There is nothing to fear but fear itself. As I lie awake thinking about life, I realize that the things I did on my trip around South America continue to creep up and impact my thoughts on a day-to-day basis. When I drift back to memories of the first day of the trip, landing in Buenos Aires, I realize how defining an experience like that can be. Landing in a foreign country with little to no knowledge of the language and nothing but a backpack and a passport can represent a nightmare for some and a dream for others. For me, looking back, I think the experience falls somewhere in the middle. While I was certainly a little nervous about the three months that lie ahead of me, when placed in such a situation, there is no time, and in the end, no need to be afraid. Before you know it, you’re standing outside the airport looking for a ride downtown and being hounded by a dozen porters. Its sink or swim and survival instincts kick in. This happened to me a lot on the trip. More and more every day I learned to trust myself, and for that alone, the trip was worth every effort to make it happen. In the end, I took the summit, because I knew I could.
This picture of my traveling partners Tom and Robyn was taken as we approached the summit of a mountain opposite Cerro Catedral, just outside of San Carlos de Bariloche in Argentina. The hike up was one of the most technical and most rewarding hikes I’ve ever done.