Five Weeks in the Amazon: A backpacker's journey: life in the rainforest, Ayahuasca, and a Peruvian shaman's ancient diet

ABOUT Sean Michael Hayes

Sean Michael Hayes
Sean Hayes is a former professional skateboarder and skateboarding coach turned world traveler. He has been featured in Skateboard Canada, as well on, MTV’s “Life of Ryan," SiriusXM’s “The Jason Ellis Show,”,, and more. He ha More...




A Modern Quest for an Ancient Remedy....

I was on the cover Skateboard Canada at 18, met the president of Tahiti at 23, traveled the world and had a six-figure salary by the time I was 25…. And I was completely miserable. 

By 28 I’d lost everything, I'd lost my job, I’d lost my marriage, I’d lost the most important thing anyone can lose — I’d lost myself. No matter what I did in life, no matter how hard I tried to find happiness, it always seemed to fall apart. With nothing but a backpack and a ton of questions, I went to the Amazon to look for a shaman that I hoped had the answers.

    • At the beginning of the ceremony, nobody knows how the Ayahuasca will react, for them or anyone else. Even though I couldn’t see anybody else in the dark room, I could sense overtones of apprehension among the group. We were sitting there, waiting for the Ayahuasca to do its magic, wrapped in the darkness of the night. 

      With no warning, an explosion of sound and light shook the entire house. The startling interruption made someone gasp, and I heard a quick squeal from somebody else. The sky crackled to life. I knew at that moment why long ago people thought the thunder came from the sounds of the gods fighting. I imagined Zeus’ sword crashing through the clouds. 
    • The small room became lit again and again by blasts of purple light. Thunder exploded at the same instant as the lightning flashed and I knew the storm was right on top of us. The storm shook the wooden house with every strike towards the Earth it took.\
    • EXCERPT:
      • I could feel the sky’s energy and I looked across the room. Through the door, I could see the jungle illuminated with each white-hot flash of light. The room was still electrified and loud, and the Ayahusaca made its presence known. People started purging, Otillia started singing, and all the sounds mixed together…”