I've been back in Vancouver now for nearly a month. I don't know where the time went as I still feel like I'm surrounded by the amazing Himalayan mountain ranges and Nepalese spirit. It took me some time (about 2 weeks) for my body to feel normal again. Everything in my mind seemed to have slowed down. I was sleeping until past noon and eating pretty much everything in sight - it was hard to break the habit of eating every hour and resisting all the yummy food we have here! I haven't had any Indian food since I got back and it may be awhile before I crave it again.
I've put off writing this post for so long now that I'm questioning if it's because I'm resisting that this is really an ending. This entire experience has really opened up a whole new world for me - one that I never even knew about, let alone thought I would find myself a part of.
During the long uphill hikes, Werner asked us to ponder the question "Who Am I?" which I'm sure is not an easy question for anyone. But some of what I learned about myself and others in that amazing space will stay with me for a long time. Sure, I realized how much I loved hiking and the challenges of mountaineering - and maybe could even see myself one day at the top of Everest (after much more practice!). I also realized I can do a lot more than I thought with the power of determination and feel confident in facing physical challenges (albeit slowly at first). But the lessons were much deeper than that.
One of the biggest lessons I learned is how powerful we all are to transcend the limitations that we think we have. This I learned,
From Edna - who reached Base Camp with us at the age of 84 (a record-breaker for sure).
From Werner - who summitted the tallest mountain at the age of 69 and inspires all of us to lead by example (and wants to do it again at 77!).
From Phil and Penny Kirk - who've designed their own rules and enjoy a life of adventure and seem to love everyone they meet.
From Collette - who went from a single mom struggling to feed five children to having everything she dreamed of for her family and supporting those with Cystic Fibrosis - and stepping way out of her comfort zone to be on this trek (by the way, the back of their family's t-shirts on the trek read: "In Memory of Lexi, To Honor Sharlie, With Hope for Ben, Lauren, and all those who fight to breathe"). If you know this family, it would bring tears to your eyes, too.
From all the amazing people I met who each overcame their own immeasurable challenges to be there.
I feel blessed beyond belief to have been a part of this. The perspective I gained is not easily forgotten and the experience not nearly an ending.
(P.S. Check out the previous posts as I've added lots of pictures and videos to the text!)