For years, experiencing Macchu Picchu, Peru has been something I dreamed about. There’s something about the ancient ruins nestled in the steep mountains, lush and green, that appeal to me. So when my husband proposed the idea of hiking the Inka Trail for our 20th wedding anniversary, I couldn’t wait to reach our destination.
A funny thing happened as we slowly trekked through the Andes for 26 miles on our way to my dream destination. You can read more about the trip itself here. The experience became so much more about the journey, and less about the actual destination.
In fact, if I’m completely honest, arriving in Macchu Picchu was a bit anticlimactic. The highlight of the trip for me became the things we experienced along the way – new friendships, the conquering of incredible physical challenges, seeing views that few people in the world will ever see, and learning more about myself than I thought possible.
Far too often in life we doggedly chase after a destination and neglect to enjoy the journey that gets us there. I could have hiked the Inka Trail with that attitude – bitter about the challenges, impatient with my progress, paralyzed by my limitations. Instead, for the first time, I truly understood what it means to live out the phrase it’s not the destination, it’s the journey.
Enjoy the process, don’t resent it.
What areas of your life are you focused on the destination instead of the journey?
- Do you wish away the hard stage your child is going through? Parenting is hard. Choose to look for the best in each stage. Before you know it, your time with them at home will be over, and you’ll be looking back, realizing you missed the chance to enjoy the journey.
- Are your eyes set on achieving a certain title or position at your job? In the process, are you aware of the people and things that you can influence now, or are you too focused on what’s next?
- Is retirement the only thing that puts a smile on your face? Is it causing you to miss the opportunities in front of you because you keep mistaking them for obstacles?
I don’t want to miss the things right in front of me because I’m so focused on the end. I choose to embrace the journey and enjoy the relationships and opportunities along the way.