Dedication of the Blog


This blog is dedicated to my grandfather
HL Nage Gowda.

His brilliance, dedication and passion for others, his writing, his warmth and kind heart-it shines a beautiful light straight into my soul.

While we did not get to spend much time together, I have realized how similar we truly are and how much influence he has over my life. He is not just my grandfather, but he is my hero.  We both share an undying passion for people and we care for others on a level many don't understand. People contribute such beauty to our world that we are left curious and always hungry for more. 
 The beauty of ritual/ tradition, cultural differences, the simply happy, the village life, and cultural recognition. The goal to positively impact and acknowledge different cultures throughout one region, city, country, or world. Humanity can one day rise into a better tomorrow.

God Bless you Tata. I know you're an angel on my shoulder that will guide me through life. You are my motivation and support for my writing. You're spirit will give me strength and persistence. You are everything I wish I knew and everything I know I can be.  I will write everyday in hopes of being just as amazing as you were. Tears of joy for such a wonder to the world and to be your granddaughter I am forever thankful.


One woman

7 countries

3 months

Heart warming
Lol Funny
Completely stimulating
Visually gorgeous

 Overall, it was blessed beyond belief. When I look back, I am proud of myself, but I am most proud of his loving spirit that lead the way and kept me safe.  His spirit was present, his mission was accomplished, and his beauty outshines anything I could ever imagine.

 While we always walk together, this was a walk with constant whispers to be of service to all times and in all places. I really could not be more thankful with this gift and the confirmation was given from beautiful souls. They confirmed it with their eyes staring right through mine. They confirmed it verbally expressing how much I do and how well I do it. They confirm it with their long and sad goodbyes. They confirm it asking when I can come back or if I could please stay longer.  

 The praise was completely reciprocal. Isn't that how it's suppose to be when two people adore one another?

Absolutely worth it and absolutely inspiring me with constant confirmation..doing the right thing with nothing more and nothing less.

The best thing about all this traveling is that I can always write. No one can take that away from me and I am blessed with the life I live. The flexibility to move around, travel, write, and positively impact others for moments or a lifetime. It's all just priceless.

Thank you Lord for this journey

Thank you for the memories

Thank you for the empowerment

Thank you for your spirit.

And remember.....

Just a little more love

Just a little more peace

Is all it takes

To live a dream

Walking hand in hand

Got to understand

That one day too

We'll live in harmony

Uno Mas

One more child to educate

One more mother to comfort

One more person to empower

One more mouth to feed

One more hand to hold

One more smile to give

One more person to save

Some Start Young

Sometimes I meet these lovely women who are in their mid to late 30s with a big family ie 4 to 5 kids.  They are all grown up with the oldest one being in their teens-16 or 17.
It's a wonderful thing to start your family early, but I often wonder how they do it. Some started between 20 and 25
which is an average age and maybe a better way to start?

While it appears to be all about when you're ready, the realistic fact is that the longer you wait, the harder it may be to reproduce. If you have a child at 25, you will be 40 when they are 15. If you have a child at 35, you will be 50 when the child is 15. This is quite a difference, which makes me ponder how young  is too young? And how old is too old? 
We often judge those who irresponsibly have children very young. Those clients I have worked with who are pregnant at 12- this is clearly too young, but some people insist they are ready at 17 or 18.  Is it about maturity? The confidence in your love and relationship? The desire to reproduce?

Many older generations produced at younger ages and did not receive judgement rather it was the norm. It seeks like the early 20s are the time to have kids if you are in a committed, loving relationship and make that decision together.

 Being younger in your early 20s and late teens could bring you into the center of responsibility. It may aid in your growth process or it may lead you to continue your same lifestyle and not take care of the baby. It truly depends on your support, environment, dedication to being a mother, and the desire.

People make me feel like a proud parent.
When they follow through, When they listen.
When their eyes look at me to get my support, my acknowledgment, my praise.

These are my moments of being a parent. It is the same as having children learn how to ride a bike and you are right behind them clapping and smiling.

I love people so much. They are my absolute everything and they come through for me. With doubt comes moments of absolute wonder. When I do hold some doubt, God comes through with people.

Taxicab confessions

When you feel down, he sends Angels. It's just plain and simple when you have a deep relationship with God. 

Walking from the third police station back to the hostel to get my bag was only a few minutes. Of course I was thankful for this as I did not want to accept a ride from the police officer after I was trying to make a statement about the injustice. 

Arriving back to the hostel, my plan was to grab my bag and head directly to the airport. 4 hours early? No problem. I just wanted to go home for the first time on the trip. You experience problems and you seek comfort. 

Outside in front there was a guy sleeping in his cab, I banged at his window a few times(not very considerate, but business is business). He gives me a ride for $20, which is $10 less than the usual fare. Clearly he sensed my aggravation and he was the person to listen to it all. 

Talking to him felt like talking to an insightful therapist or psychologist. He had such insight into his own culture and the behaviors presented. He said some people are just completely ignorant while some people are nice-it really is case by case. While this whole good people and bad people thing is true, the cases proved themselves more than a few times- at least ten. This waitress at the restaurant who completely snubbed me and helped all the locals- this was real and happening in front of me. He did not confirm my belief that Panama is discriminatory against Americans or to specify- does not like female backpackers. 

