I recently traveled to Iquitos, Peru to attend a 12-day retreat at The Temple of the Way of Light. This was a trip I planned at the beginning of 2022 as part of my self-development and journey to find out who am I. Self-love, self-compassion and healing were goals that I had when embarking on this life-changing retreat. 

After the interview process for admittance to the Temple, the strict diet preparation, long hours of air travel with multiple stops and a pending Brand launch for La Peony Clothing; I set out to complete six ayahuasca ceremonies with four Shipibo Shamans and 18 others with similar goals in mind into the heart of the Amazon. 

With so many details and hopes on my mind, I managed to pack just enough to carry in a backpack no larger than a carryon suitcase to last me two weeks.  Due to the boat transportation as well as a 2-mile trek into the jungle, paring luggage down to a backpack was essential.  How did I do this?  Planning and Acceptance! 


Planning because this required research into weather conditions, it required being prepared for traveling on airplanes and throughout airports, and it required thinking about putting together clothing that could be worn more than once and in an extremely hot and humid environment such as the Amazon.  I point to Acceptance here as well because I had to accept that multiuse and function of garments was necessary despite getting sweaty and sometimes dirty. 

You might wonder what I packed to accomplish feeling comfortable and clean daily.  Well, I made sure that I packed moisture-wicking, easily dried clothing.  Not only did these shirts and pants (and even undergarments) feel better on my body in the heat, but they were easily washed in my tambo’s private sink and hung to dry in a humid environment.  This allowed me to feel fresh each day reusing the same garments over and over. 

Layers were essential and I applied the same rationale to what I chose for layering:  moisture-wicking and super soft and cozy to the touch.  I included materials made from bamboo and cotton.  I brought extra light scarves that could warm me at night and protect from mosquitos and also dry away the sweat.  I brought a wicker sun hat, a bucket hat and a baseball cap that could all provide shade to my face during the day.  These accessories were easily packed and proved to be great essentials in the jungle in sun and rain alike!  

Built-in bra sundresses in light fabrics worked fabulously well for travel, daytime and sleep and packed tightly and without wrinkle worries.  As for shoes, one slip on sneaker, one pair of flip flops and a pair of mud boots that I left behind for future travelers is all I needed.  

The last items packed were toiletries and travel essentials such as my journal, headphones, an iphone block charger, bug spray and flashlight.  Travel sized toiletries were enough in the jungle for two weeks! 

Despite the rustic nature and fatiguing travel, this trip to Peru was epic.  It taught me a lot about myself and how simple life can be when we focus most on who we are inside and what it means to truly love ourselves.  Minimalism was important to practice and with that, I was free to reflect and appreciate nature and a silence I had never experienced before.  I hope others get such an opportunity to experience this peacefulness and self-discovery! 

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