Aguas Calientes

Our journey from Cuzco to Aguas Calientes was a memorable trip. So memorable that we keep mentioning it whenever things get tough in our life. Because what we experienced during that trip is a great metaphor to our own journey towards building the life of our dreams.

What happened during our trip?

We walked A LOT

And we had this [stupid] idea of buying a big bottle of water, like 6 l or 8 l, just because the price per liter was cheaper. But it was 3 or 4 times heavier!

At the beginning of our walk I was very positive. “Follow the railways for 2 h and you’ll reach the city” were the instructions. Easy peasy! On every step I would say, “Thank you.”

But after walking for more than 2 h, my “thank you” steps became “fuck you” steps.

I was mad. I was tired AND mad. We were realizing that actually, after 2 looong hours, we were nowhere near the city. It was getting darker and darker and no one was in front of us nor behind us.

We started to freak out

The only light we had was the one from the screen of my phone (somehow I couldn’t use the flashlight) and the battery was running low.

At some point it got so dark that we could see some stars and still no signs of the city. Davidson was even scared of being attacked by jaguars (lol).

Many things were bothering me:

  • We had no idea how far we were from the city. So, no idea of how much we would still have to walk.
  • I was tired, and Davidson too.
  • My feet were hurting so much because I had this awesome idea of wearing my regular sneakers instead of my trekking shoes.

We knew that if we kept moving forward though, we’d eventually get there. But we had been walking and walking and walking and still no clues whatsoever of when we would arrive.

We got depressed and frustrated

More than once we saw a tunnel and thought, “That’s it, the city must be at the end of that tunnel.” But then we’d reach the end of it and… nothing. We would only get more disappointed.

At some point though, we just stopped trying to guess and stayed silent, focusing only on walking, breathing, and not falling into any holes. Our expectations were just getting us depressed and frustrated anyway.

Lessons learned

1. Take one step at a time

When we decided to make that trip, we clearly had no idea of what we got ourselves into. We had no map. Not even a proper light nor shoes. And we had extra weight thanks to that big bottle of water.

All we knew though, is that by taking one step after another, despite being so unprepared for our trip, we would reach the city.

2. Patience is key

Had we just focused on walking and not worried about arriving, we would’ve enjoyed our trip more. After all, we knew we were on the right track, we just had to keep walking and we’d reach the city. So why bother guessing if the city was right after this tunnel or the other one? It was just a waste of time and energy.

3. Let go of expectations and focus on your journey

Every time that we mention Aguas Calientes, it’s not so much about walking and not seeing the city. It’s more about walking into a tunnel and putting all our hopes in it thinking it was the one leading to the city.

Many times we entered “tunnels,” working on new business ideas, and many times (if not always) we ended up feeling frustrated and depressed because it was not “it.”

And whenever it happens, that’s when we tell ourselves, “it’s Aguas Calientes all over again…” Because once again the tunnel wasn’t the one leading to the city, or in this case, to success.

Today, though, just like towards the end of our trip, we just stopped guessing which tunnel will be the right one. Instead we just focus on getting better at our craft one day at a time.

And that’s why the journey to Aguas Calientes has a special place in our hearts. It reminds us that what’s important is not the destination, but the journey. It might take longer than we think but in the end, if we keep moving forward, we know we’ll eventually reach whatever we want in life.