The Journey is the Destination: Machu Picchu

  It is so important to be reminded that the journey is the destination. So many times in life we are looking for something at the end, you know, like that is the only thing that matters. We forget sometimes to stop and smell the roses or enjoy the parts of the trip before we reach the destination. I remember so vividly arriving into Santiago de Compostela that cool October morning back in 2008 and calling my dad in tears. Not because I was in pain or in joy, but because arriving at the cathedral was disappointing. There were so many people and I was by myself and it seemed like a let down. It was such an important lesson in life.

So I try to remember this as I travel around the world and travel through life. Life is not what you get at the end, life is what you make every day. Now I am no saint and so there are definitely days I have that do not embrace this completely. I have lazy days; days without major accomplishments. Don’t we all. But, for the most part, when I am out on another one of my adventures, I always try to keep in the back of my mind “the journey is the destination”.

Would you believe I once found a pair of Toms in a NYC store that had that exact saying on them, yup true story. The lesson stared me in the face for as long as those Toms lasted — about a year.

So here I am, I have just hiked 40kms of the Inca trail. All to get to Machu Picchu. And we wake up in the morning we go to this magical site at 330 am  – because that is the ridiculous time it happens — and it’s raining. What. Brilliant lesson. Imagine you just ignored the ruins and the trail and all the lovely moments along the way, just to wait til Machu Picchu. Now again, I know I got wrapped up in that a bit, again nobody is perfect, but as I ran with the porters, or inhaled the rainforest air, or sat on the terraces with Richie and Sean, I loved every moment.  It is every moment of the journey that I will remember. So I have to start packing up my stuff and eventually leave the tent and venture out into the rain. My thoughts are on a sunshiny morning and a beautiful view of Machu Picchu, but if not, this trip will have been amazing and will have brought so much to my life – even if I don’t get to see Machu Picchu. Perhaps reminding me that the journey is the destination was the most important part of this week for me.

*Follow up note: It was still raining as we arrived into Machu Picchu but the clouds parted and as the morning sunshine rose higher in the sky, the beautiful and magical structure was revealed. I think it was actually more glorious than had it been visible right away. How does the saying go: You have to put up with the rain to enjoy the rainbow?

What was your last anti-climactic experience? Did you learn a lesson?



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