The hiking community is so interconnected that when you get affiliated with one, you’ll instantly get linked with other hikers. That’s how I met them – social climbing at its finest. We used to climb together to talk, air out our individual burdens, and laugh to forget the daunting tasks of our respective mundane lives. Weekends became our protected time to chase peaks, sunrise and sunsets, waterfalls, and love that followed thereafter. And while “where-to-go-next” became a standard question asked upon reaching the summit, truth is… we all know where we are going – the ecstasy of the view at the summit is just blinding us. We all go to our separate lives.
Gaining friends in the mountains is quick and easy – trailfood and few shots of empe’ are the key. But keeping them for life is the real work. Sooner or later, the group will disband; each one will follow trails that would lead to the summits of their own lives. Somehow, the group chat comes alive, but most the year, it lies idly, toppled over by other chats that demand more attention. Truth be told, there are some moments that we can no longer recreate.
But we can always dance around of hectic schedules, cross our fingers in hopes that the universe will conspire (at least once a year), and meet each other somewhere few detours away from our respective trails – Bada Korean Restaurant in this case. And over some magical moments with samgyeopsal and ramyeon, find the warmth that once enveloped us during those hikes. Though our priorities changed, the rants and laughters remained the same. So as our friendship.
Maybe, there are some moment that we can’t recreate. Maybe Eminem was right in Love the way you lie: next time, there will be no next time. Adulting is inevitable. But as long as we know that the truest version of friendship rests in the maps of our hearts, we will always find each other. Someday, soon. Either in the mountains. Or in some restaurant. Or on those group chats.