The peaks of Monserrat energized and excited me to begin the excursion.

When I laid my eyes on the majestic mountains of Monserrat, I felt in awe. Remembering the experiences of hiking at Shawnee Natural Forest and Costa Brava gave me a rush of adrenaline that flowed all throughout my body. As chills overcame me, I was excited to hike this adventurous path.

Following the path of the rocky mountain of Monserrat as we help each other along the way.

 

 

Our hike began passing through a village of locals. Once we entered the intended path, the scenery steadily changed from an urbanized population to an area filled with greenery, many trees, bushes, and sandy-colored rocks.

 

 

 

 

A rosemary plant, bright and aromatic, as I walk along the rocky path.

 

A variety of plant species blossomed and flourished as our group zig-zagged up the mountain. I remember finding some fresh rosemary. Picking it up, I felt the soft texture of the skinny leaves, smelling the fresh minty, earthy, herb reminded me of cooking with my friends. It made me remember a sense of community, making me feel more excited to embark on this adventurous path with my new friends.

 

 

Only green leaves, blue skies, and the beautiful sounds of nature were noticed when hiking the trail, wishing I could experience this more often back in Chicago.

 

Stopping and resting in the shade, our group was told by our professor to quiet down and observe nature in silence. I felt at peace as I listened to the harmonic and soothing birds’ chirp. The noise pollution I was used to all my life was shattered by the sweet sounds of their tweets, like the wind bursting through a bubble that was trapping me from the freedom of nature.

 

Listening to the Boys Choir as I catch my breath from the hike.

With the goal to see the Escolania Boys’ Choir, I climbed to the monastery as fast as I could. With the encouragement of my friends, I was able to arrive at the church to hear harmonies of the chorus, their blend of their mellow and delicate voice was indescribable.

 

Pointing at the sky at Crus de San Miguel, reminding myself that goals are meant to be achieved and to strive higher.

The Monserrat excursion not only challenged my body physically, but also reassured my thoughts, questions, beliefs, and values. When reflecting on the excursion the next day, there were three comments that caught my attention. Listening to Paulina’s comment on how climbing Monserrat was an analogy to striving for your goals and Kelly’s comment on overcoming her obstacles reminded me that achieving a goal is an uphill battle. When striving for desires, I try to put in my best effort and never give up. When I plateau, I remind myself why I started. Courtney’s comment on trying to keep up with the top group really caught my attention. I remember her mentioning her difficulty of wanting to catch up with the faster group. She wanted to catch up to the faster group because she was comparing her abilities to others. Her comment reminded me of my anatomy professor Dr. Dave. When her birthday was near, I remember her saying how she used that time to reflect on what she did in the past year, celebrating how much she has grown and her accomplishments. This reminded me to never compare yourself to others, but compare you to only yourself; to remember where you started and how far you come to get there and to create new goals to strive higher. Hiking the Monserrat trail was a remembrance of what I learned from my mentors and a reassurance for me to stick to this direction as I continue my journey of life.