What really happened in the Amazon jungle of Peru Part 1

What really happened in the Amazon jungle
I have no special talents. I'm only passionately curious. - Albert Einstein

Ok. Where to start? Maybe with the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Well, this “reset-retreat” – or did I say it was a “yoga and meditation retreat” – in the Amazon forest was actually a little bit more than that. I didn’t have the intention to conceal from you the whole truth. At least not in the beginning…

… but …

… then I saw the shocked faces whenever I tried to explain my new self-experiment. My enthusiasm and pioneering spirit was clearly questioned. And even when I felt some concern from my better half, who knows that I’m adventurous but not reckless, I thought I better shut up now.

I realised that I didn’t have the words nor the experience to justify my test series. All there was, was this urgent call deep inside me that kept saying: “We have to do this at all costs.”

Herz oder Gehirn

Well. And a verdict like “If I were you I wouldn’t do it” doesn’t help. On the contrary, it spurs me on. It’s like gasoline to my freedom- and innovation-loving ego. My mom can tell you all about it. Try talking Tanja out of something and she develops the temperament of a goat. I guess back in the days they called this characteristic stubborn and bull-headed. Today I would say it is the fine quality of building one’s opinion based on one’s independent and own experiences. Wouldn’t you agree?

Often our knowledge is based on information that someone else shared. Very seldom is our knowledge gained trough self-experience.

Oh, how I was furious as a child when adults tried to end my query with “Well, but that is how it is and how it’s always been.” No, not an answer a curious and eager for knowledge child would accept. The open-minded, holistic healthy Vancouver and a colony of abnormal cells in my cervix have increased my appetite for knowledge, especially in the area of health and happiness. For about 5 years now, I’ve been hot on my heels pursuing new and innovative approaches to life’s mysteries.

You know, we humans have a persistent tendency in that we love to cling on to the past. We refuse to accept new approaches until we no longer can deny the bone-crushing evidence. I mean, would you have guessed five years ago that gut bacteria would play a major role in disease like depression, low immunity, and colitis? Would you have imagined that a turd transplant loaded with healthy gut bacteria could actually help troubled people? Ground-breaking, don’t you think?

More now than ever we have a choice. Are we open to new approaches and are we willing to discuss them with curiosity? Or do we dismiss them out right? Hermann Kümmell for instance, a German medical doctor in the late 1800’s, was convinced that washing hands before surgery could safe lives. However his revolutionary idea was dismissed by “people who knew better”. Kümmell was driven out of the medical profession as a result of his laughable suggestion.

Become a member of team Kuemmel.

Become a member of team Kuemmel.

So yes. I’m team Kümmell. I stand for new ways of thinking. I want to broaden my horizons. I’m an advocate for change. I want to be healthy and happy. And who can figure this better out for me than myself?

Only I can know, what feels right for me. I can’t put that responsibility on another person. I can’t just sit back and let others decide my faith and then complain if things they decided for me don’t work out.

Same goes for this scenario. The decision to go to Peru and pursue this adventure, had to be my decision. No matter what others said or thought of it.

Yes, of course I was scared. Yes, of course I questioned my sanity. That is only human. We fear the unknown. We try to avoid making decisions because we worry about the consequences.

But if we seized up every time our imaginary brain goes wild, we would still be living in caves. Ask Columbus how he felt when he set sail to discover new land. Or how about Neil Armstrong? Wonder what he thought when his rocket took off to catapult him towards a white ball hanging out there in an infinite, dark outer space.

Road to the unknown

Path to the unknown

To make a long story short, I had to decide who I could trust more. My oh-no-just-think-of-all-what-can-happen-maniac brain or this very calm and fearless gut instinct of mine. And honestly, life has taught me so far even our worst fears very, very seldom come true. Yes, maybe that one time in high school when spinach got caught up in my dental brace and no one told me until I figured it out myself.

Anyway, if you are an experienced Nintendo Super Mario Player you will agree. You only will make it into level 12 if you are courageous and are willing to walk through doors where you have no idea what’s behind them. As long as the compass in your gut tells you that you’re on the right path, you shouldn’t pay too much attention to your nagging and worrisome thoughts.

That’s why I went on a journey. On a month-long journey to live in the Amazon jungle of Peru to drink a psychedelic substance called Ayahuasca…

… and to do yoga and to meditate and to live in nature without running water and electricity and to be nourished by the cleanest diet and air you can imagine. So this part of the story was true.

What led me to drinking Ayahuasca? Read on. I have so many mind boggling stories to tell. If you don’t want to miss a thing, there is a box on the right side where you can enter your email address. New stories come directly to your email inbox.

Happy to have you on this journey


What really happened in the Amazon jungle of Peru Part 1 by
Tanja Knapp
About the Author
Tanja Knapp

Tanja Knapp is an Explorer, Adventurer and Happiness Hunter currently camping in beautiful Vancouver, Canada. Her roots are in Germany where she grew up on a remote farm. A colony of abnormal cells in her cervix taught her the lesson that would change her life forever. Life doesn't get better by chance, it get better by change. She truly believes in creating happiness & health through constant adapting, growing and evolving. Her super power is curiosity. With her blog she likes to inspire others to explore uncharted territory.

If she is not busy writing, running, swimming or cycling, she is expanding her knowledge, exploring the World, and taking on new challenges.

She is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and graduated with an Honors diploma in Holistic Nutrition from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in 2013. She obtained a Hospitality certification in 1998 and a Marketing Communications diploma in 2004. She has worked both in Europe and North America.


  1. chris jehnichen says

    Wow. Talk about resonate. You are an amazingly insightful person and an amazing writer.
    Thank you for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.