This story is about travelling the world, interviewing lots of men (everyone from porn stars to famous author John Grey), and going on a magical Ayahuasca journey.
And at the end of this episode I’ll share with you the best mushroom you can use to make your own magical brew in your home in case you don’t happen to have Ayahuasca growing on your doorstep.
What you will learn
- an easy way to start travelling the world and working from anywhere
- three things about men that not everyone may realize
- how to make a tasty brew at home that isn’t Ayahuasca, but is pretty darn magical all the same
At the end of this episode I’ll share with you the best mushroom you can use to make your own magical brew in your home in case you don’t happen to have Ayahuasca growing on your doorstep.
Our guest, Anna Rova, aka Wanderova
I am very excited to be joined here today by Anna Rova, aka Wanderova, who is a fellow podcaster, writer and entrepreneur. And among other cool things, Anna has some very interesting insights on relationships. She has interviewed all kinds of people about this topic, from porn stars to John Gray who is the author of the bestseller Men Are from Mars, Women Are From Venus. Anna has also done lots of other magical things, including Ayahuasca which she’ll talk about a bit later.
So Anna welcome to the Clean Food, Dirty Stories podcast! I’m really excited to have you here today!
Anna: Thanks for having me! I’m so excited too!
Beginning to travel the world with a one-way ticket
Me: Now I know that you basically travel the world writing and doing other amazing things, and I would really love for us to start by having you tell everybody how you came to become a digital nomad.
Anna: OK, well that’s an easy subject to start with. I became a digital nomad about 2 years ago. Last year around May I started travelling full time, and I was in Malaysia working for a company called MindValley who make personal growth products. I did online marketing there and I got exposed to the digital nomads out there and one day I was like “Oh my God, I don’t need to be in an office, I can be anywhere and do my work”. So I was over my Malaysia chapter and I booked a one-way ticket to Bangkok. I had a friend there, I went to a wedding there. And then after a week in Bangkok I booked a ticket to an island, got an apartment, taught myself how to ride a scooter and that was it! And the rest is history!
It’s such a journey, I’ve travelled all over the world, I’ve lived in more than 15 countries in the last 2 years. Just ask me what you want to know more about!
When in doubt, teach yourself
Me: I love how you taught yourself how to ride a scooter, I mean, was that just trial and error? Did you just fall off and then get back on?
Anna: I think that was the scariest shit ever in my life because overall I think I had that summer 3 accidents on the motorbike and that’s unavoidable. When I was renting an apartment, I had to get around. And for anyone who’s been to Thailand, besides Bangkok, the only way to get around is by motorbike.
I was scared to death to ride it, I didn’t have a driver’s license and I thought “I suppose I’m just gonna do it!” But I learned how to balance it in the right way, and that’s it.
So I went on the street and in the first 3 minutes I realized I was gonna be out of gas, and I was like ‘shit what am I gonna do’ and you know, I just did it. In 2 months I was pretty much like a pro. I loved it, I loved the freedom of going wherever I wanted.
An easy way to transition from full-time work to digital nomad
Me: At that point were you writing articles?
Anna: Well no, I have an interesting story because for me it wasn’t like quitting everything and then doing my business. It was good because this transition from having a full-time job in an office to a digital nomad lifestyle with remote work can be a really hard one. I think a lot of people aren’t prepared, they think it’s easy.
But I negotiated to basically start working remotely for the same company. I had a full-time job and I didn’t need to be in an office, so that was for about half a year so it really helped me to have stability for the first 6 months, somebody out there waiting for me to show up and do my work. The rest was so unstable, you didn’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, where you’d be, it was crazy.
So that was great and I wasn’t ready yet to jump into my full-on entrepreneurship journey. But I actually found another job with a company that’s in the same industry and I signed a contract for another year to work full-time remotely doing online marketing which was great. I negotiated like a double salary and it was awesome!
Another one-way ticket…to Colombia
I booked my one-way ticket to Colombia and you know, Latin America was a continent that was always in my dreams. But after a year I came back to this feeling that I’m an entrepreneur, you know? I need to do my own thing, I have so much in me to write, to say, to discover the world, to teach.
So I quit the job this January just 3 months ago and I went on this 90-day Wanderova journey and I thought I’m just gonna write about it, and it was incredible! In two months of writing on Medium I got to top writer in Travel, top writer in Relationships, I got published by a publication, I’m building my own business, I coached a couple of people.
Becoming a relationship expert
Me: So then that was my next question actually, because we’ll link to Medium in the show notes and then people can read about the posts that you were writing when you were travelling. But I’m curious to know how you then started to write about relationships and how you got to interview porn stars and John Gray? Talk about a mixture!
