I have landed safely in Seattle and it is like food for my soul. I love this city. Known as the Evergreen State, Seattle is one of my favourite cities in the world. It is a city that grounds me and makes my heart smile
This is only my second time here but it feels amazing to be back. The last time I was here it was winter and it was covered in snow and so now I am connecting with the beautiful summer city. Flying into the city alone was just breathtaking with its huge trees, mountains and vast waterways.
As I stepped out of the Arrivals areas, I was greeted by my beautiful, powerful friend Heika. It was extremely emotional as I have missed her so much and we have both had challenging life journeys over the last few years.
She whisked me straight off to the water and we sat on the deck of an exquisite Restuarant called Anthony’s in Des Moines. We sat on this beautiful rooftop deck and took in the fresh air and view of the Olympics over the Sound. It felt like I was suddenly grounded again after the franetic energy of Vegas.
Water beautiful trees and a warm welcoming friend, what more can I ask for. We then took a drive along the coast back to Heika’s house and stopped off for a walk through a small forest onto a little private beach. My idea of pure bliss.
Today I am bit exhausted so gonna just take it easy and will be heading up to Noelle and Brian a bit later to visit them in the mountains. I feel utterly blessed to have such amazing special friends all over the USA and I finally get to connect with them during this pilgrimage.
Last night I made an effort to get out and see the craziness of the Strip one last time. And crazy it was. At 115 Fahrenheit it was like walking in an oven. I chose to walk as trying to keep the cardio up while I am away and keep the exercise regime up.
The city was off the charts last night with a Bruno Mars concert and a huge final of a Poker competition. I must however say I never did the gambling thing. I really do struggle with that vibe as I look around and see the magnitude of pensioners sitting at machines gambling away their life savings. I just can’t relate to that.
I saw the amazing fountain light shows at both the Bellagio and the Volcano show at the Mirage. These happen mostly on the hour and are choreographed to music with amazing lighting design.
I then took a monorail to “Old Vegas”. This is almost like a light canopy over the original Vegas strip. It’s very Interesting to see and have lots of casinos and bars too. I feel like I saw as much as possible while I was here.
Thanks Sin City for the craziness….. Seattle here I come.
Today I ventured out on my first bus tour in years and headed to the Grand Canyon like a real tourist. I was very sad that I couldn’t do my planned paddle and helicopter flight into the canyon and to the falls at first but with the heat reaching 115 degrees Fahrenheit it was simply not an option. So in the spirit of going with the flow I hopped on a tour bus and headed to the Grand Canyon. A 6:30 am pick up outside my hotel by the tour company and I was on my way.
Heading out into the Mojave Desert towards the Grand Canyon all I could think of was CSI Las Vegas and chuckle a bit to myself. I could hear one of my Bookslags girls Carmen, saying don’t worry Captain Jim Brass is on the scene! I could see the series vividly with some murder in the desert. 😂
Laughing out loud when I thought of this had a couple of my fellow travelers look at me strangely. The fact that I was wearing my crazy Gold sunnies probably made them think I was a complete nutter. The drive however was really enjoyable even if organised tours are not normally my thing. Sometimes you gotta just be a tourist and do it.
We headed out through Henderson and boulder and stopped at the famous Hoover dam for some pictures and a timed pee stop! Portable toilets my FAVOURITE thing in the world. I reckoned I would just hold it until our next stop.
We then headed to the smallest weirdest town I think I have ever seen. It’s called Dolan Springs and let me tell you if you had to blink you would miss it. We then headed into the Joshua Tree Forest on route into the Hualapai Reservation and up to the West Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Our trip included a visit to the Hualapai Ranch, Eagle Point/Skywalk and Guano Point. Eagle point was really amazing to see the rocks that look like a giant eagle with its wings spread out.
The scenery at Guano point was incredible and a true reminder of the natural beauty across our planet. It was extremely hot out there and tempretures soared to 115 Fahrenheit. At that point I was only to happy to hop back on the air conditioned bus.
All in all I would say a really enjoyable day. A long day with very structured stops and a bit like herding cats at times but I must say that whatever way you get to do it, I would highly recommend a visit to the Grand Canyon to just sit and take in the vast beauty.
