Friday I returned from the most wild travel adventure I’ve ever taken. It’s emotionally difficult for me to classify the trip as “most amazing” or “most fun” out of reverence to my former life and the many travels Maggie and I shared, but I feel like it’s more of a tribute to me living beyond the life I had before, like I have broken out into a whole new world. And that’s fact. The daily experiences I experienced exceeded my wildest expectations and, likewise, reset my gauge for what I should expect, or rather, insist that the rest of my days be like. A whole new world was opened up to me and open eyes can’t un-see what’s been seen. This is the start of something wonderful.
Sitting atop the peak of Huayna Picchu, I thought of Maggie and how she’d have loved to be sitting right beside me. Then I realized she was there all along, coaxing me along. The wonder in my eyes as I gazed down on the valleys thousands of feet below me was a reflection of how she would have seen the same. The majestic peaks staggered mountain after mountain humbled me and helped me understand that what has happened to her and me has happened for ages. And yet, life continues. I am but a simple man, broken-hearted, but not broken. For I climbed every single step of Huayna Picchu, pausing for breath when I needed to, but I did it, all the way to the top and then back down again. I never gave up. I lived to see the indescribable 360-degree peak. Eventually, I made it down safely – tired, sweaty, hungry and beat down.
My visit to Huayna Picchu has humbled me.
Now, I feel like I’m climbing back down my own personal mountain. I feel like I’ve beaten the climb and the altitude. The views are still dizzying and the stairs can be slippery, but all I need to do is stay focused. But the path is smoother and the threat of falls less ominous. I’ll trudge on. I’ve already made it up. Now, I suppose like it’s always been, it’s one foot in front of the other. But the footsteps are getting easier.