Greetings from Cali!

Note : I wrote this three days ago and forgot to post it. I wanted to add photos and such but that didn’t happen. Instead of furthering the delay, here it is!

It’s been two weeks since my last post and, let me tell you, it’s been one hell of a time! I’ve been wanting to get to a computer to share all my experiences with you all, but I haven’t had the chance. I’ll use this opportunity to give a brief rundown of the past two weeks. It will definitely be a much condensed version of events.

Danielle and I arrived on the 9th. We were quickly greeted by Schugar- a friend of a friend. We hadn’t met him before then but he was unbelievably kind and generous with us. He brought us into his home and allowed us to stay in his roommate Noel’s room. Noel, by the way, is the person who told Schugar about us. It was a wonderful welcome as we slept in what was almost definitely the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in. Unfortunately Schugar fell ill soon after we arrived (I hope we didn’t carry some foreign Midwestern bug) so he was unable to give us a proper tour of the city, much to his chagrin. He did give us a few helpful pointers though and we spent the next couple days wandering the city taking it all in. It was a surreal feeling of, “Wow, we’re actually here,” that still hasn’t quite sunk in.

After a couple days Noel arrived in town and drove us to meet some of his community friends. He dropped us off at friends’ house and we spent the day bonding with Cami. I cooked lunch for us, we fixed up a blown over tent, and Cami gave us a beautiful tour of Del Mar, the town we were in.

The next day Noel drove us to a retreat center called Liberty Advance where we were offered to remain for three days and enjoy ourselves. Liberty is breathtaking. It’s a 165 acre property located near the Mexican border and is filled with beautiful mountainous rock formations to explore. Quartz crystals litter the ground abundantly. We spent a lot of time collecting them and beautifying the retreat center even more. There was also a hot tub, steam room, and an anti-gravity machine. Yes, I said anti-gravity machine. It’s a thing. It’s a fun gyroscope thing that you can climb inside of and spin yourself around in every direction. We met some amazing people such as Jack, Rachel, Jay, and Jaymie who care for the property. We spent a lot of time touring Jay and Jaymie’s home where they had chickens, ducks, horses, and cats. Jay was in the process of building a treehouse while we were there and it was a privilege to see a man with 30 years construction experience turn and empty tree into a multiple story treehouse in a matter of days.

Our three-day retreat turned out to be much longer when Jack told us about an upcoming healing retreat being facilitated by a shaman. I’ve felt the pull towards shamanism myself and the coincidental opportunity seemed like much more than just coincidence. We signed up for the retreat and asked if we could stay on site until it happened. Jack and Rachel were happy to oblige and our 3-day stay turned into a 9 or 10-day one. During our time on site, we got a lot of time and space to reflect. It was not our intention to do so, but when you’re in the middle of a quiet desert with so few people around, it just tends to happen. It was peaceful and relaxing at first, but as the days went on, Danielle and I found ourselves wanting for some stimulation and company.

Luckily we got what we wanted when the weekend arrived, along with all the people for the ceremony. The ceremony itself was immensely healing in a way that’s indescribable. The shaman was joined by three guardians as they “held space” for us. Through their magic, it was almost as if we were all transported to a new place of unconditional love, and acceptance. There was no longer any judgment of anyone or anything. In this warm, nurturing space, we all found our familiar interpersonal barriers dissolving as we laughed, cried, and healed together. We had all entered the space as strangers and left as family. I have no doubt that the connection we shared will be with us for the rest of our lives.

We made friends at the ceremony who invited us to stay at their place, dubbed the Hippie Dome. It’s a wonderful place to be and I feel the positivity and kindness from everyone there. We’re staying through Friday for our friend Amanda’s birthday, and I couldn’t be happier.

Truly, the blessings we’ve received since leaving home have been incredible. The fears and inhibitions we had before leaving have melted away in the loving embrace of every person we’ve met. It’s as though we’ve never truly left home, but rather expanded it to include every person and place we’ve visited while on the road. I had always heard that if you pursue your dreams, the universe conspires with you to make it successful. I can now confirm first hand that that’s true. The moment you leave your comfort zone is the moment you open yourself to the guiding hand of the universe. It’s subtle support is unnoticeable at first, but the more you allow it to guide you, the stronger it gets until it borders on the miraculous. This is an idea I had heard of hundreds of times before, but it’s different when you feel it. Let me tell you: it’s the real deal.



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