Anna: So actually that project, my expertise in relationships started way before I became a digital nomad. This is also a sign for me when I look back I realize that I was always entrepreneurial. I just didn’t fully realize it consciously.
From MindValley to John Gray
While I had my full-time job in Malaysia, some of you might know that MindValley is such a creative, entrepreneurial place. And I started my podcast in 2014. At that time I had just broke up with my boyfriend. We were almost engaged and all of that but I said I don’t want that. I didn’t know anything about relationships but I was into podcasting and I just said “I’m going to start my own podcast where I’m going to interview men about relationships to figure it all out”.
And you know, it was such a journey, I did the project for two years. In these two years I got a chance to interview 43 amazing men all about women and relationships. I asked them all kinds of questions, and yes I interviewed John Gray. He wrote 17 books on relationships and you know, he’s a famous writer and speaker, men go to their cave and whatever. I was shocked myself when he decided to say yes and have an interview with me.
Enter the porn star
I interviewed porn stars. It’s actually a funny story because after my interview with a porn star, his name was I think John Logan. A couple of weeks later I was doing my self satisfaction moment in bed and then I saw the guy in a porn video in like a threesome and I was like “Oh my God I can’t watch this! I interviewed him on my podcast!”
But yeah, I interviewed all kinds of men from all kinds of nationalities, all kinds of walks of life. And I just asked them what do they find attractive in a woman and all of that.
Me: And what kind of things came out? What are some of the common things that men seem to say about what makes women attractive?
Anna: Oh this is such a huge subject!
Me: Maybe two or three little things.
Anna: I actually learned a lot, not only from them, but I read a lot, I researched the subject. And I became a totally different woman. It was a journey to discover men, but at the same time it was more of a journey of discovering myself and what I think about men, what I think about relationships, what I think about women.
The first thing Anna learned about men
A lot of shit came up that were limiting beliefs, patterns from my childhood, whatever.
So one of the things that I love to tell everyone, and women especially, is that we have this notion that men are something based on what we’ve seen in our life. But I absolutely believe 100% in the good of men: I love men, I love their masculinity, their polarity. And I started appreciating men. I realized what they have to go through to even talk to a woman, you know? Like I never thought about it. Men go through their puberty and they just start Googling things and talking to other men about how to get women.
We as women, I mean I don’t want to generalize but a lot of women are so bitchy to men and so down on men and “oh they just want to get into my pants” and I just went inside and realized who they’re raised by and how they’re going through all of this process.
First I’d say that I just got to understand and appreciate men, which was my mission. I realized that it’s a journey for all of us.
Anna’s biggest learning
The other thing that I realized is that I dug deep and this is all about patterns and limiting beliefs that come from my family and my childhood and my culture and what I’ve seen. And I realized that I was attracting all of these emotionally unavailable men because I myself was emotionally unavailable.
So my second tip and my biggest learning is that our partners or the men that we attract as women are a direct reflection of us. If we attract someone that doesn’t call us back or whatever, that means that we ourselves are unavailable. And it’s really hard to realize cause you’re like “But I want love! I want a relationship!” But you’re just not ready. That’s what I tell all of my girlfriends when they ask me.
If you’re attracting super needy men there’s a lot of deep, deep work in there. So that’s the second thing.
The third thing: we’re working with broken tools
And the third thing I’d say is that I just realized I never saw growing up a healthy model of how relationships should be. I come from a small Eastern European country, my mother passed away when I was 8 years old, and my dad after that remarried a couple of times. Well, once he remarried, but there were many women in his life and there was a stepmother, there was an evil bitch there, I mean I have a crazy story.
Basically I just didn’t see healthy relationships where men loved their women, women loved their men and they had healthy relationships where they’re partners. They’re not like “Oh my God, you’re my other half” and like “Save me” and “Heal all my wounds”.
I guess one of the biggest realizations was that I just realized that our modern notion of love and relationships is completely broken. We just expect the other person to come in and “Make me happy, heal my wounds”. It just doesn’t work.
A healthy relationship today, and still travelling!
Today I’m engaged to my man, but I always make sure that this is me, and my shit is like my shit and I need to work on me constantly. Even when I’m getting married. I’m like “this is his own shit, this is my shit”. We’re together in this, and we’re choosing each other every day and you know, we’re not dependent on each other emotionally. At least I hope we’re not.
Me: You know, I like that phrase ‘choosing each other every day’, that’s really quite cool. Yeah.
