I hope we are all being responsible and socially distancing ourselves. The quarantine time, away from work, where every day feels like a Sunday has given me the opportunity to reflect on so much of my life, it has given me the opportunity to bring out some positive changes which I really appreciate. Like many other events, this year, all the Everest Base Camp treks too were called off due to coronavirus as a precautionary measure.
Having been on my bucket list for almost 3 years, I have always wanted to do the trek. As I am now in quarantine, I realize the immense luxury of being able to step outside the house, of using the passport to explore the world beyond the confines of our cities, our homes, of enjoying the global world in every sense of the word. “I should’ve done Everest Base Camp when I could.”
Everest Base Camp is an adventure of a lifetime; the 18 days you spend trekking the majestic Himalayan mountain is a pure gift from God. Sights of nature like those never seen before begin to reveal and you are caught in the rapture of the Himalayas for the rest of your life. Due to coronavirus, there is so much uncertainty now, in terms of what will happen next. Going to Everest Base Camp and quarantining there for 18 days with a much lesser population, and a lower chance of contracting the virus seems like a better option than living in a crowded city. So to all parents who don’t allow their children to follow their hearts and go trekking because they think it’s risky, coronavirus is an outcry which says anything can happen anywhere at any time.
Here’s why I think the youth should do the Everest Base Camp trek, (though not now) at least once in their life!
1.It is not that difficult
When we hear the word Everest, we have so many stereotypes attached to it that we automatically think the adventure is too extreme. However, there are several treks like Chadar Trek, Goechala Trek and Stok Kangri which exceed Everest base camp in terms of altitude. Once you break the barrier in your mind regarding the difficulty of the trek, you realize that it is very doable and is an experience of a lifetime.
2. Trekking helps you to expand faith in yourself
We all have notions about what we can do and cannot do. Trekking Mount Everest surely is one of the things we believe that are on the lower spectrum of things we think we can do. Trekking is all about the mind, you just take a step at a time and do how much ever you can. Along the journey, you will find yourself asking the trek leader “How far is the next base camp?”, but the beautiful ways will keep your journey going. The expansive views of the Himalayas will keep up your spirit and you will not feel tired. The mental strength of endurance is surely something the youth needs to build.
3. This is our fittest age
Arguably, while we are young, we are fitter than ever to do an 18-day trek which averages 10 km per day. You would rather do the trek now when you can build your mental strength than at a much older age when your body may not support you. You don’t know what life has in store for you, you don’t know if you will make it to 50! (The cliché but oh so true line from ZNMD) It’s better to do whatever you want than to have any regrets in your life.
4. Living on a mountain transforms your idea of comfort
On the mountains, everything is a luxury, even water. Your supplies for the 18 days of the Everest Base Camp Trek will be restricted to only the things you carry in your small backpack. The lighter you pack, the easier the journey becomes for you. As you trek around 10 km, live on a campsite, sleep inside a sleeping bag and carry a torch around every night, your idea of comfort transforms. You are no more in the city with everything at your doorstep. It is necessary to appreciate the little things. Trekking surely has life lessons for the youth.
5. Your little bubble about the world breaks
Watching a night sky with the milky way line, enjoying sharing your limited food with gloved hands on a campsite and singing songs in unison in the morning to maintain motivation for the entire group you are trekking with breaks the city bubble. In the city, we have learned that we achieve more when we are selfish and we only work in teams when there is a reward. On mountains, in the cold, the heart begins to grow warmer and you see how truly caring people can be.
Everest is not something undoable, as it is often perceived to be. If you want to do it, you should go for it, life’s too short anyway. These are the moments that will be etched in your mind for a lifetime, don’t miss out on them. Pack your bags and get going, once the world reopens, and quarantine is over, make sure to put Everest Base Camp on your bucket list. If anything, on my part, I’m sure that the outbreak of coronavirus, will only encourage my parents to never stop me from doing anything again and they’ll never tell me “Save this for next year” again.