When Gin in Guatemala Leads to Crack in San Francisco (Freebird Tribe Member: Luke Armstrong)

About Luke:


Over the past two years my life has gone through a dramatic change. I have been involved with development work for the past decade, but only in the last two years have I begun to truly understand what it means to live in the heart. The full story of this is one I am still living, so do not yet feel called to tell. I have only just begun and re-blogging on my own blog after a one-year hiatus during this dramatic transition my life is undergoing.

In many ways I started living the dream early on. I finished my undergrads in Chile and then I started hitchhiking north with the plan of making it all the way to Alaska. I made it as far as Guatemala, where I started work directing a health/education charity. When I left that job in 2012, I went full nomadic and tried to make it as a traveling writer. It’s five years later and I’m still out here, so I guess I was successful. But I feel the change in the air. Do you feel it too? I felt that while I was looking for meaning in the world. The meaning I am searching for is somewhere within—yoga, meditation, devoting yourself to unconditional love—these are all ways of exploring this path and I strive every day to renew myself and dedicate myself to seeking inwards while giving to those around me. 

I met Joe in Puerto Escondido, Mexico when I rolled up to the holistic living center he was managing. We didn’t need much time, nor have we had much time, to become friends. Kindred spirits recognize their own. People on the path recognize those on their own path of seeking. Later when I returned from a shamanic mushroom journey in the mountains, I was walking home thinking, “I’d love to chill out with a joint and work on my novel,” and boom, Joe appeared in the street and sated this longing of my heart 😉



When I’m in Guatemala, I drink gin. On one such night, sipping my gin at The Snug, I met the musician Corissa Bragg, who was drinking next to me. We made tentative plans to jam in Antigua, Guatemala, but nothing ever panned out. Her baby was to blame, since every time we were about to play music he would get sick and vomit.

In San Francisco, where Corissa is based, she invited me to join her at “The Circle” jam session at Mission and 16th Street Bart stop.


As the listing on the Bay Area Open Mic Calendar, it sounded pretty awesome: “This is San Francisco embodied: an unorganized, impromptu gathering of folks to spout off, sing, dance, shout, play . . . whatever. There’s no organizer, no stage, no PA – whatever happens, happens. There’s a chalk circle drawn to invoke the creative space; jump in or jump out.”

Earlier that day, Corissa messaged me and informed me that, surprise-surprise, her littlun was sick and vomiting. She would not be making it to “The Circle.”

Like U2, I had already decided to go with or without her, so I  set off with my guitar to the subway stop to see where my six strings might take me. If fun correlates to the amount of crack being smoked in one’s vicinity, then a good time was had by all.

I came upon the subway station and approached an area with two guys and a girl all 16th-and-mission-bart-stop-san-franciscodressed like Sid Vicious drinking malt liquor out of paper bags. One of them was wearing an army helmet, and I took this to be a good sign I was in the right place.

“Are you here for the circle,” they asked me.

“Yes,” I told them.

They asked me where I had heard about the circle. I told them, from someone I had met in Guatemala. All three were quite pleased that word of the circle had spread to Central America. I asked them if it was okay to drink liquor in public like this.

One of them raised his bag of malt liquor and said, “Oh yes, as long as you’re not a dick about it, the cops don’t care.”

They asked me if I was going to play my guitar. I told them that first I was off to buy a tall-boy and a paper bag. At the grocery store the guy in front of me was buying two tall boys, but he only had money for one. So I spotted him two-fifty and he also seemed quite pleased with his night’s prospects.

When I returned to the subway stop, all three people dressed like Sid Vicious were being booked by the cops. I sat down next to them and asked the police if it was legal for me to play in the streets. They told me it was as long as it was not amplified.

So for the third time in my life, I found myself playing guitar for the police and people being arrested.

I have been on a Joe Purdy musical binge ever since Pandora injected his tunes into my ears, so I played about showing the police Paris in the morning and London in the afternoon. Neither the cops nor the kids being given minors seemed to enjoy the music very much.

Soon, I was left alone and I continued to play. It had rained all-day, so maybe nobody else was coming. Maybe everyone in The Circle but me had already been arrested. In which case, it was my responsibility to hold down this fort. So I was happy to play and sing and be that guy with a guitar in a heavily trafficked metro area singing for the love of it.

A few people of Asian descent came up with confused dollars that they tried to give me. To each I smiled and waved it off, “I’m not playing for money,” I said, “I’m just playing.” One young man hesitated with a dollar in his hand, reluctant to put it back in his pocket. After vacillating between decisions, he set the dollar on the ground next to me and said, “Just take it.”

There had been three black men at the other end of the tiled courtyard that served as the entrance to the Bart station. The sight of the dollar attracted one. He came over and said, “I’ll take that dollar.”

“Take it,” I said. He took it.

Then a man in a wheelchair wheeled himself over to me and threw me a bag of corn chips, “I don’t want em,” he said.

“I don’t want your corn chips,” I told the man.

“Well, I don’t want em either.” He laughed.

To the rescue came the man who had taken the dollar. “I’ll take those chips,” he said. He took the chips.

Guy in The Jamacan Beanie

Then a man in a Jamaican beanie, who looked he might be a sage, came over and gave me a Street Sheet. I have just learned about Street Sheets. As our friends at Wikipedia sum it up, “The Street Sheet is a street newspaper published and sold in San Francisco, California which focuses on the problems of homeless people in the city, and on issues of poverty and housing. The Coalition on Homelessness publishes the newspaper, and vendors distribute the paper on the streets of San Francisco, usually in exchange for a one-dollar donation.”

Jamaican beanie and I chatted for a bit. He told me a few memories from his younger days, when he was just arrived in San Francisco from Texas. I sang him and the two other men a few songs. Around this time, at the other end of the station to where my back was turned, some sort of spoken word was erupting. I listened, and decided to stay where I was. The spoken word were frantically yelled accusations that seemed more cathartic than constructive, more keening than verse and I was happy where I was even if The Circle had re-formed angrily behind me .

After a time, the three men went off in the corner of the station park and smoked some crack.

I drank my tall boy in the paper bag and watched them. When they came back, I street-sheet-san-frangave them a single serving of wine I had brought just in case the jamming at the station got real crazy.

While everyone at some point should have an expansive discussion on crack and the problems it poses to society, on this particular night I enjoyed these men’s company for a time and from where I sat on that night their crack smoking was one of many attributes, not their defining characteristic.

At one point the man in the Jamaican beanie told me that he wished he had another dollar so that he could get a McDonald’s sandwich. Feeling gastronomically decadent, I too felt lsthat a McDonald’s sandwich would hit the saturnalian hunger spot growing inside me. So I gave him $5 and asked him to get me a hamburger laced with extra pickles. McDonalds is dirty food of orgiastic origins and a vegan will never understand what glutinous pleasure it is to occasionally take this filthy culinary dive.

I noticed after the man disappeared to get our sandwiches that the McDonalds across the street was closed. Perhaps, he was going to another one I hoped, fairly sure from even before I gave him the money that he was not going to return.

Some readers might not find this feeling comprehensible, and I don’t really understand it fully myself. But I was kinda rooting for him to steal my money. I get scammed often for small amounts and it never really bothers me. In Belize, I gave a guy $5 for a fish dinner I think we both knew he was never going to cook me. I find that offering yourself up for petty scams is a win-win scenario. If the person ends up coming through, it is a wonderful surprise of finding honesty and integrity amid poverty—and isn’t this a value Americans hopelessly cherish?

Sometimes, a guy comes back with a hamburger. Mostly, you are scammed. When I am scammed, I feel like it’s a victory for the underdog. For me the headline, “Crack Addict in San Francisco Tricks Privileged White Man Out of $5 And Buys Crack” will always be more hopeful than “Wealthy Banking Executive Exploits Dubious Loopholes in Finance Law To Pay for his Fiji Estate.”

