Ever heard a phrase that has a similar theme regarding the fact that 'it's the journey, not the destination'?
'It's not the destination, it's the journey' - Ralph Waldo Emerson
'Success is not a destination, it is a journey' - Arthur Ashe
'It's the journey that matters not the destination' - Gabrielle Bernstein
Whilst in Ubud Bali I wanted to experience the Campuhan Ridge Walk which is recommended as one of the things to do while in the area. It is a beautiful hiking trail that takes visitors up and down a ridge along rice fields and palm trees and offers a beautiful view over the surrounding valleys. As it is in the open with little shelter, it is advised to complete this hike either early morning or near to sunset so that you avoid the midday heat.
I had seen a number of articles state that the sunrise at Campuhan Ridge Walk was worth the early morning wake up time and that it had less visitors when compared to the sunset views. So the thought of the sunrise and few tourists meant that I wanted to experience the hike for myself.
I therefore booked my taxi for 0530 to drop me in Ubud at the starting point of the hike close to 0600, ready for the sunrise at 0630.
I was dropped at the Ibah Hotel which has the first sign for the hike 'going to the hill' and from there you drop down the hill, then further down you go using some steps, walk across the bridge over the river, walk along the Pura Gunung Lebah Temple and join the trail.
The hike was pitch black as there was no artificial lighting and it was still another 30 minutes until the sun was due to rise, and the only company I had was a stray dog that seemed to have made the decision to join me. Although, as I am a dog lover I didn't mind and part of me felt like he was my spirit animal for the journey keeping me safe.
I was engulfed in the darkness and surrounded by the sounds of wild nature and for the first 5 minutes I didn't think much about it, however once I did, fear started to creep in and the acknowledgement that this might have been a crazy idea to do alone. I had thoughts running through my mind ranging from:
' What if there are monkey's out here and they decide to jump on my bag?' (in case you are wondering and didn't know, Ubud is full of monkeys and so this thought didn't seem so far fetched)
'What if someone kidnaps me? No one will miss me for a while because I am travelling solo and the hotel think that I am out for the day so are not expecting me back any time soon'
'What if I hurt myself on this trail? I am solo so I would have to wait until someone walks past to get help'
'What if there are other animals on this trail that might want to attack me?'
Despite my thoughts and the fear, I decided to carry on and explore as I had got out of bed extremely early to see this sunrise because it was something that I wanted to experience, and I am so glad that I did. But it wasn't because of the sunrise.
The sunrise was a little underwhelming. It may have been that I set my expectations too high, it may have been that I didn't time it right because I was not aware of what the trail was like and therefore I didn't know where to physically be to get the best view, and it may have been that I didn't factor in how tall the trees were that the sun had to rise over.
However, this does not take away the 'journey' of this hike which for me was another facet of my evolution and growth while here in Bali. This is what I took away from the hike:
I can overcome my fears
I can overcome my fears solo. I do not need to rely on someone to calm my anxiety or quieten my mind. Whilst I appreciate that I have people in my life that can help me, sometimes we have to be able to do these things ourselves.
The achievement of carrying on despite my fear.
The peace and serenity in being alone in nature
Experiencing the earth and nature wake up
That I have done another thing solo and lived to tell the tale
Whilst I was walking and feeling elated that I was doing this solo, that I was kicking my fears arse and that I was really proud of myself I couldn't help but think of the quotes I started this blog with, it is the journey and not the destination and sometimes you just have to acknowledge this whether it is on a small or big scale.
I had wanted to do the walk to see the sunrise (destination) as I believed it would be beautiful to look at and I could get some pictures to share with people, but the growth, the beauty and the story I share with people is actually the hike (journey) and all that it taught me, all that it allowed me to think, process and achieve.
I also found myself singing The Climb by Miley Cyrus
'Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb'
So next time the 'destination' you reach is not what you thought, spend a bit of time thinking about the journey that got you there and what you saw, heard, smelt, tasted, felt, thought and learnt.
If you would like a companion on your journey then please do get in touch with me. I would be honoured to work with you.