photographs reveal. But if you can feel the energy in these photos and it tells you to come then you must, you will never be the same person again; this will change and renew your mind and soul.