Cheesy title....even cheesier post...get ready!
Sunday I luckily woke up in time to catch up with some fellow Remotes for what turned into an epic climb up the tallest mountain in the Czech Republic (nbd...) called Sněžka Mountain. After a two and a half hour bus ride up towards the Polish border we grabbed a quick bite and tapped into some local wifi to find our bearings, before losing service for good, and set out on our journey. "Weather is holding up nicely" said someone who will not be named - which almost immediately jinxed us since within about 10 minutes the skies opened up into a ridiculous hail / rain / clusterfuck storm. These little hail bullets peppered us like paint balls for about 20 minutes giving way to rain to make sure we were good and soaked for the next 2 hours or so. At first it was exhilarating but soon got kind of frustrating as my pants were soaked through (sweatpants were a teeeeerrible choice) and my shoes filled with water (who wears sneakers to a mountain climb...hungover people thats who!). As we trudged on we naturally started to separate and I was climbing with Trish, veteran from RY1 and a supervisor of some of the staff here, we would stop here and there to take a break to catch out breath, take in the gorgeous views and to try and dry off as best we could.
Rest stop about halfway up
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 actively stay 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
* The Newest New You You Can Be Today, Tomorrow and Beyond: One Degenerate's Guide to a Swaggaliciously Fulfilling Life by Nicholas Bryan Fico hits bookshelves this spring
PS - I also found out this week I have a better Scottish accent than Angela #Facts