I missed the feeling of fresh air pressing against your face, the wide open spaces of pure nature surrounding you.
I missed the miles of untouched beauty stretching for what appeared to be to the ends of the Earth.
I forgot what it felt like to want to be free. The mountains were calling and without hesitation, we came running.
A few weeks ago my friend and I took a trip to Annecy, a small mountain village on the border of France and Switzerland. Prior to arriving, we had little knowledge of the town, except for its geographical proximity to the Alps, which peaked over the rooftops of this quaint city. We found ourselves walking through the streets filled with vibrant buildings and along the town's central lake -- scenery so incredibly breathtaking with hues of winter blues.
We spent two days exploring the town, to eventually hitching the bus to the top of the mountain to the small ski resort of Semnoz. It had been three years since I had thrown on a pair of skis and by the sheer site of the powder and the groups of people gliding down the terrain - I decided to be a little spontaneous. After all, skiing the Alps had been a major bucket list item of mine for years. I was completely unprepared, lacking the basic winter wear neccessary for the sport, but my excitement outweighed menial outfit concerns -- okay, so I may come back with frostbite... - what's an experience if you don't lose a finger or two? In a matter of moments, I rented the equipment, strapped on my lift pass and was ready to hit the slopes in my skinny jeans.
As I rode the lift to the top, I stopped at the peak to look out at the horizon of snow covered nature surrounding me. I was alone on this massive heap of frozen Earth, feeling the air hit my back, wanting to never move from this patch of the world -- I felt as if my feet had found a place to stand still, to take in the true, unfiltered imagery around me.
I found myself thinking a million things at once. I thought about how fortunate I felt to be able to travel, to see the world as I have always wanted. I thought about how much has changed in such a short period of time, how much I had changed and how I was continuing to grow, to mold, to figure it all out -- how reaching the top of this mountain felt so oddly metaphorical (the bi-product of viewing your life as one big story). I thought about how happy I was to be alone, to allow myself to bask in this moment of silence. But, how I also wanted to share this view with the people I love -- and how I wish sometimes they could all be in one place together -- Man, they would have really loved this view.
I find it inexplicable more times than none, that in the little moments of life is when I can say I have found the most clarity. Whether it's riding on the bus staring out the window, sitting in the corner of a cafe people watching, eyeing the wings of a plane as they float into the sky during takeoff or on top of a snow covered mountain looking out into the abyss -- my perspective shifts in the most simplest ways.
I believe in finding your place of silence, your place marked with solitude that allows for a break from reality. Sometimes the hustle is good, sometimes you need to hear the noise to wake you up, sometimes you need to be shoved into a crowd to know you're not alone. But, there will be those times where you catch a ride to the top of the world and just allow yourself to be. Allow yourself to want for nothing but the hum of the wild air. In those fleeting moments, is when your start to make sense of your world. There are plenty of things in life that will stop you, things that will scare you and things that will hinder you from taking the leap. If there is one thing I know, it's that life is about the unexpected, the unanticipated. It's about making every moment an adventure, being so full of experiences and always hungry for more. There will be things that will try to stop you from climbing your metaphorical mountain. Take it from me when I say, keep going, the view at the top is better than what you could ever imagine.
Even if all you have is a pair of skinny jeans, you bite the bullet of the cold and you strap up your boots to head out to the slopes. Because when life gives you a snow covered mountain -- you go skiing.