There’s a reason it’s taken me almost 9 months to post about my experience with ayahuasca. It’s not that I haven’t tried; in fact, I wrote not one, but two gigantic posts about it, taking great care to organize my thoughts into words that felt right, only to have them sit untouched in the drafts folder. So why haven’t I pulled the trigger and published them?
First of all, I’ll be honest – I’m a little scared of posting about such a potentially controversial topic. I know this isn’t for everyone, and it may make you see me in a different way. But ironically enough, one of the themes from my ayahuasca experience was that I care too much about what others think… 😛
Second, if you’re considering trying ayahuasca in the future, I don’t want to manipulate your expectations. One of the reasons I had such a profound experience was because I had barely done any research in advance of the retreat. Many people I was with had a hard time because they had all these ideas of what was going to happen based on others’ experiences they’d read or heard about, and it’s frustrating when your reality doesn’t live up to your expectations.
Finally, words can’t possibly capture ayahuasca. It’s something that truly needs to be experienced first hand. And those detailed posts I’d written attempting to capture the magic just didn’t feel right.
So why am I deciding to publish novel #3? Because there are some things I absolutely need to share.
For starters, it was one of the most unforgettable, life-changing experiences I’ve ever had.
It seems wrong to write about all kinds of experiences I’ve had during our travels and omit the most important one. When people ask about the craziest thing I did on our trip, ayahuasca is the obvious answer. The experience was terrifying, beautiful, raw, gross (yes, the purge is a real thing), hilarious, insane, spiritual, logic-defying, bonding, and magical beyond words.
So I want to start a conversation.
Before getting to Iquitos (a gateway to the Peruvian Amazon, also known for its plethora of ayahuasca centers/retreats), I had a few preconceived notions of ayahuasca – and honestly, they weren’t great. From Chelsea Handler’s episode about it (if you haven’t watched it, please don’t) to the stigma of “drugs” (a term that unfortunately includes everything from plants to meth) to some pretty scary blog posts, I had zero desire to partake.
Plus, I was completely terrified. I mean, does it really sound like a good idea for someone who had a panic attack from a hot train in Romania to drink one of the planet’s most powerful hallucinogens in the middle of the dark Amazonian rain forest with a bunch of strangers??? (Answer: yes, no joke, it’s a fabulous idea.)
But after a few inspiring conversations with close friends and family, combined with the twist of fate that lead me to the ayahuasca hub of Iquitos, I couldn’t resist the calling to try it – and I can’t possibly express my gratitude for everyone who helped me get the courage to do so, because I can honestly say…
It was the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
If you are thinking about it, I strongly suggest checking out Dreamglade. They were the main reason I had such an incredible experience – I can’t imagine going anywhere else. It’s a retreat near Iquitos, Peru, run by the most loving, healing, caring, joyous people who made everyone feel safe and at home. Not only is the property incredibly beautiful (it’s where most of the pictures on this post are from), but the prices are very reasonable. They have very small group sizes, with 10 people max, which lends to great bonding and more individualized care.
So – do you feel a pull or a calling to try ayahuasca? This may be a sign for you to make some moves & check it out! I’m not going to say it’s easy, or even fun. This isn’t something you casually try with your friends on a Friday night; this is an opportunity that you should hold with deep respect. I never, ever, EVERRR thought I would do something like this, but I am immensely glad I did and want you to know that if I can do it, so can you. This experience isn’t reserved for a certain type of person.
I know this post may be frustratingly vague, so if you want to know more or just talk about it, please reach out! I’d love to chat and this is one of my favorite topics of discussion. And let me know if you’d like to see a post explaining the plant and/or my experience!