That sudden rush of adrenaline on summiting the peak. The wave of excitement that lingers for a week before the trek. The rush of endorphins that follow the week after. And the sense of nostalgia that overcomes you, as you lie under a billion stars at your campsite, contemplating the meaning of life. These are just some of the feelings, that are all too familiar for many a trekker.
So let’s dwell upon a few of them in a bit more detail:
- That wave of pre-trek excitement which hangs in the air wherever you go:
It floods your brain the moment you’ve booked your bus tickets. Or made payment to the organization taking you for the trek. It then goes on to follow you to the supermarket, as you get your food and essentials sorted slowly as D-day arrives. And in case you still need some sport equipment, it follows you to the sports store too. It even follows you to your bed. Many a trekker have admitted that getting a good night’s rest the day before a trek has been quite difficult, as they just couldn’t contain their excitement.
- You never know who you’ll meet on the trek:
You might meet your new best friend, the love of your life, or even make a propitious business connection, just by the virtue of being surrounded by the right people, at the right time. For all you know, you might even run into your favourite actor or role model on the trail. This applies to all kinds of treks. Even the private ones, where its just you and your friends. You never know who you might bump into on the way. The prospect of networking, and making new connections on a trek is a thrill that many seek and look forward to.
- You don’t know what you’ll come across:
It could be a mighty Bison, a herd of elephants, a Malabar giant squirrel, or even a King cobra. All observed from a safe distance, of course. It could even be a reptile or mammal you’ve been researching since a long time, in case you happen to be a zoologist. And if the bird watcher in you happens to be alive, then it could be that rare, endangered forest bird that your bird watching buddies have always been romanticizing about. Whatever it may be, the prospect of sighting wildlife has always raised my spirits before embarking on a trek. Does the same happen to you to? Do you also feel butterflies in your stomach when you get to know that you’ll be entering a jungle trail, far far away from the noise of civilization?
- You have enough content to post for a week (or even a month):
If you’re content obsessed like me, posting minute-by-minute updates to Instagram stories after getting back from a trek, then this is your best playground. Whether it is uploading videos to your Youtube account, posting pictures and videos to Instagram, or even putting a write-up about the trek on your personal blog, you know for sure that you’ll have a wealth of experience to talk about once you’re out of the jungle. The longer the trek, the more the content. However, make sure to not give out exact locations for secret view points, hidden waterfalls, and bespoke trails to strangers. Everyone’s idea of trekking isn’t the same, and they might spoil, litter, or even publicize the place to their wider friend circle.
A good 2 day trek over any regular weekend gives me enough content to post to my Blogger, Youtube, Facebook and Instagram accounts. As a bonus, it also gives me a chance to relive those wonderful moments all over again.
- You get immersed in culture and tradition:
India is a land of diverse cultures, traditions and ethnic groups. The entrance to most reserved forests and mountain ecosystems are laid with the dwellings of either the traditional villagers of the area who have always existed there, villagers who were once upon tribals and have been relocated there, or a hybrid of the two, where they subsist on both village occupations and forest work for their livelihoods. I have even come across villagers who venture, and stay inside the forest with their families during the woodcutting season. What a delightful experience!
Many villagers have even been given custodianship of the forest by the forest department in the form of informers, guards and forest watchers. And rightly so, as it is they, and their future generations who will protect it and save it from intruders. While interacting with these people, you get to know what their daily life looks like; what they eat, how they get around, their nature of work and how they socialize. Few other vocations give you such amazing opportunities.
What’s more, you’re always greeted by a gaggle of kids, every time you pass by a village, while exiting the forest. Nothing says goodbye like the warm cute smiles and rapturous laughter of a group of village kids.
Make sure you don’t spoil them with too many chocolates though!
So there you go! Those are just some of the things I cherish and look forward to on every trek. Do let me know what part of trekking sends your spirits soaring, and heart racing, in the comments below.