Kesha brings boundless energy to the stage and her songs, but when she travels, she appreciates some solitude.
“Making music and touring is this insane life. There’s so much manic energy,” Kesha says in a video created in partnership with Columbia Sportswear and exclusively shared with PEOPLE. “I love it, but really I have to go to the middle of nowhere a couple of times a year to balance out.”
The pop singer recently retreated to the San Juan Islands in northwest Washington for a whale watching trip with her brother. In the video, she shows off her two whale tattoos and begins a chant for the Orcas, who she calls her “whale friends.”
Kesha most recently released a movie, Rainbow – The Film, which tracked her experience as she recovered from personal trauma, reclaimed her career, and worked on her 2017 album. Through those tumultuous times, travel served as an escape from her everyday life, especially when she spent time in the wilderness.
“I love the juxtaposition of being able to go from the wildness of being on tour and seeing my fans to being unplugged from technology,” Kesha tells PEOPLE. “This side of me always perplexes people, but I’m so excited to share this collaboration with Columbia because it really captures a big part of who I am that people rarely get to see.”
“I’m an incredibly passionate person in everything I do, onstage and off, and I crave the freedom of the outdoors to balance and ground me,” she adds. “Any time I get offline is always healing for me—to be with nature in the middle of nowhere and enjoy and appreciate the majesty of the earth as it is.”
WATCH THIS: Kesha Delivers Emotional Performance of ‘Praying’ with Cyndi Lauper & Camila Cabello at Grammys
While in the islands, Kesha played with baby goats, and foxes, but her biggest animal connection was with the songbirds of the sea.
“There’s some weird connection I have with whales that I can’t really explain,” Kesha says. “Something about them makes me feel like life is going to be okay. When I see a whale, it reminds me I am an animal and it really helps me stabilize my mind.”
In the middle of the video, the “Praying” singer gets a bit discouraged because she hasn’t seen a pod of Orcas yet, but when a school of them breach the surface of the water, she’s thrilled.
“Every time I see one I have to stop myself from like, crying a little bit,” Kesha says. “When I’m writing a song, I get this weird euphoric feeling from like the universe and it’s weird because I get the same happy feeling seeing whales in the wild.”
Every time Kesha’s video is shared on social media, Columbia will donate $5 to the Center for Whale Research, a non-profit dedicated to the study and conservation of endangered Orcas, with a maximum donation of $10,000.