I have just got back from an amazing three weeks trekking in Ladakh to Stok Kangri – a trekking peak at just over 6100m. It was a real rarity for me – a trip which I wasn’t leading, wasn’t involved in organising – I just signed up, turned up, trekked up and came home.
That was a very unusual experience for me – in some ways I felt I lost a lot of the experience – to not know 100% what was happening, to not be involved in every logistical detail, to not even have to cook my own tea – in some ways diminished the fullness of the experience.
On the other hand it was wonderfully relaxing – for three weeks to have nothing to focus on but the views, the summit, and mainly on trying to force enough air into my system to stay oxygenated!
Like so many travel and expedition experiences it is also growing on me on my return. Day to day on the trip you are focused on what you are doing – its only when you are back that you reflect – I’ve been to the Himalayas, I trekked over 6000m, I saw some of the most fabulous monastries high in the mountains – both physically and methaphorically I stood somewhere new.
So now I am back, the expedition beard scrapped off and slunk away ashamedly down the sink but in small ways I feel recommitted to experiencing new things – a new beautiful running route discovered outside my house, taking a chance and getting up new climbing routes that I thought may be beyond me… and I guess this is why the travel experience is so powerful and I am already planning the next one.