In 2013, Jasmine took her best puppy friend, Fiji, a bicycle and her violin on a trek across the United States with less than $50 in her pocket. It took six months. She didn’t know how to camp, and she did not have prior long distance cycling experience. She was just a chubby city girl, trying to regain self-confidence and recapture the person she thought she’d lost. While on the road, she experienced profound acts of kindness, strangers taking her and her dog into their homes, feeding, sheltering and looking out for them. With renewed faith in humanity, she pressed on, reshaping much more than her body, but her mind.
Living outside of the box opened up a world of opportunities, but it also taught Jasmine about the limitations society places on people. She finally realized that when you set your mind to something, free from fear, and with great sense of determination, anything is possible. In March 2016, she began to bicycle around the world in order to fully explore the magnitude of living outside of the comfort zone in a musical context. She took her pup and violin with the intent to use music to bridge cultural and social gaps and learn as much as possible in pursuit of her own personal dream to become a professional violinist, despite starting later than most of her peers.
She now seeks to inspire others face their fears and pursue their dreams, giving talks in schools and other venues. Jasmine also gives house concerts. To inquire about having her speak at your venue or give a house concert, please contact here.
The FiJaPAW Journal — along with allowing push notifications from the FiJaPAW website — is the ONLY way to stay thoroughly updated with Jasmine and Fiji. It is our monthly journal entries, detailing our travels and pursuits on the road. A blog is not available on the website. It comes out on the 20th of each month and contains stories, video, and photos from the road. Upgrade to a paid subscription, and receive premium content such as recorded performances, masterclasses and interviews with musicians we meet on the road. In addition, paid members get updates on our Pay-It-Forward Initiatives, a free copy of our end of year e-book and automatic entrance into giveaways and Travel Scholarship contests.
Why No Blog?
Jasmine found that people she met on the road kept in touch with her mostly through email and messaging such as texts and Facebook messenger. Also, a blog is not interactive or personal. People left anonymous comments, and she’d never get to correspond with them. New visitors to a blog show as “numbers”, not people. In addition, social media limits the amount of people who actually see updates. A recent report showed only 7% of friends actually see posts on Facebook feeds and even less on pages.
In conclusion, the best way to live vicariously through the FiJaPAW adventure is good old-fashioned email; not even letters in the mail can compete.
Why Paid Subscriptions?
Through paid subscriptions to the FiJaPAW Journal, Jasmine maintains this platform, offsetting the costs of hosting, domain and development; she also uses a percentage to donate to causes she volunteers for on the road. Just like any work, Jasmine hopes her loyal subscribers will see the monetary value and effort that goes into recording her saga.
Paying It Forward
Pay-It-Forward Initiatives and Random Acts of Violince
I’ve received so much kindness on the road and online from you guys. I’ve really been thinking about how I can pay-it-forward. You all inspire me to keep going on a daily basis. I want to give back the same inspiration, and motivate you to also live outside the box. I know not everyone is willing to strip away one life to get to another. It’s a painful process. Trust me, living on a bicycle is not all chocolate and roses, especially in the beginning. I questioned myself so many times. “What am I doing?” What have I done?” “Is this the right path?” There were a couple of times I was that weird girl, holding on to her dog, crying on the side of the road, or alone in some cheap, dirty motel holding back a wave of tears. But those were fleeting moments. When you start to live the way you want, there are pains and even some wounds, but they heal, and not even a scar is left in their place. I tell people all the time. I struggled prior to living on a bicycle. I struggle now. What’s the difference? I am happy. Before, struggling was the forefront of my life. I was an unbalanced person, experiencing moments of happiness. Now, I am a happy and settled person with occasional instances of sadness. And that — friends — is the best result and expectation in life. You may be thinking, “Jasmine, what do you mean settled? You’re not settled at all.” My response, “I am settled, because I’ve settled for the life I truly want.” I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and think about what’s something you want to do and how you want to live. Why are you holding back? Are you afraid? How can you make the impossible (in your mind) possible?
Jasmine’s pay-it-forward initiative is to give back as much as possible in repayment of all the encouragement and support she’s received from strangers and friends alike. In line with this, a large percentage of the subscription fees will go to non-profit organizations and individuals in need that Jasmine meets on the road.
Jasmine also uses music through free concerts in nursing homes, hospices, and other venues to spread joy and bridge gaps through music.
Jasmine's Violin Adventures
Jasmine’s Violin Adventures
This is a Live Stream series, bringing together aspiring violinists and violists who started playing after age 12. In line with Jasmine’s own dream, she wants to share the valuable lessons she learns on the road with people who, like her, might have lacked resources due to age and other “barriers.” As a teen starter, she found herself too old to participate in many programs, and too young for others. Programs for professional development in music diminish even more as one gets older. Jasmine has created a space where teen and adult musicians with bigger dreams than just Twinkle, Twinkle can come together, set goals, take on challenging repertoire, and share resources. No dream is “unrealistic” in this space. To see a listing of upcoming Webinars w/ Live Stream Masterclasses from the amazing musicians Jasmine gets to meet and play for while on the road, visit our calendar page and subscribe to the Newsletter. Only subscribers can register for the challenges. There are Live Stream Masterclasses open to all as well. Check out the calendar for any upcoming events. If you’re a paid member, you will receive a recording of all events.
Many people cite a lack of funds as reasons for never traveling. Jasmine has met far too many people who never left the country and, sometimes, not even their towns. Jasmine was also once a recluse of sorts. While an adventurous spirit lived within her, she never went out of the country, using time and money as excuses. Of course, that all changed with just one pedal stroke.
She’s saving funds from subscription fees to start a travel scholarship program for people like her who want to embark on an “epic adventure despite all the challenges that could have stopped them.” To donate to or sponsor this travel fund, contact Jasmine.
Fiji’s Diary Writing Project
This is fun project, encouraging and advocating creative writing. FDWP is a creative writing contest geared towards underserved children and teens. However, all subscribers can submit their poems and short stories. Fiji’s Diary is the beginning of a compilation of fictional journal entries written in poem or short story format. The entries are in Fiji’s point-of-view, and people all over the world are the authors. Be creative, draw pictures, etc…
To submit a story, you must be subscribed to the journal. Subscribe here.