Las Vegas, Sin City, City of Lights…… Well while it’s high rises, light shows and entertainment are vast and impressive on so many levels it was definitely not my thing!
I had a good chuckle at myself yesterday as I walked down the strip with all the craziness and energy that is Vegas and felt like it was all a bit too over the top for me. There was a time in my life when I am sure I would’ve had a huge jol here but it’s just not where I am right now. I also think that having coming from the immense beauty of Colorado to the non stop 24/7 vibe of Vegas was maybe too much for me.
I did however walk 23000 steps yesterday in 48 degree heat while I checked out the strip. I also imagine my sister and mom having a laugh as they both know how much I hate shopping and malls so would’ve appreciated the fact that I at least gave it a go.
Back at my hotel I met a great lady and we had a good laugh as she felt pretty much the same as me about all the craziness. We landed up having dinner and found out that we were both on similar journeys and pathways of change. As my teacher Robin always says there are no coincidences in life and it really was good to meet here and make a new friend.
Today I am heading out to the Grand Canyon which I know will be more my thing. I am unfortunately not going to get to the Falls as the only way in will be to hike in as helicopters not flying in due to heat wave. Unfortunately with having just recovered from pneumonia this is one of the times where I just need to listen to the Docs and be safe rather than mess up the rest of my trip by being stupid and pushing it.
Tomorrow I leave for Seattle and can’t wait to see Heika and her girls and get some quality time in beautiful Seattle.
My 6 days in Colorado were filled with a combination of ancient teachings and great friendship and love. It’s so amazing to learn about different cultures and to understand how we may all be different in many ways but we are all the same in so many.
Our world right now is fraught with anger, pain and a lot of marginalization. There are many people who are fighting over what religion, belief system, race or concept is the “Right” one. Bottom line is that there is room enough in this world for all walks of life and it is time to get over the judgment and bullshit. It is time to simply be kind and consider how you manage your own behaviors on a daily basis.
I have been blessed to have met some of the kindest, warmest and humble people on this journey so far. Each of the communities I got to meet with had the same dream I have and that is to find the best version of themselves and give the best of themselves to the world at all times with no judgement. This is often more challenging than not as the daily grind tests us and pushes us on every level.
Take time to be grateful for all that you have and don’t focus so much on what you don’t have. Wes my one teacher shared two statements with me, “No healing can occur without safety” and the second was “What you have yet to own, owns you”. These two statements resonated with me immensely as often we become so focused on what we don’t have that we forget to be grateful for what we do.
The last seven years of walking this journey with the myriad of infections, chronic pain, surgeries and constant challenges has opened my eyes to how truly blessed I am in so many other ways. It has taught to appreciate every “good” day and be gentle with myself on the tough days.
So in ending this latest entry all I can say is that I loved every minute of my time with the special friends and communities I met in Colorado and look forward to the next part of my journey .
In many Native American traditions, healing and spirituality are connected to a single process that you can choose to walk either from your childhood to elder status or like me over the last 10 years.
This choice is known as walking the Red Road in modern English terms. The Native America Tribes have extensive diversity and they have their own connection to how they teach and what they teach. The best way I can explain my journey on this road is that it is the most personal, introspective journey you will take to achieving beauty, balance and harmony in all things.
The Red Road teaches us that adversities of life such as illness, personal loss and other life crises provide an opportunity for spiritual growth and meaning.
I have had people ask me often how it is that I have such faith and belief and the answer is simple but takes dedication and commitment. I am listening to myself on a daily basis I check in to how I feel and simply allow myself to feel whatever that emotion is completely. I have found a truly spiritual connection that has provided me with complete and utter surrender to all that is.
In this modern world we are so focused on bottling up our emotions and putting on a face for the world that doesn’t truly reflect the battle going on inside us. This is not something that serves any of us really as all we are doing is creating a pressure cooker of emotion that eventually will explode.
Part of this amazing journey I am on at the moment is working with various teachers who are helping me to find Beauty, Balance and Harmony through medicine wheel teachings and other ancient teachings.
Yesterday I spent the day doing a beautiful pipe teaching with an amazing community and a sweatlodge with another community. I have been welcomed in with such love and acceptance that I feel truly blessed.
Tonight I shall be meeting another community and will be doing another sweat lodge.
