Spending ten days at the Himalayas tested my character and filled me with wonder at the same time. It was a journey like no other—my very first climb, and it was at the Himalayas! I admit, it was a crazy decision to climb this mountain range with some of the world’s highest peaks without any mountaineering experience, but to do so has always been part of my ultimate adventure bucket list and I wouldn’t miss the chance to tick it off!
My journey started very early in the morning in the town of Pokhara where I had a hearty breakfast before setting out on the trail. As with most daunting tasks, the beginning is always the most difficult. From Nayapul to Ulleri, Dueraliby to the Annapurna Base Camp, I got to experience some of the most challenging moments that made me want to regret my decision of climbing these peaks.
For 8-10 hours a day, I had to carry a 12 kg. backpack while walking and going through steep stone staircases made of more than a thousand winding steps. Several times during my trek I felt like I was going to faint and fall. Thankfully, I never did. I know I’m a slow walker so I pushed harder.Most of the time I felt like I was fighting to survive –trying to get enough oxygen, worrying about avalanches, navigating rough terrain while trying to keep myself from sinking deep in the snow. There were days when I’d wake up with a congested nose and a burning throat aside from muscle fatigue –but through it all, I kept going. I was experiencing everything for the first time. Though it was never easy, I looked at each struggle as a chance to discover what else I could do and overcome.
I went on to continue the cycle of walking up and down peaks, setting up camp and then doing the same thing the next day until I reached my next destination.Although it became like a routine, each day was a constant revelation because with every ascent or descent I had to go through, a new, breathtaking view of the Himalayas would make it all worthwhile. I learned to appreciate the journey and began to understand the strength of the human spirit. Looking back, I realized that if you don’t give up and you just keep moving forward, you will reach great heights and eventually reach your destination.
When I finally made it to the Annapurna Base Camp, the feeling was phenomenal. And the view? Spectacular. Never have I seen anything so breathtakingly beautiful, I couldn’t help but mouth a silent “Thank you, Lord.” I was thankful not only because I achieved my goal, but also because I was able to prove that nothing is impossible.