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Photo by Celia Mitchell (2015/16 Semester Photo Contest Entry), Indonesia Semester.

Why I Trek

I trek because it is what I signed up for. I trek because it makes me feel alive. I trek to ground out, to feel my bones, tendons, muscles, tendons, my body, all working together, pushing my mind. I trek to feel the sweat trickle down my forehead, into my eyes, stinging them with salt. I trek to discover. I trek to think. I trek to remember who I am, to awaken the mountains in my heart. I trek to forget. I trek to hear the rivers flow, the birds song at dawn, the frogs in the creeks, the dogs that howl seemingly at nothing. I trek to question who I am, what I think I know. I trek to give myself time to comprehend the colors of the glistening rock faces I see across valleys of lush green and roaring brown. I trek to wake the language of the earth, which starts deep on the mountains and echoes through my boots. I trek to marvel at the old women who live surrounded by sharp boned dogs, nestled high in the foothills of the Andes. I trek to listen. I trek to go to bed with the sun, to dream in a moonlit tent among new friends. I trek to leave behind. I trek to move forward. I trek to feel Pachamama beneath my weary, dust covered boots. I trek to fail, and then learn. I trek to know I can. I trek to be close to the sun and the stars. I trek because Veronica, Zach, and Patrick told me to. I trek to move. I trek to watch the miles fall behind me, to leave the valleys and head towards the steep, red rock slopes, covered in wild blue Lupin. I trek to feel my lungs ache, or maybe they are finally working. I trek to remember I will always have a home in the mountains.