As a traveler, I consider myself rather adventurous. I go into sketchy cities I’ve never seen before, I trust strangers, and I make (way too many) mistakes. I am keen to take risks, push the limits, and experiment with new experiences.
But ever since breaking my back, I find myself more carefully evaluating the risk and reward of each potential experience. I was taught a very harsh lesson: life can, and will, hurt.
Yesterday I read a disturbing article. A young Canadian nomad, Jennifer Logan, recently died while travelling in Peru. She wasn’t raped, attacked, stalked, or murdered. No. Jennifer Logan died drinking tea.
After teaching English to women in Saudi Arabia, tutoring sex-trafficking victims in Nepal, and advocating for education in India, Jennifer was enjoying a rainforest retreat with her sister, where her mother was planning to meet them soon.
The girls attended a “purge” tea ceremony with a Peruvian shaman. The tea they consumed is vomit-inducing. According to the article, staff described it as “specially blended [for Jennifer] to reveal clarity on her future path.”
Woah. This immediately shakes my nerves and tightens my chest. It sounds sketchy. I would like to think I would decline such a “cleanse,” but I’m not sure what I would’ve done. And that scares me.
My heart aches for the loss of a brave woman traveler, but my mind absorbs caution from the tale. Some risks may not appear very large. Some people may wave this off as “a freak occurrence.” Others may want to prove they will not be affected, that they are invincible. But the wise recognize danger in the unknown and they know, it’s okay to say no.
Consider exactly what you are getting yourself into. Think. And before you drink the tea, take the jump, or go home with the cute foreign girl, ask yourself: would I be content, if this were my last breath?