Category Archives: Travel/Adventure

Penned in Peru

As I sit down to write I notice the elegant beauty of my scripted handwriting. Each letter with just enough room to bask in its own glory. All the while, lending itself to the next letter to aid in the announcement of its beauty. Together, they complete the peaceful transition.

Ever flowing as pen strokes paper, I wonder how I’ve assembled each word so perfectly?

In disbelieving awe, I peer in closer to the page. Upon further examination, the myriad of blemishes present themselves. Some words more skewed than others, but I cannot find one letter penned without imperfection.

Stepping back, I re-examine the work as whole. From this perspective I am able to once again bathe in the beautiful cohesiveness of the assembled words. It is only upon intense scrutiny of each individual word or letter during which I find imperfection or fault.

Taking a break from my notebook, I look up and gaze at the mountainside. I notice the perfect arrangement of wildlife that decorates the slope of the mountain. Not one blade of grass out of place, it’s a perfection greater than anything attainable by human design. Hence the awe in which we stand to admire these alluring sceneries. The ones Nature so commonly provides across the Earth. They captivate us in a way that calls us to draw pictures of the untouched forests, take photos of the flowing rivers, and paint the sprawling mountains.

If I were to venture up the mountainside though, in an effort to scrutinize the landscape I had just been surveying from afar, the imperfections would be abundant. Fallen tree branches, ripped flower petals, and decaying leaves would litter the forest floor. Dissecting each individual part to the masterpiece would make it seem as though something has gone terribly wrong amidst Nature’s creation.

By simply allowing everything to be, I realize everything is perfect as is. Right where it should be. Only when looking at the system as a whole – untouched – can this perfection can be observed.

The truth emanating from this viewpoint of a perfectly laid environment can be applied to our own environment as humans – a species of collective beings. Every individual is filled with impurities and imperfections. But each being brings its own unique energy to the collective consciousness of the whole. Each contributing to the expression of humanity.

Being able to accept these flaws, our own flaws as well as the flaws of others, will allow us to see the beauty of the whole. Only acceptance with no reservations – true acceptance – can bring about this awareness. To first see humanity as a whole will then allow us to be aware that humanity IS whole.

With this acceptance of each individual as they are, ceasing to judge, criticize, or blame others or ourselves, we can move beyond our egos. We can connect with each other from a deeper place. A place beyond the fearful interactions of our false identities, in which we are always attempting to cover up our own flaws, or expose them in others, when in reality the only flaw is not being our self.

The seeming chaos of our world may actually be orderly and represent itself in a unique design created and supported by an innate intelligence greater than that of ourselves. Hidden beyond the veil of our clouded mind, this intelligence emanates from the beauty of every creation in nature. It’s the underlying presence that is sensible in all living manifestations.

When we’re in tune with the most high, we can get in touch with this underlying presence. It is inside of us. It is the pure energy which flows through us, all around us, and between us – from one being to another.

We can allow the energy to lead us in life. To guide us in all the right directions and take us to all the right places at the right time. To give us the wisdom and confidence to make all the right choices – the ones that are the best for us and in the highest good of humanity as a whole. Because that is one in the same.

The energy that gives Life to everything. To the plants. The animals. Nature. The energy that created that perfectly arranged wilderness upon the mountain. This is the same energy gave life to US – Humanity – an equally perfect creation.

We can know this energy, this Life. And when we do, we will be able to see the beauty emanating from all consciousness, connect with one another, and be a part of nature. We can ALL experience life from a happy, blissful state of being through the pure emotions of Peace, Love, and Joy.

As Humanity. As Consciousness. As a Perfect Whole.