At some point, I left to find some tacos and enjoyed speaking in Spanish to the Mexican guys running the shop. Each had been in the US for around ten years. I can’t be helped if I love surprising Latinos in America by being able to fluently converse in their language. I doubt the dopamine of this thrill well will ever run dry.

When I came back to the station, I joined the poets who had stopped shouting and were now mulling about. I’d had a few beers with my tacos, so this is the point where the memories of the night are more disjoined. I know at some point a new crack smoker, much higher than the previous, began alarming two young women seated near me. I struck up a conversation with him in order to extricate them from it and they seemed grateful.

The  conversation began tense and confrontational, but eventually it settled into deferential dialogue that yielded to harmless banter. Some people came, others went. A crackhead knocked over my guitar, and now it has some new dings.

At the end of the night, I took the Bart one stop back to my barrio and remember enjoying a conversation with an intoxicated woman who waited with me at the station platform.

I left the night feeling I had gotten something out of it. It was not independently remarkable, but I think that if I’m lucky enough to one day fade away in a death-bed scenario, will be these many independently unremarkable nights that will make me wish life did not have double bars at its last measure.

If I were pressed under oath to tell a judge what the night felt like, then I would have to say it felt like we were all characters on Sesame Street. Everyone was a character and some characters looked like they lived in trash cans, but everyone got along okay. There were the kids all dressed like Sid Vicious. There was the guy smoking crack in the wheelchair and his gift of corn chips. There was the guy smoking crack in the Jamaican beanie who likely bought crack instead of my McDonald’s sandwich. There were the angry poets. The friendly police who had to do what they had to do and pleasantly handed out citations to the minors. If I was forced to explain under oath, I would say,

“Judge, isn’t it wild how a gin in Guatemala can lead to such serendipity in San Francisco?”

For more on Luke or if you’d like to follow his adventures through life:

Luke’s Blog: www.TravelWriteSing.com

Luke’s Book: The Nomad’s Nomad

YouTube Trailer: The Nomad’s Nomad Trailer

Facebook: Travel Write Sing

Instagram: LukeSpartacus

Cause: Operating a School for 81 Children in 2017

2016: Why the “Worst Year Ever” was the Best Year of My Life So Far – Views From Both the External and Internal


The first portion of this post will focus on the more tangible aspects of my year in review; the external.

The second will focus on the more abstract portions that I’ve been wrestling with in the depths of my consciousness; the internal.


I’ll begin by stating the obvious. The general consensus of 2016 is that it has been the worst year in recent memory. The highlights of the year include, but are not limited to: an insane amount of untimely beloved celebrity deaths, Brexit, Standing Rock, fake news, Trump, Harambe and the ongoing War in the eastern hemisphere.

I have no intention on writing in detail on any of these topics, but I did want to highlight the fact that without darkness there can be no light. This post will focus primarily on the light side of 2016, from the only topic I have the authority to write on, my own perspective.

Let’s begin with some quick esoteric information to get us started, shall we?

According to numerology, 2016 was destined to be a “bad” or completion year. Luckily after every ending comes a new beginning and I carry a strong belief that 2017 is destined to yield drastic change. 2017 bids us all to start something brand new, something that expresses our uniqueness, that uses our leadership abilities, that opens us to new perspectives. It is a time to think and act independently. It’s also a year to put our leadership abilities and unique talents to use in the greater world, to practice cooperating without losing individuality.

In short, some “bad” shit needs to happen before we can begin anew. What greater catalyst than adversity to push us out of our comfort zones in order to promote personal growth?

That was exactly how my 2016 started.

Just over one year ago from today, the plan that originally brought me to Mexico completely fell apart and I felt more lost than I have ever been in my life. My 3+ year relationship had ended, I had no job, no place that I felt like I could call my home and I was in a foreign country where I was in no way fluent in the language.

In short…


So… what did I do?

I took some time to myself and fell back on my life’s constants in order to get in the right mental space to move forward. Some of these included yoga, meditation, reading, writing, swimming in the ocean and of course… mindful consumption of alcohol. What can I say, old habits die hard.

Once I was in a better emotional mindset, I began devising a plan for the remaining 3 months left on my tourist Visa in Mexico. I hopped on a bus to Guadalajara where I found a work-exchange opportunity through HelpX at The Roof Backpackers Hostel where I could work a couple hours a day in exchange for a place to sleep, breakfast and use of all facilities. I used my spare time to do more research and begin some SEO consulting work. Surprisingly, the right clients came to me naturally and I gave them the best possible service I could offer.

One notable client being Discover Magic Places.


Not too long after that, I was informed of an Ayahuasca ceremony in the Pueblo Mágico of Tepoztlán, so I went.


Several days later I sat ten days in silent Vipassana meditation, the same technique that the Buddha used to attain enlightenment, in the Pueblo Mágico of Coatepec.


Two days after roughly 240 hours of silence and 100 hours of meditating, my next stop was The Sanctuary in Puerto Escondido. Little did I know at the time that I’d become the general manager of this incredible place and that it would become my home for the next six months. When it comes to describing my time at the Sanctuary, it can be best summed up by saying this: Managing, living in and experiencing the spiritual/vegan/yogi lifestyle all the while interacting with people from all over the world that chose to come there, each for their own reasons, was one of the greatest gifts and lessons I have received in this life.


Only a few days before leaving Mexico, I came across one of the final people I was destined to meet during my time there. This person facilitated a DMT ceremony for myself and one of my old Sanctuary co-workers, Cristina, and it was by far one of the most profound experiences I’ve ever had, if not THE most.

This was the reset button I have been searching for!


After leaving Mexico, my incredibly talented soul-friend and co-worker from The Sanctuary, Angelica, and I headed to Northern California to trim weed as the timing of the marijuana harvest season aligned with our departure of the Sanctuary. We met our friend and future trim-mate, Uma, in Sacramento only to find that the job we had lined up was being pushed back. Luckily Mount Shasta was close by, so we decided to go camping there until we got the call that work would be starting.


Luckily, this turned out to be one of the most incredibly magical detours of our lives. Feel free to read more about it on my previous blog post HERE if you haven’t already.

Once trimming began, it was clear that the days would be long and the work mostly tedious. The three of us were very fortunate to have such an incredible alchemy and the three months we spent together were some of the most inspirational and educational of our lives. The knowledge exchange, compassion shown and dream sharing between us will prove to be one of the greatest payments any of us could ever receive.

After we parted ways, I went back to New York to visit family and friends. Check out the blog post HERE for more on this trip.

Now in Puerto Rico, I have had the absolute pleasure of ending 2016 and ringing in 2017 with the person who has occupied my thoughts every day for the 5 months we were apart.

I’ve followed my heart almost every step of the way in 2016 and can say with confidence that it has paid off in ways I never could have imagined. Perhaps the greatest lesson I’ve learned to date is this: Be true to myself and follow my heart so that I may live a life abundant in love and never to give my power away to any person, organization or belief system ever again.

2016 was the year I officially took back my power and I’ve been reaping the benefits of a life well-lived ever since! As Varys from A Song of Ice and Fire, or better known HBO Series Game of Thrones, once explained to everyone’s favorite Imp, Tyron Lannister:

Power resides where men believe it resides. No more and no less.


Now and forever, my personal belief is that my power resides within my physicaletheric and astral bodies. This is where my search to expand on it continues… nowhere else.

Do I have everything in my life figured out? Absolutely not! Have I made progress in the end goal of truly living a life where I make little distinction between my work and my play?

YES… without question! 2016 was the rebuilding year I was in desperate need of.


Sometimes its the thoughts that keep us up at night that force us out of our comfort zones and grow in ways we never though possible. Below is but a small portion of the internal workings of my mind that have supplied me with the firepower for some of my larger interior mental battles this year.

At the end of 2015, I came face to face with my own self and the stark realization that I did not like or appreciate the way I’ve been treating myself and others in my life. I needed drastic change to correct this… so I took it at every opportunity.

