26 year old Canadian, Dutch resident travelling to every country in the world (111 so far) to become the first Canadian female to visit them all. Bestselling travel AUTHOR and founder of popular #TRLT Twitter chat.
“You look great when you make that face,” he smiled, amused by my ‘the things I have to put up with’ look. “You know what’s crazy? Your eyes are the exact same colour as that lake,” he said, pointing down behind me.
“Really?” I was unable to resist looking over my shoulder to admire the greyish emerald pool far below, cupped in Mother Earth’s rocky hands.
The atmosphere was captivatingly silent and seemed to drip with ancient mystery.
The mountains felt abandoned yet I felt that, whenever my back was turned, they opened their stone eyes to watch furtively as we passed through their beloved terrain.
“The only problem with the whole E.B.C. trek compared to a lot of the other ones in Nepal is that the route down is the same as the route up. So you’ve seen it all before, and you end up going as fast as you can to get it over with,” Ammon said.
It didn’t happen very often, but I had to disagree with him on that one. Even though we were on the same path, we were seeing it from a different perspective, and I thought the views were just as beautiful coming down as they had been going up.
There were always more friendly faces to see and people to meet, too, and the spectacular Himalayan views could never bore me.
On our way down, the lodges were nearly full with new arrivals, and we passed trekkers on their way up much more often.
Throughout our entire hike, there were hardly any other trekkers, no crowds, and only blissfully silent, open trails awaiting us.
A well earned hair scrub.
Oh, to feel clean again.
Ice water wash.
Chapter #42 ” Up, Up And Away”
We stood before the big sign with white lettering that said ‘Lukla is only 80 minutes away. Your trek is nearly over.’
We were so close to returning to where we had landed by plane fourteen days earlier and started out on our Everest Base Camp trek.
When we arrived at our emotional finish line in Lukla, we decided to stop at the Internet café just long enough to send out our pre-written blogs.
When it finally arrived, we saw through the window that it was a cargo helicopter not meant for passengers.
The butt end opened up, and they unloaded boxes of supplies before they rushed in to tell us, “Load them up.”
“This totally feels like Commando and Predator are headed out for a cool combat mission adventure,” Bree said.
Bree pulled Steph up off the bench and we all started dancing around in the big open space.
Ammon was relieved to have managed to get us onboard. He’d gotten a small taste of how women work; sometimes, you just have to buy their love.
“Don’t miss that view.” Mom pointed toward a window.
Mom loving the excitement too.
We were already flying over the deep green jungle of Nepal, leaving the glorious snow-capped mountains behind, and it reminded me of the comment…
…my brother Sky had sent us almost immediately in response to my latest blog post. I’m proud of all of you for setting and accomplishing the goals you’ve made for yourselves. No doubt this journey around the world has offered you some of the greatest challenges of your lives, and you’ve all continuously pushed passed them. Like Ammon said, it’s mostly mental attitude, and from what I gather, you’ve all done an amazing job, especially considering the circumstances. I know that very cold and very early mornings on an exhausted body can be discouraging and very unattractive. Again, I wish I was with you. It would’ve been sweet if my 5 year enlistment in the Marine Corps was completed prior to your trip. Next time I hope. Only 2 years left. Stand tall, Skylar” ***
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?