Even two weeks after the trek got over, Preety Rajbanghshi couldn’t stop thinking about those days in the mountains. And here, she jots down what was so special about the experience as a first-time trekker
As I am jotting my experience of trekking in mountains, a sudden realization struck me that it has been two weeks of return from my first trek and my heart is still there – in the mountains. Reminiscing my Mukta Top trek in Uttarakhand brings joy and smile on my face that is contagious (as told by my friends). I wonder, why?
This experience was different
I am an avid traveler and have been fortunate to explore many unexplored places in India, However, this travel experience of trekking in mountains was different. My journey like many fellow trekkers began by admiring the beauty of nature – forest trails with maple, ancient oak and palm trees with birds chirping and mountains laden by snow. The view was picturesque and the song of nature was calm and soothing. The walk was surreal as I saw the pure love of Mother nature.
Although it was a physically demanding trek with steep mountains with snow, somewhere deep down I felt spiritual contentment and connection with God. There was peace everywhere and that allowed me to self-reflect, which we often neglect in our daily lives.
The trek also developed a sense of gratitude and strengthened my beliefs in minimalism, finding happiness in small things like a hot cup of tea, and travel responsibly with fewer carbon footprints.
Living in extreme conditions
As I spent time in the mountains, I realized that so many people came together to make this journey possible and memorable for me – trek leader and guides, cooks and helpers, mules and their owners and my fellow trekkers. I remember the first two nights of our trek. It was pouring heavily –our makeshift toilet tent was blown away, pit was filled with water, the weather was so cold that it was chilled to the bone but the trek leader and supporting staff [unsung heroes] worked relentlessly in extreme condition to give us the basic comfort with a smile, ignoring their own discomfort. I am deeply grateful to them. I felt blessed, and seeing there efforts reiterated the importance of teamwork and giving your best with utmost sincerity even in extreme conditions.
In the midst of gratitude and admiration, when I look back, I realized that in those five days, I laughed more than I laughed in many years. There was pure joy and openness. My discussions with the fellow trekkers were transparent and pure without any distractions of the modern world. The local stories shared by our trek guide and mule owners gave me the glimpses of their life, culture and practices. These talks were real, and during such discussions, I experienced serendipity and sudden epiphany of my inner strength that I was unaware of.
This trekking experience is beyond words and one must live it. My story found a new love in mountains. I look forward to numerous such treks and unearth the unknown.