A basic guide for psychedelic drugs & travel
This article is strictly informative. The author is describing their own experiences and does not encourage anyone to take psychedelic drugs, especially without supervision from a professional trip sitter. Reader’s discretion is advised.
It’s always high season in psychedelic tourism
There are many ways to broaden your horizons. Meeting new people, learning unique skills, languages, traveling, or…psychedelics. The last two are great when paired together, and have a potential of taking your journey from only a literal one to a deeply spiritual experience. And while traveling has always been a part of human history, the use of psychedelics to understand one’s inner workings is only now becoming known to the Western world.
In recent years psychedelic drugs have seen a remarkable development in scientific studies, helping them battle their taboo status in the mainstream culture. As a result, the interest in obtaining heightened states of consciousness for wellness is at its peak – especially among young people, who seek ways of enriching their lives through authentic experiences and are more interested in non-material values. Naturally, the link between traveling and ‘tripping’ has quickly been noticed, and the modern traveler can now choose from a variety of vacation packages, retreats, and personalized trips, that combine the two.
Despite the growing popularity, there are things to be considered about psychedelic tourism that you should keep in mind before you book.
Trust your shaman
Safety is, of course, the most important thing you want to look after. Any kind of medicine and healing should be performed by somebody well trained, experienced, and genuine. As with everything profitable, it is easy to be taken advantage of. And there is a reason why those psychedelic retreats might cost more than a normal vacation – to fully enjoy your experience and receive the most benefit, you need to be assisted by somebody who knows what they are doing and can guide you through your existential journey. Whether it’s a shaman or a doctor – they need to be absolute experts in their practice and the facility must be able to provide the supervision and care you will need while you are tripping.
Unfortunately, the rising popularity and need for guided trip services triggered the emergence of many fake shamans and gurus – people with no qualifications and no real spiritual background who want to profit from vulnerable people seeking advice. That’s why you want to make sure to pick a verified healer or clinic so you can feel properly taken care of and safe every step of the way.
Pick your medicine
When thinking about ceremonies that incorporate psychedelic drugs most people think of ayahuasca and get a mental image of clay pots served by a shaman in the depths of the South American jungle. However, there are many ways to have a guided psychoactive trip and not all of them include traveling to the end of the world. There are legally working psychoactive retreat centres that offer supervised magic mushroom, ketamine, marihuana, MDMA, and other drug induced trips all over the world including the Netherlands, Canada, United States, and Jamaica. Meanwhile, more countries are starting to regulate their drug policies to be more liberal, and new and unexpected destination possibilities arrive.
If you’re not feeling up for traveling deep inland Peru to get your dose of psychoactive drugs, you can simply take a plane to Amsterdam. Some traditional ceremonies, like the sweat-lodges practiced for centuries by the First Nations people of North America, don’t even require the consumption of mind alternating substances. What’s important is that you pick a destination and method that suits your needs and creates a safe and inspiring environment for your inner work. In the case of psychedelic sessions when what, where, and with who really matters.
Tap in with yourself
‘It’s the journey, not the destination’ – the quote sometimes attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson might be true, but when the journey consists of taking psychoactive drugs, you might consider why are you doing it in the first place.
Although in today’s popular culture taking recreational drugs and getting high is considered a fun, casual activity, it is very different from receiving medicine in a psychedelic ceremony. People considering these practices are for the most part looking for some kind of self-discovery and soul healing. For many, the traditional modern health and wellness remedies have failed and a psilocybin séance is the last resort to better their mental health.
This is not to say that experimenting with psychoactive substances always has to be a groundbreaking spiritual experience, but closely examining your motives and setting an intention are a must if you want to dive deeper into your subconscious.
Do your homework
Although working with expanded consciousness is being widely marketed to the Western world, it is important to remember and honour the origin of some of the substances, and their significance to their native cultures. Some of the psychedelic substances that get adapted for the use of Europeans and other non indigenous nations are sacred medicine to indigenous people and the history of their use dates back to ancient times. Not much differently from tobacco, cacao, or coca, some psychoactive substances are being commodified for the new market and in the process, they lose their medicinal and cultural value.
If you are planning to benefit from a destination psychedelic experience, make sure you choose a place that provides it in a respectful and informed way and does not exploit its local wisdom.
Take a trip inside your trip
When you finally settle on the type of experience you want to receive and set off to your perfect setting, the most important part of your journey begins. Here is also where the biggest similarities between traveling and ‘tripping’ can be seen. Both let us venture out into the unknown, and help us place trust in something bigger than ourselves. Both require us to come into the experience open-minded, uncertain of the process but hopeful for a life-changing experience. Both challenge us to test our boundaries and surpass limitations. Both bring people of different cultures and backgrounds together and compel us to look inside and connect on a more profound level.
Whatever your reasons to travel, take psychoactive drugs, or do both, are, a mindful and conscientious attitude is what can help your trip reach both further and farther.