Tuesday, 7 November 2017

What I learned walking up and down a hill

Yesterday, I went to Mount Takao which is on the outskirts of Tokyo. It is a very popular tourist destination as you can access it within one hour from central Tokyo and it is a nice natural setting.

It was the first time that I have ever been there and because it was the last day of a three day weekend it was jammed pack with people.

There are two ways to go up the mountain, one is by cable car and the other one is to walk up it along a sealed road. We chose the sealed road. (I remember my geography teacher a high school saying that to get to Machu Picchu in Peru, you can either take a three hour train journey or you can hike for two days. He said that you will always remember it if you hiked.)

There were many people "climbing" it yesterday. It felt like a pilgrimage. At some stages it felt like I couldn't get to the top because of an injury I sustained the day before but we finally managed to get to the top or the shrine, anyway.

After taking a few photos, we decided to walk down again and the only way we could do it is go down the same way we went up. A little bit of the way down I found another way down to a waterfall. We decided to go, to escape the crowds more than anything else.

We walked down this very steep path. There was hardly anyone around us and it felt like we had the place to ourselves. (I secretly wondered if we were going to run into some monkeys or wild boar.)

About 20 minutes down the track we met someone else who was climbing back up the path. She said that the waterfall was nothing much and it was a waste of energy. We thought about going back up but that would mean that we would get tired very quickly. We continued down the track and finally saw the waterfall. She was right, it was nothing much. We decided to continue down the path some more and we finally made it to the bottom of the mountain.

We continued on a path following a river and then made it to the train station where we wanted to go.

The river was nice and the path along the river was really nice too. It really made a good afternoon.

I hope you enjoyed my recollection of my Sunday walk. The reason I am talking about it is that sometimes in life we have a decision to make. Which way do we go? Do we follow the herd or do we trust our intuition and go our own path?

It is easy to go the way that 99% of people  are going because you risk the chance of ridicule if it doesn't go to plan. You risk being ostracised and that isn't a nice feeling and you also run the risk of utter humiliation.

However if you stay firm and stay with your convictions then what you re doing the naysayers will turn around and wonder about what you are doing.

Just make that one difficult decision and things will change. Trust me on that.

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