The Time I Almost Died on a Waterfall in Thailand
A Life Worth Living | Feb 4, 2023
Every Saturday I share a story about my life in a way that you can hopefully relate to. I believe we are all here to share our journey, both the highs and the lows, as this is how we collectively raise the consciousness of the planet. If anything resonates with you, please share! 🙏
In 2004 I had a near-death experience.
Studies say that some 10 to 20 percent of people who come close to death report them — about 5 percent of the population at large.
Mind you, my experience wasn't one of those where I arose in spirit form to see my body below or began making my way to a singular, blindingly bright point of light.
The thing is, you don't realize you're having a near-death experience until after you've survived one.
In late 2001 I took my very first trip abroad to visit Amsterdam with a couple of friends. We ended up having a great time, exploring the city and hitting up a few late night DJ parties.
It was at one of those parties that we met a local by the name of Heiko. He was a bit younger than us but we quickly hit it off and ended up exchanging contact details. Over the next few years we would keep each other updated on the happenings in our lives.
Fast forward to late 2004. I was wrapping up my 2-year adventure in Atlanta, having come to the realization that working with my half-brother in construction wasn't going to work out as I had imagined.
It was during one of those email chats that Heiko mentioned that his parents owned a house on Koh Samui in Thailand and that I should come and visit. As you might imagine, I didn't need much convincing.
So in late December of 2004, shortly after I had moved back to NY to my parents house, I packed a suitcase and began a 26-hour journey to the other side of the world.
The itinerary was NYC to Frankfurt, followed by a connection to Bangkok. From there I took a local flight to the beach town of Surat Thani. There I boarded a ferry for a one-hour trip to Koh Samui.
Mind you, this is 2004.
I distinctly remember being on that ferry and thinking, "My folks have no idea where I am. If this thing sinks, I'll just disappear without a trace." Yeah, a bit macabre, I know.
I made it safe and sound, and proceeded to look for Heiko, who was waiting for me on a scooter, which I promptly jumped on, with my luggage in tow.
He was excited to show me around, so after dropping my stuff off at the house, we rented a second scooter and went off to hike one his favorite trails. We parked the scooters at the base of trail and began making our way up to the falls. This is pre-iPhone days, so I was grateful I thought enough to bring my camera.
Everything about the hike was beautiful. We got to the base of the falls and chilled there for a bit before hiking up further to the top of the falls.
We made it to the top and the views were amazing. Heiko was standing on a small ledge looking out over the valley and he called me over to see the view from there.
In between Heiko and myself was the stream that originated higher up the mountain, and which was making it's way over the falls.
As I stepped into the stream to walk over to Heiko, I placed my feet on the stones in the stream, and quickly discovered what should have been obvious. The water had polished the stones underneath smooth. It was as if I had stepped on a bar of soap.
Both my feet went into the air and I landed on my back with a thump that knocked the air out of me. Worse yet, the water was carrying me quickly to the edge of the falls.
Heiko would later play back the scene from his perspective and tell me that he was completely caught off guard and quickly working through what to do next.
We're talking a few seconds of time that will forever feel like eternity to me. When I think back to that moment it was as if everything was happening in slow motion.
As I was being carried to the edge of the falls I spotted a small boulder out of the corner of my eye on the left bank of the stream. I instinctively stuck my left leg out just as I was passing it and was able to plant my foot on the rock, which stopped my forward motion.
Heiko quickly extended a hand and pulled me over to the outcropping he was standing on. Needless to say, we were both speechless for a bit. My heart was pounding and it likely took several minutes before I was able to calm down. This is me a few minutes afterwards:
I was clearly processing what had just happened and I don't think the full extent of it had sunk in just yet.
We eventually made our way back down the mountain and continued riding around the island on our scooters. Thankfully the rest of the trip was far less dramatic and I have fond memories of the week I spent there.
I've shared this story a few times on stage, and this is typically the point where I mention returning home to New York where, over the course of the following weeks, the enormity of what I went through would hit me in waves.
Thanks to my podcasting journey I've been able to experience first-hand the power of stories, and how peoples voices have the ability to move others.
I've talked in the past about my mission of helping a million people find their voice and I often think how sad it would have been had I not made it through that day. So many adventures undiscovered. How sad it would have been to die with my voice inside me.
By no means am I trying to say that I had a magical a-ha moment when I returned home that immediately illuminated a new path in my life. Far from it. In fact, it would be 10 more years before I would be able to finally begin to find my own voice and start a new chapter in my life, at age 44.
I tell you this story in the hopes that it inspires you to share your own personal stories. They are what bring us all a bit closer and humanize us. I say this often and will probably say it thousands of times more.
You have a voice inside you that needs to be heard.
— 𝗛𝗔𝗥𝗥𝗬 𝗗𝗨𝗥𝗔𝗡 🚢 (@HarryDuranFC)
Feb 3, 2023
Don't wait for a life-changing experience to find yours.
Life is too short.
🙏 with gratitude,
What I Created This Week
With a little help from my friends, I finally polished up my home for these letters at harryduran.com. Over the next few weeks I'll be adding more content. The plan is for it to be the home base for everything that's happening in my life, personal and business.
🎧 Vertical Farming Podcast (Season 7) sponsored by Cultivatd
🙋♀️ P.S. When You're Ready...
Here are a few of ways I can help…
✡️ Download a free copy of my Conscious Voice Expansion Plan. The most powerful way to transmit and elevate your voice is with a podcast. This plan will outline for you the pillars of success needed prior to the launch of your show!
🎥 Watch my free video, 5 Key Pillars of a Profitable Podcast that every business owner needs to know prior to launching their show.
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