I can now die with no regrets.
In December 2013, amidst studies in California, I crossed the border to Mexico on foot and tried out this ‘backpacking’ thing for a month. Remind me to tell you some crazy stories from that trip another day. After that month, a dream formed, of a long backpacking trip in South America. I decided to save up until I could buy a one-way ticket to Colombia and just entirely disrupt my life with no plans going forward at all.
In February 2017, I quit my perfect job at home in Kenya and said goodbye my exciting life, dear family, and inspiring artsy and activist friends. One-way ticket to Colombia baby!
As the plane cruised low over the Andes mountains and we approached Colombia, I gazed out of the window with uncontainable excitement. In a valley gradually appeared the expansive capital city of Bogotá. When the plane’s wheels touched the ground I squealed with excitement and a tear of disbelief rolled. The man next to me on the plane started clapping with shared joy – he was returning home after a long time away.
Crazy dream trip yes, but there’s more to it than that. I have some meaningful experiences lined up:
- Volunteer at Atlantis commune, southeast Colombia
- Learn about the most efficient money-free economy to have existed. Centrally planned with compulsory labour; citizens were ensured free healthcare, food and education. Yes I am talking about the Inca Empire!
- Undergo ancient shamanic healing ceremonies in the depths of the Amazon rainforest
- Work for 2 weeks at Tierra Langla, a Peruvian intentional community based on principles of sustainable healthy living and harmony with Pachamama, the earth mother and indigenous fertility goddess of the Andes
- Visit Eco Truly, an Vaishnavist eco-yoga-village on a beach near Lima
- Volunteer at Janajpacha alternative community in Bolivia
- Make a pilgrimage to Cuba to learn first-hand about Castro and La Revolución
Perhaps you can see a trend. I’m trying to get ideas for starting a commune/eco-village, possibly back home in Kenya. Some close friends/comrades and I have been talking about foundational values of such a community, including love, freedom, respect, questioning and creativity. Although this intentional community would be unique, it is important to learn from the successes and failures of other communes. How does Village Love-Free sound as a potential name? Village Free-Love? Will gather thoughts into another blog post soon.
Other personal searches on this journey include purpose – what can I best put my next efforts towards that will most benefit mother earth and humanity? Also, how can I become a source of peace, joy and love – a being that emanates/bounces back these energies to any other being it encounters, no matter what energies are brought to it. It would be my dream to be at such a state of inner peace that if another soul approaches me with pain or negative energies, they would be able to leave soothed, feeling more loving and peaceful. On the other hand if another soul approaches me with joyful loving energies, we would amplify those frequencies and emanate them to other beings!
Finally, “Who am I?” A question I have struggled with since childhood. I used to stand at the mirror and look into my eyes, asking “Who am I?” and not getting answers, feeling distant from my body, daily routine, and even my name. The feeling of not identifying with myself scared me and I thought I was going mad, thus tried to push away these feelings every time they appeared for several years. Now I have decided to embrace this feeling and delve deeper. Could it be that I was starting to undergo what is known as “ego-death” without the use of psychedelics? Perhaps the answer to my question is that “I” am not.
I have already made some progress this last month in channeling my energies towards peacefulness and not allowing emotions to control me, but I am still struggling with presence of mind. I have a feeling that the shamanic retreat in the Amazon will trigger some deep realisations and changes. Let’s see..
Meanwhile, a little teaser for my next post about Colombia..