Almost 24 years ago I set out on an adventure through Peru with some of my good high school buddies. Three weeks backpacking through the mountains proved nothing short of epic – memories that have stood the test of time. We hiked the Inca trail guided by “El Grande Juan (our friend Jonny),” experienced high altitude sickness as we made the pass at Punta Union in the Cordillera Blanca (15,800 feet elevation, and still increasing with each passing year), suffered the wrath of Montezuma’s revenge at Lake Titicaca, stood in the shadows of the great Andean Condors as they soared over us in the Colca Canyon, and saw some of the most beautiful scenery our eyes have ever beheld. I even served my first and only appointment as team physician (some on the trip said I had failed in my post but I adamantly disagree).

We had some long days hiking, carrying heavy packs. It was easy to get caught up in the grind, step after step, with the final goal in mind. Quite regularly, my good friend Dave would call out, “Hey Jonny!!! Don’t forget to look up and enjoy the view.” 

I’ve thought about that advice often, especially when out in nature. And even in life. 

Too often we seek our arrival at the final destination. We anticipate the view from the summit of the mountain – we can’t wait for the finished product, the fruits of our success. Sometimes the most beautiful views are down lower, when we are deep in the hard work of the journey. Don’t forget to look up and enjoy the view. If we’re aware, it’s often spectacular. 

Just last week I was mountain biking with Claire and there was a point in the ride where I couldn’t keep up with her. It was bittersweet. It was partly  how out of shape I have become, and partly how strong a rider she is. I had the thought – Don’t forget to stop and enjoy the view. I wasn’t at the top, but the view was magnificent. In that moment I felt nothing but happiness for my daughter. Nothing but joy in the journey of being a dad and seeing her succeed. Filled by the surrounding beauty. 

In life there are so many beautiful moments we miss because we’re caught up in the race of life. Today, find a moment to stop and enjoy the journey. Enjoy the view. Wherever you are.

  • Brittany
    8 months ago
    Love the perspective, it’s all in the journey.
  • Stuart
    9 months ago
    Wow. This came at a great time for me. I’ll be chewing on this for a bit. Thanks, Nate!