Why do we do what we do? For me challenge is a major motivational factor. Without challenging myself I might as well be dead. But just as important as this is gaining perspective. Because this is what makes me happy. I do not appreciate fully how good my life is until I can see it from the other side of the road, or very often the other side of the world. That’s just the way we humans are. We need a big crisis before we change legislation. We need to experience a cold tent in order to appreciate a warm house. And we need to see a sick person before we understand how lucky we are to be healthy. With this in mind I always make sure that I do things that help me fully appreciate my life. This is one of the reasons I went on a three week trip to the Himalayas of Bhutan. Well I guess I could mention other reasons to; like love of mountains, adventure, travel, being outdoors, getting to know other cultures and and and and….the list is long, but ultimately these reasons all help me see my life from the outside.
My trip to Bhutan was a fantastic. I did one of the worlds toughest treks in high altitude in fewer days than normally recommended. Physically it was a good challenge. The landscape was incredible, and even though we moved to a new place every day we never ceased to be impressed. We got close to the villagers in the high valleys bordering Tibet, and almost got stuck there due to heavy snowfall. The people in these valleys have to walk for four days and cross 5000m+ high mountain passes to get anywhere close to civilization. There are no helicopters in Butan, the main means of transportation is by mule. That is, the people walk and the mules carry food and other supplies. It was dirty, it was cold, and it was a tough life for us, just imagine what the daily life must be for the people living there. As I came home I was still in the mode where I sort of appreciated the snow covering the camp because it hid the horse- and yak shit. And in the mode where I was avoiding to smell my smelly sleeping bag because it was my only refuge against the cold. Not to mention my sweat infused clothes. Or my greasy hair hidden under a beanie. This gave me what I asked for. Perspective. I swallowed one extra time as I thought of all the clothes and toys my kids have compared to the dirty and sometimes barefoot kids I met up in the mountains. Thankful. Grateful. Appreciative. I am so lucky! Our life is so good and comfortable. And most important of all so filled with love!
In the midst of the emotions of coming home I was faced with having to say my goodbye to a good friend. 8 months ago he suffered a severe head injury after a motorcycle accident. The time since the accident has been tough but full of hope. But his situation deteriorated to the worst, and now it was time to let go, say farewell, and believe he ends up in a better place. My thoughts are with his family.
I have posted some pictures from Bhutan below, but I am saving the best for various articles I will be publishing. I still think you get a good idea of what it was like though. Many of you have been asking about how the children reacted when they saw me?! Having Mommy pick them up in Kindergarden was the most natural thing for them. They made no extra fuss. They have also learned to be more independent and are more oriented towards their dad now too. So all in all I think it was a smart move to give the kids some quality time with their father.