I ❤ Africa | 08 Dec 17

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Here is this week’s 8 Good Things. This newsletter is my year-long weekly gift containing everything from articles to books to quotes to videos that are meant to be helpful, inspirational, aspirational, informational, and just fun to read! Make sure to scroll all the way down to see our upcoming expeditions, programs, and nonprofit causes we support!


1) My heart goes out to those battling the fires in Southern California.


2) For some levity as we move towards Christmas… 18 things you didn’t know about Christmas. Like, I bet you didn’t know that Coca Cola came up with the Santa red suit.


3) I am just back from doing our first photographic and mindfulness workshop in Kenya. Fantastic trip! Africa always stirs my heart in the most profound ways. It is the only place in the world where I feel the age of the earth. Thank you Great Plains Conservation Safaris. Their attention to detail is beyond exquisite. Even more important is their dedicated mission to save the African wildlife.

4) Eating for your health is also better for the environment, study shows. “Scientists say that food production including growing crops, raising livestock, fishing and transporting all that food to our plates is responsible for 20% to 30% of total global greenhouse gas emissions.”

5) How to Easily Find Radical Success Through Happiness. Start by knowing that happiness brings success. Find out more.


6) Lionsgate to Distribute Boston Marathon Documentary Globally On Digital and On Demand. Narrated by Academy Award Winner Matt Damon. Boston chronicles the story of the iconic race as it evolved from a workingman’s challenge to welcoming foreign athletes and eventually women, becoming the stage for many firsts and in no small part paving the way for the modern marathon and mass participatory sports. The documentary is produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker and marathoner Jon Dunham (Spirit of the Marathon I & II). Produced by Academy Award Nominee Megan Williams, and Eleanor Bingham Miller, executive produced by Academy Award Nominee and Boston Marathon competitor Frank Marshall (Back to the Future, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Sully), Tom Derderian and David Williams. The film’s original soundtrack is by five-time Emmy Winner Jeff Beal (House of Cards, Blackfish) and was recorded by members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

I met the filmmaker, Jon Dunham, when I did a marathon in Antarctica in 2015. He was with our group filming another documentary. I am very happy for his success, well earned!

7) GoFundMe (bought Crowdrise as well) Launches Studio to Produce Content Based on Site’s Fundraising Campaigns. My friend and Survivor: Africa winner, Ethan Zohn, recently produced one of these fundraising campaign videos, 86,402 Seconds in Greece. He and his wife, Lisa, spent their honeymoon at the Vasilika Refugee camp in Northern Greece with the CrowdRise 24-Hour Impact Project. Vasilika is an old, abandoned warehouse converted into barracks with tents for 1,200 refugees. They hoped to raise $20,000. To-date, donations are at $50,000. Way to go, Ethan!

8) Wisdom from great writers on every year of life. Journalist Joshua Prager, “Books tell us who we’ve been, who we are, who we will be, too.”

“No matter what people tell you,
words and ideas can change the world”

~ Robin Williams

Sojourn Expeditions


In partnership with
Great Plains Conservation’s Wild Studio

Photographic Safari and Mindfulness Workshops
Kenya, March 3rd – 8th, 2018
Botswana, Inquire About 2017 Dates | March 21st – March 28th, 2018

Great Plains Conservation’s Wild Studio was started by award-winning National Geographic filmmakers Beverly and Dereck Joubert. Whether you are a pro or an amateur, you will have the extraordinary experience of photographing lions, leopards, elephants, and buffalo. Best part is that there will always be a veteran wildlife photographer there to give you tips on getting great shots. Leave with an amazing portfolio of your wildlife adventure. Africa has long been my favorite place in the world, and I look forward to sharing it with you. Please join the Wild Studio Team and me on a uniquely curated safari that will tap into your true inner-photographer.


Greek Islands, May 25th – June 2nd, 2018 | Memorial Day Weekend
If you romanticize sailing and hiking the islands in the Aegean, then come along with me. Explore, meditate, do restorative yoga, energizing breathwork, eat great food, dance. Find your inner Zorba. Opa!

Sojourn Programs


Happiness: The Art of Life Balance (Beta)
I am committed to helping those who sit in the overwhelm, continually feeling out of time, and always stressed. As a longtime TV producer, I have been there many times over and have spent the last eleven years studying what to do about it. My promise is to get you out of the crazy and into the happy. To do that, I have put together a program that can fit into anyone’s schedule and can be joined anytime. For a complimentary consultation, please contact me.

Personalized Teaching
Offering sessions in Mind-Body Centering (includes Restorative Yoga), Mindfulness Meditation, Primordial Sound Meditation, and Prayer of the Heart Meditation. Available in-person or on Skype.

Sojourn Cares

Operation Puerto Rico Holiday Gift-Lift | In partnership with Spirit Airlines

Giving a shout out on behalf of my friend, Lara Richardson, and the Operation PR Care-Lift Team. They are raising funds to purchase gifts, toys, books and holiday items for the people of Puerto Rico. Also, will be throwing a children’s holiday party in Aguadilla. Please donate.

Camino de Santiago Fundraiser | UCLA Neurosurgery
Last September, I did a sojourn along the Camino de Santiago. I did the last 100kms of the French Way as a fundraiser in support of UCLA Neurosurgery and the groundbreaking research they are doing.

Whether you can donate $10 or $100, it all counts. All funds are distributed through the Network For Good and the UCLA Foundation.

Happy Weekend! Love,
Maria and Team Sojourn
Learn More About Us | +800-869-0538


Maria Baltazzi, Ph.D. Candidate
Purveyor of Happiness and Conscious Living

Founder, Emmy-winning TV Producer, Seven-continent Distance Walker, Fundraiser

Certified Studies (partial list): Science of Happiness, Science of Thinking, Spiritual Psychology, Metaphysics, Primordial Sound Meditation, Restorative Yoga

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