Though I have been traveling solo all year, I have never done a solo trip. And by that I mean, a solo backpacking trip. I have done lots of day hikes by myself and I have thought about doing some solo overnights, but I never got up the courage to actual go do it.
[Full disclosure — i did a one night overnight in Oregon a number of years ago with my dog — so kind of solo, but i wussed out on the trail I was going to do and headed back to the car early the next day]
When I was in Nepal, I thought about doing another trek (because if you remember, I was there when it was the rainy season). But, I wussed out, not wanting to go by myself. unsure of how it would be, unsure of the world around me.
So, here I was in Peru, wanting to get out of Cusco before my trip to Machu Picchu, wanting to trek more in the beautiful andes, but not having anyone to go with. Do I wuss out and just do day trips? Or do I put on my big girl pants and head out for my first solo trip?
yep. I put on the big girl pants.
I headed out for the Lares Valley, which leads up from the Sacred Valley. I would do two days with the 3rd being a transport day to get to Aguas Caliente for my visit to Machu Picchu (but more on that in a different post).
I got my tent, my food, my map and headed out – taking buses to the trail head, asking locals for directions. Feeling a little nervous, but ready to be out there.
So, what made this time different?
I remember the first time I really, truly fell in love. People all around me were telling me that I looked different. That I looked good, that I was glowing and radiant and looking so happy (maybe looking a little bit better than that picture above…..). I remember thinking, at first, well, that is strange — I don’t feel different. I am not doing anything different. Why would they be telling me that?
And then I realized what it was — I was happy. I was content, in love with my man and in love with the world. Life was …good. And it showed in me — as I smiled and radiated my way through the world. And though that feeling (and that relationship) ended, I remembered that time and that feeling well.
Which, is really similar to now.
Life is good. There is no place that I would rather be, then right here, right now.
And that, in turn, gives me the courage to try the things I have not yet done – like trek solo. Like talk to locals in my sometimes butchered spanish. To smile and laugh with strangers.
And so I went and trekked solo. And it was good.