On day three of the classic Inka Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru, we reached the summit of Abra de Runkuracay eager to take in the views around us. The day was unusually warm; wispy white clouds rolled in and out of the deep green valleys, aided by a gentle breeze. We scuttled up to the highest point we could find.
Even though the clouds obstructed much of the view, I could feel the enormity of the valley we were perched above. I searched for snowy peaks in the distance, searched for the river far below. In that moment, I could do no more than revere my surroundings and feel that I was a part of something important.
The history enveloped me, the sights burned themselves into my memory, the crisp mountain air filled my lungs. My overwhelmed senses were reminding me: This is why I travel.