Béatitude: walking the TMB as a solo-traveler (TMB Part 3 of 3)

Béatitude (French) – supreme happiness; a state of blessedness

A couple of weeks ago I read a New Yorker article titled “The Glossary of Happiness” which led me to Dr. Lomas’s website indexing “‘untranslatable’ words related to well being from across the world’s languages.” I started to compile a list of my favorite foreign words from the website, and many of them aptly describe what I saw and what I felt while walking the TMB. The French word béatitude is one such word that describes my experience.

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TMB packing list (TMB Part 2 of 3)

My Millet 45L pack was my home for the 10 days on the TMB + 4 bonus days in Switzerland. When I checked in my pack at the airport, it weighed exactly 10 kg (22 lbs), including my hiking boots that were shoved into the bottom compartment of the pack. If I subtract the weight of my hiking boots and add the weight of my lunch, water, and chocolate, it probably remained around 10 kg. It felt a little heavy toward the end of the trip, but I ended up needing the cold weather clothes due to a change in the weather.

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Tour du Mont Blanc: 10 Day Itinerary (TMB Part 1 of 3)

Hey folks, I’m back from my hike on the TMB! The hike was fantastic–a little hot at the beginning but it got cooler during the second half of the trip. Overall I loved the trails in France and Italy. The section in Switzerland was completely underwhelming, so if I were to do it again I’d consider taking a bus to skip parts of the trail in Switzerland.

Some quick thoughts before the nitty gritty:

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We ain’t no sheeple–we listen to Google! (SB 2017: Iceland)

M1 spring break is one for the books! Michelle and I met up in Iceland for a week and explored the Southern and Western parts of the country. I was unable to fulfill my compulsive planning habits on account of school and therefore didn’t plan much of an itinerary before the trip. We booked hostels and a car in advance, but did everything else on the fly. It was pretty fun and way less stress-inducing than I originally thought it would be. On my next trip to Iceland, I’m definitely going to book a 4 wheel drive car though. Side note: Iceland is expensive!! Hostel beds, groceries, eating out, gas, etc. required “multilevel” money! And, Icelandic people don’t wear shoes in the house. My kind of people!

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Whitewater kayaking as a metaphor for life

Life has been so good these past two weeks. My small group came over for dinner on Friday night, friends came over for homemade yogurt on Saturday, I FINALLY climbed at Stone Summit, went on some runs (the weather is a bit cooler in the AM), heard the Vega Quartet play Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 7 and (last but not least) spent some quality time with Neil Gaiman on Friday and Saturday night.

But that’s not what I want to focus on for the rest of the blog post. I want to rewind to last weekend. I’ve been itching to write about last weekend’s trip to Bryson City, NC where I went whitewater kayaking with some other med students. Seven M1s and two M2s went on the trip. Right after our exam, we left for NC. Three hours later, we pulled up to our cabin. That night, Maddie and I slept in her tent. It was a wonderfully clear night so we didn’t put the fly up and we could see the sky and stars.

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Cochran Shoals

I drove out to Cochran Shoals, a state park bordering the Chattahoochee River, on Sunday morning. I got to the parking lot at 7:10 am and snagged one of the last parking spots. there were tons of trail runners and cyclists. The temperature had cooled down, but a mile into the run and I was hot and sticky and drenched in sweat. Although the humidity was still miserable, the temperature was (ever so) slightly cooler–I could almost imagine the crispness in the air. My thoughts drifted to apple cider and cinnamon and pumpkin spice. It drifted to cold, gray mornings in Paris that were nevertheless magical because the gray was punctuated by glimmering golden orbs of light glowing from cafes and apartments and tree branches. My mind drifted to the colorful lights swimming in the water around the Montreux Christmas Market. To memories of bundling up under sweaters and scarves and gloves, ready to brace the sharpness of the air, but feeling warm and happy from the lights, window displays, colorful candies, hot fondue, and roasting chestnuts. It drifted to the beautiful red, orange, and yellow foliage and to a feeling of rejuvenation. More thoughts on fall are sure to come.

 

Many reunions in the big apple

NYC was a whirlwind of reunions! I’m feeling refreshed and full of joy as I enjoy my last week at home.

I got in Friday afternoon and made my way to Hersh’s apartment in Chelsea where I dropped off my stuff. I met Ang and we made our way to the High Line. After, we went to the Chobani store for yogurt. Not quite as good as The Yogurt Shop in Copenhagen, but still delish. We met Hersh for dinner (Italian food was soooo good) before Ang went back uptown and Hersh and I went the Chelsea Pier driving range. Y’all, everything in NY is open super late. Like who plays golf until midnight?? Apparently New Yorkers.

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