“Climb the mountain so you can see the world , not so the world can see you.”-David Mccullogh
Let’s begin with my travel experience to Annapurna Base Camp(ABC), a spectacular valley surrounded by elegant peaks of the Annapurna Mountain range at 4130 mt. I travelled to ABC with my friends back in 2016. This was my first ever trekking experience and it was beyond magical. I admit the path was not as easy as I termed it ‘magical’ but the experience of losing and finding myself amidst the delightful nature surrounded by elegant mountain peaks was surreal.
How this experience changed me?
This travel experience was very unique and different compared to other travels I did before that. It was distinct not only because I had to walk for 9 days straight but because it somewhat changed my perspective on life.
Confidence over my ability
Throughout my whole life , I thought I was a passive walker. A faint idea of walking to a certain distance gave me sigh to look at my shoes and ask a lot of questions. Although I admit that I had walked a miles from my home to school retreating the quality time with my friends and I admit I term as a good walker while I used to hover over shopping malls for that perfect outfit I wanted to buy.
Well, in this case it was different. I had to walk for the nine days with zero record of continuous walking on my résumé (Ok! we don’t put that in our résumé, you get the point right? 😉 ). So, I was a little not confident about walking but I thank my amazing friends as they were there to help each other while having difficulty during the treks, which by the way did occur for only few times along the steepest parts.
So, fast forward to the day we reached to the main destination, we jumped with excitement for the breathtaking views and can’t remember how the time went by as we got into this paradise filled with gorgeous Himalayas .
Honestly speaking, the trek made me confident on my ability and strength.After the trek, I remember accepting to further more adventures like traveling to the most rural part of Nepal after this trek. A dream came true.
Coping with discomfort
I tell you whoever told, ‘ Everything lies in the other side of comfort zone’ , is something that I truly felt after this trek. Discomforts are the part of our life journey and if you try to do something new , the discomforts come in new forms. So , while on this trekking journey, I encountered with several discomfort zones. I learned to approach to strangers while in my vulnerable situation, to be honest my friends helped me into this more. Physical discomfort was expected but it easily healed with time. Walking beyond my limit was challenging to me and later I knew it was in my head that I had limited myself.
Gratitude over little things
Side story, the more proximity towards ABC zone, the tougher the trails became. Leaving the tougher part aside, the most amazing thing that settled my heart was the greetings ( Mostly it was Namaste!) from the fellow travellers (mostly from outside the Nepal) who were returning from the base camp. I couldn’t be more grateful how the returning travellers gave me a faint hope that It was possible to reach there.
Also, the journey made me realise that how we often forget to look into the nature. While seeing the locals being accustomed to live in such geography , made me realise that life hasn’t have to reach to a threshold of paradise in order to be fulfilled. Happiness could come something from simplicity and connection with nature. After all, It’s all the matter of our choice.
Disconnection vs connection
So, while trekking we were all disconnected from the world and the limited cellphone and wifi network sent me to a different zone for a period of time. It gave me chance to connect with present moment, with my friends and myself. So, this is a power of connection , you see, sometimes have to connect to something to fuel up and re-connect with the world again.
How can you make your travel experience more meaningful?
“It’s better to travel well than to arrive” – BUDDHA
In my opinion, beside having the physical bodies/things, knowing your why makes it more meaningful.Honestly, I didn’t have any purpose while planning for this trek other than having an experience to walk through the challenges. However, I think sometimes having a simple WHY is necessary. It might be simple answer like to have fun, which is a valid reason by the way. So, why do you want to travel? Is it just for fun ? Is it to rekindle your relationships? Is it to find yourself? Or all of them? Knowing your why let you plan accordingly. Like for instance: If your goal is to finding your purpose, you need to set a side a quality time to rekindle that goal – It could be meeting people, sitting by yourself ,etc.
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
What was your most memorable travel experience ? How did you feel your life changed after that?
Would love to know.