January 27th, 2006


Trek Minus 8 days and Counting

Ok I'm approaching the final count down and the key issues are still 'out there'.


I still have to sort comprehensive travel insurance for my trip, no - expedition, to Nepal.


I can't pretend that I'm not worried by recent events but the pragmatist in me recognises that the risk of travelling to the Khumbu is negligible.  That poor lawyer stabbed to death after leaving the London Tube recently and the commuters killed in the London bombings last summer were all engaging in nothing more risky than going about their daily business. They died doing so.


A couple of days in a fractious city probably presents a slightly increased risk - but I intend to simply obtain  the necessary provisions and then head for the high mountains.


The decision whether to even embark on the trip has weighed heavily on my mind all week - whether to go or not and my parents (by parents I mean more my Father really) bad reaction to my inclination to go ahead and travel in the light of recent events have caused much stress.


Over the last week I have realised that for much of my life I have lived with a debilitating and frankly oppressive sense of duty and obligation.  To my parents and my family and close friends whom I love very much and for whom I would do anything, to my job (god only knows why) and to friends. Underpinning this is a rather ominous sense of duty not so much to religion per say, but to the faith that I have. I have always thought of faith a tool of empowerment and therefore am beginning to realise just how much I have allowed religion to actually be the determining factor in certain decisions.


In the past I have always done what others have wanted or expected of me. On reflection the extent to which this is true is staggering- it runs far to deep to go into in detail here.

I never wanted to be a civil servant - yet I've spent 15 years trying to make it my career because it was a steady stable income.

I ended up not going to university because I didn't get accepted to the courses I wanted and no one helped me look for alternatives or explore other options - I just started to look for work. 

When the option of a job working in special effects came up I shied away and stuck with the safe option of the steady income.

And with personal relationships I have always allowed the thoughts and opinions of family and friends and my own demons to affect the decisions and paths that I've followed.


Now I have another decision to make - do I risk travelling to a fractious Nepal in the run up to Elections or bin the trip.


I'm sure that this has all become far too internalised - far too big a deal.


But then again walking  about 175 km, for four weeks, at high altitude, travelling to Mount Everest Base Camp, in the middle of the Himalayan winter,  while Nepal looks to be heading towards serious  political and social unrest …….is a big deal.


It's beginning to sink in now.


Reminded me, quite out of context, of a poem that I love.


" Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,

Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,

A lonelyimpulse of delight

Drove to this tumult in the clouds"