At the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute I learned when a challenge stops being physical, mental, or emotional… and becomes spiritual.
Along with self-knowledge the road has given me innumerable gifts of experience, from the mundane to the once-in-a-lifetime, from tragedy to triumph, and every point in between. It’s one thing to learn from these experiences, however. It’s another to learn what I’ve learned.
Walking in Mongolia’s Orkhon Valley, I watched a herd animal do something brave.
The typical cliché used to describe people like me who go traveling for extended periods of time is to say that, “He is finding himself.” Setting aside the belittling way that expression is generally used – as if the instinct for self-discovery is to be mocked rather than celebrated – after almost 17 months on the road I’ve found the common idea of “finding oneself” to be totally inaccurate.
In March, I visited the movie-set-turned-tourist-attraction of Hobbiton in Matamata, New Zealand. This was the actual location used for the filming of the “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” trilogies.
Just over one year ago, on March 21, 2016, I began this journey. It’s difficult for me to wrap my head around the concept that it’s only been that long.
They say we never forget our first time, and in my experience that maxim applies to more than just its colloquial uses for drugs and sex. For me at least, it applies to travel, as well.
My time in Peru was so heart-opening, mind-expanding, consciousness-transforming, body-healing, spirit-challenging, soul-nourishing, cried-every-last-tear-taking-it-all-in-and-yet-there’s-more??? life-changing that I had to go to Colombia just to chill out.
I understand this now not just as a trip, a finite thing with defined boundaries and clear lines. This is the beginning of a time in my life, a phase, a place, an era.
A photographic overview of the first steps of my journey, traveling through Patagonia, to Ushuaia, Argentina.