I am passionate about South Africa. I’ve been there twice so far. I’m also a story teller. My trilogy (I’m writing the second book now) is connected to the mythology of South Africa. If I wasn’t English I’m sure I would have been born South African. So how come all of a sudden I’m going to South America?
‘Would you like to create a tour in South Africa, an ‘adventure in spirit’ tour?’ asked my friend Andy Metcalfe, founder of Outer Travels Inner Journeys as after two years of delivering excellent tours in Peru he’d like to venture further afield.
‘Wow, yes I’d love to!’ I answer
‘Would you like to also write content for my website once its re-launched?’
‘Yes I’d love to do that too,’ I agreed.
I was delighted. Not only is this something dear to my heart, it also supports my own writing. And the idea of creating a tour in South Africa, well that got my inspiration flowing. There are already some wonderful tours in that part of the world but I think the one I have birthing in my imagination is going to be one of a kind.
But anyway here I am talking all about South Africa and yet I have tickets booked for a whole month in South America. Peru to be exact. I fly on 5th May this year! I arrive home on 6th June. I’m excited. Of course I am. I’m about to visit the highest lake in the world and one of the most sacred sites at Machu Picchu. And yet I’m also really anxious. It’s like I can’t quite get Peru to land in my consciousness. It feels dreamlike still with no real basis in fact. But I may be resisting.
And how come I’m going to South America and not South Africa? It all happened so fast I’m still reeling in shock to be honest. I was on a Skype call to Andy discussing some of the tour ideas I’d had. If I was going to add authentic content to his site and it would be a while before the tours went beyond the borders of Peru, I suggested I’d pop over for a week or two just to get the lie of the land, meet his facilitators and guide (who I’m hearing amazing things about) and add some video to the gallery. Then Andy ramped up the tension by suggesting I join the next Peru Odyssey Adventure – a 23 day sacred site tour in May ending in a retreat in the jungle where we’d experience a number of Ayahuasca and San Pedro ceremonies. I could arrive a few days early and stay a few days later and it would be a wonderful introduction to what his business is all about.
My intuition told me to say yes because otherwise I was just being a wimp who wanted to stay safe and play small. It’s possible I’d be forgiven by some in taking the cop-out route as this year sees me celebrate my 60th birthday but I plan to make that the new 21! It’s time for me to throw my self-imposed shackles off once and for all. So what if I’m almost 60? So what if I’m overweight and unfit? So what if the only other time I’ve tried Ayahuasca it was not a great experience and so what if I like to keep in control?*
I have only 7 weeks to prepare now. Prepare for being at 3800 metres where the altitude can be a challenge even for the fittest. Prepare for walking in the Andes and further than I usually do. Prepare for being with a group of people for an extended period of time. And finally prepare for being in the jungle taking sacred plant medicine which will activate quite a few of my bodily functions as well as expand my awareness in ways which make my pulse race not always in a pleasant way. But I guess if I’m going to experience the life changing tour this is designed to be I will truly have to step outside my comfort zone and be prepared to be amazed!
South America here I come – be kind to me please!
*Many thanks to Outer Travels Inner Journeys for the use of this photo.