Machu Picchu has been part of my bucket list for years. Upon researching different hikes, I found a lesser known path called the Lares Trek, a route taking you through indigenous communities, 8 hours a day. Feeling already empowered that I was about to embark on a world wide trip, solo still massively suffering from my diagnosed Depression and Anxiety, I thought to myself, might as well add in an unknown hike to the itinerary!
And guess what? It was the best choice ever.
A day before, I started slightly panicking about how high the altitudes were going to be, the hours I knew I’d be trecking OR the fact that hardly any fellow travellers had heard of the Lares Trek. And by ever so slightly? I mean losing it completely. I’d decided that I was clearly going to suffer breathing difficulties so bad that someone would have to find a speedy Alpaca and run me down the mountain to the nearest Indigenous hospital OR what if everyone was super fit, ran up the hills and I was left at the bottom, forgotten about and had to create a life amongst the tribes, walking through mud to start my new career as a Llama farmer?! Either way, these were my thoughts I was scared.
The 4 day, 3 night hike hit high altitudes of over 4000m to reach the ultimate destination of Machu Picchu, one of the 7 Wonders of the World and I pushed through the thoughts of falling off mountains to conquer my fears. The fact I was actually DOING it in the first place helped, rather than just pre-empting the worst and I continued powering through, despite the voices in my head telling me to turn back. The people living in the communities we met dressed colourfully, authentically, cheeks ruddy red from the cold and it felt like stepping into a different world, and after 4 days, we made it.
Machu Picchu is EVERY bit as beautiful as I’d imagined. It’s made even more sensational by the fact I climbed and pushed myself over and above my limits to reach it – and I would urge you to fight any fears and do it too. It could be the best thing you ever do.
Contributed by Emily:
Emily has been travelling the world since September 2018, after being finally diagnosed with Depression and Anxiety. Determined to change her life and mentality around, and against the advice of both a doctor and therapist, she moved to Spain for two months to learn Spanish, flew to South America, travelled around India, explored Malaysia and parts of Thailand. She is soon to fly and explore SE Asia as part of her ongoing trip and blogs to raise awareness of travelling solo as a female who suffers from Depression and Anxiety. It is her hope that people in the same position will be able to relate to the stories she shares and in turn feel less lonely and isolated as she shares her thoughts, feelings and emotions along this journey, as well as providing tips to fellow travellers, with or without mental health problems, to make their adventures easier to organise!
Follow the adventure:
Website : www.emilyseyesexplore.com