I have a theory. Its one that I cooked up during a week of fasting, meditation and silence in Guatemala at a spiritual centre called Las Piramides, back in 2006. My month of calling myself Distant Mountain and spending time gazing out over Lago de Attitlan had a profound impact - and maybe I should write about that some other time.
The theory cooked up still holds water. The Value extracted from Experiences - specifically your leisure travel experiences - are a function of three energies.
ENERGY 1: WHAT YOU BRING WITH YOU
If you are in a bad space - stressed at work, distracted, or even worse, distraught over a personal tragedy, a bad breakup, a medical issue, or some underlying trauma that you are wrestling with... there are a myriad of reasons why you might find your experience not a positive one. And how your "bad" energy can also negatively impact those around you.
Conversely, if you are in good nick - joyful, happy with life, not stressed, healthy and your issues can be parked, at least for the duration of the trip - then you might find you significantly augment the experience for those around you.
ENERGY 2: WHAT OTHERS BRING
So what applies to you applies to them. Those with which you keep company can enhance or detract - and depending on your closeness, relationship dynamics and overall chemistry can make or break your trip. The strength of their personal energy is also a factor - if they are the strong personality in a group, their general vibe will probably dominate.
ENERGY 3: THE LOCATION
It might be the most amazing beach house on the plant. But if its pouring with rain while you are there, it will affect your experience. I also believe that certain places have profound energy - the Peruvian Andes, Kilimanjaro, The Camino de Santiago - but then again, I am biased to walks in nature. Still, like with a good book or movie, location is a major player.
So if there is congruency, you can have an awesome experience. That is why proper planning - and discipline - is key.
Choose your timing wisely for when you go
Choose your companions with care
Timing is both a function of your mind space - don't set yourself up for failure. And to take into account the time of year and weather for your chosen destination.
Now, given the COVID pandemic, we have all been cooped up for months. This morning, running with my son on Table Mountain Road, I was struck by how gratefully OUT everyone is - enjoying our taken-for-granted access to our magnificent mountain and nature again. People want to go for long walks, be social, reconnect with nature.
And so last Wednesday, we did just that. The Shoshin Walks Team, along with Industry buddy and good friend Hendrik Human from Earthstompers, went off to test out process and flow for the Boesmanskloof overnight process walks.
And boy, did it pay off.
Early morning departure with a coffee stop at Peregrine along the way. 10am start in glorious sunny winter weather. We did our gratitude checkin before crossing the river, and set intention. The stiff uphill walk, which after about 3kms, turns into a beautifully undulating hike, saw us arrive at the midway waterfall at precisely 12.15pm.
This was our opportunity to do a Wim Hof breathing exercise and chow our sandwiches. Clive even produced a beautiful Cappuccino. The breathing was epic - 15mins created an incredible auditory effect with the cascading waterfall, and it was like I had an undulating orchestra in my head. The water also delivered for an ice cold swim.
After lunch, the beauty of the pass and the walk at times forced us to reverent silence. But mostly, we were so high on the privilege of being healthy and able to walk in this natural beauty. The last few kilometres you face another stiff climb up to the Cottages - and we did a checkout at the bottom of the valley, leaving something behind. On the way up, we found even more meaning in nature. There was a fire there earlier this year - but the proteas, true to their nature, have started to show new life as they restart their cycle from the ashes. There is a lesson there for all of us, as we pick up the pieces.
We clocked in at the Onverwacht Cottages on schedule at 4pm. Jarred had the beers ready ice cold, there was another great little pool for me to refresh in (the others opted for a warm shower) and then it was just three lads having a braai, enjoying some beverages and basking in the glory of life in South Africa.
I was super happy to be there. The others were in great form, and the place was magic. The day served up all the ingredients for an epic memory, and one that we all sorely needed after what 2020 has dished up so far.
The next day, it was under 2 hours getting back to Cape Town, which was the beauty of the logistics piece with Jarred driving round with supplies and meeting us there. We did a checkout before we went - and the commonality was peace, and joy. And intent. Intent to take life by the horns for the rest of this year, and not hold back on being our best selves once again.
We are super excited to show other the magic of this spot. You can reach us on email@example.com if you want to book a private group, or join our next group departure. We plan another walk this coming 18th July!