Anna: Yeah. So I believe that really helped me and you know, I just became emotionally independent and that’s how I met my man currently and that’s how he proposed 9 months after we met.
We’re having a wedding in Moldova in my country and it’s so beautiful and flowery but there was a lot of work behind it. I went through a lot of stuff. So that’s the story.
Anna’s Ayahuasca journey
Me: So when I was reading your blog and the stories of your travels, I just zeroed in on your Ayahuasca story. I was like “I have got to read this!” because I’ve always wanted to try it and I haven’t had the opportunity yet and I know that I will. But for the benefit of anyone listening that doesn’t know anything about it, can you just tell us really briefly like what it is, and also how you came to be taking it and what happened?
What Ayahuasca is
Anna: Ayahuasca is very common among travellers because full-time travellers have a certain character, they’re adventurous, so they often know about Ayahuasca. But people who don’t travel that much, they’re like ‘what the hell is that’.
So Ayahuasca is something that I heard about a couple of years ago that somebody did it, and it was such an amazing experience. Life-transformation and whatever. I thought “I’ve gotta do it, I’ve got to have it on my bucket list!”
Me: Cause it’s a herb, right? You take it as a tea?
Anna: Yeah, so what it is…There’s a lot of controversy out there. Scientists have done research and experiments on what ayahuasca does and its effects. But basically it’s a herb, it’s a medicinal plant that’s found in the Amazon so in the Brazilian part in Peru.
How you use Ayahuasca…the right way
It’s mostly in Peru, people go there to have this experience. Ayahuasca’s a psychedelic plant. But the difference between all the psychedelic drugs out there, MDMA etc, I mean I haven’t done any of that by the way. They call Ayahuasca a medicinal plant and a life transformation experience because it’s a shamanic ceremony.
So it’s not like you go into a club and eat a plant or a mushroom. There’s a ceremony, there’s a shaman who guides people through. It’s a very serious experience, it’s an adventure. You’ve got to be ready to do it and there are so many positive stories around it. People are realizing their life purpose or whatever.
And there are also bad stories around it, that people have horrible experiences. What they say that ayahuasca does is that if you look at the research it’s actually used as a treatment for drug addicts for example, and people who are lost and want to see but they can’t see. So it affects some parts of your brain that are responsible for emotional memories.
What Ayahuasca can show you
That’s why it’s healing. It’s a healing experience in a way. They say that ayahuasca will show you what you need to see. So I wrote this post, there are two parts. One of them is where you count down…
Me: That’s the one I read. I haven’t read part 2 and I was like “What happens?”
Anna: Yes I describe how I felt before, and I was like pushing away the fear and then 48 hours before, an hour before…I was really scared because I didn’t know what the hell was gonna happen.
What Ayahuasca does
So basically it’s a liquid tea, they call it Ayahuasca tea. You drink it and maybe in like 20 minutes it starts coming to you. And then basically after that you fall into a state of deep dream and you start seeing psychedelic things for like 5 hours.
Me: Wow! 5 hours!
Anna: Yes, it’s really intense.
Me: But you don’t see the time go by, I would imagine, right?
Anna: Yes, it’s totally, well not out of body, I wouldn’t know how to describe it.
Me: Well it’s like when we dream, we’re in a completely different state of consciousness, right? And so time doesn’t have the same meaning.
Anna: Exactly, yeah. And I was aware of what was happening but I was deeply into it. I put it all out there in part 2 for readers to read, but every experience is different.
Our group had a really good experience. We did it during the day. We were in a very safe environment which is very important. But I’ve heard stories of not having a great experience, so it really depends where you are in life, how ready you are, and how much of a control freak you are. A lot of people who didn’t have a good experience tried to control it. And you just can’t do that. You’ve gotta work on just letting it go, letting it do its job and all that.
Anna’s main takeaway from her Ayahuasca journey
I’m really happy I did it. It still has its effects on me up until today and I think it always will. I plan to do it again and I’m actually still processing it. I’m really glad I did it. It was powerful.
Me: What was the main thing that it gave to you? I mean, if you had to pick one thing, what would that be?
Anna: Well I think it’s two things. First of all, there’s a feeling of oneness. Oneness with the world, with nature, with people. And at the end of it you just feel bliss. Our shaman explained that when you do Ayahuasca, you’re at a very high rate of vibration which is actually the human natural state of vibration. I totally believe that we are here to enjoy life. We are here to be happy and to be on that really high vibration. I just felt this feeling of oneness. I felt like whatever I have to do at home, like “Oh I have to do a podcast?” Whatever I have to do, it doesn’t really matter.
