Annapurna Circuit, Nepal – 5: A Life Less Lived?

It could have happened.

Everybody needs a challenge.

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Sunset on Everest and Nuptse from Tengboche, Nepal.

Well, most do. I guess there are a few people who are so content with their lot they have no wish to stray out of the round of their day to day life, but I think they must make up a tiny minority.

And while it is a great achievement to be satisfied with your life, and not to constantly want a more expensive car, or clothes or jewellery, we all need something to strive for, otherwise we tend to stagnate.

Even the most altruistic, who might strive to eradicate poverty, or bring justice where there is none, need a more personal challenge sometimes.

For some it might be speed – the need to have a go on a fast motor cycle or racing car somewhere. Maybe to try a bungee jump. To feel the adrenaline surge that comes with the mixture of excitement and fear.

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On Lake Dal, Srinagar, Kashmir, India.

For others it might be the very opposite. Many of us need the opportunity to spend time away from the 21st century. Those of us who do not like the noise and speed and intensity of our modern life, need to find respite in places like the mountains, or deserts, or somewhere else remote from modern life. Woodlands at night, perhaps, or a windswept beach on an island. The challenge is frequently to find these places or to access them. Perhaps even to make the time to do so.

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Monks on their way to morning Puja, Bodhgaya, India.

Those are the sort of places I need, and where I often feel I can do my best creative work. The only places I feel I can really relax.

And the reason I had to walk the Annapurna Circuit.

Just while putting together this set of posts, at times I have looked around the room at the photographs of the Annapurnas, the maps, then at my rucksack in the corner, and felt an almost irresistible urge to just…go.

This sense of adventure is frequently in conflict with the other strands of my life, though, because (like most people) my lack of money and the demands of work and family, and other commitments, prevent me just scooting off for a week or month away whenever I feel like it.

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A track through fields and woods a mile or so from where I live.

But I have always tried to take the opportunity to go off to these places when I could, as I reasoned that I couldn’t know how long I would still be able to.

What made me determined to do this was a missed opportunity when I was working temporarily in Peru. I knew that when I finished my six week stint and returned to UK, I might no longer have a job. So when I was offered the chance to stay on for a week to visit Cuzco and Machu Pichu with friends I declined, even though it would only have cost about a hundred dollars for the whole trip. And I regretted it ever afterwards.

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Little Adam’s Peak, Ella, Sri Lanka.

I have no intention of looking back on my life later and wishing I had done these things when I had the opportunity.

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28 thoughts on “Annapurna Circuit, Nepal – 5: A Life Less Lived?

  1. Ah, yes. I spent about 7 or 8 months in Chile and Peru, and contemplated going on to Ecuador so I could visit the Galapagos. I decided I couldn’t afford it at the time, and would go again. I never have have, and it’s something I regret.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s a good lesson to remember. Sometimes I don’t bother even to cross the street to investigate a shop or a restaurant or an art exhibit, but lately I’ve been reminding myself that the magic of life is that one thing leads to another and another. Doors open in the most interesting ways.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Seems like life is full of tradeoffs. I suppose it’s inevitable to regret some choices, but with luck, they’ve freed you up to make other positive ones. Annapurna is a choice powerful enough to make up for many you may not have made. And as a bonus, we get to enjoy it too, vicariously.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Undoubtedly, Dave. I hope that is what happened. Nowadays I like to think I don’t have too many reservations about taking an experience if it is offered, since I’m getting to that age when I know I probably won’t get a second chance!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I great post, MIck, about seizing the moment. I wrote a post recently about making a life decision and one of the pieces of advice was that we never make the wrong decision; once made we must work to make it the right decision and I thought that was a very good idea. If you had gone on the extra week, who knows, maybe it would have changed your life’s path somehow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Robbie. Yes, I’m sure it would have changed something. A lot of things that happened around then for me did change my path. But, of course, just stopping to say hello to someone or looking in a shop can change your path.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Its a tough one Mick. On one hand we can’t afford to do everything and just jump when an opportunity arises but on the other we don’t want to look back with regret. That’s why we’re living the way we do to be honest, we don’t want to look back at 70 and regret not trying something.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. None of the photos on this post are Annapurna – this post is about challenges, and they all are of different places I have been to, illustrating different sorts of challenges people might choose to face.

      Like

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