Living through 2016 has given birth to so many internal inquiries, conflicts and wonders. Nothing was as simple as it once was living a more typical, compliant, “normal” & “civilized” way of life. Though what my life lacked in simplicity, it made up for in personal expansion and adventure.

One of the most difficult tasks for me to wrap my arms around is the subject of the truth. Once an individual admits to his or her self that they in fact “know” nothing, it is liberating, yet opens the door to ever more complex quandaries.

To say I really truly believe in anything would be a lie. I TRULY believe in nothing because I know that I know nothing, at least not yet. What I THINK I know, is what I personally experience and integrate first hand. A child “believes” in Santa, the Tooth Fairy & the Easter Bunny if their parents choose to follow the status quo and pass these white lies on to their children. However, as long as the child believes this lie, it is as real as the gifts under the tree, the candy in their basket or the money under their pillow. Belief is a matter of perception and the more we explore this Earth and the incredible people that inhabit her, the better equipped we are to understanding it.

My new reality has me understanding how individuals who have lived most of their lives in the same town, whose only outlet to the rest of the world rests on their wall, connected to fiber optic wires that transmits a well-rehearsed script handed down to them from those who will profit greatly from the fear-based messages broadcasted, are the new weapons of mass destruction and disinformation of the 21st century. It is by carefully critiquing and consciously criticizing this widely accepted way of being that I use as a way to pave the path toward a new way of living for myself.

Those who wander the Earth in steadfast belief that they know all they need to know and have nothing new to learn are, in my personal opinion, one of the greatest dangers to the ever expanding collective consciousness of humanity. You need only look at the past few hundred years of history to see how we as a species, so rooted in our false belief systems, thought the Earth was the center of the solar system and also that it was flat, among many other false-truths.

For too long I’ve blindly accepted all that was presented to me and was rarely encouraged and often scolded when challenging what I was “taught”. Ex-U.S. Army chief of psychology and famed author M. Scott Peck proposed a hypothesis regarding this very conflict I faced in his masterpiece, and my favorite book of all time, The Road Less Traveled. It is his belief that humankind’s original sin was blindly following God’s orders not to eat from the tree of knowledge rather than inquiring as to WHY it was forbidden. In essence, his theory is that our original sin is laziness… something we embrace and celebrate in our society filled with instant gratification & numbing products to distract us from our true feelings.

I see laziness and complacency as two of the greatest hurdles in reaching the goal for peak human evolution.


And why not? We are, in fact, each the creator of our own lives. The choices we make and actions we take create the reality we live in.

After all…


It is also his belief that no one is born evil, but rather that people become evil when they attack others rather than face their own failures. One example of this would be Adolph Hitler’s failure as an artist. Imagine how history might have been vastly different if someone gave this guy a hug and bought a couple of his paintings?

It is nothing short of astounding to think how something as simple as our thoughts end up manifesting into our life’s destiny. What better way to take control of one’s own brainwaves than spending time in silence to focus on your breath and bodily sensations for ten hours a day for ten consecutive days.

Vipassana helped me reclaim a big part of my life that I lost after having a stroke that took nearly half my eyesight and temporarily… a good portion of my sanity.

I haven’t really come out of my cave with most people to share that I had a stroke for the simple fact that I don’t want to be seen as a victim. There aren’t many things I hate in this life, but at the top of that list is receiving pity. I hated the face people made when I told them about how I collapsed in an airport in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico back in 2014 because of a blood clot in the left hemisphere of my brain. Moreover, I hated how it affected my mental well-being for so long, thus leading to nearly a year of depression and roughly two months of near-insanity.

Though I was able to reclaim most of myself that I lost, I was still very much in search of guidance. The best advice I received while in silence came the evening of the 5th day when I went to the instructor, Tim Lanning, to inquire about recurring thoughts that were interrupting my practice. I explained to him how my mind kept drifting away as I was worrying about other people in my life who were making decisions that I saw as destructive. He took a moment to think on my inquiry and after a few seconds, reflected something to me that was so simple, yet so profound.

He said this:

An injured person cannot carry another injured person. They need to heal themselves first before they can assist in healing another. If you wish to see this change in others, it first must come from you.

His words, which have proven true time and time again this past year, still resonate in my heart today. I doubt they’ll ever leave.

Healing oneself inevitably leads to assisting others in search of their own personal rehabilitation. It begins with those we are close with; those who reach out to us when they sense a resolute resonance in the words we share when our hearts are cracked open and spilled out for all to behold. Once unimpeded, the mind can’t help but wonder the limits of the heart’s potential to heal.

What holds true for myself and my loved ones, I also believe the same for my country and the rest of the world. Once we step out of our bubbles to the reality of what’s happening around the globe, we see nothing short of a revolution on a global scale. The gap between the takers and leavers, the haves and have-nots has been growing exponentially in recent years. Most of us can feel it to some degree, but continue to press on in our lives because that’s what we’ve been so very well trained to do.

“Keep your head down and be grateful for all you have.” or everyone’s favorite British World War II slogan:


Since kindergarten we’ve been well trained to shut up, not to make too much noise and stick to the status quo. Why would we as a society come to accept this as the way we should be unless it was indoctrinated on us on a massive scale?

Turns out it was… over 100 years ago.


During the education reform of the early 20th century, lead by none other than John D. Rockefeller, Frederick T. Gates, director of charity of the Rockefeller Foundation wrote in The Country School of Tomorrow, Occasional Papers Number 1:

“In our dream we have limitless resources, and the people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hand. The present educational conventions fade from our minds; and, unhampered by tradition, we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive rural folk.  We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or of science.  We are not to raise up among them authors, orators, poets, or men of letters.  We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians.  Nor will we cherish even the humbler ambition to raise up from among them lawyers, doctors, preachers, statesmen, of whom we now have ample supply.”

Now roughly a century after this was put into place we’re seeing rapid decline in collective intellect like we’ve never seen before. We are drowning in information and yet starving for knowledge. We are drilled with repetition and told WHAT to think but rarely HOW to think.

One of the heartiest worries I carry with me is the confidence that uninformed uneducated people hold in their steadfast belief systems. I fear those who feel they have nothing new to learn when the world and universe is filled with unanswered questions.

I’ve graduated high school, college and spent ten years in the workforce in one of the most fiercely competitive markets (New York City) and industries (Finance) in the world. I can honestly say that I have learned more in my past year and a half on the road than I have in any other equal time frame in my life.

I now understand very much what Mark Twain meant when he said…


Make no mistake, I am by no means conveying that all information learned from school, news, a career or any other source is not worth taking in. I’m rather saying that I’ve begun looking at all information presented to me as a “truth” with speculation, wonder and curiosity. Not doing so will without a doubt be destined to lead to negative consequences later in life.

I can think of no better example of this than the debacle of the 2016 American presidential election. Having someone weigh in with their opinion on the subject of politics by merely regurgitating the lies, half-truths and propaganda they’ve been spoon-fed by the once highly-regarded mainstream media can only be likened to asking someone for medical advice after they watch an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

Thought it may not ring true for you, me or many others, like it or not, Donald Trump is a reflection of the collective consciousness of America and is proving to be no less than the red pill being rammed down our throats.


I don’t like saying this, but I am “happy” that he won for the reasons in the video link below.


Fear-based economics and the celebration and profiteering off of war and violence has brought the world to its current state. What better mirror than Donald Trump to reflect to us what we have become and remind us that we are far from a Sane Society. Why wouldn’t he get elected? Doesn’t a large enough portion of our society blindly follow and worship reality TV stars simply for the fact that they are famous?


I believe that as a collective, we are considerately better than this. There was a time in my life where I was deep inside the Matrix and couldn’t see the forest from the trees.

I’ve been living the active change from this old way of being where I had devolved to the point where I became loathe to invite others to share an open and honest space with. I was but a slave to political correctness and a co-creator of my own mental prison that I would habitually retreat to on a daily basis.

