Ours was born of fire
In a heat that merged our souls
Began with Heartbreak, love and desire
That was never meant to grow old
Together we knew hardship
Together we knew pain
Together we knew love absolutely
There was sunshine in the rain Continue reading
I just landed safely back on Earth after the team at Skydive Australia hurled me out of an airplane 14,000 feet above the stunning coastline of Byron Bay.
Source: Free Falling Byron Bay with Skydive Australia
Volcan Cotopaxi, Ecuador
When you spend any meaningful length of time away from everything you have ever known, you can not help but learn something. The past two years have been the wildest, emotionally volatile, serendipitous adventure, of my life.
Now, back home, it kind of feels as if my piece of the puzzle does not fit any more. My perspective, how I think about the world, how I decide what is important, It is not, how it was. I find myself living in complete contrast to the life I was living this time last year. Dealing with the anxiety and discomfort I have come to expect from moments like these, is as exciting as it is isolating. Continue reading
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They didn’t fall in love. A fall is sudden, unexpected, violent. It is as if they climbed down into it. Making sure that each step down, was just as easy to take back up.
The thing about falling is each second of flight magnifies the pain of impact. Continue reading
Getting into Venezuela can be tricky, and there really isn’t much helpful information out there. I spent weeks looking through blogs and forums to finally piece together a plan of attack. I absolutely loved my time in Venezuela so hopefully this guide will help you get to experience it as well.
So, Is it dangerous? Continue reading
Venezuela, it could be the most misunderstood country in the world, but it’s taught me that I’m in no place to make that judgement. There are a few things that are true, the government is corrupt. There are dangerous areas. It can be near impossible to find information or book transport/accommodation outside of the country. It’s cheap to the point of being almost unfair to the local people.
But like every country in the world these factors don’t define it. What defines Venezuela, is its resilient, friendly and passionate people. It’s incredibly unique and diverse landscape. And the lesson that it teaches all that travel there. Venezuela is a master class in open mindedness. If you give it a chance, It will surprise you in some of the most profound and incomparable ways possible. Continue reading
I never want to go back, I don’t want to slide into another set of lederhosen, I don’t want to sing another verse of Ein Prosit, I don’t want to eat another bretzel or taste another pork knuckle, I fear even beer, that beautiful golden nectar, I have now sworn off (at least for a while). Continue reading
What if we fell?
Looking out that window in a cloud,
What if we fell?
Came crashing, burning to the ground. Continue reading
Thinking about leaving fills me with a feeling of being caught so intensly between sadness and excitement that I remain firmly in the centre of the two, in a purgatory of experience. Lost In the false protection of avoidance, I fool myself into thinking that I am ready.
I’m leaving home once again, only this time It’s Ecuador, and not Colombia, or Australia that I’m leaving behind. over the last six months I’ve explored Ecuador’s unique and diverse landscape and culture. I experienced so much and so intensely that I could only ever appreciate it in retrospect.
Traveling is a whirlwind of discovery and goodbyes so much so that the goodbyes seem to become almost routine. We miss the point of them.
I’ve been staring at this Volcano for six months, driving back and forth through Ecuador, it’s not hard to spot. Cotopaxi is the second highest active volcano in the world, it towers majestically and threateningly over the Ecuadorian landscape, and for some reason I just felt drawn to it. I have had this inexplicable obsession with climbing to the summit. Of standing on top of Ecuador’s most famous volcano, and staring out into the land that since November has completely and utterly stolen my heart .
It’s hard to say what drives someone to want to conquer a mountain, is it pride, stubbornness, stupidity or something else? Why does it feel so innately primal to reach the highest point possible and stare at the world from above? For that short second all the pain and anguish of getting there disappears you’re high on more than the altitude. You’ve beaten the mountain and your reward is to peer for the briefest of moments at the beauty in this world. All the magnificence that surrounds you comes rushing towards your eyes, greater than the sum of their parts. You look, as the giant you stand on does at the world, and you see what it must be like to be something more than human, it is a transcendent experience. Continue reading
Getting to the summit of Cotopaxi is no joke, 50% of people who attempt it fail. Standing 5897m (19,300 ft) high, It is the world’s second highest active volcano, and there is no way anyone can make it without some form of training at altitude, to acclimatise.
