Initial Reflections upon My Return from Backpacking in Patagonia

El Chalten, Argentina - Near the top of Mt. FitzRoy

El Chalten, Argentina - Near the top of Mt. FitzRoy

I’m still emerging from the travel haze that tends to occur when I’ve been away from home long enough to unlearn my daily routine. It’s a time where it’s easy to get caught between what was temporary and what is permanent, and to wish they might be reversed. This is an important moment.

It’s like the ancient traditions of boys going out into the wilderness to become men, the psychedelic-driven spirit journeys of tribesmen, and more recently, the “tame by comparison” experience of going off to college. When you travel to a far-off place and allow yourself to forget what you know on a daily basis, your mind is open to the things that can improve and even transform that existence. This is something every person should pursue.

Does this mean I will be quitting my day job to travel the world with just a backpack upon my shoulders? No, or at least, certainly not yet. I am passionate about what I do for work, the friends I keep, and the home my wife and I have created, and these journeys serve as the reminder. It is easy to take the everyday minutiae for granted unless you remove yourself from it for a while, but that too is important.

Self-examination is crucial; reflection is what propels us towards enlightenment. I may never fully understand the unbounded beauty of this earth, but I can become more familiar with it and I can learn to better appreciate what it has to offer. In 41 countries visited and thousands of miles of roads ridden and trails traveled, I’ve found no place more magnificent or better suited to this sort of seeking than Patagonia.