Hanging out with Carolina the Spider Monkey on Isla de los Monos (Monkey Island) in Peru
I’m so excited to introduce you all to my friend Arianna Joy! She has had so many exciting travel adventures from London to Amsterdam to Peru…with so many interesting stops in-between. I hope you enjoy her story and make sure to connect with her online at www.TheHolisticExplorer.com
Tell us a little about yourself…where are you currently living and what are you doing there? Also, any background info that you would like to tell us about?
Two years ago I left to go on a two week trip to London and little did I know at the time how far this journey would take me. That two week vacation led to me leaving everything I knew behind and living in Europe for 13 months, visiting 10 different countries during that time.
This time last year, I officially committed to making the trek down to Peru to work with the sacred visionary plant, ayahuasca. Despite everything in my life “logically” telling me that I shouldn’t make that trip, I again left everything I knew to follow my heart and intuition to the Amazon jungle.
What started as my being a guest for one month at a healing center, turned into me volunteering there for another 5 months. During my 6 months in Peru I learned more about myself and life than I’d learned in 23 years previously.
The magic I experienced there was out of this world and has profoundly influenced the way I interact with life.
Almost 4 months ago, I once again made the decision to follow my gut instinct to come back to America, not having any clue where I was going or what I would be doing for anything more than about a month after I arrived. As always, the Universe provides and I have been given some of the most amazing opportunities lately!
I recently relaunched my blog and coaching practice, The Holistic Explorer, where I provide insights and inspiration to my supporters, encouraging them to explore their life unapologetically.
Overlooking Benidorm, Spain
What is your favorite place that you’ve been?
Of the 14 countries I’ve explored, Peru has had the biggest impact on me, and not just because of my working there with ayahuasca. I had never been to a third world country before, and was unsure of what to expect when I arrived. I’d heard so much on the news and from worried friends and family about the dangers of traveling in South America alone, especially as a female, but honestly, I never once felt unsafe.
The people in Peru, especially the Amazon jungle, may not have much when it comes to personal possessions, but the love in their hearts is visible in every part of their life. Many times when I asked for directions, they didn’t just point the way, they actually took me there personally. Peruvians love tourists, and are fascinated by the western way of life.
In general, Peruvians are very family-oriented. It’s not unusual to see multiple generations living in the same home. I believe there’s a true power that comes from this sort of connection, and it’s felt by those who come in contact with it.
The terrain of Peru is like few other places in the world. Everything from the rainforest, to the beach, to the Andes mountains is found in a country roughly the size of California. Jungle tours, surfing, and trekking are just a few adventures to explore while in Peru.
Riding in a boat up the Amazon River
When did you get the travel bug?
My mother was an exchange student in Denmark as a teenager, so I grew up hearing all about her experiences in Europe. She has always encouraged both me and my brother, Jordan, to travel whenever we have the chance.
I took my first plane ride when I was 7, on a family trip to Florida, and the next summer Jordan and I traveled alone to visit my grandmother in New Mexico. When I was 15 I made my first international flight, alone, to London for a youth leadership conference.
When I decided to stay in Europe two years ago, my mom was my biggest supporter, and again when I decided to make my way to Peru. I can definitely say I have my mom to thank for my wanderlust! 🙂
Any travel or living abroad advice?
If I had to give one bit of advice for traveling and living abroad, it would be to go with the flow. I live my life by the idea of “rigid flexibility.” I know, it’s a bit of a paradox, but here’s how it works: Always have a plan, yet be fully willing to surrender and let go of that plan at any time. The thing is, we can only see so far ahead of us, and we never know what opportunities lie just outside of our conscious awareness.
You may think you’re going to London just to volunteer at a seminar, but then you may meet an Indian monk who invites you to a yoga teacher training course on a mystical mountain in Portugal. Then you may end up meeting a great guy and living with him in Amsterdam for 9 months before learning about an ancient medicine from the Amazon and making your way to South America to explore the depths of your consciousness.
You may think you’re coming back to America to just make some quick money to continue your travels, but then you may be on a plane to New York City to meet with a best selling author and public speaker to discuss your future. (That’s my story, by the way! Now, go create your own! )
You never just never know, and that’s a part of the adventure. Be willing to surrender what you think should be, and let the magic unfold.
Hiking in the Cascade Mountains of Central Oregon
Any funny/interesting stories or people you’ve met along the way?
One of my favorite parts of traveling and exploring the work is the eclectic people I meet from all walks of life that I probably wouldn’t have come across if I’d stayed in one corner of the world. Each one of them has a story with beautiful messages to share. I’ve come across everyone from an American doctor doing genetic research in Europe while practicing yoga and meditation daily, to a math teacher who does astrological readings as a side job.
I’ve befriended a wildlife zoologist who was rehabilitating Amazonian river dolphins, and a fashion designer turned consciousness explorer. I’ve met best friends, lovers, and soul sisters on this journey.
Some stay with me for a short time, as we teach each other the lessons we’re ready to learn, and others will be by my side forever, no matter the distance between us. Either way, everyone I have crossed paths within this lifetime will always have a special place in my heart for the memories we’ve shared together.
How can we connect with you online? blog, social media, etc.
Website and blog:www.TheHolisticExplorer.com