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12 Life Lessons We Realized From Trekking In The Mountains

June 2, 2016

Trekking in the mountains may look fun, but it is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of determination and willpower to complete a hike and reach the destination and, sometimes, the descent is an even more challenging journey that one has to face.

But, at the end of the day, you are going to realize that it is the challenges and the hardships that will make you stronger as a hiker and as a person. As a matter of fact, there are many things you learn from hiking in the mountains that you can apply in your own life.

1. Life is hard

Life never has been, nor will it be, a bed of roses. There will always be setbacks and challenges along the way: a shortage of food and water supply, a broken trekking pole, a leaky tent or even a twisted ankle as you head for the mountains. However, these things add spice to one’s life and without it the journey would be nothing but a boring story to tell.

2. You don’t need a lot of material things in life

Unlimited Internet, a gazillion battery packs, the latest cellphone or laptop models — you realize that you don’t really need any of those to exist. As long as you have air, food, water and shelter, you are going to be okay. A pack of great friends are also a big plus, but if you were only allowed the basic necessities, you find out that you can fit everything that you need in the pack on your back.

3. Worrying does nothing

Will the trail be difficult? Will your water supply last you until the next source? Will you be able to follow your itinerary up to the last second? We constantly worry about the details too much when there’s really nothing much we can do to control it. Besides, we find out that about 85 percent of the things we worry about never really happen. Would it not have been better if we spent it on more productive things instead?

4. There’s no need to rush

In this fast-paced world, stopping by to smell the roses is already an impossible feat. But, really, why should we be rushing? Life isn’t a race nor is the journey to the campsite or the peak. After all, life is meant to be experienced and not just lived. In the same way, the actually journey up a mountain is something that should be savored and cherished. Reaching the top is really just the icing on the cake.

5. Keep on keeping on

It can be so easy to get swayed by what people tell us. We haven’t even started our journey but we already find ourselves discouraged because others tell us it is too difficult, if not impossible. The only thing that is stopping you, whether in life or on a trek, is yourself. If you can’t will yourself to go on and persevere, then no one else can.

6. The world is a beautiful place

Far too often, we find ourselves not being able to see nature for its grandeur. We become too preoccuppied with our work, gadgets and even with ourselves that we forget to see the beauty right in front of us. With no distractions, hiking among nature lets you see and appreciate just how beautiful the world really is.

7. Home is where the heart is

For many people who love to travel, home isn’t a physical place. In fact, they can feel right at home in a campsite, in the trails or in the forest. Home isn’t the solid structure where your belongings are located. Instead, it is the place where one is able to find solace and a sense of belongingness, wherever that may be.

8. Don’t be too hard on yourself

Too often, we beat ourselves up for not being as good, as intelligent or as successful as the standards that we have set for ourselves. While it is good to continue pushing yourself to do better, it isn’t useful to always make yourself feel like a failure even if you have done everything that you can. You can’t push yourself to go further if your legs are already starting to give in. You need to rest and allow yourself to recover: you’ve done what you can, you are not a superhero, after all.

9. Friends and family make the journey worthwhile

It’s true what they say about man not being an island. Sometimes, there are just things that you could not do by yourself and, as hard as it might be on you, you will have to accept the fact that you will need the help of others, too. It is not to say that you are weak; you have just accepted that you also have limitations.

10. The only way to go is up

As much as you would like to give up on the trek, there is really no turning back. The way back is often more difficult and the only thing that you can do is trudge forward. It’s all about the mindset. Don’t worry, there’s a sweet prize waiting for you at the top: the best views the world can ever offer.

11. You can’t take control of everything

Everyone loves to plan every single detail of their life — and get extremely disappointed when one or two of these things do not go their way. However, life is hard to control. Hikers know they have no control over everything. They try to prepare themselves for the worst but don’t really have a clue what awaits them in an hour or two. Whether in life or in the mountains, it is most important that you get a clear view of at least two steps ahead and behind you.

12. Everything will be worth it in the end

Nothing great ever comes easy. Whether it is a promotion or a great view at the top of a mountain, reaching that pinnacle will never be without challenges and hardships. Regardless, you know in your heart that everything that you are going through will pay off. You continue to move forward and go on with the journey because you know it will be worth it in the end.

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Pam Baroro
Pam is a millennial mom who loves to explore the outdoors to camp/hike/trek/backpack with her partner and their 3-year-old daughter. She also moonlights as a freelance writer, blogger and ghostwriter. Check out their family travel blog at Hey, Miss Adventures!