It’s like humans we complicate it so much. I felt that before through travelling, but this was a really intense feeling.
On top of that…
The second thing is that I just look at life as a game. It’s all a game!
Me: Yes! Totally!
Anna: We just complicate things so much but if you just let things flow and be in the game, nobody knows what the fuck they’re doing anyway!
Me: I tell myself that a lot. I do! It’s a game! It was like today because you know, for me, I’m super excited because you’re like my first podcast guest, right? Yay!
Me: And so you know this morning, of course you get a bit nervous. Because I’m using different technology for the first time and all that, and I’m like “You know what? So what!” It’s a game as you say, and we’re having fun and learning and exploring.
Where to find out more about Anna
So you’ve done so many cool things and I know you have a lot to share with listeners. Where do people go if they want to find out more and read about you and read more about your journey?
Anna: Well first of all I send everybody to Medium. So if they go to www.Medium.com/wanderova, this is my profile and I’m writing everything there.
I’d say there are three different topics I write about which are travel, relationships and life. But travel not in the sense that I’m not a travel blogger. I don’t write about ‘ten things to do here and here’, I don’t care about that. I mostly write about personal growth and self development and my thoughts. My angry thoughts…and so if they like what they’re reading I also love to send people to wanderova.com. It’s my website and you can sign up to get updates and whenever I create something I’ll just send you an email telling you how things are and just sharing my thoughts and stuff. I’m building a business and a lot of things are coming up.
But I’d say that, yeah, read my Medium stuff and if you like it then go and subscribe at wanderova.com and we’ll have a conversation about life and purpose and travels, yeah.
Me: And your podcast as well, that can be found where?
Anna: Well, as I said the podcast isn’t active yet but people can listen to it. My previous website is meninsideshow.com or they can find the actual episodes on SoundCloud and type ‘meninsideshow’ and you can listen to all these different interviews with men. There’s a lot of deep, cool stuff because men get very vulnerable. That’s what I realized, they’re not like robotic machines that don’t have feelings. They’ve been taught to have this image but their world is as intense and as deep as ours. It’s just a different polarity but it’s powerful.
Me: Super! So I’ll link to all of those in the show notes for people.
Anna, thank you so, so much. I really love your stories. And I for one am definitely going to listen to those podcast episodes.
A super mushroom for your own magical brew
Now I did mention at the beginning of this episode that I’d share with you what mushroom you can use to make your own magical brew at home. Now I can’t promise you it will take you on a magical journey, but it’s a great coffee substitute. The mushroom is reishi.
Now before you freak out and think where the hell am I gonna get reishi, you can easily get it on Amazon.
Benefits of reishi mushroom
Reishi mushroom not only makes a great drink, but it’s an adaptogen. What that means is that it helps us deal with stress. So super important, right? Reishi also helps keep your blood sugar stable, and it’s great for both your immune system and your lymph system.
On top of that, reishi is said to be able to help defend against tumor growth, improve liver function, balance your hormones as well as help fight diabetes, allergies and asthma. So you really want to be getting yourself some reishi. I’ll link to a very informative article in the show notes as well if you want to get more in-depth scientific knowledge about reishi.
How to use reishi mushroom
As to how you use it, well, if you’ve got pieces of reishi, you brew them. You make a tea. If you’ve got the powder, you just tip the powder into your blender with some warm water. Then you blend your reishi brew with cacao powder and a handful of cashews for a super delicious mocha. Or you can make my coffee substitute which I’ll link to in the show notes.
So I hope you’ve enjoyed our tales of magical journeys and brews! And if you try some reishi (or ayahuasca, for that matter), let me know in the comments!
Have YOU got a story to share?
If you’ve got a crazy, true story to share – with or without magic mushrooms! – and you’d like to know what food could have saved the day in your situation), I’d love to hear from you!
Got a question, or a comment?
Got a question, or a comment? Pop a note below in the comments, that would be awesome. You can also subscribe to the podcast to listen ‘on the go’ in iTunes.
I hope you have an amazing day. Thank you so much for being here with me to share in my Clean Food, Dirty Stories. Bye for now!
Anna’s podcast: https://soundcloud.com/maninside-show
Anna’s blog: https://medium.com/@wanderova
My recipe using reishi mushrooms: http://rockingrawchef.com/five-more-superfoods-and-a-coffee-substitute-you-wouldnt-believe/
Anna Rova, aka Wanderova
Anna Rova is an online marketer, lover of life and a yogi who is living the dream working and traveling the world. Originally from Moldova, Anna has lived in over 15 countries including Malaysia, Columbia and Mexico. She continues to travel as a digital nomad.