Six months ago, I signed up for a trip to Ecuador. This isn't just any typical vacation. This is something special. On Friday, I'll fly to Quito. On Monday, I'll meet up with my ten fellow travelers for breakfast. Then, we'll hop on a bus, drive 4-5 hours into the rainforest to a town called Puyo, and that's when the journey really begins.
The next day, we'll board a small plane and fly over primary rainforest, land in the jungle, then embark on a canoe trip down the river to the Achuar Territory. Once there, we'll be cut off from civilization, except for a satellite connection for emergencies. We'll learn native cultural traditions including ceramics, basketmaking, and weaving. We'll learn about medicinal plants, and participate in storytelling around the fire.
Other activities include hike through the rainforest to a sacred waterfall, purification ritual under said waterfall, and optional participation in the evening shamed ceremony. Dream sharing, swimming in the rive, and sleeping in open-air huts round out the adventure.
The purpose of this trip is to learn about the indigenous tribes of the region. Run by the Pachamama Alliance, these Journeys are purposeful, transformative travel immersions that go well beyond traditional eco-tourism or adventure travel. Their indigenous partners invite us to visit and learn from their ancient cultures and pristine rainforest so that we may carry their wisdom and message home. We're not considered tourists...but more like friendly visitors who are eager to learn firsthand about the challenges and visions of our indigenous partners, and how we can join them in ensuring this global treasure remains intact.
I'm grateful and humbled by the opportunity to participate in this life-changing experience, and I look forward to sharing more details upon my return. Aside from the first and last couple of days, I won't have access to internet, or even electricity! That's 11 days completely off the grid, away from civilization as we know it.
I can't wait. I'm nervous...excited...and look forward to the experience of a lifetime.
Please wish me well, and while I'm gone, I challenge you to reduce your foot print on this earth. That means...no single use items ( Bring your cloth shopping bags to the supermarket! Buy items from the bulk bins, instead of things wrapped in plastic! Refuse to use any plastic items, including straws, cups, plates, bags, single-use water bottles. It's not that hard...just be mindful of your daily activities, and think for a second before you walk out the door...where will yo be going? Can you bring your own coffee mug to Starbucks? )
And if you want to learn more tips for saving the planet, check out my Climate Hacks Podcast!
See you at the end of the month.