• terry-lynn hemmerling

My Drug of Choice

Just starting the hike...

I am currently coming to the end of a wander across the South American continent. This trip has been what travel is always is: a series of peaks and valleys. We have been on an eco-tour with the same group of people since January 31st. I can tell you that we absolutely won the lottery on the group we have been travelling with. They are funny, kind, interesting and incredibly respectful of one another. The trip for us culminated in a three day hike on an ancient Inka merchant/escape trail and then a visit to Machu Picchu. However, the days leading up to the hike I could feel a weariness settling in on my bones from living out of my backpack, altitude sickness, homesickness and constantly being on the go to cover the ground we needed to in the six weeks we have away. No amount of yoga seemed to ease the weariness. Truth be told, there were moments I wanted to go home. Except I had not yet gotten to Machu Picchu and knew that bailing out was not an option.  This past Tuesday we began the Lares Trek through some of the most beautiful landscape I have EVER experienced. The trail was quiet. The rushing river and bird songs were loud. The constant presence of the imposing mountains soothed my soul and travel weary bones in a way that cannot be put into words.

This picture does not even come close to doing the landscape justice...

Within a couple of hours I felt myself returning to a place of gratitude for the opportunity to be here and experience these parts of South America. My homesickness abated. I used breathing techniques and compassion to get through the altitude stress on my lungs. I returned to the present moment rather than longing for home. Nature absolutely brought me back to myself. It was a great lesson or reminder for when I am really feeling out of balance - go play outside and let nature do her thing...

Busting out a dancer pose at the summit - 4820 METRES!!! And feeling fine :)

By the time we arrived to Machu Picchu, I was glad to be there and so grateful for the walk in the woods and through the mountains to reset and regenerate... Nature is absolutely my drug of choice.

Mission accomplished!

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