Make no mistake, there is no worse prison than the one we fabricate in the depths our own minds. This was the dwelling I constructed for myself where indifference and doubt were the guards and fear was the warden.


The great trick is that the gates to this “prison” are never locked and we are free to leave whenever we choose to. Though of course it’s never that simple. What some see as bondage, others see as security.

It’s almost as if…



Throughout this past year, absolutely NOTHING has worked out exactly the way I had planned, but somehow it has always ended up much better. By living a life where I follow my heart and remove as much negativity as possible, accepting this reality has become easier at every turn.

I have been met with a ton of resistance on the path I have taken over the past couple of years, understandably so given the fact that nobody but myself has any idea about all the inner conflicts constantly waging war within the depths of my consciousness.

Through traveling I’ve discovered more about myself in the past year and a half than I have in my first 32 years of existence. I have come to find that many of us travel in order to find the missing pieces of our heart that are scattered throughout the globe. With every piece we find, we inevitably become more whole.

I deeply value my own personal evolution & involution and my choice to be a free-thinker that challenges any opinion, dogma or “fact” set before me. I prefer to be the engineer of my own life so that wherever it takes me, it will be a result of adhering to the will of my highest self.

Making choices out of love and facing fear head-on strips away the power that we allow fear to hold over us. I now “know” this because I have lived it. I was scared shitless but kept pushing forward until fear’s grip on me weakened to the point where it had no choice but to let go.

Among all the lessons I’ve learned this past year, none has been more valuable than finally learning to listen to my own internal guidance, gut feeling, intuition, higher self or sixth sense… whatever you choose to call it.

I’ve also unlearned a lesson from my life that I started out 2016 by following. Three little words which hold so much power that can be misinterpreted, misunderstood and misleading toward our greater goals in life.

Kill the ego

It’s a ridiculous statement really. If you are to keep yourself, the ego will never “die” because it is a part of you. I now allow my ego to be present with me as long as it passes through these two gatekeepers:

  1. Does it serve me?
  2. Does it serve me so that I can, in some way, serve the betterment of humanity and all other living things on the planet?

From the best of our current limited knowledge, humans have lived on earth for about 200,000 years, and in that time we have lived in a vast number of ways. What an incredible experiment that we are lucky enough to take place in as these highly-evolved lab rats who get to run in this never ending maze. Let our cheese be love-driven knowledge and may the mazes be ever more challenging to ensure the continuation of our evolution and involution through consciousness expansion.

Removing duality from my mindset and living a life guided by pure love is the ultimate goal in my time here in this incarnation.

By recognizing what wasn’t serving my highest truth in my life, I started to discover what does work. This in no way means my search is over. I’ve only just begun and cannot wait to see all that is within my conscious and subconscious minds materialize before me.

It’s amazing how when we change the way we think, act and see the world, the people we manifest to enter into our lives also changes.

In 2016 I fell deeply in love… with myself, with life and one of the most incredible women I have ever had the pleasure of being in the presence of.

Now that 2016 has been over for a short while, I find myself already learning new things in this year of new beginnings. The first lessons I have learned thus far is that the more I write, the more honest I become with myself and others. May this ring true for the rest of the year and all years to come.

To those of you who have made it to the end of my longest and most personal blog post yet, thank you. I encourage you to comment, like/share on social media or tag someone who you feel has something to gain from reading this.


Visiting Family in Long Island, Visiting Friends and Bro-ing Out in NYC and Going to See About a Girl


Ahh, there’s no place like home… especially when your home is New York and you haven’t had a decent bagel or slice of pizza in five months. Sorry Mexico and California, but you’ve got absolutely no game on this!

Fresh warm bagels from Stuff A Bagel in Farmingdale, Long Island, NY

Rose’s Pizza in Penn Station, New York City

Yeah, they’re that good. I highly recommend going absolutely nuts on these if and when you visit New York.

Here’s a little known fact regarding pizza and bagels unbeknownst to most non-New Yorkers. There is an ongoing argument as to whether they are better in NYC or Long Island, so I’ll just settle the score right here and now. There is no winner, it completely depends on the place and your taste, though some are exponentially better than others. I can’t even begin to get into where my favorite pizza place is because that’s gotta be similar to asking Ghengis Kahn to pick a favorite child. I will say this though, the best bagels I’ve ever had actually come from JP Bagels in Hoboken, New Jersey.

I could write an entire post on the topic of bagels and pizza alone, so I’ll just stop now.

Moving on…

So, what’s better than having NY/NJ bagels and pizza you may ask? How about having a mother who you swear has a serious phobia of you absolutely starving death if she doesn’t feed you at least 10,000 calories a day. Maybe I’m exaggerating? No, actually that’s an accurate figure… I stand by it.

Just a little snack

“Baby” Bro Tyler, Mom & Me… sisters Jen & Michelle no longer live in state

After telling my mother I didn’t want anything for Christmas that would add to my travel baggage, she thought outside the box to find a way to get me a gift, spend time together and lighten my load all at once… so she  treated me to my first pedicure.

Mom totally doing “blue steel” right here😆

As the time spent with my family is so very limited lately, I have cultivated a much deeper appreciation of our togetherness. This was one of the greater gifts that has come as a result of my new lifestyle. I am so very grateful to have them in my life and to call them my family.


What’s “bro-ing out” you might ask? I felt a strong need to dedicate a portion of this blog post to this topic as it has been brought to my attention quite recently that there is a plethora of people walking this Earth who have absolutely no idea what it means to “bro out”. As a seasoned bro-ing out veteran with over a decade of experience in the field, I’m sure you can understand how this comes as a complete and utter shock to me. That being said, I shall now promptly school those unversed in the anthropological intricacies of a proper Bro’s Night Out.

Let’s start at the beginning, with a standard phone call or text, that would go something like this:

WARNING: What you are about to read is very… uhh how do I say this… Bro-ey. I did however refrain from the usual 10-12 f-bombs that would be dropped in the conversation for no particular reason. Long Islanders curse a lot… f-ing deal with it.



Bro 1: Sup bro, you comin’ out tonight?

Bro 2: Hell yeah bro, what’s good?

Bro 1: Nothin… yo! We’re goin to the city tonight, you down?

Bro 2: Nice, who else is comin’?

Bro 1: You know, the usual… except [insert name of friend(s) who never comes out], because… well you know him.

Bro 2: Aight no doubt, what train we takin’? (note: this question is only asked if the aforementioned bros did not plan on pre-gaming together. If they had planned on doing so, they would most likely meet at a friend’s house to play beer pong and talk shit to each other until they ran out of beer.)

Bro 1: The 10:35 out of Pequa (LI slang for Massapequa)… meet you at Sevs @ 10:15 (“Sevs” is LI slang for 7-11, a convenience store with a plethora of cheap domestic beers which serve well for pre-gaming on the train)

Bro 2: Aight, peace

Bro 1: Peace


What goes on during a standard bro’s night out? Typically a dangerous mixture of alcohol, testosterone, shit-talking, sometimes horrible dancing and women chasing are the main cornerstones. Who said Americans had no culture!?😂

After ten years of working in corporate finance in New York City, I came to realize that drinking was one of my favorite numbing activities to assist me in forgetting about all the spreadsheets, conference calls, meetings and more spreadsheets I had to deal with Monday – Friday. Legendary and controversial comic Bill Hicks once said “There are essentially only two drugs that Western civilization tolerates: Caffeine from Monday to Friday to energize you enough to make you a productive member of society…

…and alcohol from Friday to Monday to keep you too stupid to figure out the prison that you are living in.”

Apologies if this strikes a chord with anyone. My intention for this blog was not merely to increase the seratonin levels of my readers, but rather to openly and wholeheartedly express my own truth as it finally comes to the surface after years of suppression.

You know what Plato said over 2 millennia ago:

Back to bro-ing out:

 At this point in my life, bro-ing out usually consists of happy hour and classy AF dinner parties with wine and cheese.