After a lot of research, asking around and recommendations from other travellers I figured the easiest and most enjoyable way to acclimatise before my climb was to trek the Quilotoa loop. Continue reading
Her hips carry her softly,
Half a smile lights her face,
With ease in her movement
And an elegant grace. Continue reading
For a while now I’ve had this feeling that I’ve been stuck in a dream, floating in and out of experiences, that two years ago I couldn’t have imagined having. Coming home felt like part of that same dream, seeing all the people I loved, visiting all the places in Australia I have missed. Even getting the opportunity to explore more of what my beautiful home has to offer seemed within the infinite possibility of a dream.
I am still yet to wake up, it’s exciting but at the same time terrifying to think that, like a dream, I might suddenly be jolted awake; forgetting everything that has happened. Getting on the plane from Australia headed to Ecuador didn’t feel out of the ordinary at all. And that kind of scared me.
Know the sun will always set,
When it seems only tragedy and hopelessness remain,
It is the light, the stars never forget.
Sadness swallows, but in the end reset,
Tears of sorrow move and fall like rain,
Know the sun will always set. Continue reading
I have always had a romanticised view of hitch hiking. It embodies so well a sense of freedom, a calculated carelessness, an unshakable trust in the kindness of strangers and an uncompromising desire to move forward.
It’s an exercise in optimism as you pick a direction, a goal, and little by little move towards it. It can be a daunting task to maintain any optimism as car after car passes you by; all while a storm menacingly approaches the patch of road you have been helplessly stranded on. But that sinking feeling is instantly alleviated and replaced by an overwhelming sense of relief, and happiness, as you watch that same patch of road disappear from the rear vision mirror of your next ride. Continue reading
I’ve spent a full month now back in Australia and in that time I have been fortunate enough to of spent most of my time exploring it. Visiting places I’ve never been before and getting to know better the places I have.
Being away for so long and getting this opportunity has really opened my eyes to how much I once took for granted, to how truly beautiful my Island home really is. Continue reading
It was a surreal feeling, my feet on the ground in the home town I left fourteen months ago, struck by waves of melancholy, familiarity and confusion. I felt as if for the first time, lost.
My adventure thus far had been the single most profound change in my life, but it didn’t seem like it was over. That the journey I started all those months ago had come to an end. I set out with one goal; to discover the world and in doing so discover myself. I wanted to put myself in uncomfortable situations, to test myself, experience everything I could and grow in the uncertainty of every moment. Continue reading
I can still remember that morning full of nerves and excitement; I kissed my family and girlfriend goodbye. I had a one way ticket to Mexico City, a backpack, and vague plans of traveling and living in Colombia for half the year.
Fast-forward eight months, and I’m sitting on the banks of the Mississippi River in New Orleans. A smile as big as any of the cargo ships passing by. I can see a thunderstorm brewing in the distance it’s getting closer but I’m not worried, I’m just enjoying this moment, thinking about my life and all the people and places I’ve been. My time in the United States is almost up. Tomorrow I head back to Mexico City, back to where it all began.
They say “no man steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river and he is not the same man.” Continue reading
Clara Lieu Fine Art
It Is the darkness I crave,
Against the Dawn I fight.
Even in the sunshine,
I wait for the twilight.
I spent so much of my life as a kid looking out over the Pacific Ocean dreaming of adventures in unknown lands. Of wild jungles and towering mountains, of different languages and exotic foods, of bustling cities and unchartered lands. The possibilities were enchanting.
When I finally got my chance to cross the sea back in 2013 I found everything I could have possibly imagined and more. Much more, I felt as if for the first time I discovered the world. Since then I have been obsessed with adventure and discovery, traveling through the Americas for the entirety of 2014. Stopping wherever I could to look back over the Pacific with melancholy and happiness at the island home I came from.
I’m on the floor with a beautiful Brazilian girl. Both of us covered in sweat, the air seems to stick to us, as it blankets our bodies. I look down at her in a daze, I try to take in all of her, my world is spinning. My hands move up and down her legs, she smiles at me, it feels as if my heart is about to stop and I can’t breathe. Literally I can’t breathe! This girl is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt and her legs are wrapped tightly around my throat, as I desperately try to remain conscious my arms scrambling frantically to free myself.
