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  • Writer's pictureSuzanne Venuta

Anniversaries are interesting things.

This time last year my life changing Tour du Mont Blanc trek was coming to a close. My feet and soul had been on quite the adventure and even then, it was hard to believe it was coming to an end.

The day previous, our last full day on the trail, was amazing as we walked through valleys and up switchbacks. The mountain sides, were a kaleidoscope of colors as the blueberry bushes were changing color, they were red at the higher elevations and the colors were slowly marching down the mountain side. When we stopped for a break and snack, I remember sitting in this mountain sized blueberry patch snacking on the small sweet fruit.

It was a day of surprises as we trekked up what seemed like an endless trail of switchbacks to come up and around the corner and see the magnificent view of Mt Blanc for the first time. It was truly amazing and the wait had been worth it. Earlier on in the trek, on the 3rd day I believe it was- we were going to see it, but the clouds obscured our view of pretty much everything- we could only see about 15 feet in front of us- and even then, that was iffy. Standing on the border of France and Italy, the temperature had dropped and we were told later that with the wind chill it was a -10 degrees Celsius.

But on this, the last full day on the trail there it was in all its glory- it was magnificent. And just beyond that spot on the trail we got to the cull and there was another hut where we stopped for lunch and coffee. It still blows my mind that up in the middle of nowhere would be these huts that served lunches, and coffees- a much more civilized way to hike I must say.

That last full day is also the day we encountered the ladders!!! Oh my- it was a challenge, and at the time I know my reaction was more then what was warranted- and I had no idea why I was crying, and so emotional- but every fiber in my being was screaming at me not to go up them. (Once I got home it would take me about two months to connect the dots and realize what that was all about- and it was to do with past trauma.)

At times its still hard for me to believe I did that, and this time last year we were walking down the mountainside into the Chamonix valley. I have been thinking a lot about my trekking buddies this last month, and I miss them. I am thankful I got to meet and spend time with them as we spent 13 days together learning about each other, and ourselves. For me it was a gift on so many levels.

It was an Epic trip and my body and soul became stronger and I came back a changed person. This trek had such a profound affect on me that it sort of sent my writing in a different direction. Actually, the trek had such a profound impact on my life, that’s why I have changed up the name of this blog from…’Reaching New Heights, my journey to Mt Blanc” and changed it too “ Reaching new Heights, My journey to Mt Blanc and Beyond” because it has had such an impact on me and what learned during that time has impacted my life on a daily basis.

And believe me it has helped me get through these trying times we are living in. Who would have known?

As I mentioned it has sent my writing in a bit of a different direction and I am hoping that this time next year I will have my manuscript of my first book ready for publication. What will my first book be about- I will give you a hint- my Mont Blanc trek. Its funny that was not what I had planned but here I am committing to working on it and having a date to hopefully have it written by. I know it will be at times a hard process, I will wonder how the hell I got myself into it, thinking wouldn’t life be smoother if I just didn’t do it, and wonder how the hell I’m going to get through it-much like a few of my own thoughts on the trek- but I will persevere and put one word in front of the other and put my head down and carry on.

Then once I get it written- who knows how long it will take to get published- it could be years- that is the unknown. But, like the unknown of those ladders, when every fiber in my body was screaming at me not to go up them, my eyes were leaking tears of fear and hurt from the past- even though I didn’t know it at the time- and it took everything I had to make my body move- I was able to do it because unlike during the events of my childhood- I had folks there supporting me, and I was not alone.

This will be no different. I am stepping into- or if we are going to use the ladder analogy- stepping up into the unknown. I don’t know what will be waiting for me at the top- (which by the way, on that day of the trek was amazing beauty I could not have imagined- the scenery as well as the people I trekked with)- and like life it is an unknown. But just because it’s an unknown, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do it. I spent so much of my life locked into that way of thinking that I’m no longer willing to live like that. Wow, that is a statement of freedom if I ever wrote one- told you it was a life changing trek!!!

So, come along with me if you choose, as I learn to navigate this world of the unknown, experience the ups and downs, and frustrations of trying to bring this book together. And, yes, I did say this is my first book, as I plan on writing more. I know I will likely learn more then I could ever imagine through this process.

In case you didn’t know- before the trek I didn't really like heights- I know, I can hear you say...” then Suzy, what the Hell were you doing in the Alps?” Believe me I asked myself that many times. But now when I go on hikes, I may not really like heights but I am better with them. I am hoping that once I get my first book written, I will have a better idea of the process and find the next two a little less painful 😊

You know me, always the optimist lol

Until next time, take good care of yourselves

With thanks and gratitude


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