Stephie and her mother Merlin went on the Beas Kund trek in September with Indiahikes. Although Merlin prefers indoor activities, her daughter insisted that her mother join her on this trip.
We spoke to Merlin about her journey, and she had a lot to say about how this trek helped her see new sides of her daughter that she had never seen before.
"Stephie said that one day, she wants to stand on the top of Mount Everest. Although I didn't know if it was a serious dream for her, I wanted to show her that it's possible to push beyond what you can do. And that's why I joined her this time, regardless of my holiday preferences. I wanted to show her what it means to step out of one's comfort zone.
She researched all on her own and suggested a trek I would be comfortable with. I was surprised to know that the information on the Indiahikes website was so accessible that even a small child could navigate and make decisions. She convinced me that Beas Kund would be a good trek for me.
When I started, I thought there was nothing for me in this trek. I didn't like the idea of trekking and sweating out too much. This was not my kind of holiday. Yet, I was still going to do this because I wanted to show my daughter that I could make an effort for her.
Everything was difficult for me - from reaching Manali to the awaited days of trekking. The first day was extremely challenging; I didn't have the fitness to do the trek. I tried to put on a brave face and got through it. I did not want Stephie to feel guilty about bringing me here.
On the summit day, I knew I would have to stay back. It was difficult for us when we realized that I could not complete the trek with my daughter.
We had a conversation before summiting, and that was when I became aware of a huge revelation. Stephie took control of everything. She understood my situation and carried all my things when I couldn't. And when she climbed the mountain without me, I heard she cared for everyone. The realization that she was no longer a baby and had already grown up helped me understand the moment of truth."
Stephie during the Beas Kund trek
In those mountains, she became an adult and took care of me. She walked with people who couldn't catch up fast and encouraged them. I saw the values of leadership and empathy in her heart.
After the trek, I concluded that there are three worlds: the real, virtual, and mountain worlds. In the real/virtual world, everything is about competition. You had to win the first place - for work, exams, or games.
However, when I saw my daughter, she gained a sense of accomplishment by ensuring that everybody completed the trek. For her, it was not about finishing first. Instead, it was about finishing it together. She helped me see a version of herself I couldn't have seen back in the real world.
She told me that the feeling of standing on top of the mountain couldn't even compare to when she won medals and stood on the podium. I was pleasantly surprised that my daughter taught me so much on this trek. It was a great learning experience for me."
Merlin shared that she could see her daughter's truly mature and independent side during the trek. She believes that this expedition was more than worth it for all the values her daughter had learned and demonstrated.
During the trek, Merlin was deeply inspired by her daughter. She soon wants to attempt the Beas Kund trek with Indiahikes once again!
Merlin and Stephie during the Beas Kund trek