At one point probably about a little more than half way into the climb - when you're wondering what your fellow remotes are doing back in sunny, warm Prague: boozey brunches, strolls along the river and food festivals - while your stuck on a chilly mountain, soaked to the bone, we got to talking about books...or something... not really sure how we got on the topic, but Trish was talking about how she was reading the Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama. In particular, one quote came to her mind while we were struggling up this mountain (I'm definitely butchering it here but the sentiment is right...) stay in the moment, we change our outlook by being happier in that moment. It kind of clicked right there and not just in the sense of what we were doing in that exact moment.... look past the cold, wet, tired self and realize I'm experiencing my first hail storm, hiking to the top of the tallest mountain in the Czech Republic (tell me 7 months ago that's where I'd be...), seeing Jeremy trying to wear Cary's WAY too small jacket (which he pulled off flawlessly by the way), hanging with awesome, inspiring people and even new friends I had just met that morning. I realized this is the reason I came on this journey... to be in the moment, to be thankful in the joyful, to learn from the unique and most importantly to embrace the suck.
But, also in the broader sense of this trip I've been finding myself imagining the beauty and energy of future cities, planning side trips and even talking with others about how tough it will be, in our last month, to say goodbye to this amazing collection of people. That's all fine and something I should do (maybe not so much focus on the end, I'll make myself cry a bunch), but I realized I need to do a better job of focusing on this moment, each and every one, make it not just a happy one by focusing on my outlook, but an active one, an exploratory one, an educational one, a transformative one. When you have a month in each city its easy to let moments slide by and push something off because there's another day on this journey...until there isn't. As I'm reading this back to myself it sounds cheesy, and like I'm writing a self-help book* but from here on, my promise to myself is to consciously try and activelystay in each moment, be thankful in the joyful, learn from the unique and embrace the suck (and bring trail shoes next time you idiot...).
The new found mindset was definitely challenged when we thought we reached the top only to see this was the actual top... Side note: Totally looks like a Bond villain lair
Some parting shots from an AWESOME day at the top of Snezka