A 5-day Hike, a 5 Senses Experience

Whoever said “a picture is worth a thousand pictures” clearly knew what they were talking about. To think that an image has the power to evoke feelings, thoughts, and sensory memory completely blows my mind. In fact, a particular picture comes to mind:

I took this picture three years ago when I was saying goodbye to the Chilean Patagonia after a 5-day hike. I was exhausted. I had blisters and knee pain. I had not showered in three days. And I could not have felt happier. Looking at this picture, I’m reminded about the crazy and drastic changes in scenery from one hike to the other. It was amazing to experience how the scenery changed from hot, dry, and rocky to snowy and cold in a matter of hours. You see a part of Patagonia and you think: “there is no way it can get more beautiful than this”, then you walk two more hours and you’re surprised with more beauty. I learned that Patagonia never disappoints.

I was constantly in awe with all the beauty that my senses were experiencing: visual beauty is a given (as you can see above) but all of my other senses like smell, touch, and sound were going crazy with the different experiences Patagonia had to offer. I remember smelling the purity of the air - it is so easy to breath there - hearing the silence of the park only interrupted by streams, avalanches, and birds chirping; tasting the virgin glacier water; and touching the different kinds of soil, from rock to snow. It is an experience that you live with all of your senses. I was constantly in awe of Mother Nature’s beauty and felt so in sync with her and her creation – A feeling you don’t usually get when you’re in “civilization”.

In general, this trip was a big, five-day mindfulness meditation practice: I kept bringing my mind back into the present moment, I had awareness, I was compassionate with myself, and I was able to keep defeatist, negative thoughts at bay. It was amazing to observe the natural rhythms and tendencies of my mind and distance myself from them, as to not become them. Needless to say, I was “wonderlusting” pretty hard! It felt so good to be away and disconnected from the rest of the world. No WhatsApp, no Skype, nothing to do but be there. I felt no internal conflict, I had nobody to impress and nobody to be but myself. I was truly and fully happy.