Needless to say, due to new life choices, I don’t “bro out” a fraction of the amount I used to, but still enjoy it from time to time. As famous 18th centrist British linguist and author Samuel Johnson once said: “He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.” What can I say? Once in a while I still like to let the beast out of its cage.

This past Saturday, my good friends Matt & Lilian hosted a lovely holiday dinner party at their apartment with some of my closest friends, a handful of which I haven’t seen since I left NYC back in the summer of 2015.

We’re missing a few people in this photo but hey, better than nothing!

I was delighted to see that some of these friends are even breeding now! My actual words as I arrived at the party: “There are babies here!?!? Give them to me!”

Now in my thirties, this is what I call a great “bro’s night out”

After returning these adorable offspring to their rightful birth-givers and the party started winding down… I found some tequila and thought to myself: “I’ll just have a little taste.”

So yeah… I went clubbing @ the new club Flash Factory for some proper New York City house music until I couldn’t club anymore.

Note: House Music is not to be confused with EDM. EDM is nothing more than low-vibrational garbage noise for people with mental disabilities. I’m not joking…. it’s actually science. No, seriously. Here’s the article 👉🏼 PEOPLE WHO LIKE EDM ARE TECHNICALLY RETARDED

It’s been a long time!

So how was it? I enjoyed myself thoroughly and it seemed like a good idea at the time. The next morning, however, was a different story.

Thanks for the memories to everyone who came out. I treasure your friendships and our time together. Until next time!


During my six months working at The Sanctuary, I’ve had the exquisite pleasure of living and working with some of the most incredible people I’ve ever met in my life. Many of whom I now consider my soul tribe that I’ve been waiting decades for to come and assist me in reshaping my archaic belief systems that no longer served me.

There was, however, one person who stood out among all the others. We met back in mid-June, just a few days before I flew to New York for a long overdue two week visit to see my family and friends. She and I kept in touch and upon my return, she and I were practically inseparable during her final week in Puerto Escondido. In the bat of an eye, we experienced what felt like a lifetime together.

From yoga on the palapa of the Sanctuary

to bonfires on the beach…

No, this isnt us, but I took the photo.

an overnight trip to Mazunte for the beautiful beaches and sunset @ the southern most point of Mexico, Punta Cometa (Comet Point). Shooting stars are a natural occurrence here, hence the name…

and we finished with an excursion to the Magic Mushroom Mountain Town of San Jose Del Pacifico.

Now I find myself in a similar position that I was in this past summer, back here in New York, literally counting down the days until I get back to her. We’ve been apart for 158 days, to be exact. Now, five months have passed since we said our goodbyes at the airport in Puerto Escondido. By the time you read this post I’ll be sitting in the airport patiently waiting for my 5:55 flight to take me back to her. Now we only have hours between us.


Somewhere… beyond the sea. She’s there watchin’ for me. 😊

Reflections on Traveling & How it Ruined My Life, the Meaning Behind “Following Freebird” and My Reason for Being


It’s been a while since my last post, primarily because I’ve been insanely busy working and mastermind educating at a local farm in Northern California for the past couple of months. That all changed recently as Angelica, Uma and I have left the farm and are spending some of our final days camping at Lake Piru in the Sespe Condor Sanctuary of Southern California before parting ways.

In the meantime, I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on the past 489 days since I left my family, friends and job back in New York.

I originally began this blog to document my travels so that those close to me could see what I was up to and where I have been traveling. Besides that, I hold much more personal reasons for writing it. Most importantly, I wanted to keep myself accountable for actually enjoying my life. I am so grateful for the opportunity to experience what it is like to have lived and worked in New York City. However, I realized after a decade in the workforce that too much of my time was dedicated to making money and so little of it was spent actually living and enjoying my life. Year after year was swiftly passing me by; leaving me to wonder “Where did the time go?” Recently I have come to realize that time is without a doubt relative, and when I found myself doing the same thing over and over again, it would constantly come and go unnoticed like a thief in the night. Only when I injected large amounts of contrast into my days, did I start to feel as if time wasn’t escaping me. Now I am finally in control of my life… possibly for the first time ever.

It wasn’t until I flew to visit New York back in June, nearly a year after I left the place I called home for over thirty-two years, that I realized for me… everything had changed. I was completely unplugged from the old life I had lived for so long. Nearly everyone I saw said the same thing to me: “You look so happy!” Probably because I was… finally! 🙂

During my time in NY, I was surprised to hear several friends tell me how inspired they were by my new life. This was completely unexpected for me to hear. I hardly had any idea who was even reading my blog! Regardless, I was thrilled to hear this from people that I care about. This helped me realize that among all the things that we as human beings can do in this life, living a life that inspires others  is what I care about most.

In the past year and a half, I have found that traveling was necessary for me to reclaim my life so I can see this beautiful world through many different perspectives as opposed to the one dimensional view I’ve grown accustomed to for decades. The self-transformation I’ve been experiencing as a result of traveling deserves to be shared with all interested in reading.  I hardly look at anything the way I used to before I left my old life back in July 2015 and wouldn’t change anything that has happened in my life for this one simple reason: It got me to where I am right now, and here is where I want to be.

In summary, traveling has in fact ruined my life… my old one-dimensional way of existence and I have no intention of returning to it. My perception of money has drastically changed. I value time, relationships, love, consciousness expansion, personal and spiritual development above all else. These are my new currencies and I consider myself wealthier now than I have ever been.


Originally it just came naturally. I named my Class C Shasta RV, Freebird, to symbolize the freedom of the open road. Placing the word “following” before it just seemed to make sense as anyone who was following my adventures would be following Freebird… simple really. Also the alliteration makes it a catchy phrase.😊

A year and a half has passed, and now a much deeper meaning behind Following Freebird has emerged. At this moment, Freebird the RV has retired to Paradise Garden in Puerto Escondido until it comes time for his next adventure. I however, have just begun. Now “Following Freebird” is a mantra for me. In a heart chakra opening excercise back in June 2016, facilitated by a close soul-friend of mine, Angelica Lundberg, I came to realize that the bird is symbolic for my heart. Freebird is my heart, the way it was meant to be. I’ve learned the hard way that when you don’t listen to it and allow external forces to control you, it causes great pain. This was quite possibly the greatest life lesson I’ve learned to date and now that I have experienced and fully integrated that lesson, I will never make that mistake ever again.


As of now, my desire to experience life to its fullest potential through a first-person perspective has only been growing and I don’t see it slowing down any time soon. Not too long ago, I absolutely loved the quote “A smart man learns from his mistakes, but a truly wise man learns from the mistakes of others.” Though I still agree with this quote on more elementary levels of experience, such as burning oneself on a hot stove, I’ve adapted a new philosophy into my life. I realize that one cannot truly learn and integrate anything without fully experiencing it themselves. Real first-hand experience in LIFE is the reason I am here on this planet. I am grateful for the opportunity to do so and will NOT take it for granted ever again!

No other scene in movie history captures the true essence of this feeling better than Robin Williams’ character in Good Will Hunting. The link to this scene is below if you feel called to watch the 4 minute 47 second clip.

Good Will Hunting – You’re Just a Kid Scene

The more I experience this life, the more I learn… and the more I learn the more I realize that I know nothing. The fact that I used to think I had life figured out still makes me laugh to this day. I suppose that’s the great cosmic joke, and that’s the reason why whenever you see me in person, I’ll be constantly smiling and laughing. It took me over three decades, but I finally got the joke.

Humboldt County: Trinidad / Patrick’s Point State Park and Campground / The City of Arcata and Arcata Community Forest 

With Mount Shasta in our rear view, we set off to explore our new temporary home, Humboldt County. Little did we know about the incredible beauty this place had to offer.


I have given up on the whole idea of planning and have been pleasantly surprised with the way going with the flow has presented me with beauty I could not have imagined. Let’s take a walk to see what it has in store this time.

