About Mary


I’m an author, award-winning photographer, world citizen, educator, mother of a maverick son, and publisher of Vagabond Travel Photography Magazine for your ipad/iphone.

7 years ago I sold all my belongings and left my 20-year photography business in Palo Alto, California to be a worldwide location independent entrepreneur.

And I’m still going strong. I love this life!


You’ll discover stunning photography (I’ve been told) and travel experiences you won’t read about anywhere else but here.  Learn how to change your life and travel full-time. Or if you don’t want to be a nomad, be inspired by my wanderings across the planet and create your own magical journey.

View and purchase my worldwide photography

Here’s how I roll:

I live and work in a country for 1 to 6 months then discover the next country that calls to my heart. My home is with me all the time. I just follow the inner nudges in my spirit and go where I am called to go next. I’ve traveled, lived, and worked in 30 countries on 4 continents so far. 

I’ve lived in ashrams, temples, rented homes, tents, beach bungalows, a sailboat on the San Francisco Bay with wifi, a home for abandoned elders in Argentina, and home-stays including a mud-brick dwelling in Nepal.

And yes I have couch-surfed in Argentina and Sardinia.

I used to spend $500 a day on vacations, and buy pricy clothes, working in the heart of Silicon Valley, down the street from Steve Jobs. I ate and drank wine at fancy restaurants and drove a spanking new car.

Now I sometimes spend $500 in a month and have a much richer experience on this globe.

But what really popped my eyes open was the amazing beauty and incredible friendships I discovered on this planet. No wonder people travel – it blows your preconceived ideas out of your comfort zone and you will never be the same again.

Suddenly you find out who you are and what you came to this planet to do.

I am currently in Chiang Mai teaching photography to international travelers, shooting and writing my next book. 

Check out my  latest issue of Vagabond Travel Photography Mag on India.  It is available in the iTunes store for Apple’s ipads/iphones. The feature article is on How to Photograph the Dalai Lama with the latest photos I shot of him in India.


My last book Kitten Heels in Kathmandu, Adventures of a Female Vagabond was inspired by my first trip to a third world country in Nepal when I took 2.5 months off to travel in Asia for the first time ever in December 2005. I fell in love with being a nomad and vowed to leave the USA every Jan 1 and fly to new worlds. I kept my resolution and continued to take 6 to 10 month trips until I realized this was my life not just a trip.


So I returned to the USA from India, sold all my stuff, and gave the rest away.

No more stress, car insurance, king size bed, sofas, or end tables.

Poof, all gone. I was liberated.

I’ve led programs at Apple, Intel, Stanford University, humanitarian foundations, and in my own mentoring sessions worldwide.

In the last 7 years I’ve photographed the Dalai Lama twice in India, played with baby elephants in Nepal, taught yoga to Buddhist nuns in Kathmandu, lived in a monastery in Thailand where only a few words of English were spoken, making movies and shooting stills, explored Laos by boat and bus, learned how to tango in Buenos Aires, snorkeled with the Fish Whisperer in Belize, taught yoga in Parmarth Ashram in Rishikesh, explored the Himalayas and went solo around the world twice buying one-way tickets along the way.

And more.

After trying to surf in Peru I realized it would take 10 years to get good at it. But so what? It’s fun!

And I bought my first bikini in Brazil deciding I was ageless.

Travel keeps you young and invigorated. It pushes you out of your ruts and makes you live in the moment. We don’t know how much time we have here on this planet so lets live it to the fullest!

Mary’s book on Amazon: Kitten Heels in Kathmandu, Adventures of a Female Vagabond

294,645 Downloads on Mary’s YouTube Channel

Get Incredible Photography for Your Projects Right Here

Check out Vagabond Mag for your ipad/iphone for the latest on where I am in the world, what I’m doing and how you can do it too. Learn how to take incredible photographs and be inspired to shed your old life and spread your wings! Read Vagabond here.

Write me at mbartnikowski@yahoo.com or comment below.


4 Responses to About Mary

  1. Paul van Galder says:

    I have been following your travels on YouTube and have been loving it…
    I have also traveled in many of the same places that you have, and are enjoying them once again through your you tube posts…

    • bartnikowski says:

      Glad you enjoy the writing. I appreciate you reading – if you like – subscribe to this blog and kindly let people know – it is helpful to me to get to know my readers. I’ll let you know when I have fresh news. I have an ebook coming out and an online photography and travel course. Happy travel! I enjoyed your comment.

  2. KBaker says:

    Really looking forward to reading more of your blog. Feeling inspired to do more travelling already! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s