where trails cross

“Who would’ve thought that when we met five years ago we’d be trekking in Torres del Paine together?” I say to Lindsay as we hike from Refugio Grey to Refugio Paine Grande in one of southern Patagonia’s most famous national parks.

Life, and the crossing of paths, is a seemingly strange and mind-blowing thing. Today, our second of five days in Torres del Paine, my mind traipses through my story with Lindsay.

She and I met in August 2012. I was fresh out of college and looking for marketing work in the social impact space. Lindsay was the national director of Right To Play – USA, an organization I was keen to work with. We initially connected through email, and then, when I was traveling through San Francisco, we met for coffee on a Friday afternoon at La Boulange. Our relationship, a mentorship and now a friendship, has grown from there.

If you’d told us that Friday afternoon, the Friday leading into Labor Day Weekend, that five years later we’d be trekking, camping and sharing a tent in southern Chile together, I think you would’ve gotten some funny looks from us. But I also think we would’ve believed you, mostly because we’re two women who set big, lofty dreams, goals, plans and adventures — and then see them through.

Looking back, I love that our trails intentionally crossed. I love that, throughout the last five years, they’ve continued to cross and that our friendship continues to blossom through soulful, nourishing and adventurous conversations and moments.

Generally speaking — not just with me and Lindsay — I think it’s incredible to stop and consider where our trails do, and don’t, cross. Life is funny in that it’s interesting which connections take root and grow over time — and, on the converse, which don’t. When you stop and really think about your trails with another person, you appreciate the details of life and the role that each character plays in your story. While our connections can seem random, I believe they are 100% intentional. How could they not be? There are no coincidences in life. I believe there is a greater force at play. For me, that force is God. For others, it may be someone or something else.

On a drizzly, overcast Friday in Torres del Paine, as we trek from one campground to the next, I chuckle at the absurdity of this moment — of a business connection that morphed into a mentorship and friendship and ultimately a Patagonian adventure together. The people we meet, places we go, experiences we have and decisions we make certainly influence where we go in life, and they are all connected in the most delicate, intricate and beautiful ways. The trails we traverse and the trails that weave in and out of ours are magical, aren’t they?

April 17, 2018

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