Hiking to Everest Base Camp began as a young girl's dream to stand at the foot of the tallest mountain in the world. It seemed to me so foreign and wild and paramount. Yet when I finally reached her at base camp after five days of walking I felt an emptiness within me that echoed the word, "Why?" I didn't understand what I was feeling. It was as if the buildup that led me to my destination ended up being a one-way ticket to nowhere and I was left with a longing for something that did not exist, at least in the places where I was looking.
While hiking the Haute-Route Pyrenees I met a hiker who soon became a close friend. Something he said really resonated with me and is something I still carry close to my heart to remind me that every challenge I face is an essential part of my journey. This is what he said:
This blog post is the entry I submitted to the Navigator Around the World in 80 Pages 2018 travel writing competition. To my surprise and great joy, it was awarded 2nd place and published in a book.
Every choice I make while traveling carves a new and distinct path that determines what I will experience and what possibilities lay ahead. One of the most spontaneous and unforgettable choices I made was when I decided to leave South East Asia unexpectedly and fly to Europe with three new friends to hike 800 km from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea along the Haute-Route Pyrenees (HRP).