There is an unspoken power in the big mountains, and we all feel it. The Hindu’s believe the Himalayas are the centre of the universe, many high altitude mountaineers talk about the silent voices that guide them safely down from the summit, and to the trekker, the mountains provide a peaceful haven for growth and learning. The Himalayas are an environment that is undeniably a catalyst for lifestyle change and growth in many forms, and thus attracts humans in tens of thousands each season.
Three years ago I was one of them. I sat on my porch packing my bags for the trip of a lifetime. Ahead of me, a non-stop round the world trip full of adventure, the primary aim for this journey was “finding myself”. Naturally, I banked on my trek to the Himalayas to provide that key realisation I was seeking. I would set out into the mountains with my ideals, lazily in pursuit of my purpose. 18 months later I sat on that exact same porch, eating directly from a can and feeling sorry for myself after quitting my seventh job in as many months, while my mental health hung by a thread.
As you might have guessed, my grand realisation never came…
(Setting a new route about Mani wall in Ladakh, India.)
I trudged through the Himalayas expecting to have some sort of epiphany about who I was and what I was meant to do. I assumed I would find happiness and experience peace and balance with my life while discovering a career path that would skyrocket me towards wealth and happiness. But there was no blinding white light of epiphany, and I left the Himalayas disappointed.
Break past the boundaries set by the society you grew up in and embrace the locals and their culture. Destroy the bad habits that you have made, the ones which now make you. Cleanse your body with unadulterated food that is made with love and care, and gain an understanding of dietary simplicity. Variety is sometimes overstated.
Put your goddamn phone down, leave it in Kathmandu or ideally, throw it off a fucking cliff and be a real human. Live beyond the limits of yourself, these limits that have been set by people in your life who although they love you, may be preventing your growth. Get way outside of your comfort zone, physically, spiritually and socially. Experience the intense personal growth that your soul craves. This is why you are drawn to the mountains.
In hindsight, I may not have had a blinding realisation on my first trip to the Himalayas, but it certainly started a series of events that dramatically changed my lifestyle. I stopped drinking alcohol for the entire time I was in the Himalayas (3 months), which was a big deal, because as a young Australian I was legitimately an alcoholic. By default, I converted to a vegetarian diet, a change that lasted 18 months and led to me setting vastly higher standards for what I put into my body as nutrients. I opened my soul to spirituality, an energy that had previously been exhausted from a long and arduous catholic education. And finally, I suffered. The strength I gained from the suffering and hardship I experienced in extreme conditions at high altitude no doubt gave me the mental durability I needed to step up to the plate and do something with my life, the result of which is this business.
So before you go: On a physical level, you should be motivated and physically prepared. If you’re physically incapable of being at peace while on the move in the mountains, then you can forget about any of the above happening.
So if you’re in need of a change in your mental state, improvements in your physical health and restoration for your soul, the himalayas is where you might like to exercise those notions. But don’t expect it to be handed to you on a silver platter. Take huge action on what you want to change about yourself, and start well before you step out of the plane at Lukla.
And remember, nothing worth having comes easy.
Train Hard, Climb High.
PS. Until the end of July I'm opening up my diary to talk to as many people as I can who are planning a trek or mountain adventure. In your free 15 minute phone/online consultation we'll talk about your trek, when you're going and how you're feeling about your preparation, I'll answer any of your burning questions and we'll discuss your next step to a safe and successful trek. To book your free 15 minute consultation fill out this contact form and we'll be in touch!