- Dr Ildiko Tombor
Updated: Feb 20, 2020
ATACAMA DESERT (San Pedro de Atacama - Valle de la luna - Duna Mayor) - CHILE
For the last 14 months or so, I have been traveling the world and have journeyed through 15 countries. The Atacama Desert in Northern Chile is by far one of the most surreal places that I have ever been. It is stunning, wild and boiling hot. The humidity is not higher than 5% but at times it can be as low as 0.5-1%. As a result, you won't see any clouds on the sky and you won't be sweating either because the sweat evaporates almost immediately. This is the driest place on Earth and it's called the "absolute desert".
When people learn about that I'm traveling alone and going to all these different countries and continents, the first reaction that I almost always get is that how brave I am for doing this (followed by "how lucky you are" – but more on this later). This is flattering of course, but the real courage is not necessarily about hiking in the desert or climbing up to glaciers, but it's about all those decisions that we make as we go through life:
to speak your truth
and also to admit if you were wrong
to walk away
but not to give up easily
and forgive wholeheartedly
to challenge yourself
and to not be afraid to fail
to endure the pain and grief
and to embrace the next day
to ask for help
and to accept it with an open mind
and to open your heart again
even if it has been broken into million pieces before.
Courage is all of the above and more. It's about being authentic to who you are but also realising if the way you always do things or think about things are not serving you well. Changing old habits and mindset is what takes immerse courage indeed, but this is something that anyone can do.
What is it that you would change if you decided to do so?