It is said that trekking keeps the body, mind and soul healthy. It is also said that trekking changes you as a person. Well, I do agree that nature is the best teacher and if a Himalayan trek is the classroom, I do not mind getting back into the class again and again.
Yes, trekking does teach you a lot and is definitely healthy. While I would not go into the fitness of body, but would love to share with you my realizations as I went for Himalayan treks. And let me tell you, these life lessons did not come from a single trek, I gather these experience from each and every trek I do.
The fear factor
Fear – this was the emotion I felt on the first day of my trek. Being an introvert girl, I worried whether I will be able to mix with the other trekkers. I was afraid of the hilly terrains, walking along the ridges, crossing the mountain passes. It was the fear of unknown, the fear of the unpredictables. But after I started, all these trepidation were gradually removed.
Life is totally unpredictable. And it is very natural to be afraid of the unknown. There will come many a situations where we do not know the next course of action and being afraid of that is completely natural. But we should not let this fear deter us or stop us from taking the journey. All we need is to overcome the fear factor and carry on.
Trekking in the Himalayan terrain is not a piece of cake. You are not in your comfort zone. There are no luxuries of your bedroom, nor there are the warmth of your family and friends. You will not get your favourite food. To add to these, the environmental conditions are also not very friendly. Food, sleep, air are some of the things that you might not find according to your need. The first few days will make you feel tired. There will be moments when you might feel why did I choose to do this. I have felt that on treks. But the panoramic vistas of the Himalayan Mountains are a great respite. Everyday, I would walk, crib a little, get dead tired, but I would also admire the beautiful surroundings, the mountains and that would energise me for the next day of adventure. And by the end of the trek, I would simply adjust with whatever I had and be happy. I had learnt to live with whatever I had.
Safety and Security
On a trek you might feel certain insecurities. You might have a question about your safety. After all, you might be walking on an unfamiliar terrain, climbing over precarious ridges and wading through mountain streams. Despite of the trained guides and trek leads, you might feel that you can slip and fall down to your death. There will be times when your own well-being would be the only thing in your mind.
The cold and frosty air, the unexpectedness of the trail will simply melt away all the insecurities and worries.
Friendship and Social belonging
It is said that the journey is as beautiful as the company. It is really true when you are some thousand feet above the sea level on a Himalayan trek. A trek becomes the meeting point of people from different parts of the country. People meet, become friends and they work together for a common purpose, that is completing the trek. There is a sense of belonging and kinship. And along with nature, you also come to value companionship.
The summit day is always the most important of the trek. After the last few days of the trek, the summit looks like a beacon. The only thing that was in my mind at that time was I had to climb the summit. On any normal day, it would seem an impossible task, but with perseverance and confidence, I could do it. The sheer joy that I got was unparalleled. My belief in myself increased. That moment I realized how this trek helped me win over my self doubt.
With self esteem comes self actualization, the belief that I can achieve my dreams. On the trek, I panted, I grunted and was tired. But I never stopped. When I was on the top of the summit and could see the mountain ranges in front of me, I was totally overwhelmed. The whole surrounding was mesmerizing and I felt beautiful. While all the trekkers congratulated each other on completing the summit, I stood there happily. A Himalayan trek made me realise certain things about life that I would not have understood easily.