I was born in 1962 in North Vancouver, known to locals as “Lotus land”. As a young child, I respected all living things in mountain and ocean environments and, at the age of three when I began to travel, I learned about the diversities and similarities in different cultural settings. When I returned for schooling in Canada six years later, I felt the difficulties refugees faced in their own countries and why they escaped to enjoy the freedom and equality ethics found in Canada. Influenced by the First Nations People how to be one with the land and spirit, I began exploring the world on my own, volunteering my services in exchange for food and lodging: and later, after acquiring a Diploma in Hospitality and Tourism, and a BA degree in Adult Education, was employed in managerial and teaching positions both in Canada and Asia.
68 countries later, I‘m blessed with a broad perspective of the world we live in and the people we perceive we are. When asked “Which is your most favorite place you have traveled to?” India, a country full of vast diversities, changed my life at the age of 25. It opened and challenged my mind and body; stimulated my six senses like no other experience in the past.I further learned about ancient cultures, social and family responsibility, and Buddhist philosophy while working in South Korea and Japan over a 15 year period.
I spent many winters in Bali, feeling a sense of home, perhaps a place of past life reincarnation, feeling comforted by the ancient Balinese culture and karmic ways, remembering “the Ring of Fire” in middle school when my finger was drawn to this tiny equatorial island on my well-worn map. It was this time that I met Wayan Tagel, a wonderful man who lives by karma and loves to share his culture and family ceremonies. He became my sponsor, and I his supporter. For the past eight years, my Canadian- based business, Swallow House Trading, has assisted in the marketing of the Swallow Guesthouse in the REAL Bali; and, Indo-Crafts, a Fair-trade operated manufacture of parachute nylon hammocks, yoga swings and travel gear run by Dimyati, a compassionate man who provides room, board and skills to under privileged adults.
The most important goal of the Swallow House Trading is to share compassionate culture to ethnicities from all parts of the world, rich and poor. If someone is really interested to assist while staying at Swallow Guesthouse, a donation for their stay helps Wayan educate his children. Proceeds of the sales of Travelite Geko Gear, a name brand of travel bags designed by me and made by Dimy’s tailors, go towards the sponsorship of village sustainability projects.
Here in Bali, needs are put forth to the Gods, a ceremony is done and right action is continued. The Gods do listen… As a westerner staying here, I’m still amazed at how things manifest when you put your dreams outwards. One needs to be a little observant on what they ask for!!
Now semi-retired, I’m closely learning from the locals, their ancient lifestyle preserved by a unique combination of spirit and community belief. Enjoying sharing this knowledge to assist in the betterment of our environment and the beings upon it is my passion.