I recently went on quite a trip to Peru. It was with First Descents on an FDX adventure. It was outstanding. Everyone came for the adventure. After 10 days; we had run a multi-day section of the Apurimac River, we had trekked 4 days near Lares, and we had visited the UNESCO world heritage site at Machu Picchu.
Along the way I took some photographs. Some came out, several did not. This is an offering of my view. Keep in mind that I only have my camera for the moments that capture the attention of me, and my camera. What you won’t see here, or in most trip reports, are the moments not rated for mature audiences.
Maybe it’s when the raft you were solo captaining just moments ago is now running you over a rock squeezed in a tight slot. There is certainly no picture of when I felt my rib crack. Or when I had to reconcile my role had changed. And don’t worry, I won’t show you a picture of my race to the bus door with a mouthful of breakfast. You don’t get to see the pouring rain, or the howling wind. I can’t make real for you the sandflies, or cramped quarters on the drive back to Cusco, or the cattle class in the back of the plane on the long flights home.
I should however, have made available to you pictures of the dance party on the bus coming back from Aquas Caliente because on the bus there was, in some strange way a tribute to the Boss, we were dancing in the dark.
To say I’ve been doing this for a long time now is an understatement. Travelling that is. I know the ebb and flow. In fact I love it. I thrive on it. The consequence is that it changes the way we feel at home. With more time spent at a proverbial home in these last few years than the 25 before them, I am recognizing that I don’t have to leave to invite in adventure and adversity. In fact, it behooves me to. I can conjure up those same feelings of mystery and challenge, because in every day that is important.
In my travels I have also developed a wide reaching community. Perhaps just by virtue of the how, and where, we share things. We share things at our core. When I really give it some thought, I see this similar trait. It often looks like a zeal for living. It smells like willingness to adapt. It sounds like compassion through understanding. Maybe it’s an overstatement but it underscores the choices we make and the people we are. From what I can tell, it isn’t about dwelling in the past or living in fear; it’s about welcoming the challenge and diving head first into the future.
I can’t put my finger on it… so I will call it “X”.