A couple of years ago, my husband and I travelled to Chamonix, France. The dream was to hike the Tour du Mont Blanc. A 180 km hiking route covering about 10,000 metres of climbing. When we showed up, our excitement was crushed. The snow levels had been high, and the melting process was taking longer than usual. Sections of the trail were closed. Not even guided tour groups were passing through. The Tour de Mont Blanc wasn’t going to happen for us.
Dreams don’t always come true when we expect them to. It doesn’t mean that we should give up on them.
Taking the lead of my husband, I made the best of our time there! We ended up staying right in the town of Chamonix, the most romantic French town you could imagine. We did day hikes, from which their were a plethora to choose from, almost everyday. Even in the pouring rain we hiked.
And yes, we ate a lot of cheese (or at least I did), and drank a lot of French wine (especially rose).
We let it go, we moved on, we released the amazing trek through the mountains from our minds. As with every trek, I learned a lot about myself. And I fell in love with Chamonix.
So, after a challenging year in which we cancelled our adventures and tended to things that life sometimes presents to you, I felt myself yearning for some adventure. But, I also reminded myself how happy I am, and how much I have to be grateful for in my life.
Then, my husband said to me, “So, Chamonix…what do you think about doing it again?” Of course I knew what that meant. There was an inkling of chance that we would make a second attempt at the Tour du Mont Blanc. Why else would we go back? Life had finally eased up on us, and things were running along smoothly again. A number of things had to fall into place. The flight over there had to reach a reasonable price. The refuges (huts) that we would need to stay in over the course of the eight days it would take us to complete the trail needed to be booked (now that it’s planned, I have to make it eight if I want somewhere to eat and sleep!). It was a challenge to get in touch with them and to communicate.
Magically, it all fell into place. It feels like it was meant to be.
So, tomorrow, we will get on a plane with our one hiking backpack, to which items have been added in a meticulous fashion. I have test packed, questioned every time, then questioned every item again. I have been conquering the highest landmarks on the stair climber, day after day, and hiking all over the city, trying to keep in pace with my 6’2 husband. The biggest part of the training, for me, has been my mental mindset. I love to tell myself to ‘shut up and keep up’. It works.
The thing is, my heart is already there. My being is all in, and we haven’t even started the journey.
I know that being on a mountain, all day, for eight days in a row, surrounded by nature and beauty, will feed my soul. I know that making it to the summit of high peaks, one step at a time, will challenge me, physically and mentally, and show me what I am capable of. I know that being out there for so long, together, as a team, my husband and I will watch our relationship grow even more.
And I can’t wait to sit under a canopy of stars, surrounded by mountainside, and experience the joy and wonder of nature.
Stay tuned. I am sure I will have lots to tell upon our return.