Patagonia Experience

What is a Dream? Is it merely an aspiration, hope, or goal that wants achievement? And once that dream has been accomplished and checked off, where does it go?

 

I’ve had the dream for some time to experience the open and wild land of la Patagonia, found at the end of the earth. I remember perfectly the first time I saw a photo of the great Cuernos of Las Torres del Paine. The photo ignited a longing for adventure deep inside of me, and I kept asking myself, “does a place so beautiful and majestic actually exist?”

 Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

 

The trip in Las Torres del Paine was a six-day adventure of backpacking. On average we backpacked eight hours a day, which meant that just about all the time left over was spent in setting up camp, cooking, and resting.

 

Towards the end of the trip I found myself pondering, “Here I am living my dream. Is it everything I thought I thought it would be?” The difficult yet true answer was “no.” Why? I recognized how busy I had been every day in getting from point a to point b, and how I hadn’t taken sufficient time to allow for some type of personal growth to occur. I was too busy experiencing my dream so that I hadn’t even let the dream inside!

 

Closer to the end of the trip our group made a day trip up to view Glacier Grey. What felt like for the first time, I was able to sit down on an overlook and finally take in what was surrounding me. Directly ahead slept the mighty glacier that has been etching its way slowly for miles and miles through the great mountain valley. Down below spread the calm Lago Grey where fire-blue ice chunks floated casually along the shore. To the left was jagged black rock that rose up into the high clouds, leaving the peaks dusted with white snow. As the sun shown down brightly on the scene, a great Andean Condor soared freely by, about 30 feet from my gaze. Had I been missing landscapes like this because I was so caught up in chasing the Dream? I just sat there, trying to take in all of the senses that surrounded me.

 

For me this experience taught me something important. It doesn’t take reaching “point b” to live and enjoy what truly matters to us. What matters most in life is usually found all around us along the way, no matter our circumstance or where we stand. Busying ourselves with the pursuit of the Dream can actually cloud our vision of why the Dream even mattered in the first place.

 

What is a Dream? It is found in the journey and it is enjoyed every step of the way. Once that dream has been accomplished and checked off, where does it go? Hopefully it has become engraved deep within us as a lesson learned—an experience never to be forgotten.

 
Lago Grey.jpg
 
Ben Ehlert