The town of Trinidad had some amazing rocky beaches for us to spend some time at.

The sea lions also agree

On our walk back up, we spotted blackberries just begging to be picked… so I filled my mason jar.

The people of Trinidad seem to be very trusting to leave a truckload of Concord Grapes unattended on the side of the road.

And across the street… you guessed it!

A winery called Moonstone Crossing


On our search for the perfect campsite in Patrick’s Point State Park and Campground

We set up at site 111… because of course we did!


The early morning fog of Northwestern California, which is technically a rain forest, creates a mystical setting.

Oh my God you guys! A blue bird just landed by our campsite!

Do you see it?

It’s right there!

Here’s a close up shot for this gorgeous feathered creature

Once settled in our new temporary home, we had to check out the other local hot spots.


Northtown Coffee was an obvious choice for our first stop to fill our stomachs and satisfy my caffeine addiction.

They’re so cool here that they put their teas and spices in test tubes

Once our hungers were satisfied we head off to the nearby community forest.


The Arcata Community Forest is a great place to go hiking among the giant Redwood Trees.

Here Angelica hugs the biggest tree stump I’ve ever seen

Further along our hike we came across an incredible wood carving in a giant tree stump

Here’s a closer look

And an even closer look at the face carving

There is so much beauty everywhere you look in this world. Being removed from the concrete jungle of New York City over the past year has allowed me to reconnect and see it all with new eyes. I am eternally grateful for this opportunity and look forward to all that lies in front of me.

Thanks for following!

Mount Shasta: Mysterious Mountain Man Knowledge and Prophecy / Readings with Susan Isabelle (Keeper of the 13th Crystal Skull) / More Crystals, Our Journey to the Mountain and Joe’s Reading / Manifest Destiny

Mysterious Mountain Man Knowledge and Prophecy

Wherever I go in life, I always find myself meeting the most interesting people. So… of course I met an old man in Mount Shasta who was in search of a rare species of mushrooms so he could use them to create an ambrosia that the Gods of Mount Olympus used to drink thousands of years ago so he could cure his cystic fibrosis. And of course he had a ton of insanely interesting knowledge bombs to drop on me which I will now share with you.

Disclaimer: I am not saying I believe or disbelieve anything that came out of this man’s mouth… I will only relay these things to you.

I didnt get a picture, so I searched the internet for the best representation of him I could find… nailed it!

  1. Manhattan is called Manhattan because the indigenous people used to call it the “Island of Mana” or “Manahatta” which translates to “The Island of Many Hills”. Before Henry Hudson’s arrival in 1609, Manahatta was a cornucopia of natural wealth—old growth forests, stately wetlands, rolling hills, and abundant wildlife.
  2. Manhattan is on the same latitude line as Mount Shasta and Mount Olympus. Go ahead and check a map or globe. Apparently this is significant because it is on this latitude line where the Amanita Muscaria mushrooms grow. It is from these that one can create an ambrosia which some believe will grant eternal life and cure terminal illnesses. They could also very well be linked to the story of Santa Claus and how his reindeer were able to fly.
  3. Then things got really interesting when he started talking about the Book of Revelation and the eminent destruction of the city of Manhattan.  He said it would be due to karma as the Manhattan Project was started there. “What goes around comes around” he said before walking off back to his campsite, spitting out what looked like some of his lung’s alveoli.

Readings with Susan Isabelle (Keeper of the 13th Crystal Skull)
Most of you have probably heard the term “crystal skulls” before. Whether it be the history channel documentary, the worst Indiana Jones movie ever made or the vodka. Well, in Mount Shasta there is a woman named Susan Isabelle who claims to have been in contact with the ancient Lemurian civilization that lives inside Mount Shasta for over a decade. She also claims to have been given the thirteenth Crystal skull, El Aleator, by the Mayan people of Central America back on May 20, 2000.

Here’s a picture of Susan Isabelle…

…her shop in Mount Shasta…

…and here’s a picture of her crystal skulls. They are twin skulls that when put together forms a heart.

So who made the Crystal skulls and where did they come from? There’s only one logical explanation for all of this…

Clearly aliens… the only logical explanation. I mean, that’s why we’re here in Mount Shasta… Isn’t it?

Am I right?

More Crystals, Our Journey to the Mountain and Joe’s Reading

Big ass crystals!

Big ass $7,000 crystals shaped like eggs!

Crystal Balls

After the crystal shop, we drove up to the base of the mountain for a hike.

Let’s go!

Group shot at the beginning of the Mount Shasta hiking trail


A few days after hearing about Uma and Angelica’s readings with Susan Isabelle, I felt compelled to have one myself. So I did.

After some essential oils, hands on the skull and opening of the crown chakra to receive guidance on which cards to pick… I chose those pictured above

I paid for the standard half hour reading, but the reading took well over an hour because apparently she had much to tell me. She gifted me her time without any request for extra money as she saw the true value being in the exchange of information. Here’s my best attempt of remembering all that she told me.

Before the cards were drawn:

Susan: “I’m getting a strong feeling of a ‘protector’ energy from you.”

Me: 😳 ::she’s good::

Top Row: I need to embody my own rapid personal growth and will receive an abundance of wealth.

Second Row: I am entering a transition phase where I will need to embrace love as my driving force.

Third Row: I need to lift my thoughts and vibrate on a higher frequency because I am vulnerable but have much inner strength. I am however, very much loved and have a lot of guidance that will help me get through all that is to come.

Bottom Row: I need to break my remaining chains, open up spiritually and accept the gifts of the universe 

My Review on the Reading: Accurate as fuck

Manifest Destiny

Once my reading was done, we were all set to head further west. It was getting dark by the time we were on the road so we had to find a campsite and set up the tent quick!

Damn we’re good!

Not bad for finding this place on the fly😊

Angelica and I just chillin’ after lunch @ From the Hearth Cafe in Redding, California

We met up with Uma’s friend, Ferryn, and set off on a hike in our new campground to find a gorgeous little stream with mini waterfalls.

The next evening, we found our way back to the west coast for a proper sunset.

Time-lapse sunset shown below.

Thanks for reading this week’s Following Freebird travel blog. As always, if you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read feel free to leave a comment, tag someone who would enjoy reading it or share it on your social network.

Until next week! ✌🏼️😎🕉

Back to Cali, POS Car, Camping Supplies, Synchronicity with Cristina and Camping at Mount Shasta

Back to Cali / POS Car

After Angelica almost got left behind at the Pochutla bus stop because she had to use the restroom, almost got left behind AGAIN in Guadalajara because she lost her customs form and after being detained for an hour in US Customs in Sacramento for whatever reason, we finally met up with Uma, who was waiting patiently for us in a hotel near the airport.

Now the fun begins!

With my travel companions Angelica and Uma by my side, we began our new journey together the obvious way… by buying a chep beater SUV from a sketchy guy on Craigslist.
Found one! I introduce to you all… Jesus, the 26 year old Nissan Pathfinder with 322,000 miles on him. You read that right folks. He’s been driven just under one third of one million miles. Dude probably found the original path that Nissan was talking about when they named the car.

Here you see Angelica properly smudging our new car, Jesus, and its inhabitants with sage before our journey north into the wilderness

Camping Supplies

Before hitting the road, we needed to make a few stops to pick up some camping essentials.

Sleeping bags, air mattresses, coffee, food, warm clothes, blankets, coffee, soup, mason jars, disposable dishes and… you guessed it… coffee😎

Synchronicity with Cristina

Shortly after we finished shopping, I received a long message from our girl Cristina in Thailand. She is having an amazing time and has just arrived in Chiang Mai. A random course of events lead to her tuk tuk driver dropping her off at the “wrong” spot where she just so happened to see the below photo.

It was here that she found a French Cafè owned by a woman that asked her if she would like to tour her village, go to an elephant sanctuary and then go canoeing down the river… and stay with her free for the next 3 days. Surely this was completely coincidental and not an act of synchronicity. 😏

Camping at Mount Shasta

Back to California… Now that we’re ready for the woods, I wanted to start the day off right with a little parking lot yoga.

