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Rough path ahead

Photo: E. Klink

Everyone is looking for the road less traveled.

Some of us want to hike to Machu Picchu, venturing high in the Andes to visit this mysterious ruined Incan city while gazing down through the mists of the Urubamba River valley.

Others want to climb in the icy footprints of Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary up the treacherous Khumbu Icefall to reach the summit of Mount Everest. (People pay five figures to do so each year.)

Then there are those of us who want to tempt fate via the Haiku stairs on Oahu, a hike that is breathtaking, dangerous and actually illegal.

But why is it that many of the same people complain at the “ordinary” challenges the universe throws their way—a flat tire, a flooded basement, a job loss—don’t these serve to test one’s mettle enough?

Maybe we want to face these mountainous marvels because somehow they seem easier than changing careers, a relationship or a lifestyle. Maybe well think it makes a better story or maybe we just believe it would be somehow easier to do. After all, there are Sherpas to show you the way to the top at some of these places. Then again, perhaps we just want the “Instagramification.”

But there is no “off the beaten path” in this world. The road less traveled is the one you’re on, the one no one else has really ever traversed.

And it’s a guaranteed rough path.

Any takers?