Tomorrow one of my teachers is taking me to the Indian Healing Hot springs in the mountains which I am sure will be truly enlightening.
Friday 7th July 16:35pm I finally touched down in Denver Colorado. For the last 32 hours I had been in transit and I am finally here. It was all kinda surreal to be honest.
When I landed in Dallas I had 2 hours to collect my luggage, get through customs and then get to my connecting flight. I thought at least I have time for a quick coffee, however I did not realize that to get to my boarding gate I had to take a Sky train to get there.
Following a sprint to the train I managed to make it just in time. I boarded the flight and then we sat on the runway for 20 minutes. Its kinda surreal when you realize that the airport requires a 12 minute train ride to your boarding gate.
Arriving in Colorado was filled with great excitement. Marley and Patrick were waiting with big smiles and welcoming hugs. Marley Man is so much like his mom and has her incredible vibrant spirit. He has a beautiful open heart and a laugh that bubbles out of him. Patrick has created a life for this little guy that is filled with so much love and dedicated attention that it fills my heart with joy.
The weather is warm and the city is filled with wide open spaces and beautiful walks and trails. We took a walk up to Red Rock Ampi-theatre which certainly challenged both my knees and lungs. Walking up to the theatre meant that we were at 2000m altitude. The three main rocks that make up the Amphitheatre are know as “Creation Rock”, “Stage Rock”, and “Ship Rock”. It is a truly amazing feeling to stand and look at this magnificent stage and setting for a concert.
I have been blessed to spending special times with Patrick and Marley and have gotten to meet Patrick’s sister and family which has been a truly warm and welcoming experience. My next journey will be the beginning of my special Native American medicine work with Wes and Victoria.
Planes, Trains and Highway Lanes
Reunited with Patrick and meeting Marley!
The beautiful space I get to stay in while in Denver
Red Rock Ampitheatre
Family Walk to Red Rock
It’s amazing the people you meet on the plane. I have the pleasure of being seated next to a young lady that give me hope for our country. 19 years old and on her first International flight as part of the Bishop Tutu Leadership program.
This young lady lives in Grassy Park and leads a Community Protection Program. She believes it’s important to get youth behind their own communities and help in keeping fellow communities members safe.
It makes me feel excited that we have amazing young people like this who are being the change they seek in the world. #proudlysouthafrican!
The Journey Begins – First Stop USA
Thursday 6th July – Cape Town International
Its finally here, I am off. Today I begin a 5 week journey of a life time. After 7 years of living with this challenging disease I am taking my life back. I am choosing to live and explore and embrace all that makes my soul smile.
For 10 years I have been walking the Beautiful Red Road, the most introspective journey and a truly challenging one. This journey has taught me the ways of the Native American Indian people and has shared great wisdom and insight into a lot of what we take for granted in life.
The first stop of my journey has come together seamlessly and I am getting the opportunity to work with 2 incredible teachers who will share their knowledge, time and experiences with me. I also get to meet my dear friend Sita’s son Marley and see her husband. Sita unfortunately lost her fight to cancer before I could see her but now I get to meet her little boy and spend time with her husband.
I then travel onto Los Vegas where I take a helicopter trip to the Grand Canyon and I get to enjoy a few adventures there. I shall be going into one of the oldest Native Villages located in Havasupai Falls, which no doubt will be a magical experience.
My trip then takes me to Seattle to visit my special friends Heika, Noelle and Brian. Seattle is one of my favorite cities in the world. Over the last 7 years while I have been unable to travel due to health issues, Heika has become a mom to 2 beautiful girls and shall finally get to meet them.
From Seattle I am off to my oldest childhood friend Brendan in San Francisco and I shall be meeting his beautiful wife. While we have had many Skype and Whats App chats I will now finally be meeting the love of my friends life and his new family. We are going to spend time SUPping, Surfing and adventuring up to Lake Tahoe and many other spots along the way.
The last leg of the USA trip ends with Miami. Miami is the home of my special friend Evan. I unfortunately did not get to make to Miami for his wedding to his gorgeous wife Meredith 3 years ago as I had, had a rather challenging time with my health and doctors would not let me fly! Well the wait is over……………… I am finally on my way