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On the way to the top (which smells of cinnamon)

POLAND | Tuesday, 9 June 2015 | Views [339]

My eyes are getting filled with tears. I have had enough! I am too tired to make even one more step. I am sitting down on the ground, refusing co-operation. We are half way through, that is the most difficult to accept - there is no coming back. We have to climb this mountain. On the top there is sweet hot tea and maybe even, if we are lucky, overpriced yet heavenly delicious, apple pie. But more than that - there's, I'm sure, I have learnt it before as it is not the first mountain my little legs are going to climb - breath-taking, mind-blowing, life-changing view. Space which means freedom, I understand that already, I am a smart little beast. And a promise of the sky, so close that you have an impression of brushing your head with the clouds.

I started to hike with my father while my backpack was bigger than myself. I was probably around six years old when I set my foot for the first exhilarating time on the top.

It became inevitable ritual for me, to break down in the middle of the trail, thinking that I cannot do it anymore, it is too hard this time, too heavy, too high, too hot... Never boring though. And then getting magical power just to give the next small step. And one more. And another...

Till you miraculously end up on the top, where you understand in a glance why this whole effort. You can only stand there, amazed and gasping. And you cannot wait to do it again!

I remember that everybody on the trail was bonded with a secret. We were aiming for the same goal. We would smile to each other and say hello like we would have known each other all our lives. The ones who were going in opposite direction, coming back from the trail, would pass me sweets and lie that it is only fifteen minutes more to the tip. I knew it is not truth, but I still loved them claiming so. It was sort of a mysterious trick - even realising they just say so to comfort me (poor child, she's got crazy father to drag her all this way up!), it would still make the next bit somehow easier.


When I was 19, I packed few books, blank notebooks, sleeping bag and tango shoes, put $50 in my pocket and hit the road. I did not know where I am going, how I am gonna get there and why. I knew I am climbing the mountain. I wanted to see those uniting smiles. I desired to find magical strength when you think you cannot do it anymore. And I trusted that somewhere there is waiting for me hot apple pie with a heart-warming view. I was hiking again. 

Tags: adventure, climbing, how i started to travel, katrina dybzynska, my father, strength, travelling with kids, trekking

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