Today's Treasures

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About Me

 

Hi there and welcome! I'm a San Francisco photographer armed with a Nikon and a case of wanderlust. When I lost my job, I decided to embark on a journey, both literally and reflectively, to capture what people treasure most in life. Read more about my story here...

 

Up-to-the-minute updates

What We Treasure in India: My Goat  

A warm and fuzzy post to start the work week. Learn more about my stop to a small village in Rajasthan, India. Read more here...

New photos of India have been added to the photo gallery. Click here to experience what I consider to be one of the most stunning landscape in the word!

 

 

Inspirational Quotes from Leaders & Readers

  

 

 

 

 

Countdown Calendar

Saturday
May102014

Life on the Road


In India, the roads have lanes, lights and medians, but these are merely suggestions. Cars careen forward, roll backwards, skip dividers, crash sidewalks. Taxi drivers of Mumbai have a motto - to survive India you need three things: a good horn, good breaks and good luck.

But it’s not only cars that need luck. Susukis zigzag through traffic carrying generations of family: baby riding jump seat, grammy riding sideways on the back. Pencil-legged men push carts of cement bricks, along food carts selling curry. Pimped out rickshaws with flashing disco-lighted interiors jerk about like bumper cars, pumping Eminem from their speakers. And don’t forget our four-legged road patrons: the elephant, the cow and the occasional camel.

India has plenty of Western-styled ashrams that will teach you how to 'be present' but their meditation techniques cannot compare to how 'in the now' you’ll feel when you cross eight-lanes of moving traffic during Mumbai’s rush hour.

Indian drivers must wonder why automakers invented turn signals when they already had the horn. In India, the horn has as many uses as the road. If you’re changing lanes, you honk. If a cow is parked on your path, you honk. If you’re not sure whether you should honk, you honk. And while “How’s my driving” bumper stickers adorn American semis; neon Tata trucks carry hand-painted signs that implore, "Please honk.”  Be assured there is no sleep on an Indian sleeper bus.

Roads are also centers of commerce. The moment sweat beads form and start rolling down your leg to the plastic seat you’ve been caked to for the past 30 minutes, an 8-year boy appears with an ice-cooler brimming with a selection of Fanta. His brother offers you a number of books based on his expert profiling formula. John Grisham, he recommends for the gentleman; “Fifty Shades of Grey” for the middle-aged missus. Each one photocopied by hand.

But just as you think your passage through India may include a collision with a cab or engulfment by a pool-sized pothole, the road transforms into something beyond its pedestrian pavement. From madness arises magic. A marching band will start stomping down the street, followed by teenagers trashing wildly to Bollywood music blasting on the back of a pickup truck. Children will smile as they offer you candy on the sidelines. Women will adorn you with marigold garlands. You’ll find yourself dancing and swaying in the middle of a street festival - the colors and textures of life surrounding you, like saris swirling in the jetstream of a motorbike. And for a moment you'll forget all your fears, all the rules, all the things like which direction that rickshaw should be going. Forward, backwards or left to right, there's no wrong way to get from one point to another, as long as you stay alive.

 

Tuesday
May062014

Return to Venice

“Bella, bella, “ whispered the proud Italian papa as he bounced his baby girl on his knee. The bouncing mimicked the motion of the waves as our water taxi left the dock. It was midnight and the last boat to Venice’s Rialto station. I had barely made it, my luggage wheels squealing against the sidewalk, my feet slapping against my shoes, as I ran with one hand waving, the other holding my ticket. Now in the safety of the boat, I took a deep breath and peered out the open back window…the warm breeze crept in, bringing along with it the smell of sea and salt; fish and garbage. An apricot half moon hung over the sinking palazzos and while I couldn’t detect which direction it came from, I could hear the faint sound of Opera music. It had been over 16 years since I promised to return to Venice, but it still hadn’t lost it’s magic.

I was 21 and studying Italian in Sienna as part of my university’s study abroad program. My motivation to escape Utah was stronger than my motivation to learn a language. So strong I had taken a semester off to work 16-hour shifts to save enough money. While the other girls in my program wanted to spend the last weekend in Pisa with some steamy locals they met, they had parent’s money and credit cards to extend their vacations. I barely had enough to buy my morning cappuccinos. If no one would go Venice with me, I’d just have to do as I’d always done – go it alone.

 It was a three-hour train ride from Florence and by the time I arrived the hostels were booked and I didn’t have enough cash for a hotel. So I devised a plan that seemed doable: I would stay up and walk the streets of Venice all night. I had picked the right evening to do that  - it was Festa del Rendentore – a celebration that would culminate at midnight with a party and fireworks in San Marco’s Square.

The square was packed with people. Gondoliers in their black and white striped boar necks were taking smoke breaks. Couples sat on the steps holding hands; while pigeons took shelter in the side streets. Street vendors hawked beads, masks and glow-in-the-dark necklaces. A young girl cried as her gelato splat on the sidewalk. I staked a prime spot in front of a column to watch the firework show. Although I was alone, I felt at home. Somehow it was easier to feel small in a big place than small in a small place.

 The fireworks shot off with a bang and the crowd cheered and pumped their fists in the air. Reds, blues and yellows exploded in the sky, falling to the earth like the tears of stars, the reflection in the water waiting to catch them. I closed my eyes and made a wish – a promise - that this would not be my last time in Venice, that I would visit Italy again.

As I sealed this wish, I felt an arm grab my waist from behind. A dark-haired Romeo appeared from behind the column and kissed me on the lips. I pulled back, he pulled closer, the crackle of the fireworks continuing above us.

Saturday
Aug172013

Bangkok in Photos

For more photos of Bangkok, click here.

 

Saturday
Aug102013

More Udaipur

Nothing compared to my time in Udaipur, see a full set of photos here

Sunday
Aug042013

Udaipur in Photos

For more photos of Udaipur, click here.