I’ve been blessed to live in this beautiful country for the past six years, and around this time of year all people are talking about is Envision: are you going or are you not?

As the hostess of a busy hostel, my answer had always been the same: “Nah, it’d be fun, but this is our high season and I can’t take a week off just to party.” That’s all I thought Envision was, one giant beach party where tourists flew from all over the world to trip out on psychedelics and rock out on a warm beach.

But this year, something has changed. I’ve changed, and I believe a lot of you reading this have as well. There has been a global shift in consciousness. If you are very still, and shut out outside distractions, you can feel the energy moving. The world may be in a state of turmoil, with greed fuelling destruction and apathy fuelling disconnection, but people are beginning to wake up.

More and more are gravitating to amazing countries like this one, searching for a place where they can be free from their current society and the restrictions it confines them with. We who live here can see it first hand in the increase of tourism.

Yoga is becoming more and more popular as people seek to find the connection they lost within themselves. Surfing is becoming more popular as people seek to find the connection they lost with Nature. People may seem jaded from monotonous lifestyles, dependence on technology and distrust in the system, but there is new wonder and awe in the eyes of many who are reunited with the beauty of life here.

I see this. I see these seekers, these creators, these lovers of music, these crusaders of freedom, beauty, truth and love coming together…and what better sanctuary for these visionaries than Envision? A festival that calls together light healers, energy workers, yoga gurus and fire dancers from around the world, to teach their craft and inspire others to follow their bliss.

As mentioned in other articles, yes, Envision may have been created by capitalists, may be trying to make money from the joy of others, but it’s still a festival that is dedicated to the Lovers I listed. To me, Envision is a refuge for many of these people to come together as One; to co-create, to join voices, gifts and energies together to inspire themselves and others to “make the movement move”.

I’ve lived in a small beach community for years, and I know that festivals and parties can wreak havoc on our beautiful oceans, beaches and jungles (not to mention the water supply), but instead of condemning the entire festival for the pollution I know will occur, I am going to bring garbage bags with me, and scissors to cut plastic. I will keep my eyes open to any garbage in my path, pick it up with a smile, and while doing so hopefully encourage others to follow my example.

I know that many people there will be tourists looking for another drug-fueled, psychedelic party trip on a warm beach. Not everyone will be the visionary I hope to find and learn from. That’s ok, too. We are all One, some of us are just a bit lost, and perhaps many of them will find this to be the life-changing experience they needed to wake up. And once they do, their inspiration will ripple outwards to those around them until it becomes the wave of change we need. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

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