I recently went on a holiday to Peru. It was a hiking holiday up the Quarry Trail, 4,400m above sea level, up mountains so steep I was walking doubled over for most of it, even with hiking poles, and so beautiful I literally cried. Literally.
I am only slightly exaggerating when I say it nearly killed me, and if it wasn’t for the horse, it may well have. I have never done anything so challenging in my entire life. Or as liberating.
You see, I travelled alone. Sure, I met a tour group when I got there, but most of the travelling I did on my own. I arrived a few days early to give myself time to acclimatize and I did this alone. I wandered the streets of Cuzco, alone. I got myself out of a situation I was not comfortable with, alone. I survived, alone.
You see, I was one of those ‘One Day’ people. One of those ‘When I meet someone’ people with no confidence to do things without a safety blanket. I have recently come to realize that I am in fact that someone and ‘one day’ is TODAY. No more waiting around for Mr. or Mrs. Right (because a travelling companion can be either). No more ‘One day I will…’ statements. I am not getting any younger, as people always say, and NOW is the time to do what I want to do. For me. With me. Because in the end, all you really have is yourself, your experiences and your memories.
I also quickly realized that I had completely underprepared for the trek. I had done heaps of walking and riding to get myself fit and increase my endurance, because I thought that stamina would be the key here. I was totally wrong. I felt I had not done nearly enough up-hill walking, and absolutely none at any real altitude. And rightly so, where in Australia can you hike at the altitudes necessary to prepare for such a hike? The hardest part was getting a full breath, while it felt like a small child was using my chest as a bed. I very nearly turned back after the first day.
After waking up on the third day with very little muscle pain, I soon realized that I was way stronger in my body that I thought I was. I had yet again underestimated myself. 18 months of pole dancing and the bike riding had made my leg muscles stronger than I could ever have imagined and that it was quite possible I was in better physical condition than I gave myself credit for. It could be this or the constant Reiki I had programmed to receive, I’m not totally sure. Either way, for the first time in my life I realized that I am totally capable of doing something like this and it felt great!
My point is, at some point you have to act on your desires and stop waiting for your life to start. It has already started, it is happening even as you read this. One Day will never come, because it is like tomorrow – it doesn’t really exist. All we have is this moment and what we are doing in this moment, whether it be for our current happiness or for our future happiness, the only time that exists is NOW.
My other point is to not underestimate your abilities. Push yourself just a little bit further and have the courage to admit when you’re done (as I had to on part of the second day where I rode the horse to catch up to the rest of the group) and ask for help. But first, you have to have the courage to at least try.
Personal growth, getting out of your comfort zone and challenges are hard, but totally worth it in the end.
I now know that I can do whatever I put my mind to and that I don’t need anyone to do it with me. Sure, it would be nice, but company is no longer a prerequisite I have set for myself. I also now know that I have no idea what I am really capable of and I have the courage to see exactly what my limits are. I know what I want my future to look like and I am now taking steps to bring that about – including an epic trip to Europe in 2018. I can travel alone. I can hike up mountains. I can look after myself in a country where they don’t speak English. I can…
Now, the possibilities are endless……