I hop onto the back of a motorcycle taxi not really sure where I am about to go, my Portuguese still sucks! The rushing wind gives me relief from the heat as we climb higher and higher up the mountain and I desperately try to hold onto the helmet that doesn’t fit. Sandwiched between lush green mountains and the Atlantic Ocean a surreal feeling comes over me, I’ve made it into a favela. Continue reading
Psychedelic experiences are often planned: a day in the woods with a tab of LSD, an Ayahuasca ceremony, a helping of magic mushrooms. It is not often that you experience something so memorable by chance.
For the past month I have been living in jungle town of Missuahalli in the heart of Ecuador’s Amazon Basin. I have spent my time working with a volunteer organisation that constructs sanitation and provides assistance with teaching English to the communities in the surrounding area.
I spend my days waking up early to the sounds of birds, taking a canoe downstream through the rivers that feed into the Amazon; never ceasing to be enchanted by the stunning natural beauty that surrounds me. I swim and climb and hike and I get to play and interact with the happiest children, I think, on the planet. I absolutely love it!
Photo By Katarzyna Dembrowska
Her eyes they locked with his
For a moment, no longer
Both felt from deep within
A Feeling growing stronger
A world still yet to experience
A life still yet to be
He promised her the universe
She promised to make him see Continue reading
Rocketing through the sky headed to a land I know nothing about, a language I don’t know a word of, with US$25 in my wallet.
These are the moments you feel most Alive. Uncertainty, wonder and adventure. Continue reading
For the past month i have been living in the small jungle town of Missuhalli in the Amazon Basin of Ecuador and as a result have had limited internet access. I will be heading to Brazil in the next few days for more adventures and promise to keep a more regular schedule as well as updates from my time in the jungle.
Thank you for your support!
If you throw your hat over a fence, the only way to get that hat back is to climb that fence. I love the simplicity of this metaphor; if you want something throw it over the fence, and if you want it bad enough you’ll go get it. Let’s be honest, we can have hundreds of places we want to visit and a thousand things we want to do, but for each one we can also think of a million reasons why it is not possible.
The fact is, it is easier to do nothing and dream up excuses, especially if life is great. Your only motivation is some vague dream of what life could be like, along with a perceived risk of losing what you already have.
After six months of living in Colombia I still had not been to the coffee region. I am a self proclaimed coffee addict and I am always looking for the next best coffee wherever I go. On my brief return to Colombia I definitely couldn’t pass up the opportunity to experience some of the most beautiful country side Colombia has to offer, coupled with as much organically grown Colombian coffee as I could drink.
So shortly after arriving in Bogota I boarded a night bus headed to Armenia. The bus took roughly nine hours due to some battles with Bogota peak hour. After a short nap in the Armenia bus station I was in a smaller bus headed for the small mountain town of Salento.
The concept of home is kind of a strange one. A place the feels familiar that, you know inside and out. You know where all the best restaurants, bars and parks are and which day to go. You know when the weather is going to suck and where to go when it doesn’t. You know the people, what they’re like, what to do and can spot a tourist a mile away.
You know what to expect. It gives a warm, comfortable feeling and though there are times you struggle to come up with a single reason why you love it, it’s hard to imagine never ever coming back. After all it’s home.
My final lesson with the plant medicines in Guadalajara has come to a close. Don Luis and his wife Norma, along with their friends and family, have built a community of love and healing that is truly inspirational. I feel truly blessed to have found them in my time in Mexico and I am still carrying a part of their love with me as I travel to Colombia.
In the final ceremony I would be reunited with an old friend, Madre Ayahuasca. This came as a surprise to me, I certainly wasn’t planning on participating in another ceremony so soon, having taken part in one only 4 months ago in Colombia. Nonetheless it felt right, the people, the setting and an opportunity to work with two shamans who had flown from Colombia with a combined total of almost 100 years working with the medicine. Continue reading
Almost two years ago I contributed to a KickStarter project to help fund a movie I personally felt needed to be made. It was a story about marijuana prohibition and the effects the war on drugs has had on the world and our culture.
