Survival Abroad

I have just completed my journey for the 10 night camping trip. I have many feelings about this trip good and bad, and I am excited to share my thoughts. Overall, I loved the experience because the places and people we met were surreal, but I will definitely never do something this long and drawn out again due to the physical and mental hardships of this trip. At first the hikes were difficult due to having to carry 60lbs worth of stuff in my bag for half of the trips duration. I genuinely felt like my shoulders were going to rip off due to the various uphills I had to trek. The best moments of the trip were finding campsites after a long day of hiking and seeing the beautiful views with my friends. I loved cooking and talking with my tent group even though our food got gradually worse every day. I went through some obstacles throughout the trip with peers which was definitely something I anticipated prior to entering a 10 night camping experience in the middle of nowhere in the mountains. Conflicts were bound to happen so I wanted to learn how to manage the conflicts when it occurred, which I felt like I did to a certain degree.

Why did I name this blog survival abroad? Due to the fact that I am not an outdoors person and having to physically struggle for a bit, but the hardest part was the mental aspect of it. The mental obstacle was feeling homesick and worried which is something I did not anticipate prior to this trip. Having no cellular for 10 days made my overthinking-self paranoid about things. I had thoughts of if my family were to get hurt would someone have let me know? I had thoughts of FOMO regarding my friends and would constantly be thinking in my head “Wow I could be getting drunk with my friends, but here I am pooping outside in the woods!” I’m not saying this out of spite of the trip because I was enjoying the experience, but these were thoughts that inevitably occurred in my mind.

There were a few incidents during this trip where I felt like it was a bit dangerous as well as regarding some incidents where I could have gotten seriously hurt or even potential fatalities. Most of these worries occurred during the snowy areas of the mountains. In my honest opinion, I do not know how this part of the trek was allowed due to how severe the weather was. Some people came out crying after completing the snow biome and in all honesty, if I had the energy I probably would have shedded a tear, but I was so exhausted I could not even collect my own thoughts. There was an incident where my wooden stick broke while trekking the side of the mountain and for a split second I thought I was going to die, but luckily I sat on the snow and remained there until Ramsey lent me his trekking stick. One complaint I would have to say about this trip would be lack of equipment. I felt like I had the short end of the stick many times throughout this trip with occurrences of me not having equipment provided to me such as a fitting puffer jacket, snow shoes, and trekking sticks.

My favorite aspects of the trek was definitely the independent portions of the trip whether it was cooking, leading a group, or just self-reflection. My favorite aspect of the trip was towards the end where we were passing by a village and all the students came out and stared at us as if we were BTS. I played around with them and spread my name as Khandi which apparently is not what I thought it meant. The instructors lied to me this whole time which is sort of messed up because now I have to curse at them in Korean. In a way I felt like I was able to make these kids’ days and cement my legacy here at India. We played cricket with the kids (I struck them out if that is a thing) and proceeded to find our last campsite.