THE CLIMB, NOT THE PEAK! There's a beautiful temple called Doi Suthep looking over Chiang Mai. They organise day trips to visit it. Taxi takes you up the mountain, you enjoy the temple, and then taxi takes you back down...
In the past, this would have been tempting. A famous temple, a recommended trip - it has all the makings of a great day. But as I've learnt over and over, true beauty and adventure lies in the journey to the peak, not the peak itself.
The hostel lady told me I was crazy to try to walk up the mountain from our hostel. Said it was at least 4/5 hours, that the climb would be too steep and slippery, that it would rain...all very valid points.
But she didn't understand what I wanted. She thought I wanted to see Doi Suthep, whereas I just wanted to CLIMB Doi Suthep. It didn't matter if I made it to the top or not! I wanted to experience the JOURNEY!
I took this stunning photo at a temple called Wat Pha Lat, 2.5 hours from when I first left the hostel. The temple lies on the path up to Doi Suthep, surrounded by lush forests and with waterfalls passing through the middle of the temple itself. I was dripping with sweat from the climb, my clothes were muddy, and I'd lost count of the number of times I'd slipped!
I stayed there for longer than I 'should have' if I wanted to make it to the peak before the rain. But I stayed anyway. The view was captivating.
40 minutes later, I made it to Doi Suthep. And as I stood at its peak, admiring the sight of the city below, the first raindrop fell on my head 😂
The peak was beautiful. But the journey was sublime, and it only made reaching the peak even more satisfying. Whatever you're doing, don't focus so intensely on reaching the peak that you forget to enjoy the journey - no matter how tough it might get and how many times you slip! 😊🙏🏽