See you on the other side 🏔

As this is my first time visiting a part of the world besides North America, it often feels as if I am on a completely different planet here in India. From the driving, the buildings, religious practices, gender roles, and other norms at home which have gone unchallenged, India is a stark contrast. I also observe less emphasis on the individual and see people everywhere recognizing the life in other entities. To manage my interactions with these differences my approach is very simple and conducive to my natural inclinations. Immersion though putting aside my western preferences and just going with the flow is the only way. One of our guides for the ten day trek described some high roller clients who spent exorbitant amounts of money to feel like they had never left home. To this I replied, “If I wanted things to look and feel like home I would have just stayed there.” 

To me, leadership does not always involve one individual who leads others. Instead, leadership is exhibited by the whole group even if there is a clear hierarchy of authority that operates with directives. People are all different. Good leadership is found when a collective can use those differences in strengths to compliment each other in ways which allow lofty goals to be achieved. On our ten day trek, individuals and our group of students will still need to be leaders even though we are being led through the Himalayas by two experienced guides. 

I write this post with much anticipation for our trek which we will embark on tomorrow. The breathtaking views which are difficult to access are an exclusive privilege which I look forward to. After our shakedown hike, I am excited to cook outside oddly enough. Coffee (even though it is instant…) and food brings extra euphoria when consumed outside after a long day of sweating it out on the trails. The sub-group of three which I am trekking with, Thomas and Chris I find extremely easygoing. Somehow, with them I forget to think about the difficulties of the trek and focus more on the experience. I am excited to grow as a person by testing my physical and mental limits during the trek. But it’s not all rainbows and sunshine, I also have reservations about the trek, which mostly pertain to myself. What if I am not able to physically complete the trek even though I consider myself in shape? What if I fail to glean meaningful takeaways from this experience and get caught up with just “getting it over with?” Well, when it comes down to it, I trust the group for support if I fail to meet my own expectations of physical capabilities. To maximize my experience on the trek, I plan to journal my thoughts as they come and to focus on the journey not the destination. 

For this post’s side quest I took a much needed nap before strategically packing my backpack to the brim (it weighs 75 pounds!). But I was jarringly awakened from my beauty sleep by the two cows outside my window aggressively trying to outmatch the volume of the other’s “Moo.”

Welp, don’t try to contact me for the next twelve days. No news is good news so I will see you all on the other side. I can’t wait for that first post hike shower 😁