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The Tiger's Nest in Bhutan. Photo by Chelsea Ferrel.

My reluctant adventure

On the first day of the trek, we arrived at our camp sight after four hours of trudging through the muddy, breathtaking mountains of Bumthang. The whole group was extremely tired and ready for bed (even though it was only noon). Thirty minutes after we had settled at our camp sight the leaders informed us of an optional hike to an abandoned dzong that we could do if we wanted. My first instinct was a definite no, seeing as I was drenched in mud and all I really wanted to do was drink tea while playing Nepali gin (a game taught to us by Rishi). But I decided to look at the bigger picture: Was I really that tired? Would sitting at our camp sight be a more memorable experience than hiking to an abandoned dzong? I thought about my two options  than realized I might regret an opportunity I didn’t take. So I decided to go on the hike to the dzong. After about fifteen minutes of walking through a green field filled with hundreds of yellow flowers, me and the other six group members arrived at the bottom of the hill that looked to be untouched by humans. It was covered in vibrant bushes and vines. The only problem was, the path was well grown over to the point where it was almost impossible to see. But we decided to take it anyway because it was the only way up to the dzong. We bush whacked our way to the top, laughing and falling all over the place. When we finally reached the top, I could feel the incredible energy flowing through all of us. The view of the dzong that was slowly being taken over by nature was reassuring, it reminded me how powerful the force of nature truly is, especially when it is celebrated in a place like Bhutan. The feeling I got when I stood on top of on of the pillars on the dzong and looked over to the mountains was indescribable. A thought that kept returning to my mind was: What if I chose to stay at the camp? I would have missed out on one of the most powerful experiences I have had this trip.

(Photo creds go to Elisa)