We love hearing from our alumni and getting their perspective on our adventures. Debra Vaughn joined us last September on Zephyr’s maiden voyage to the fascinating country of Bhutan.
Here’s her story:
In September 2015, I joined Zephyr Adventures’ first trip to Bhutan, the land of the happiest people. I chose this trip because I had no idea where it was or what to expect. I read the itinerary, talked to Zephyr guides, and took a chance. What a great decision that was!
I am not young, athletic, or ache-and-pain free, but I am determined. The trip is rated difficult and I was going to give it a try, so I started training by walking a few miles every day, riding my bike, horseback riding, and even paddle boarding. I must be honest though, I was not exhausted when I came home from these activities, but at least I was out moving. (In hindsight, I should have pushed myself a little more!)
My expectations were that the trek was going to be rough with very few “luxuries” along the way. I was excited to take in views and experiences that would be all new to me. But little did I know that I would be embarking on the most spectacular trip of my life (so far!)
The 35-miles-over-6-days trek was challenging. The country of Bhutan is either straight up or straight down so we were always heading either straight up or straight down. But having a hot lunch with ginger tea and dessert served to you on the trail sure perked me up for the next half of my day. Once we made our way to camp, we enjoyed a wonderful adventure into local foods and were fascinated by what can be done on a propane burner in the middle of nowhere Bhutan.
Our tents were spacious and so nicely laid out with carpets, mats, and pillows that at first, you did not want to mess it up. But then fatigue would win out, and you’d lie down and just listen to the bells on the pack animals and the quiet of the night. Sleep came easily and in the morning, we were all ready to go again.
The hardest part of it all was not the physical activity, but it was actually returning to civilization. Don’t get me wrong, hotels with hot showers are awesome but I would much rather be out walking than in a bus any day.
The Bhutan Adventure is not easy but it is very doable. You just need to relax and go with the flow. The trekking was a challenge but not insurmountable so I will never forget it. I must admit that i know that at the bottom of that hike would be chocolate cake and beer and as odd as that may sound, it sure got me over my worries.
Zephyr Adventures has given me so many opportunities to do things I would have never imagined 10 years ago. I am so glad a friend asked me along on that first trip to try beer, mountain biking, hiking and more beer. The people you meet and the guides you get to travel with are exceptional. I keep adding more and more memories.
Hope to see you on the next trip!
2 thoughts on “An American Perspective on Trekking Through Bhutan”
Deb – sounds like you had a great time. Wish we could have joined you, altho maybe not the chocolate cake & beer combo!
Yeah, Debra! We are so happy you took that first trip and continue to travel with us. You are the epitomy of why we do what we do. It is so special to be a small part of helping people live exceptional lives.