February 14


Hardwiring Happiness: Reliving A Hike to Tarak Ridge in Bataan

By Odyssa

February 14, 2022

Writing Prompt by Amy Nguyen

It was a marvelous night up in the mountains. 

We pitched our tents a few inches from where I was sitting to write on my journal, shaking from the strong gusts of wind.

I was over 1500 meters above sea level with my hiking buddy one fine weekend in 2015. We began our hike to Tarak Ridge at dawn and ended late afternoon. 

As with any other hikes, we endured the heat of the afternoon, persevered through elevation and rough terrain, put up with the cold throughout the night until the sun rose the next day. 

But once we reached the summit, we were humbled by what stood before us, intoxicated by the beauty of our surroundings, as if we were high from a drug we wanted more of. One of the small, happy things I can relive over and over. 

My thought that night while staring at the lights below was "This is the best hike ever."

But it wasn't. Sure, there's no comparing the beauty of Tarak Ridge to other places I've been. 

I remember saying the same phrase to other small, happy moments in my life after that. 

Like when I adopted Peanut 11 years ago, when my closest friends read their wedding vows to each other, when I held my partner's hand for the first time. 

"This is the best moment of my life."

In these times, including that hike in 2015, it was simply feeling grateful for life, in awe of people and places, longing for more. 

And today, I choose to remember these times in the past that bring me back to that place. 

I recently wrote about moving to keep living. Read the full blog post here

Read a blog about Tarak Ridge

Follow Isolation Journals' Instagram page here


About the author

Odyssa is a writer from the Philippines. She is the author of Like A New Sun Rising: A Collection of Poems on Love. When not working or writing at home, she's out walking their dogs. She enjoys traveling, practices yoga, gets lost in books and Korean drama. To her, making time for a daily practice or ritual is the best gift to one's self.

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