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 after 33 hours of plane travel I’ve arrived in the lap of the Himalayas, Kathmandu Valley.
I’m staying in Bhaktapur the most ancient place in the country surrounded by intricately carved wooden temples. One of the best parts?
Walking in the square buying flowers to do love offerings with all the other Hindus, at 6AM.
I love the people here. They are the kindest people I know. Their smiles come in spades.
How to act like a local? Smile a lot and pretend you aren’t from half a world away. It usually works.
But I tried a different tactic on the pack of dogs outside my window rabble-rousing last night. I shouted from the 2nd story window where I sleep for them to cut their shit and shut up. They listened. The howling stopped.
This New York girl is not going to lose sleep.The temple bells start ringing 10 feet from my window at 5:30AM there is no sleeping after that.
But there is a cacophony of local color outside my pad at the Shiva Guesthouse, the oldest guesthouse in Bhaktapur where the management knows me and allows me to put my yogurt in the refrigerator with the Cokes for sale.
But don’t tell anyone.
After walking around Bhaktapur getting my “curd” which is yogurt, and there is no better curd made worldwide, you’ll drop your Greek Fage and never eat it again if you get to taste King Curd.
Pomegranate seeds sprinkled on top and that’s breakfast.
Yesterday and today will be helping out over at the women’s shelter, check it out here,
This lovely girl has been living at the shelter for a year. I met her in 2013, in her village, a 13-hour drive from Kathmandu. She was in a domestic abuse situation and is now free. I’ve never seen her happier. She’s going to school and helping at the shelter. She learns at lightening speed and I’m standing in her glow watching it all.
Wow, this is how to change lives, one person at a time.
$700 a year is all it takes to feed, educate, and house one girl in Nepal. This is what Beyond the Four Walls is doing now.
Do you want to come and stay with us?
You’ll have a Nepali immersion adventure and a low cost amazing place to stay.
Your small room fee pays for the costs associated with running Beyond the Four Walls, a foundation that empowers women, providing employment, housing, and education for women who want to change their lives after being abused and neglected.
Girls and women learn to make empowered choices and not fall prey to sex slavery and early marriage.
Wolf Price, Founder of Beyond the Four Walls
Yesterday we cleaned up rooms and got the kitchen in order for the cafe that will re-open soon. It’s a garden cafe at this location, before it was on a busy street so this new place will be more serene and provide smoothies, premium coffee, lasis, and hamburgers. Stop by and see us. It will be up and running after we get the water system fully installed.
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.”
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.
Life has been so juicy that I have not had time to write. I’ve been too busy eating fish tacos, guacamole, and growing another rear end. I’m teaching private photo crash courses, walking around with a look of wonder on my face, eating, reading in a hammock, dreaming about my next adventure in Belize and seeing my son in Guatemala, and trying to stay warm in the soft rain but mostly just being content.
I moved off of Isla Mujeres and now I am in a tiny town by the sea living in a hostel where I finally have a kitchen to make a darn cup of tea. I had my water heating coil from Thailand with me but those prongs don’t ignite in Mexican electrical outlets.
So I was camping at the sea and got tired of sand in every crevice of my body, spartan accommodations (meaning no sofas or cushions) and living on sand. But now that I am in a crowded hostel I appreciate seaside camping.
Nature rocks! Nothing comes close to its beauty. As I laid in my tent trying to sleep while the rain pelted my tent I thought warm thoughts of Belize and being in the sun – being safe in Guatemala with my son and daughter and eating healthy food. Just appreciating that we are alive in this moment and not elsewhere.
I am experiencing the good karma of simply being. I am shedding anxiety and just being. I don’t feel in a rush.
Today I felt happy just walking my laundry to the cleaners for them to do and having my teeth cleaned. I felt I had achieved something. The dentist told me I have a bunch of cavities – I don’t believe him – I think he wanted more money. But I paid him only $60 to clean my teeth – the other dentist wanted $80 but I didn’t want to pay $20 more than I pay in Thailand. I know I am not in Thailand but I also do not have health insurance – my health insurance is traveling to third world countries and hoping to never get ill or injured in the USA as I can easily afford paying for my medical maintenance out of pocket when it is in rupees, Thai baht, or pesos. My teeth feel yummy and smooth now. The dentist was a lot younger; I am now old enough to have my doctors be a decade or two younger than me. I just told the girl in the other bunk here in the dorm what my age was and I’m even older than her parents who are 48. She was lying on her bed when I told her and looked like she’d lose her lunch in a New York second.
She said, “You are NOT 54.” I usually don‘t tell people but I sometimes like the shock as it is a comic moment.
These youngsters here are partying non-stop and won’t shut up until 1AM but usually it’s later. I don’t know if I can take 2 more nights of this stupidity. A bunch of twenty-nothings getting drunk and listening to moronic music that will not be remembered in 10 years. Push my ear plugs in way deeper. I still heard them.
But these young ones are in some ways wiser than I was at their age. Some of them even get married and are responsible like my own son. And they know to travel and not get tied down to a job right away.
Some of these sweet youngsters are able to sleep in all this noise – astounding.
But after a few days I am learning how to do it too. I always wanted to be able to fall asleep on a plank at the center of the universe, on an airplane, bus, or boat, in the middle of a rock concert.
Oh dear maybe I should not have had that pork taco right before bed preceded by the sugar doughnut slash croissant – it was not a proper croissant but a puffed up piece of bread with sugar sprinkled all over it.
I feel actual bliss and freedom. I can roam where I want to. I feel less and less anxiety. I left the western world only 10 days ago but it takes time to wash off the west.
When I made more money I was less happy. I didn’t know this until I left my life behind, filled with expensive clothing, ritzy furniture, top dollar restaurants and deep debt. I owed so much money living like that but now that I live simply I don’t owe anyone anything.
I was at the bank the day before I left the USA and was getting my finances in order with one of the bank clerks and she said, “You can sign up for online bill payment” and I said oh I don’t need that and she said, “Well how do you pay your bills?”
I said, “I don’t have any bills.”
She was stupefied.
She said, “Many people would want to be in that position.” And she smiled through her gasping. I felt so grateful that I had no debt. I am free and clear and can live my life the way I like. That is a grace and a beauty. It took a lot of work to be debt-free. Keebler cookie elves did not arrive and give me a full bank account in the middle of the night.
Courage takes practice.
Living the high debt life made me sleep less peacefully. I was nervous and stressed trying to earn more money to pay everything off.
But I can travel because I have no debt – that is bliss – I could not do it before because I had to pay for my ultra lux life; I owed on my cashmere sweaters and all the toys we used to buy. I can live life more richly without that stuff. I feel rich now but I did not feel rich when I made more money.
Interesting how more stress isn’t worth more money.
Major insight revealed.
Piling up stacks of money isn’t that fun. It is stressful and I like being relaxed. It costs a lot more money to be in the States working than it does to be here having a wonderful time.
for now kindly go to http://www.youtube.com/user/zestyzippy
to see the latest videos from Mexico – Fun in Tulum and Simply Being.