An introvert on a expedition or A small miracle in the Himalayas


Miracles happen every day. Not just in remote country villages or at holy sites halfway across the globe, but here, in our own lives.  DEEPAK CHOPRA

 I agree with Deepak Chopra’s view point, though I was halfway across the globe and I was in many a remote village when my miracle occured.

You see, I’m an introvert. Oh, I teach and I speak publicly to large groups but I need to retreat, often, to recharge. I’m drained by social interactions, being in groups and crowded places. So I questioned my sanity when I agreed to join an expedition through the Khumbu Valley, in Nepal.

The expedition of 10 mountaineers, who had as their goal to summit Ama Dublam, the third most popular Himalayan mountian peaking at 6812 metres, welcomed five lucky trekkers who got to accompany them as far as Pheriche, a 4240 metre point above sea level.

Departing from Brisbane International Airport was the first time I met our group. We ranged in age from late 20s to mid 60s. There was a mix of males and females, couples and singles. Our occupations were many and varied: tree arbours, landscape engineers, physicists, real estate agents, IT tech/ engineers and educators. There were the semi fit to elite athletes. You might say we were a very eclectic and diverse bunch.

My anxiety levels were high. Though it wasn’t long before I realised there was no need for nervousness.  Our conversation flowed easily and there was plenty of laughter. The generosity of the group and their support of individual members, as well as an acceptance of where each person was at, regarding  fitness and  health, on any given day, was something I rarely experience or witness. Such was the nature of the group that there was never a moment I felt uncomfortable or burdened by the presence of others.


There were times I was grateful for their encouragement and humour. One gorgeous man, though struggling himself with Nepal belly, cheered me on by checking in with “Team Shannyn”. I can’t tell you how that small gesture boosted my spirit when I needed it.

Small conversations about family, finding the right words to describe the sound prayer flags make in the wind to deeper topics such as learning, human nature and world politics, filled the spaces between us and bought us closer. We identified similarities and differences that helped forge friendships.

Many times, and for great distances, we walked in silence comfortable in each other’s presence, without the need to fill the air with words.

At meals we would laugh raucously at the antics of a few clowns among us or we could sit quietly and enjoy our black tea, each lost in our own thoughts.

I could not be more grateful for the opportunity to share this experience with, and be part of, this incredible group of people. This fierce introvert enjoyed being in company. That is the miracle I experienced halfway across the world in small Nepalese villages.

Will I hope to replicate it again? No. This was a special moment with a special group of people.

Will there be other opportunities for me to leave my hermit shell and interact with the world? Of course, and I now look forward to that time. Though, this miracle is one I’ll treasure and hold dear for many, many years to come.

You see, magic does happen. Especially when you least expect it.

Let’s find the magic and miracles in the every day.