Van Dyck Law Q1 2020



QUARTER 1 2020


As much as it pains me to acknowledge it, I am no longer a young law school graduate who can travel the world on a whim. Running a law firm takes a lot of time and dedication, and while I wouldn’t give it up for the world, there’s a part of me that wants to get out and have some of those adventures I used to have back when I first got out of school. Jan. 13 is “Make Your Dream Come True” Day, and that got me thinking: If time and money were no object, what dream would I make a reality? The answer was easy — I would backpack from Kathmandu to the Mount Everest base camp in Nepal. This dream is the culmination of a lot of past desires and experiences. Two friends of mine, Nate and Cara, have been living the dream and traveling the world full time for a living. About a year ago, they did this hike, from Kathmandu to the base of Mount Everest. They lived off what they could carry in their backpacks for two weeks, visited remote villages along the path, and ascended to altitudes so immense that they had to stop every 5,000 meters and allow their bodies to acclimate. They posted daily videos of their trek on Instagram, and it looked like an adventure I would love. When I was younger, I did a lot of trekking, hiking, and backpacking in different parts of the world. Shortly after I graduated from law school, I was flying from New York to Los Angeles to see one of my best friends appear on Wheel of Fortune (but that’s another story). On the plane, I sat next to

a man who was a management expert of some sort, and I am not exaggerating when I say that I cannot name a country he had not spent a considerable amount of time in. After hearing about some of his experiences, I asked him where he would go if he could go anywhere in the world. He told me he would visit Thailand for its natural beauty, diverse cultures, and inexpensive tourism opportunities. I was sold. The next time I saw my friends, I asked any of them if they would go to Thailand with me. Three of them said they would, and soon we were all in Bangkok with no plan, waiting to see where the winds of adventure would take us. That was kind of how I always traveled soon after that. I would buy a plane ticket and then figure out where I would stay and what I would do once I got there. I would talk to other travelers about what they had done and take their advice. I traveled in ways that might not have been the safest, and my lodgings were many times off the beaten path, but I loved every second of it. This trek in Nepal would combine all the things I’ve loved about my travel experiences so far. There’s not too much of an itinerary, and there’s a lot of trekking. While I think actually climbing Mount Everest is just crazy, I found I greatly enjoyed trekking after a hike my husband and I did in Iceland two years ago. It was 15 miles, and since we had both run half-marathons (13.1 miles), we figured 15 miles walking couldn’t be that hard. It turned out to be extremely challenging, but the

unbelievable natural beauty made it worth it. That trip partly inspired us to try to do the Nepal trip later on. While I might not be able to just disappear into another culture for a month whenever I want anymore, I hope those adventures are a part of my future, as well as a part of my past. In the meantime, I look forward to another year of helping clients and doing the work I love. -Fiona Van Dyck



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