Up Close With the Baraza: An Interview with Carrie Pokrefke

In the coming weeks we will be presenting interviews with our residents, by our residents. Find out more about the ladies of the Baraza!
Today, I interview resident traveler Carrie, who was actually en route to a fabulous destination during this interview. I was excited to interview Carrie because of her varied interests and artistic talent (plus I am in love her dog).
When you first joined the Baraza, you referenced your love of travel by saying you “find it hard to stay put.” What about travel appeals to you? 
The thing about travel that appeals to me the most is getting to see other parts of the world.  There are so many places to see and so many things to experience.  There are people who had different upbringings and believe different things who are fascinating to talk to, and traveling puts you in their setting to actually be able to interact with these individuals.  I also think it helps you to become more aware of what is going on in the world because you are there and can see things for your own eyes.
 What is your must pack item for any trip?
This is an easy answer!!  My camera is a definite must pack!!  Even if it’s just my iPhone, I can’t imaging not having a means of capturing different places I’ve been to or the experiences associated with those places.
You have written quite a bit about your interest in psychology. What about that field particularly captivates you?
One thing about psychology that fascinates me is that it is the beginning of the path to understand and appreciate people for who they are, instead of judging someone for being different than others.  Also, it is pretty much impossible to avoid having any relationship with another human being during your entire life.  In my opinion, psychology is at the root of making the most out of relationships and ensuring that you treat everyone you have a relationship with, no matter what kind of relationship, with respect and acceptance.  Another big reason I feel psychology is so important, is to learn ways to better yourself.  No one is perfect and being the best person you can be should be an ongoing, lifelong process.  Learning about psychology helps to keep that process going.
Our readers may not be aware that aside from being a writer, you are a gifted photographer. How did you get into that field?  
I took a photography class for fun back in 5th or 6th grade when I had a Kodak 110 camera.  I loved it!!  Over the next 10+ years, I took lots of photos, but never with much “intent” in how I actually took a picture.  A few years after college, back in 2004/2005, I got a Canon Rebel SLR.  This was right before digital cameras were becoming more affordable.  It wasn’t long after that purchase, I bought the first Canon Rebel Digital SLR camera.  I was hooked.  And, to help me pay for my newly rediscovered hobby, I started shooting portraits and weddings.  As I got more business, I upgraded my equipment and kept working on my skills.
Photography is a way for me to share the beauty that I see in the world with other people.  There’s no way that 100 people can be there with me when I take a picture, to see what I see in the view finder.  But once the image is captured, it can be shared, over and over.  Imagine all the things you would’ve missed seeing if photography wasn’t around!  It gives me an outlet to be creative and makes you stop and absorb what is going on in the world instead of quickly walking past it.  Being behind a camera and shooting photos takes effort instead of  being too busy and missing out on things.
What is your favorite thing about being a Baraza resident?
I think it’s fun to be a part of a group of wonderful women who’s common bond is sharing thoughts and ideas with other people.  Our geographical locations do not hinder us from being a part of this group.  It’s fun to write about what ideas and thoughts are going on in my head, and it’s fun to read what other people have swirling around in their head.
 If the Baraza residents were to take a girls trip together, where would you want us to go?
This is an easy answer!
I think it would be a lot of fun if we went to a spa-like retreat somewhere on the beach.  A place that was very tranquil and allowed us to just chat, share ideas and energize our souls.  Good food, good conversation and good times!
A special thanks to Carrie for responding to my questions! Stay tuned for more from the talented residents.