A Psychedelic Trip: The Consciousness Expanding Effects of Travel

Psychedelics change the psychic environment. Travel changes the physical environment. But both provide the same mind-blowing realization

Matt Gangloff
5 min readMar 20, 2022


Photo by Mantas Hesthaven on Unsplash

I am literally in a different world.

My cab weaves through the chaotic rush hour traffic. No one here respects lanes. Driving in Mexico City is a “might makes right” situation. It’s nauseating so I stare out the window, trying to catch it all as it whizzes by.

At a stop, I see a spider-like crack in a retaining wall, dark and wet, oozing with some kind of grease and there is a line of ants crawling into it and out. The cab driver waves off a homeless man trying to wash the windows. I put my backpack on the floor between my feet.

It smells like Iraq. It’s exhaust and it’s oil. It’s stagnant water and sun-dried piss.

Have I made a terrible mistake, I think, now sitting in my hotel room, thankfully in a nicer part of town. It’s just big enough to fit a queen-size bed with a grey comforter with geometric stitching and oil stains on it, I hope, and the little desk just wide enough for my laptop.

The bathroom is nice. I look out the second-floor window and watch the raindrops dance on the cobblestones to the muffled beat of the discotech a few doors down. The dishwashers from the restaurant next door pull off their hairnets tiredly as they sit and smoke cigarettes on a metal cage full of propane tanks.

On the Zocalo, there’s a man screaming in the rain or perhaps at it. I can’t understand it but I know he has a point. A woman in thousand-dollar heels wears a ripped garbage bag over her skin-tight black dress and walks past a trembling homeless man who is shoveling into his mouth a kind of pastry that looks like a cream-filled donut.

A man with the worst hair lip I’ve ever seen. A beautiful couple kisses in the rain.

At the restaurant next door, they bring fresh-baked bread and serve it with green salsa. And when you’re done eating, they always ask if you want ‘cafe y postra’ no matter what time it is.



Matt Gangloff

I teach the how-to’s of Post-Traumatic Growth: How to heal and grow, find a new mission, become your best self and build a meaningful life. www.mattgangloff.com