I’m sitting in a lush garden in Sauraha, at a restaurant that was open at 7AM. With wifi and espresso. This. Never. Happens. Here.
So I’m eating my fried eggs with yak cheese (locally made) in this stunning botanical landscape when I hear from one of the servers that rhinos show up here quite often.
We’re talking wild rhinos. Not the kind at Disney Land. In this garden.
The actual location of the photo above is a mere few feet from the edge of the jungle so elephants, tigers and rhinos often roam over that line.
It’s their home not ours.
I was instructed last night by a long time local who was born inside the jungle before it was a national park that if you’re chased by a rhino you have to run away zig zagging as they like to run in a straight line.
Important fact to know.
Last time I was here I was almost crushed by a few elephants who were fighting. I don’t want to die on my vacation. Sometimes things are too exciting.
And more of the twin baby elephants that were born here the last time.
But the most fun thing to do is hang out with the villagers.
First visit to the village of Dharmpor in Nepal
I was sure I didn’t hang out anymore but I discovered that this is what many people do here. Rest, relax, and don’t kill themselves working. This may be just for the men, the women sure look like they’re working non-stop.
We had an amazing day yesterday working on the land that is being developed for Beyond the Four Walls, which many of you know empowers women. Little do most people know, Wolf Price, the founder has been here in Nepal for 10 years and it really takes a team to get anything done. The fact that plumbing and electricity get installed at all is a huge undertaking. The workers don’t always know how to do it even when they say they do. So you have to know people and get help from others in your network.
This is not easy, it is similar to any business, where you have to cultivate a network of people who you really like and want to spend time with. To make your businesses evolve.
I’m learning tons, and yesterday I pulled rusty nails out of recycled bamboo to be used to build a fence, everything gets used here.
I’m also eating things I can’t identify but it sure tastes good.
If you want to know more about this social venture and donate check it out here. www.b4wnepal.com
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.”
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.
You can travel all the time, only problem is you have to pack when you move from one country to the next. Yes it takes me many hours to sort thru all my receipts, and prepare for liftoff, here’s what I do.
How to Pack
We are just trimming fat here.
But lets get to the meat of this, how to pack everything.
Well, you can’t take everything. You have to decide to leave things behind. I travel all the time so this is challenging. I can’t fit the blender in my luggage so it stays.
What to do with all the papers?
Photograph each pesky piece of paper if you have no time to transcribe. Yes you can do it. I just did and got to throw out more paper. So instead of a big piece of paper you have a digital file.
Remember you have to carry it all, don’t rely on people to help you. And you have to move fast sometimes even if you have to go to the bathroom right now. No it is not fun to move mountains of luggage when you have a popping full bladder. But your flight is being called right now.
My carry-on is heavy with media equipment.
Get rid of clothes you don’t wear.Be brutal.
Can you really lift that pack? I fell over in Bolivia when I bent down to pet a puppy. My pack took the wind out of me and I was on the sidewalk. Stayed down there a while laughing. And I was sober.
If you have things you can’t fit in your luggage, just ship it, I’m on the way to the post office now. It only has to go to the Big Island of Hawaii, and I’m on Oahu. Shouldn’t cost too much.
Tell me your packing nightmares or tips on how you cope with it all. Would love to know, we can all learn new advice on getting luggage to the airport, train, bus, boat, or rickshaw.
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.
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.
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?
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!
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.
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.
The Golden Temple in Amritsar will knock your eyes out. Here it is in all her midnight glory. Yes that is really gold leaf!
Be inspired to dream big. Read reviews and see screenshots on Vagabond. Find out how you can be free and discover the world. Go here and choose current subscriber. Put in this code and download a free issue.
Here’s the latest issue available now.
Stay tuned for more world adventures and living your life in the most wild and wonderful way.
I travel the world shooting, writing, and teaching and you can do it too.
You can comment here or write me at [email protected], I send out newsletters about once a month to update my students, friends, and colleagues.
Join us by getting my free ebook below. Or just write me.