The decision to join Ripley for his jaunt in the world’s biggest sandpit was made in a moment. I read the plan thoroughly; let the idea cook in my head for a while without leading it down the path of conclusion. When I did conclude though, there was no dilemma, no ifs, or buts – just decision made, I was going.
The next few days passed in a breeze as I waited for documentation, confirmation of payment and for the announcement that I was now a part of the team. I was ecstatic when it came in. Now began the tough part – getting in shape physically and mentally.
What compels individuals to do crazy things? Need for popularity, admiration, fulfillment, in support of a noble cause, just for kicks? What was mine? It came to me much later and was disarmingly simple – this adventure was me. Then there was the cause, of course, —edurelief, besides the opportunity to travel and, to meet great people.
Me? Yeah, me in the stories I tell myself about, well, myself. It is the stories that we tell ourselves that I want to constantly challenge. It’s you, always you that make you what you want to be or not make you what you want to be. No one can make you feel small or great if you don’t want to and similarly, no one can prepare you for what lies ahead, but yourself.
This adventure then is me. It is what I have told myself so far. It is what I shall tell myself when I fall, then get up and walk again in the run up to the great walk. It will be what’ll speak out loud to myself as I train in fair weather and foul. It’ll be the words I chant as I cover kilometer after kilometer, end one day after another, move between myriad shades of the mind throughout the Gobi walk. It’ll define my existence for the next 8 months and touch my life in way I don’t know yet. I will then contradict it and speak again. It is what will carry me forward as I want to.
Inspire. Interact. Illustrate. Gobi Adventure. I. Me. Myself.