The End. Fin. Cue: We are the Champions. Follow with “Closing Time.”
In what seems like a blink of an eye (if blinking were really hard and took ten days of going up and down hills) my trek has come to an end.
Immediately after exiting the trail, and seeing my taxi waiting to take me back to Pokhara- I passed a beautiful French family of four that was just starting their trek to Annapurna Basecamp.
I gave my bamboo stick to the girl in the family, who must have been around 12, and Gambu gave his stick to the little boy, who was maybe 9. I told the girl that I had already taken the stick up to ABC and now it was her turn.
They all looked so happy and excited, and I nearly started crying because of how wonderful it was that they were doing the trek as a family.
Because, you see, I too did the trek with my family.
Of course, not as literally, but in our own way- they were with me. I carried them in my heart.
36 years ago, almost to the day, at 8:15am my father was in Pokhara starting the Annapurna Sanctuary trek himself. He was 27 years old, and also going alone.
Right before I left for my trip, he sent me a photo of his journal entry from that day. The only legible thing I could make out was that he was starting his trek and that he ate a banana. It was very poetic and to the point- much like my own writing. I too, kept a journal throughout my trek that maybe one day I’ll get to pass along as well.
Today is Thanksgiving and although to me this holiday only means vacation days that I can use to leave the country, the spirit of the day is not lost on me.
I spent the day thinking about just how grateful I am to have parents who instilled in me a love for travel and raised me as a global citizen.
My father followed along throughout my journey- reliving his own adventures in Nepal from when he was around my age.
And my wonderful mother, who is always happy to listen to my travel stories even when I know some of them raise her blood pressure, was cheering me on from afar the entire time.
I am thankful for them.
And I am thankful for my brother, who checked in to see if I was enlightened yet.
I am thankful for my girlfriends, who lit up my phone whenever I got WiFi with words of love and support.
I am also thankful for my adopted family- whether in Cali or Mexico, who are always faithfully reading my stories and showering me with encouragement.
I’m thankful for everyone else who came along for the ride (hike?) from all over the world, and showed their support in word or thought.
I was never alone- you were all with me.
And now, I am thankful for the deep tissue massage, hour long facial, poolside resort, and evening of room service that I treating myself to today.
Happy Thanksgiving to all, and Namaste!