When I visited the city of Leh in Ladakh for the first time, I was alone at the top of the world. I didn’t realize how lonely and scared it would make me feel to be so high up. I was above the tree line. Everything around me was rock, clouds, snow, and Buddhist monasteries perched on the sides of cliffs.
I flew away from Leh after spending only one week there. I had planned to stay for 2-4 weeks. I did that a lot while traveling through India. I changed plans. I left early or I stayed late. I spent hours crying in hotel rooms because I was challenging myself and I was lonely. I don’t regret any of those journeys. They strengthened me.
Adventure Prompt: Travel to the Tibetan Plateau alone. See how long you feel comfortable staying. Push your comfort zone. Cry if you have to. Seek out new friends. Find a place where you feel safe.
Writing Prompt: While in Leh, climb up a hillside of rock or visit one of the cliffside monasteries. Do it alone. Write about how it feels to be there.
Does it feel like you are at the top of the world?
Do you love the feeling or hate it?
Are you lonely?
Do you feel more free or do you feel trapped?
Try writing a scene in a story or a poem from within this barren landscape. Does it change what happens to your characters? Does it change you?