A few days ago I received my download code from the creators of The Culture High and after watching it once I can’t get the movie and its message out of my mind. Feelings of anger, hope, shock, inspiration and a sense of pride, for having helped in some small way to get this movie made, have been all I can focus on as I travel through Mexico.
Wow what an incredible story, of love, of travel, of tragedy and adventure. This is a life that was most definitely lived, if there was ever a tale to inspire me this would be it. Gunther set out on the trip of a lifetime from Africa and eventually taking him to 177 countries and meeting the love of his life. He has finally concluded his amazing journey and is safely in Berlin.
A beast is soothed by beauty
His wildness tamed by splendour
A sweet and tender smile
Demands calmness and surrender
Love. Unconditional, unadulterated, uninhibited love. The air was so thick with the stuff, between it and the smoke I could hardly breathe. My head was spinning, the colours around me were dancing and this beautiful feeling swelling deep inside my heart was counteracting the intense nausea. I’d broken through the pain with a deep, connected and pure love for the strangers, especially the women around me.
If you have been following my blog for a while you might have realised that I am a big advocate of the profound benefits of working with psychedelics and indigenous plant medicine. I have personally experienced and witnessed incredible personal breakthroughs and mental healing from their non-recreational use.
You can check out my three-part post on a journey I took with Ayahuasca here.
A positive experience with LSD in the mountains of Boulder, Colorado here.
My close to 15,000 kilometres (over 9,000 miles) journey through the United States and Canada via car, bus and train has come to an end. What an experience! I was completely blown away by the diversity and beauty of the continent and there are countless places I still need to see or return to.
I cannot thank enough all of the amazing people who drove me, housed me, fed me, or just kept me company on this adventure. Looking back in retrospect I don’t think I had a single bad experience on my travels. I hit most of the major landmarks from New York to San Francisco and many more, though five places in particular stood out to me, as hidden gems and my top five favourite spots in North America. Continue reading
I’m back, my laptop returned, life as I know it restored. But in all seriousness existing without my laptop really was not that dramatic. In fact I enjoyed it a lot, apart from the sinking feeling at the possibility of having lost all my posts and pictures. I didn’t let any of it stop me from enjoying life in Mexico.
My laptop, unfortunately, is still down but i promise to have some posts up as soon as it is ready, in the next few days. Thanks for your patience.
In the mean time all i have is my phone and i wanted to help a friend of mine promote an amazing Competition.
Hey fellow adventurers unfortunately my laptop has been damaged while travelling to the small Mexican town of Zamora. I am hoping to get it fixed as soon as possible, but until then i have no way of posting. Apologies in advance for the delay in posts and thanks as always for reading.
After nine months of travel I was back, back to where it all began, back in Mexico! But to be honest I really wasn’t that happy.
I was homesick and burnt out from the road, starting to get weary and questioning this life of movement. I could be back in my comfortable queens size bed, with clean clothes. Warm, regular showers, a predictable schedule. I would have the time to hang out with friends, or just lay around all day watching documentaries and playing video games. Maybe I could even do some exercise that wasn’t walking around lost in a foreign country.
I’m walking down Bourbon Street in the middle of the annual Decadence Parade my vision is blurry, probably due to the unnecessarily alcoholic and large daiquiri I’m holding; coupled with the sweltering humidity. I have one friend from Australia on my left and another from Colombia on my right, both feeling the same way. My bus leaves soon but it’s hard for me to care, I’m having such a great time completely enchanted by the madness of New Orleans.
I have only a few hours left in the country that has given me so much these past months. I’m smiling, near tears, I freaking love New Orleans…
This world just keeps getting smaller it sounds cliché, well maybe it is, but I just can’t help but feel that way. As I bounce around the USA from car to car covering hundreds of miles at a time I watch as towns, cities, landmarks and the great lands of the United States zoom past through a car window. It’s exhilarating!
Since San Diego I have spent the days speeding through the sweltering deserts of southern and Middle America in a ride share with a girl heading to New Orleans and a Black Labrador puppy.