The Apus
In Peruvian and Incan culture, every mountain has a spirit and thus is its own individual God, or “Apu”. These Apus are highly respected and sacred in Peruvian culture. With a view of the Apus, the seats where I penned this post.
Pisac River
River running behind Casa Camacho – a welcoming home in Pisac, Peru.
Pisac River
Path along the river leading into the center of Pisac – A spiritual town in located in the Sacred Valley of Peru.
Flowing Water
Base of a waterfall amidst the river descending from the Apus

Pisac River behind Casa Camacho

Lares Hot Springs
At 14,000ft at altitude, the Hot Springs located in Lares (small town in the Sacred Valley of Peru) are regarded as the best the Sacred Valley has to offer.
Yuval At Lares Hot Springs
Yuval looking hella’ relaxed after a soak in the thermal springs
My Brother Duncan
My brother Duncan
Hike to La Cueva
The monstrous stairs (walls) scaled to reach the sacred cave
La Cueva de Los Ancestros Pisac
La Cueva de Los Ancestros Pisac

Pisac Apu &  Cueva

Cuba – Finding Solace in the Salsa

Life is simple. Salsa. Music. Rum. Nothing more is needed to relish in the beauty of the Cuban lifestyle. To see the love produced, for themselves and others, through the simplicity of dance and laughter is awe-inspiring.

To love and enjoy life, the people of Cuba don’t need anything else – and they prove that. But forbidden from being allowed to have anything else creates a void that they yearn to fill. This longing eats at their souls.

The government has trapped them within the confines of the sea wall. Physically and Ideologically. If they were free, some may never want to leave. But this lack of freedom locks up their heart and now they do feel a sense of emotional despair.

Amongst the streets of Havana they routinely get lost in one another. Whether it be through sharing the rhythm of music or a bottle of rum, they find solace in each other. Unfortunately, this peace is short-lived. Upon returning to solitude, they are still faced with the reality of living within an oppressive regime.

This reality goes beyond the inability to explore outside the arbitrary boundaries outlined by the ocean. Boundaries tirelessly solidified by the ruling power. The average Cuban government worker makes 25CUC/month (1CUC = $1). It is possible to survive on ration cards and domestically grown food but there is no way to lessen the cost of imported necessities. Shoes are 50CUC. Jeans are 30CUC. Shampoo is 4.50CUC. Toothpaste is 2CUC. 1 hour of Internet is 1CUC. Toilet Paper, so coveted, is rarely provided by restaurants at the prospect of it being stolen. I called these necessities. Cubans call them luxuries.

Money does not bring happiness. But one’s basic needs must be met before you are able to escape the daily struggle for comfort that will consume your life’s attention. No energy is left to focus on cultivating friendships, searching for love, or self-actualization if you have no sense of security when it comes to food, shelter, and health. The Cuban government does not provide its people with enough to obtain this minimum level of comfort.

“I Love My Life. I Love My Family. “ An eerily common Cuban response when queried about the Cuban regime – unwilling to directly broach the subject. This appreciation for their life and what they DO have is fascinating. Something we should all strive for. Unfortunately, for some Cubans the commitment to their immediate surrounding presence is not by choice, it is because they can’t bear not to. It is a coping mechanism utilized to evade confrontation with the emotional resistance to their circumstances and the dim prospect of a better future. A sign of lost hope for change.

Simple gifts were met with unbridled enthusiasm – a stunning mixture of bliss and gratitude. Nike Flip-Flops, MLB Jerseys, toothpaste, Band-Aids. It was as if these objects represented something greater than their material worth. A step outside the boundary set so hard in place by the Cuban government. A taste in the ability to go beyond these circumstances to which they have no escape. An ode to a world unknown in which they are constrained from exploring. An offering of hope.

But what I had to offer the people of Cuba pales in comparison to what they offered me. With so little, they give so much. In a life of scarcity, they live in abundance. The rest of the world has much to learn from observing the delicacies of the Cuban people.

My last night in Cuba I was taught that Salsa requires no music. It is through becoming one with the movements of your partner that creates the art. The government may have taken away their music, but the Cuban people continue to dance.


Cuba Trip Video

Cuba Photo Gallery