Photo History of a Traveler& Lifelong Student
Throughout my life of traveling, I have dealt with many politically incorrect, prejudiced, and socially awkward situations in many cultures. From the beginning of my travels and even before in my own family of Indian heritage, I realized that all cultures have a bit of prejudice in them.
In Japan, it was extremely difficult for me to get a job as an English teacher despite having a work visa. “Mojo-san. So sorry but you cannot teach English because you are Indian."
In Zimbabwe, I was called “little Indian man” wherever I went. In rural Switzerland, I was told by a very kindly mother whose daughter I was dating, “In Switzerland, we eat at the table but if you want to eat on the floor, that’s okay.”
If I had chosen to be offended in any of those situations, I would not have had many other experiences that ended up happening to me. I had a fantastic time living in Bulawayo with the Matabele people. I loved the older Swiss lady who had hardly ever known a foreigner in her little corner of Switzerland.
When I realized I could not get a job as an Indian English teacher I did not give up. I went to the hairdresser and got a curly perm on my straight Indian hair to make me look more Italian. It worked! I ended up getting jobs, including teaching corporate students and creating English language lessons for the curriculum.
The Hedonisia Diversity and Free Speech Workshops are partly inspired by a lifetime of immersive travel and dealing with awkward communications across the planet.
In both the workshop and Hedonisia Book Trilogy, there are many stories and anecdotes from my travels. When I tell these stories on a social level, many people are slightly incredulous. "How old are you?" "Did you really travel to all those countries?" "Did you truly have an international dating life?"
I'm curating and publishing this photo history as evidence of many of the anecdotes I describe in the books and workshops. The photo history shows the intellectual foundations of the work I ended up doing.
There is a special focus on the 1990s. In hindsight, it was one of the greatest periods in world history to be a traveler. The Cold War was over. China was not yet a dominant and aggressive superpower. 9/11 had not happened. US President Bill Clinton was in power and the biggest scandal in America was his intimacies with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Many of the countries I visited in that time such as South Africa and Turkey are in worse shape today than they were then.
My travels in the 20th century shaped my youthful brain and the creative yet practical paths I chose in life and work. It was a wonderful period to travel and learn about the world.
- Hedonisia.com: Diversity and Free Speech Discussion Group, Books and Workshops.
- Hedonisia Hawaii EcoFeminist Community: Community Director from 2004-2018.
- Travel: 37 countries exploring cultural, gender, and racial relations.
- NaturalMiscarriage.org: Pro-choice site for women which I started in 2002 to the present. Over 1 million women have visited.
- EcoSensual.org: Natural sex-positive birth control site which I started in 2009.
- Kibbutz Ein Gedi, Israel. Volunteer at the Kibbutz
- Osho Rajneesh Ashram: Volunteer at locations in India and affiliated ashrams in Australia, South Africa, Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands.
- Lived in a Gaijin Foreigner Community in Tokyo, Japan for one year.