A journey begun in the mountains — 1 of 20

20 hours of 2018 and I’m already exhausted, a sign of things to come perhaps…

15 hours ago, give or take, I was full of energy. It flowed slowly into me as I took in the unfamiliar surroundings. Truth be told this place wasn't my first choice to start off my year — but life gave me lemons and the mountains are my lemonade.

I took particular pride in my morning routine (meditation+exercise) today, just 365 days prior meditation felt like such a painful chore and exercise felt really awkward most days. Not today, no — today I wasn't someone at the beginning of a resolution to meditate and exercise religiously — I was a devotee doing what I always do. Consistency feels great when it becomes second nature.

The room was pretty hot at the end of my routine though, I couldn't open a window on account of the elements, so I sat half naked on the bed to cool down. Phone in hand, hoping to be surprised by a flood of “Happy New Year” messages. I’m an optimist, an often disappointed optimist.

Of the handful of reasons why I dislike New Year’s, the obligatory well wishing definitely contends for first place. You see, with me I’m always the person that no one remembers to send a message but they always remember to complain that I didn't send them a message. Almost as if sending a complaint is easier than just sending me a damn “Happy New Year!” message.

I’ve learnt my lesson though, I don’t complain. I just send people messages and secretly bet to myself what response I’ll get. It’s pretty predictable, I either get the super warm, “Thanks, you too.” or I get a long (sometimes Biblical) canned message which always ends with “So what are you up to these days?” A question that people put in there to gauge if they should bother talking to me for the rest of the year or if they need to continue ignoring me.

My mother got a call, I thought a text would be a little impersonal since she was so worried about me traveling to someplace she knows nothing about. She’s a big worrier — we actually spoke at length about it today; how she can’t help but “Mother hen” her children even though we’re old people now. It’s sweet I guess — I hated it as a child but the older I get the more I understand and empathize.

Breakfast was forgettable as was most of the morning. They have loads of dogs here though, watching them this morning intrigued me. I’m not a “dog person” you see — but I found myself admiring their thick coats and glass like eyes. If I was a dog person I’d know more about them, like what breed they are or what they like to eat after a long day’s work.

I didn't go out with them though-I wanted to be alone. I’ve been feeling like I want to be alone with my thoughts for weeks now — it’s the whole reason I came here. Seclusion.

So I wandered off by myself despite a storm that seemed to be brewing. Actually it brewed all around me — the air is thin enough without the elements playing with it. I felt like the wind was fighting with my lungs for who should get the oxygen — my weak lungs came off second best. I haven’t felt my chest burn so badly in years — it still feels a little bruised actually.

Damn asthma. Damn weakness.

In any event, when I returned a woman said (quite harshly), “People die in storms like this, why were you out by yourself?” I ignored her and just smiled as if she’d spoken in her native tongue to me.

She was busy preparing a room for a guest — dressed lightly despite the elements — and I felt like saying, “If you can survive dressed like that in the storm, I’m sure I’ll live.” But of course I didn't say that — the woman is one of my hosts and she only meant well — more of that personal empathy.

To be honest, I had actually wondered if it was safe when the storm got worse around me but I didn't turn back, the worry gene didn't pass down from my mother. I often crave danger and destruction…

Hot shower, warm clothes and hot supper rounded off the day. Well, this is rounding off the day — my first random post about mostly nothing. Hopefully by the end of the trip this will make sense — if nothing else I hope that at least someone will enjoy it.

Till tomorrow.

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