5 life lessons learnt on an Himalayan Trek

Feet on the map, Har Ki Doon, Himalayas, India, Deepika

My first Himalayan trek was difficult. But the end result- blew away my mind. The bigger power, presented itself to me in the form of mighty Himalayas. I was stunned.

If you’ve noticed, it’s been a very long time since my last post. More than a month. Suddenly, I’ve lost all the affinity towards my blog and it seems that this so called ‘fad’ is about to fade. I thought as much. Bored at job, bored at house. Bored with my friends and bored with my enemies. I have nothing new to do. It seemed, the world is coming crashing and I will be crushed to the kingdom of boredom forever.  And then, something happened. A chance visit to the website of Youth Hostels Association of India, opened a whole new world of possibilities.  Har Ki Doon 2015- open for registrations (the beginners Himalayan trek), blared the fonts on my screen. Minutes after, I decided to book it and days later I was on my way to Dehradoon (the reporting camp for the trek.) As soon as I landed, I realized- it all had to come to an end and so it did. Here are top 5 lessons and perhaps life’s takeaways from my first ever grand HIMALAYAN TREK.

  1. Don’t overestimate yourself: Once I booked myself on this trek, tons of advice and suggestions poured in. Start exercising,  don’t eat junk, drink more water, start practicing yoga. Yes, you are right. I listened to none. Lot of times, we get so busy in collecting our achievements, we start overestimating ourselves. I have achieved xyz. I can achieve anything. We forget sitting in our corporate cubicles- there is one power bigger than us- “NATURE.”

Feet on the map, Dehradoon airport, India, Himalayas, Har Ki Doon

Landing at Dehradoon airport, the first leg of the journey to Har Ki Doon.

2. There is a bigger world than yours:  Often we get entangled in our professional and personal lives so much, we forget- “there’s a bigger world out there than ours.” There are people beyond us, beyond our colleagues, friends, relatives and they all come from different walks of life. Some are fit, some are not. Some are professionals, some are housewives, some are single, some are married, some are beautiful, some are down right ugly. They all have their own challenges, own set of problems. Only thing is- you are not aware of them. You are not alone in your victories, or failures and boredom. We all have SHARED destinies. We all belong to the same journey, same road.

The roads might be different, the destiny is the same.

Har ki Doon, YHAI, Himalayas, India, Feet on the map, Deepika

You make friends on every road

Feet on the map, India, Deepika, YHAI, Har Ki Doon, Himalayas

We are all in this journey together 🙂

3. You are more than what you think you are: Don’t overestimate. But do not under estimate yourself either. The problems that workplace and life present are much smaller than you think they are. Very often, they are not even worth fretting. When I was on the trek, I realized I was not fit. I had to walk long distances. It rained. It was bright sunny and felt hot. It was steep uphill ascent. My clothes were wet. I was drenched. It was foggy, I couldn’t see the person next to me.  I thought, I couldn’t do it. I felt, I would die. I panted, I broke down, I gave up, frowned at my “stupidity.” I equated the mountains to all my worries. I felt, I had failed in life. I broke down, cried a lot. I then ate maggi every time this happened, drank sips of water and stood on my already swollen feet. I couldn’t walk, but I still walked. Finally, I reached my destination. I was numb. I couldn’t feel anything. It rained at the summit camp, it was chilly. All my clothes were wet. I felt a chill run through my spine. My tent was wet. I cried again, took painkillers and slept through all my worries. Next morning, I woke up. The sun shone bright. I felt happy. I had reached my summit- inspite of all the difficulties I faced on the trek.

Feet on the map, India, Deepika, YHAI, Har Ki Doon, Himalayas

You’re bigger than your problems

Feet on the map, India, Deepika, YHAI, Har Ki Doon, Himalayas

The road ain’t easy. Find a friend. You are not expected to do it all alone!

