I’m back now. At my desk in the office with its amazing, though totally urban, view. I’ve been back home for 5 days and back in the office for 3 days. It seems like I’ve been back for weeks. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly you fall back into your normal routine. Even after such an epic adventure.
Despite the return of routine, I know things are different. They always are after a trip. At least for me. I can’t say that any of the trips I’ve taken have been life changing in and of themselves. But each trip, and I think more particularly, this trip will leave a lasting impact.
I walked the Camino de Santiago in 2011. I was hoping that I would have an “Oprah moment” on that trip. That some sort of light bulb would suddenly switch on and I would be able to make sense of the world and my life. That didn’t happen for me. But it did change the trajectory of my life. My mother says I’m a different person since that trip. Maybe she’s right. I may again transform in some way after this trip. Who knows? I think it’s too early to tell. What I do know is that EBC will stay with me for the rest of my life.
This trek tested me in ways I had not expected. I knew it would be challenging physically and, to a certain degree, mentally. And it was. But what I found to be most difficult was dealing with the things I couldn’t control. The things that were happening to me physically that I couldn’t control or really do anything about. The challenges sleeping, the weird feelings of unease that stay with you at such extreme elevation. And the ability to carry on in spite of these things. The days were long and hard but I didn’t ever feel a sense of despair or inability to carry on. You just got on with it. Yes, it was hard. Yes, it was exhausting. But I didn’t ever feel like there was anything other than moving forward. I didn’t force myself in any way, I just knew I would get to the next “break rock” or the next lunch stop or the next lodge. I just would. Almost like it was ordained. Perhaps because I felt so close to the Divine. Or maybe that was just the lack of oxygen!!
I feel powerful. I feel accomplished. In a way I haven’t before. Not after the Camino, not after trekking for a week in the Sahara Desert. This is different somehow. Larger somehow.
So what now? Well, that is the eternal question. I already have 1,000 ideas for the next epic adventure. All I know at this point is that it’s going to be awesome, whatever it turns out to be.