I gazed out from my tent at the glorious mountains before me and, with the sun having just set on another day full of heartfelt connection with other people, I wept.
These tears were completely unexpected, but they were pleasant, nourishing, and relieving. I was weeping in happiness.
Wow. I struggle to find the tears for my sadness, but to have tears for happiness, well, that’s a completely new thing for me.
Just another day
I’ve had many days that are not so dissimilar to that one – setting up my tent in some wonderful spots at the end of the day and meeting magnificent people – that have left me feeling very happy and content. Yet I’d never felt close to crying.
But as I sat in that moment, so close to the end of my long journey to Bhutan, all those not too dissimilar days were also with me in that moment. It was just another day in my journey but the tears were in gratitude for being able to experience countless days like this – in deep connection with both nature and people, those two essential ingredients of happiness.
They weren’t just tears for the good times either. They were tears for all the struggles too. For the distance I had travelled to be in that moment, the daily struggles, and how I have watched myself surmount challenge after challenge – from dog bites and equipment failure to isolation and loneliness.
Yet I was far from feeling alone in that moment. My tears of happiness were for, and because of, all the people I feel fortunate to have come to know. Not just people I’ve met through this journey, also all those who I have known for much longer that I left behind – my friends, my family, all my loves. They sat in my heart as I looked out over those mountains.
The happiness I came for
Could it be that this journey was about shedding those happy tears, to feel such a depth of happiness? I have been smiling a lot ever since and those tears are still so very close at hand. It feels great to be alive. I am happy, so very happy. My dear Bhutan, I shall be with you soon. . .and it seems I’ll be bringing some tears.
Currently I am in Darjeeling. To add to my happiness I just had a special free of cost Bhutanese visa approved with the help of Sangay Tenpai Gyeltshen, a local tour guide at Nobventure, who has been following my journey for some time.
It is odd! Despite being so close I still find myself doubting as to whether I’ll actually make it to Bhutan – it might just be habit from being on the road for so long or the deep acceptance that nothing is certain, nor need it be?
***I have since written and published a book about the journey to Bhutan on a bicycle. If you like what you’ve read here then consider buying A Journey For Happiness: The Man Who Cycled to Bhutan today.