On our way to Pokhara we made a transportation swap. We took a bus for a couple of hours and switched to a raft! We did some white water rafting with Adrenaline Rush Nepal, and I’m so stoked that I can say that I’ve white water rafted in Nepal. It was alot of fun. And some of the rapids were really intense. It was cold, wet and one hundred percent magical.
There have been three times that I can recall crying on that trip: when I ate pork, in Jhadol and all day the first day trekking. It was brutal! Terrible! The hardest thing I’ve had to do in my life. I would’ve rather done anything else. I would’ve even rather done the Thailand trek again! I was so upset, negative and totally not myself. I honestly felt like such a fool, but I really couldn’t handle it. The first day was about 6 hours of trekking, and the last 3 or 4 it seemed like we were wall climbing, it was so steep. When we had finally made it to our first teahouse to stay for the night, I had pretty much decided that I wasn’t going to be going any further. Stop #1 was my stop for the week.
I woke up the next morning with a little bit of a different attitude. I decided that I was going to continue to the next tea house, but that I was not a trekker, and that I was not going to enjoy it, and that that was how it was going to be.
Emotions are such an incredibly powerful thing. Of course this trek was a very physically demanding and difficult challenge, but the amount of the impact my mind had on it was overwhelming. The first night I talked with Mama C and she explained to me that I didn’t have to like it, or want to do it, or even be positive towards it but that I COULD and WOULD do it, and everything would be okay. I tried to explain to her that I was completely content with completing the Thailand trek and that I was proud of myself and I didn’t feel that this Nepal trek would bring me any satisfaction. I told her that I didn’t feel like there would be any reward. In Thailand there were waterfalls and villages and so many wonderful things. She told me ‘Just wait, they’re here too.’ And of course she was right.
Charlie also was a big part of my continuing on; he offered to switch bags with me. So as I had his little backpack (which was still so much for me!) he had my big one and tanked over everything. I honestly don’t think that I would’ve been able to carry on without his big heart and generosity.
There was one point on the trek that I was walking with Patrick and he was just smiling and looking at this river. He said to me “This river is so sure of where its going.” I have never EVER thought of a river like that, but he’s right. Patrick has this amazing ability to think so much deeper than everyone, his mind is truly beautiful. And as I was thinking about what he had said, I realized me and this river have some similarities. I’ve found it so easy to go with the flow, moving with the current from place to place and being more than content. But in regards to sureness of where I’m going? Nope, I don’t have that. But I do trust that I’m headed in the right direction, and that wherever this flow is bringing me is where I’m supposed to end up.
About day 3, as I was in bed reading before sleeping, I had this thought: ‘I love reading, how great would it be if I could just read all day tomorrow.’ Then I realized I could! When I was younger I used to read as I walked to school, and so I brought this skill of mine to the mountain. I started to read as I hiked. Everyone thought I was crazy, but it was the perfect solution to me. Instead of concentrating on the burning sensation in my legs as I was climbing up stair after stair after stair, or the amount of sweat I was producing, or the pain in my lungs, I was concentrating on the story in my book. I truly believe that there was some magical force pulling me up that mountain. This really made accomplishing this trek possible.
(Katherine and Paola decided to join me at one point!)
When we finally made it to the Anapurna Base Camp, our final destination, I climbed up a little bit farther up into the snow – which crunched beneath my feet I must add – sat on a rock, and marvelled at the magic around me. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so on top of the world, or so alive. Mama C was right. There were rewards here too.
Our journey back down the mountain was a whole lot shorter than the struggle up it. We were flying down. And we were officially making our way home. I really was able to enjoy the hiking on the way back. I wasn’t as concerned about what was ahead of me, but instead I was able to enjoy the marvellous mountains and forest and universe around me. I smiled, and laughed and actually let myself enjoy it. And we all were spending as much time with each other as we could in our last few days. At one of our last tea houses we all gathered together on the rooftop and sat huddled in our sleeping bags as the sun went down (which we then replaced with candles) and had one last check-in. We poured our hearts into each others (a true namaste), shared a few favourite moments and cried. Even just writing this now brings back such powerful, overwhelming feelings of love and admiration for these strangers that have become my family.
Mama C had said to me ‘I knew how much you’d enjoy the journey and the destination, once you decided to go.’ She was referring to my continuation with the trek, but it really fits the whole trip, and on so many levels. I’m so glad that this trek was as hard for me as it was.
There was not a moment in those 3 months that was not a challenge. There was nothing that didn’t teach me an abundance of knowledge. There was nothing that I didn’t fall in love with. There’s nothing that I don’t miss. There’s nothing that doesn’t make my heart swell and ache and the same time.
This might conclude this trip, this journey. But my travelling does not end here. My growing and expanding spirituality continues every single day. Everything is an adventure, and I’m trying to grasp onto life the way I have learnt to. I’m trying to think deeply, learn from and process everything. I might be stuck in Calgary for a while, but that is not going to stop me from allowing the world to grab on to me and the universe to take care of me.