Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Annapurna Circuit: Learning When It's Time To Quit

Here's the summary of my attempt at the Annapurna Circuit:

Bad news...  another hellish bus ride...  Dave got sick...  I got even sicker...  we waited a day...  we walked a day...  Jay got sick...  we did a bunch of (frustrating) half days...  I was tired...  I was more tired...  I was really tired...  I got cranky (bless both J & D, those guys are so wonderful)...  I decided to stop walking.

What else?  No one in Nepal answers the damn telephone...  Davo walked six hours to help me get a plane flight out of the Circuit...  there were no seats available...  a non-English speaking man indicated that supposedly there's a flight in three days...  D continued hiking with J...  I hung out in a flea-sized village and did nothing...  I flew back to Pokhara.

Not exactly the epic, spectacular, ultimately successful Everest trek experience.  But with a few days rest in Pokhara, I see that it has been successful--just not in the way I hoped originally.

I am tough on myself.  Like, waaaay tough on myself.  And I'm really stubborn.  I hate quitting...  anything.  As a result, I've stuck with things (studies, relationships, hobbies, points-of-view, hiking boots, leftover pizza) way past their expiration date.  And when they finally do expire, I take it personally.

In the past few years, I've become more gentle with myself (see: Pema Chodron).  I've begun to see, intuitively, that all things do expire.  It's just the nature of things.  Rather than focus on the end, the destination--better to focus on the process, the journey.  Rather than create a world in my mind of unrealistic expectations and irrational attachments, to believe the stories that exist only in my head--better to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.

In this spirit, I will announce proudly:  this trek may be the first thing I've ever quit in my life.  And, amazingly, I'm ok with that.

annapurna sunset

Maybe travel does help one to grow up.  But...  still, I'm not giving up my beloved hiking boots.  :-P

the carnage...  my poor babies!

A few other photos:

the scenery went from this... this!

having jay with us was one of the highlights of the trek (and i'm not just saying that 'cause he might read this)

we demonstrate being sick, which we all were

happy halloween!

where is the factory that pumps out these adorable children?!
i better not catch baby fever...  lord knows i've been sick enough in this country

the hungde airport departure lounge...  not exactly jfk international

the flight path is between the mountains...  not over.
uh...  that's crazy.

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