What had merely started as a 30th year goal for myself ended up being one of the most profound journeys of my life. It started with a beautiful copper coin given to me by a former patient who was originally from Peru. She got my wheels turning well before I knew that I wanted to go. I planned the hike on the Inca Trail to get to Machu Picchu, a path traveled by many, and fantasized by others. Encouraged by friends and family, I embarked on my training to hike the 43 kilometer portion of the trail, which ranges from 2600 meters to 4200 meters in elevation with steps galore. As a native Floridian, and currently residing only a few inches beyond sea level, I knew the altitude was something to work towards. Utilizing one of my trusted yoga teachers, dear friend, and owner of Breath Guidance (www.breathguidance.com), I went to a Yoga Private to strengthen my pranayama (breath work) practice with Dani Mae. Multiply the breath work times a whole lot of stair training (hello non-air conditioned parking garage stairwell training in the Florida summer) and you equal just a lot of blood, sweat, and tears on the parking garage floor 😆. But seriously folks, it was important training. If you ever have any inclination to do this same trek, DO THE STAIRS. All the stairs. And then go find some more. And breathe! 🌬Fast forward to a few days before embarking to Cusco with my bags packed, Hurricane Dorian on the radar, and my passport in hand, I was (almost) ready for my journey.
Whilst showing family and friends a handful (or ALL 1500+ 🙃) of the photos that I took, I feel like the whole trip was a dream. A very real dream that I wish I could have recorded on a go-pro for the entire journey. Fortunately, the snippets that I did document bring back all of the emotion, all of the smells, sights, sounds, tastes, and feels each time that I revisit them. I hope these senses last a lifetime. One thing I do know: these lessons sure will.