Hiking to Machu Picchu was not magical. I did not return with great wisdom, a spiritual awakening or the mysteries of life solved.
I guess life is not like the movies, although I would still love to have a soundtrack playing as I live out the rest of my days if that ever becomes an option, but life is…well, it’s pretty real and sometimes it comes with mosquito bites and a sweaty sports bra.
Don’t get me wrong, the trek was magnificent. I saw mountains I could have never imagined and rivers that have been cutting through landscape long before I was around and will continue long after I’m gone. Peru is a stunning country and hiking it’s mountains and hills was a challenge. I am grateful. It was an accomplishment and I’m sort of a badass, but I’ve been home just over a week now and I’m still me.
I still get crazy when someone drives like they have absolutely no where to go. It is still summer in Phoenix and it’s super hot. I still have to buy blueberries and milk and the laundry needs to get done. I still drop the f-bomb and a couple of days ago I ate ice cream so my I’m clearly not worshiping my capable, climbing body.
Growing must be an every day thing. It’s not one trip, one retreat, or one mantra. Being more, stretching into a whole person, someone I can be proud of each year, takes work. It seems buried in the day to day.
When I was hiking, I tried to hold on to my feelings, tried to let them sink in, wash over me. I stood at 14,000 feet and told myself this was life changing and I couldn’t look at enough, breath deeply enough. I cried when I came around the corner to Machu Picchu after climbing on all fours up the “monkey steps.” It was magnificent, but it wasn’t magic.
Now that I’m home the trip is starting to fade into the back of my mind. In a year, I’ll begin to forget the clouds or how incredible a hot cup of porridge can taste when you’re huddled in a tent in the middle of nowhere. Over the years, hiking Machu Picchu will become…just something I’ve done.
It is strange how an experience so sweeping, so epic, can simply take it’s place in the timeline of my life.
Maybe I was expecting magic, maybe I wanted it to change me, make me better, or maybe my life all comes down to what our guide, Raul, said.
This is a long journey, take it easy, don’t rush, and remember the climb is built one step at a time.
No magic, no grand emotional awakening, just one step built upon another. Machu Picchu was a glorious step, but a step none the less.
My thoughts from the laundry room. Packs Off.