As he kept listening and responding, I realized this was all coming from personal experience. He was a therapist on his job and in the car. This was his profession too listening to people's, problems, and stories. He comforted, gave reassurance, and was helpful. Everything he did for me worked. He calmed me down, listened, validated my opinions, and thoughts. All his quotes and life references, it all successfully worked. 
When I informed him that there was a show in USA called "Taxicab Confessions", he could not believe it.  It was his idea to go move to New York and start taping. Taxicab driver really are therapists. It's a space where many people open up about their life and feelings. People know they will never see this person again so why not let it all out? 

This taxi driver was also religious and quoted some scripture. He made me feel hopeful and be more optimistic about my interactions with the Panama culture. As we were driving in the airport, there was some Bryan Adams song playing. The lyrics matched exactly what he said, it wa s a total "aha" moment. 

              This was IT

It was the end of the trip and this man was sitting and reassuring me of the beauty of people. His whole mission the taxi ride was to make me happy.

Mission accomplished! 

Exception to the Rule

As a tourist, I have a tendency to be the exception to the rule in many scenarios whether on the bus, at a restaurant, in a hotel, on the beach, on a tour-the rules are a bit more flexible. It's not because I do something manipulative or bad, but it's mainly because I treat people with kindness, love, and respect.  I empathize with their job, talk about their life, identify with their feelings, learn about their family, and their daily routine.  I let them know that I am also a human rather than just a tourist. It is my goal to make them feel good and leave my presence feeling satisfied.

When you extend yourself to people, they naturally do the same in return, which leads some rules to break and exceptions to be made.  For example, everyone needs to sit in their assigned seat, but I end up switching my seat and sitting in the front.  The tourists stay on the bus while I use the driver's family home's personal bathroom. Beach privileges for towels and drinks. Room discounts and privileges. Coach buses have even dropped me off directly at my location. It's a fun relationship where I am making them laugh and smile. We share our food with each other and share our cultures with each other. I am fitting in as if I was a local or part of the staff. It makes my traveling so much more rewarding having this interaction. 

As for other tourists, they can also chime in with the laughs and enjoy the entertainment. They can be annoyed with  it and not understand it. On the whole, they don't mind and find my behavior funny. They usually want to talk to me and learn more about my travels. It attracts them when they see someone outside the normal travel box. Many travelers are comfortable in their safety zone, but there are others who want to interact with locals and learn from them. They just need a little push, a little motivation, or a person to show them "They don't bite, they are just like me and you." There is always an opportunity to speak, to learn, to listen, and to grow:)

Iphone and Travel

For many years, I watched all my friends strut around with their Iphones in and out of fashion events, parties, and nightclubs in New York and Los Angeles.  It was like the coolest thing to have and if you didn’t have one you were “Out.”

For years, I was “Out” and I refused to conform to the “Apple Iphone World.” For years, I was content with my Ipod shuffle that held 200 songs or so. It was not about having all the expensive gadgets to be in trend. When you have an Iphone, you are making a statement and I was not interested in making the statement.  It was my responsibility to sometimes send text messages or look something up with my friends Iphone. The touchscreen was actually hard for me to use and I didn’t understand how to properly use it-true fact. 

Often when traveling, I saw American’s and travelers with these Iphones. It looked convenient and like something that would be handy for information.

After 5 years of not having an Iphone, I conformed when returning from Morocco and received a Free Iphone 5.  I still did not want to get one when I came back, but it was Free.  It’s not a great excuse as values and morals trump materialism, but not in this case.  I hopped on board to the Iphone world and as I figured-it’s a point of no return.
There is no possible way to say that having an Iphone while traveling is not useful. It is extremely useful for me to write and connect to WIFI to communicate back home.  I am behind with technology as I just started using Whatsapp this year and was not even aware of how you could connect for free with the world.  It would have been great to use on my first trip and preferred over facebook, which I will not use anymore. 

Abroad, it’s not so cool to have one when you are a traveler because practically everyone does.  Although, it is still very cool for one person- the local.  The local who can’t afford one and the local who wants one so badly-it’s a reason for me to not have one. 

The biggest thing I do not like about having one is presenting in front of others.  When I use it for Notes constantly, I have it out and it is always on display.   It is very exciting to a local who sits and stares at it with such envy as if you had a thousand dollars sitting in your hand.  In some countries with the value of the Iphone, it is almost $1,000.  This part of having it is what makes me want to not have one.  The last thing I want to do is present materialism as flashy, cool importance.  That sends the wrong message and I have to provide clarity to children and adults. 

For example, a man singing a trumpet in the middle of the market stared at my phone and asked about if it records.  I told him that it does record, but it has limited space.  This is a Belizian man who is very poor and probably can’t afford to buy groceries for a full week. 

He says to me, “I’m going to get the newest version of that very soon.”
Pris: “Really? How much do you think a new one costs here.”
I don’t know, but I want it. 
Pris: Okay why do you want it?
To record video.
Pris: Don’t you think you could use something else to record? Something less affordable?
Yeah I could

Pris: What if you didn’t record and you just kept playing beautiful music for people? The Iphone holds no importance in your self-expression. If you really have a purpose for a video camera, then you can buy one second hand.  The only reason I have this phone is to voice record and write-that’s it. It’s not important, it’s just an electronic. 

Okay, that’s very nice. Thanks so much young lady. Thank you.

You’re welcome. God Bless and Take care.

These conversations happen frequently with locals who don´t have a smart phone, but they desire it so badly.  While it´s not important, the world of Apple makes it important. At the end of the day, our human values trump the phone because it holds greater importance to our being and growth. The Iphone will never outshine the interpersonal interaction-never, never, and never