I couldn’t believe where the trip had brought us. Through the pain, I’d gained so many unforgettable moments and life-altering revelations. I was beginning to recognize my internal desire to improve myself and better understand the way I perceived the world around me, and I fully intended to influence it in a positive way. I’d met and made friends from all walks of life and I’d walked more than a mile in other people’s shoes. In this short time, we’d ventured from the third lowest place on earth to watching a flood of light pierce the new day at one of its highest points. The emotional and physical highs and lows of the journey mirrored those explorations. We could have given up and let the hard times defeat us, but we overcame them. I knew there would be more challenges – we all did – but an experience like this made us think about why it was all worth it. Not only had we built incredible lifelong memories; we’d built lasting, healthy relationships among our entire family, strengthening our bonds and surviving the hardships and fights. Being glued to each other sometimes felt like imprisonment, but working through the anger and frustration was rewarded with a greater sense of happiness and fulfillment. Unable to escape, we had to face obstacles and reach the top, much like the mountains we’d climbed. Who knew where this whole thing might lead?