“I think we like to complicate things when it is really quite simple; find what it is that makes you happy and who it is that makes you happy, and you’re set. Promise.”
“Shirine, I think it’s best we head back down.”
WHAT, my mind screamed, we had only just begun the mountainous part of the trek, and were suppose to spend the next two weeks enjoying the Himalayas away from any civilization. Not only that, but we had a goal: to make it to base camp and see how life is there for the many climbers we had been encountering. We were carrying food and fuel for the top, and not making it has never been an option in my mind. This is my one and only shot at trekking in Nepal, and I have waited six months in the country just for this. I was anything but ready to call it quits and go back down.
But Kevin was sick, again, with a stomach parasite which seems to cyclically affect him every five days or so. The day of pain that comes along with it is supportable, as long as he can lie down all day, but the real problem lies in the fact that he is then unable to eat during that period of time which causes him unwanted weight loss. The further away from people we got the harder it would be for him to trek back out if he lost all of his energy after one of these episodes. So, it seemed the only option was to head back down.
I was furious, not at him, but at the situation. Trekking in the Himalayas was one of those things that I had always wanted to do ever since I first fell in love with the mountains over a decade ago. Plus, we had barely even glimpsed an 8,000m, and were no where near Makalu, our goal. We hadn’t truly even entered into the mountains in my opinion and here we were, headed down, maybe never to return again.
But that’s what happens when you begin traveling as a couple rather than alone, you learn to compromise. Life suddenly doesn’t revolve around you as an individual, but instead, it revolves around what is best for both of you as a team. And sometimes, what is best for the team is not what you had in mind.
Though I was extremely disheartened all day, by the next morning I realized it was the only safe option. If he got sick again higher up and couldn’t recover so easily due to the altitude we would be in big trouble. I knew that he would turn around for me if the situation was reversed, so it was time for me turn around for him, even if it meant no more mountains.
If any relationship is to work there has to be a constant give or take that never ceases to exist which is something I am still working on. I am very use to being independent and doing everything selfishly for myself and I can see now that learning to compromise will be something I will continually work on in the future. Though this trek was one of the things I was most looking forward to about my trip to Asia, seeing Kevin out alive and healthy was definitely more important than making it to base camp. And it’s not like we won’t see another mountain again either, throughout the next few years we are bound to do some amazing cycling, camping, and trekking throughout the Andes, Rockies, and Alps.
If we talk only about ownself then its a compromise but during the travel synergy between the two or more persons works a lot and it have to be worked.. sometimes we have to give up our personal feeling and postpone the time frame for better partnership and ending the journey safely. I remembered the situation when we all seven of the friends have to back up to kathmandu from the half way when one of the friend got stomach problem and other minor leg injury while we were going to Tilicho lake of Manang district of Nepal. I still remember that, I still don’t knew; that’s a compromise or help to the friend. 🙂
Sounds like the fates decided to test your priorities. Perhaps all the meditating, solitude and visits with the peoples of this region was all for this moment. Finding what truly is in your heart.
Karen Krebs – Long Beach
Such great wisdom! And best of all, thank you for sharing such a great reminder to those of us who think we know it all!
Truly,wisdom,and a great philosophy of life.Really inspiring,but your decision is really a wise one.It happens,good luck to you both.