Somewhere between crow pose and handstand

This will surely be the first of many group selfies to be taken on our adventures in Northern California


So… Why did we decide to go to Mount Shasta? Aside from its beauty and our calling as a group to be closer to nature, Mount Shasta can be considered one of the most sacred places on the planet and is even said to be an incarnation of the Great Central Sun of the universe. Aside from the mountain being widely considered the location of the Earth’s root chakra, many legends about this magical mountain have been passed through the ages. Some of these include but are not limited to the Lemurian migration 12,000 years ago, “The Little People of Mount Shasta” and even Bigfoot sightings. 

Mount Shasta, we’re coming for you!

Once we arrived at McBride Springs Campground, we set up our tent like pros! My favorite part about this tent is the open mesh roof so we can fall asleep staring at the night sky.

Our first campsite was in McBride Springs Campground. Ten person tent for three people = Plenty of space👍🏼


Mount Shasta City is a gorgeous little mountain town


Later that day back at the campground, Uma took charge of dinner

Dinner consisted of coconut rice, lentils and butternut squash soup… it was amazing

Tomorrow we’ll do some exploring…

After a good night’s sleep, we all headed into the town to explore the local shops. The Crystal Room in the City of Mount Shasta was doing it right! They had tons of crystals, precious stones, statues, artwork Himalayan Salt Lamps and so much more!


We packed up our site at McBride to find a new campground, hopefully with better views of the mountain.

On our search for a new campsite, we had to get out and take in the beauty in front of us

Shasta Selfie!

Found this on our hike in the mountains❤️


Just a couple of tree-huggers

New campsite, more campfires

For some reason, breakfast cooked over an open flame always tastes just a little bit better!

On Sunday, we spent some time relaxing by Lake Siskiyou watching the clouds dance atop Mount Shasta before we said goodbye and headed to our next destination.

Below is a time lapse I took of the clouds over Mount Shasta… Enjoy!

Early this week, the three of us will be packing up Jesus as we head out on our next adventure. 

Find out where we’ll be next Monday!

Thanks for following freebird!

Coco Cleanse, DMT Ceremony, Reflections and Synchronicity, Cristina Leaves for Thailand, Arte y Café, Karma and Next Stop!


This week started off with a three day coconut water fast in order to properly cleanse ourselves before our ceremony with DMT. Coconut water fasting is a great way to detox and flush out the body while giving it all the nutrients it needs so the hunger pangs are less severe than just water fasting and your energy levels aren’t completely diminished.

Cristina and me going coco crazy!!!


What is DMT you ask? Open up Google and type in the phrase “most powerful hallucinogenic.” Why DMT? It came to us, so we answered, and if there’s one lesson I’ve learned in my year of traveling, it’s to stop thinking I have a better plan than what life puts in front of me. I do however have my own personal reason for taking part in the ceremony. From previous research and my interactions with people I have met in my travels, they describe it as a reset button for your life. In my own personal case, I wanted to just remove the false programming I’ve accumulated over the years. Essentially, I wanted to “unfuck” myself.

How does one properly prepare for a DMT Ceremony you ask?

  1. Purify your body. Do not eat high acidic, processed or any other types of unhealthy food. If possible, fast at least twenty four hours before by ingesting nothing but water, cold pressed organic juice and/or coconut water. Don’t drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, do drugs or anything else detrimental to your body.
  2. Find a beautiful outdoor space in nature to perform the ceremony during the daytime. Sunlight is necessary.
  3. Surround yourself with people you love and trust to help guide you through your journey.
  4. Smudge the ceremony space and participants with sage.
  5. Set your intention for what you want to manifest during your journey. My intention was to allow more freedom & happiness into my life.

How would I describe my DMT experience? Simply having just twenty six characters of black text typed onto white background can in no way come close to capturing what this experience was for me. Even showing a video looking at it from the outside in no way captures the experience… But I here’s one anyway.

Click the link below for a Vice Documentary video on DMT Ceremonies.

VICE DMT Documentary

The beauty of this medicine is that every person’s experience is unique dependent upon many different factors such as body toxicity (hence the coco cleanse), mental state and where that particular person is on their own personal inward journey, just to name a few.

In my personal experience, I could only compare it to extremely powerful Psilocybin Mushrooms. It hit me immediately, but I was guided through it graciously. I had to sit down shortly after, as the medicine took hold. I don’t recall the next couple of minutes, but was told that I was rolling around in the sand until I was able to compose myself and sit myself up. When I came to, it was as if I died and then returned to life. However, everything I saw was absolutely beautiful… fifth dimension style. I was full of overwhelming love for everyone and everything. This was the first time in my life where I felt a true sense of oneness. After a few minutes of taking in all that I was experiencing, I couldn’t help but cry. My tears were a manifestation of pure joy.

Post ceremony sharing circle

The participants (Me and Cristina) and our guides



The girl on the left in the picture above is an old high school friend of Jesus. She just happened to be walking by with her boyfriend immediately after we finished the ceremony. As Jesus and she were catching up, she mentioned that they would be heading to the mountain town of San Jose Del Pacifico, just 4 hours north of Puerto Escondido, in the morning to take psychedelic mushrooms. This is when Jesus felt guided to explain to her why we were here. She immediately jumped on the opportunity to be administered the medicine. Five minutes after taking it, she sat down and kept repeating the words “Que feo, que feo”, which translates to “How ugly, how ugly”. She later explained how this was in response to her reflection of her past self. Since she did not fast and had food and possibly other toxins in her system, she purged it all out onto the beach and went into a deep trance-like state. She woke roughly ten minutes later, sat up straight and said that she has been looking for this medicine for seven years. Happy tears ran down her face as she stared into the ocean. She looked at it as if it were her first time ever being on a beach. Jesus was very thankful to Sapito for this opportunity to help guide an old friend through her inward journey.


Over the past 3 months, we’ve had the absolute pleasure of working with Cristina Navaretta. By the time you read this, she will be in Thailand. This chick is a spiritual fucking rockstar. I love her like a sister and am eternally grateful to have had this experience with her before her next adventure begins. What’s she doing in Thailand you ask.

Here’s her itinerary:

Bangkok – Enough said 

Chiang Mai – Elephant sanctuary, paragliding, Thai yoga massage training at an herbal healing compound in the jungle in a small village outside of Chiang Mai

Koh Phanghan – To immerse herself in spiritual community, connect with like minded people and delv into tantra yoga philosophy

Cristina and I shortly after our DMT ceremony

Just a couple of soul sisters doing their “Seal Puppin'” dance. I guess you had to be there to get the full effect.

I was reluctant to take sufficient pictures of her going away party. I was busy enjoying myself and hanging out with Pepe’s dog in the hammock. Sorry, not sorry.


Before beginning my next adventure, I had to stop by Ernesto and Gala’s gallery/café, Casa Doce, just down the road.

Gala, Ernesto y yo. Thank you both for sharing such an amzing space with me, the rest of the community and visitng travlers. I look forward to seeing you both again upon my return … whenever that may be.


Karma comes in all shapes and forms, usually at times when we least expect it. It is meant to teach us lessons we are unable to learn by ourselves. Whether we want to label it good or bad the only way we can truly label it is in one word: necessary.


By the time you read this, I will have left Puerto Escondido for my next adventure thousands of miles away. Find out where next week, Monday, September 19th.

If you have enjoyed reading my blog, I invite you to share it either through social media, e-mail, telegraph, morse code… whatever with anyone that you feel might enjoy my travels and adventures. Do it… Doooo iiiiit!

Until next week!

Freebird Flashback and Fastforward

It appears I have fallen a little behind on keeping up to date with my travel blog. The events of my last blog post occurred a little over a year ago thousands of miles away from my current location. What can I say except, life happens… deal with it.