4. Glass is half full or half empty??:  All throughout the trek, I met the local regional people. Mostly kids. If you ever want to take a few lessons of motivation, look at kids. All the kids I met on the trek, had one simple demand. Chocolates! The mountain life up there is arduous and tedious. There is no electricity, it’s cold. They live in wooden house, with worn out clothes. Their red cheeks hurt with cracks. They have no medical facilities for miles. They have to walk 4 hours daily to go to school to some nearby town. But they smile, meet strangers, ask for chocolates. If they get it from trekkers like us, they smile. If they don’t, they wish you good luck for your trek, smile and move on. Now, take a step back and let’s look at ourselves. “Today- I fought with my parents. Teacher asked me to do homework. It is raining so much, can I dump work. Trains are not working, let me bunk work and college. I don’t want to eat Pizza, too much of cheese, I will become fat. My boyfriend doesn’t talk to me because he is always busy. I don’t have a great salary, I have a loan to repay. She always bitches about me.”

Now, breathe and think. Is your glass half full or half empty? Are you leading an easy or a difficult life?

Feet on the map, India, Deepika, YHAI, Har Ki Doon, Himalayas

Meet chandu and Amin. Both are school going kids and were volunteering with YHAI this year as porters. They were younger than most of us, but carried the luggage of half of our strength put together. All they dream about is a home by the beach and beautiful wives 🙂

Feet on the map, Seema, Har ki Doon, trek, Himalayas, India, Deepika

Meet these two sisters and one brother. Settled at Seema, they have to walk 4 hours each day to reach the nearest school at Taluka. Life is still so much of “fun.”

Feet on the map, Seema, Har ki Doon, trek, Himalayas, India, Deepika, Ata peak

Sometimes it’s not your life. All you need is good shoes 😉

5. You have all the world in yourself. Don’t cry. You are the mighty Himalayas: We all love the mountains. We love them, love trekking them. But climbing them is not easy. It’s full of hard terrain, breathless walks, cold camps. It’s a struggle reaching that altitude. But when you do, the world’s most stunning beauty reveals itself to you. Thinking this is such a trekker’s mindset. But go beyond and the see the lessons they are delivering. Summiting yourself is difficult. We are so full of ourselves. Our pride, our ego, our sorrows, our achievements, our failures. But when we go beyond this “my and our” attitude, there’s a whole new person waiting to meet us out there. One who cares, one who is the friend of this world, one who loves other people, one who bonds, one who takes care of others. 

Feet on the map, Seema, Har ki Doon, trek, Himalayas, India, Deepika, Ata peak, Swargrohini

There is beauty all around… open your eyes.

Feet on the map, Seema, Har ki Doon, trek, Himalayas, India, Deepika, Ata peak

We all need rest. Take some time off. Your breath and life will catch up with you.

The imminent question that Himalayas throw at us. “Do you need a Jesus to resurrect and save this world? When the power lies within you…..”

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26 thoughts on “5 life lessons learnt on an Himalayan Trek

  1. An honest account of a first time Himalayan trekker, especially the fear and crying. Though I have neither the stamina nor the mental strength, I have been trekking in the Himalayas for the last 30 years. Started with YHAI ( a good place to start) and went on to do independent treks with a group of friends. Find new trails and watch the passion grow stronger.

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  2. All very valid points and nicely sums up the emotions one goes through on a first Himalayan trek! Good job, you’ve been initiated into the outdoor tribe. 😉

    Now, when’s the next trek? 😛

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  3. Hello, Deepika!
    I loved your blog. The article on the Himalaya trek was amazing. Every point just shows how we are neglecting the intricacies of life and running behind inconsequential things in life. It was very inspiring and the concept of “half glass full or half glass empty”. Amazing stuff you have written.

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    • While hardcore trekkers prefer walking it upto Taluka, you can definitely take your own vehicle and park it up.Post Taluka, it’s mostly an uphill walk. If you are optimally fit, I would recommend a walk instead.. It’s fun 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So well put Blog ; Mighty Himalayas is the Sun around which all our Major Treks revolve ; and enlighten us right after reading this post : That was my over-view 🙂

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