by Emily Morris
CMC Marketing Intern
I like trekking for its simplicity. Life is complex, but walking is not. I put one foot in front of the other until I reach my destination. When problems arise, I keep walking. When I’m completely exhausted with blisters on my feet, a churning stomach, aching everywhere, tears in my eyes; I keep walking. It tests my physical and mental limits, forces me to accept less than ideal situations and allows me to choose a positive mental state that overpowers the challenging physical condition. The experiential rewards I reap from these long, meditative walks outshine the fleeting discomforts of the literal body.
When I trod the paths through nature’s greatest, I find places that eternally mark my heart, the places that change my very being and dictate the way I choose to live. They stay with me more vividly than almost any experience in the human spectrum, and the magnitude of this discovery keeps me forever plodding down Earth’s secret walkways.
So I’ve done some traveling with these two feet, and I’ve started to create a visual story using maps. Here is the beginning of my “Map Diaries”, a story I’ll keep writing for the rest of my life:
The Icelandic Journey
5 weeks in Iceland, 51 thumbed rides, 104 miles on foot, 35 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, 33 nights in a tent, 2 nights of Aurora Borealis, 1 undersized redhead and more Beiber fans than I ever thought I’d meet.
The Peruvian Expedition
7 weeks in Peru, 95 miles on foot, 50 tons of rice, 8 days above 14,000 ft., 16,800 ft. max. elevation, 8,000 alpaca sightings, 1 rare Vicunya sighting, 10,000 fireflies lighting up the Andes, 15 days of sickness, but 49 days of awesome and every color under the sun in the landscape.
The Kiwi Odyssey
4 Weeks in New Zealand, 30 days of car-living, 7 nights of hut-sleeping, 80 miles on foot, 5,000 gallons of rain, 1 million sheep, 1,400 pages of the best novel on earth, at least 50 Lord of the Rings references, 2 days of chillin’ with Jeff the Plank, 1 penguin sighting and a glorious month spent with my very best friend.
The Utah Pilgrimage
12 trips to Utah, 4 national parks, 25 canyons, 45 rappels, 50 jet boil dinners, 22 games of hacky-sack, 35 nights around the fire, endless hours of laughter and more desert sunsets than I could ever hope to witness.