2 weeks ago
[Day 15, km~347] It was Thanksgiving in the states and I found myself around a fire at an Eco Camp on the Ngunguru River. A fire on the trail was a rarity so the 8 of us enjoyed its heat for everything it was worth. James, the man who built the camp disappeared for a while, then returned with a bag of marshmallows to roast because it was the closest thing he could find that resembled a Thanksgiving dish. As one of the only Americans present, I appreciated the gesture. In conversation, those around me revealed motives for being there. Stories of who they were, what they’ve accomplished and I stayed silent and just listened. Back home, people told me I was brave for what I was doing, that they could never do it. I didn’t feel brave, though, and I truly believed anyone could do it. All I knew was that I didn’t know many people who were interested in the same things I was— growth through adversity (self induced or otherwise), long physical challenges, creative synergism with nature... but out there in New Zealand, on the trail, I was a dime a dozen. Everyone single person I met had a story more interesting or inspiring than mine. I’ve never been one to fully recognize my achievements, but looking around and having a seat at the table made me think differently about myself because we were all there together, essentially doing the same thing. Even though I didn’t know them that well, I felt that we were cut from the same cloth. I felt inspired to keep moving and to see how my story would build and unfold.