I’ll address the elephant in the room first. At the present moment, it’s just me… Joe. That’s all I’ll say on that topic.

Moving on…

At this moment in my life, September 5th, 2016, one very long chapter is coming to a close while an even more exciting one is just beginning.

Now… Let’s quickly recap the past year just to get caught up to the present moment.

July 31, 2015: Last day at the office in New York, NY

August 1-2, 2015: Pack all remaining belongings into RV in NYC, NY

Joe Driving - Day 1

August 3, 2015: Road Trip Begins Out of Westport, CT

Hillary & Piper Tongue

August 3, 2015: Arrive @ Wright’s Farm  in Gardiner, NY

Joe on Freebird @ Wright's Farms

August 4, 2015: Bike Ride from Gardiner to New Paltz & Back

August 5, 2015: Belleayre Mountain, NY

Joe on Bench_Fotor Cropped

August 6-11, 2015: Various Locations in the Adirondacks, NY


August 11, 2015: Colchester, VT

August 12, 2015: Burlington, Waterbury & Berlin, VT

Ben & Jerry Heads

August 13-16, 2015: North Conway, NH


August 17, 2015: Boothbay Harbor, ME

Boot Bay Beer Flights

August 18-20, 2015: Castine, ME



August 21, 2015: Quoddy, ME & Campobello Island, New Brunswick, CA

August 22, 2015: St. John, New Brunswick, CA

August 23-29, 2015: Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, CA

August 30, 2015: Lunenberg & Halifax, Nova Scotia, CA

August 31, 2015: Prince Edward Island, CA

September 1, 2015: Moncton, New Bruncwisk, CA

September 2, 2015: Back @ St. John, New Brunswick, CA

September 3-5, 2015: Back @ Castine, ME (Trip to Acadia Park)

September 6, 2015: Portland, ME

September 7, 2015: Portsmouth, ME

September 8-12, 2015: Eliot, ME

September 13, 2015: Lockport, NY

September 14, 2015: Niagra Falls, NY -> Morrow, OH

Taste the rainbow

September 15, 2015: Herman, MO

September 16, 2015: Hays, KS

Windy AF… Joe hated this place

September 17, 2015: Boulder, CO – The Avery Brewing Company was the highlight of Boulder for me. So many beers, so little liver.

September 18-20, 2015: Rocky Mountains, CO

September 21, 2015: Arches National Park, UT

September 22, 2015: Goblin Valley State Park, UT

Lots of cool rock formations!

Some more phallic than others

Kim Kardashian was there…

September 23, 2015: Bryce Canyon Park, UT

September 24, 2015: Zion National Park, UT

September 25, 2015: RV BREAKDOWN in Las Vegas, NV

September 26-28, 2015: Truckee, CA

Lake Tahoe

September 29, 2015: Sacramento, CA

Only some people will get why this is funny

September 30, 2015: Yosemite, CA

October 1, 2015: Sacramento, CA

October 2, 2015: Freemont -> San Jose, CA

October 3-4, 2015: Santa Cruz, CA

October 5, 2015: Drive on Highway 1 -> Hearst Campground, CA

October 6, 2015: Salinas –> Van Nuys, CA

October 7, Vista Del Mar – Dockweiler RV Park, Newport Beach, CA

October 8, 2015: Huntington Beach, CA

October 10, 2015: Visiting Friends in Glendale, CA

October 11, 2015: Back to Van Nuys, CA

Got us a Nissan Xterra SUV!

October 12, 2015: RV BREAKDOWN Somewhere in AZ

October 13, 2015: Nogales, AZ

October 14, 2015: BORDER CROSSING DAY -> RV BREAKDOWN AGAIN in Hermosillo, MX

New fuel pump needed

October 15, 2015: Hermosillo, Sonora, MX

October 16-20, 2015: Somewhere between the Mexican-American border and Mayto, MX

October 21, 2015: Arrival in Mayto, MX

October 22 & 23, 2015: Category 5 Hurricane Patricia Headed Right for us. Grab the animals and run away to the mountains of El Tuito, Jalisco, MX

CFE trucks and Freebird tucked in nicely together

Waiting for the storm


The aftermath and devastation of the storm. At the last moment Hurricane Patricia took a right turn to neighboring state, Colima.

October 24, 2015: Back to Mayto, Jalisco, MX

It’s nothing but rainbows and ponies back here

October 25 – November 22: Mayto, Jalisco, MX (Phase 2 of House Construction)

Victor laying some bricks for the stairs


November 23 & 24, 2015: Barra de Navidad, Jalisco, MX

Day 2 of my walkabout and already receiving guidance

November 25 – December 1, 2015: Hostal Olas Altas, Manzanillo, MX


The arrival


More guidance and inspiration via James Michner on the second stop of my walkabout.


Amazing live music from local artists with the ocean in the background… what could be better?

The Marina, just south of Hostal Olas Altas was gorgeous and lively as well.



My friend Danny that I met in the hostel… a total Chilango from DFimg_0576




My last night at the Hostel with the bros I met there.

December 2-3, 2015: Colima City, Colima, MX

December 4-6, 2015: Boca de Pasquale’s, Colima, MX



December 7-12, 2015: Guadalajara, Jalisco, MX



 December 13-15, 2015: Guanajuato City, Guanajuato, MX

This was by far my favorite non-coastal city in Mexico. When walking in the streets you can’t help but feel like you’re in the world’s largest museum. Art is everywhere you turn and comes in all forms; from paintings, to sculptures and live performances.


Catedral de Guanajuato




December 16-17, 2015: Leon, Guanajuato MX



There’s a new boss in town

December 18-20, 2015: San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, MX

Me at The Perroquia Church of San Miguel de Allende

More guidance in San Miguel de Allende “Travelling, like love, is an attempt to transform a dream into reality”

Sunset at the Botanical Gardens of San Miguel de Allende


They even had a Guy Fawkes mask

December 21-23, 2015: Morelia, Michoacán, MX

December 24, 2015 – January 9, 2016: Mayto, Jalisco, MX

Back @ Rancho Sol y Mar


January 10 – February 10, 2016: The Roof Backpacker’s Hostel – Guadalajara, Jalisco, MX

Soňa, from Slovakia came to Mexico to learn proper Mexican cuisine so she could bring it back to her country. Here she’s in the kitchen with the owner of the Roof Backpackers Hostel, Galo.

Sona and I at La Barranca de Oblatos

Here is where I met Tilman Conrad. A couple of days later Discover Magic Places was born!


February 11, 2016: Mexico City, DF, MX

We met some Argentinians who wanted to go exploring with us. Here I was introduced to mate!

February 12, 2016: Ayahuasca in the Pueblo Mágico of Tepotzotlán, State of Mexico, MX

It shouldn’t be too hard to find me in the pictures below seeing as I was the only gringo in attendance.

February 13-16, 2016: Back to Mexico City, DF, MX

February 17-28, 2016: 10 Days Silent Vipassana Meditation in Coatepec, Veracruz, MX

February 29, 2016: Oaxaca City, Oaxaca, MX

March 1, 2016 – Present: The Sanctuary in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, MX

Group sunset before our goodbye dinner with the March 2016 Karma Staffers and friends! I love each and every one of these people with all of my heart. They were there with me during one of the most rapid emotional growth periods of my life and were the main reason I decided to stay and work full time at The Sanctuary. I am eternally grateful to each and every one of you and will never forget any of you. Namaste.

This was but a small glimpse into what my life has been like over the past year. I plan on updating the blog on a weekly basis going forward (internet permitting).

So… what’s going on with me now? I’m still in Puerto Escondido, but the Sanctuary is in my rear view mirror and the rest of the world is in front of me. It has been the most important six months of my life here, but now is time for my next adventure.

Later on today I’ll be partaking in a ceremony with 5-MeO-DMT aka “The Spirit Molecule” in a beautiful space on a private beach in the Puerto area… But that story will have to wait for next week. See you then!