Journey

Journey

7 mins 11.1K 7 mins 11.1K

All of us have our own journeys to talk about. Some of them might be insignificant and we honestly wouldn’t remember it later on in our life, and some of them are so memorable that every waking moment you could feel yourself and imagine yourself there. I’ve had my own share of journeys, some insignificant and some memorable. However the one that I’m going to narrate would probably fall in the latter category.

Since childhood it had been my dream to climb Mount Everest. Mountains have always fascinated me. I’ve often imagined myself, standing at the top and staring at the world below me, and 2 years ago I got a chance to do exactly that.

Being a doctor wasn’t really an easy occupation to have. While it did pay me well and I would always be satisfied knowing that somewhere out there I saved someone’s life and brought a smile to someone’s face, however being in such a hectic job never provided me an opportunity to spend some time with myself. Amidst treating patients, having appointments and research work, I never really had a chance to fulfill my heart’s desire and go for all those adventures I’d dreamed of since I was a child. I used to chastise myself at times, thinking that I have a wonderful job where I could help so many people, yet here I am whining because I can’t go on adventures?

However, sometimes, while I’d be sitting with a cup of coffee and a book in my hand, my mind would often wander to such places and a thought would always nag at me saying that my life is not limited to this. There’s something out there for me, something bigger and better. I just needed a chance to discover myself, to find my old self again, the one who was adventurous and curious.

Gradually, with time, I started getting more secluded and had isolated myself in my own little world where it was just me with my work. My job started taking a toll on me, the bags under my eyes started becoming more noticeable. My best friend noticed all the differences in me and persuaded me to share my problems with her. Her persuasiveness eventually compelled me to tell her everything. I ranted and screamed at how frustrated I was with everything, and she suggested that I should take a break.

Hence with her advice, I took a 2 months’ break and immediately decided to try doing what I had been dreaming for so long.

I started planning everything for the trip I had decided to go on. Few days later, I took a plane to Nepal and reached the Everest camp site where we would be taught all the skills to achieve the climb. When I reached the base, what I saw left me speechless and floundering for words that could define the beauty in front of me. While the majesty and beauty of Mount Everest leaves you spellbound, it is the mysticism about it that brings you closer to God. Everything else including yourself, in front of this marvel of nature seems of no consequence. I had to snap myself out of the daze I was in and go to the reception to check-in into my room. As soon as I entered my room and saw the panoramic view of the mountains that I had from the window, the enormity of what I was about to achieve struck me. After having meals and relaxing for some time all of us were called down to begin the training session. All the procedures, tricks, risks, exercises and everything else was taught to us. We were made to sign a contract that the faculty would not be responsible for our injuries or death.

Since then began our two weeks long of rigorous training. Time flew away in such a manner that we did not even realize when it was the day before the day of our climb. That night I sat down and contemplated whether it was a good decision to go on such a dangerous climb. I was fully aware of the consequences that might be there in case of any errors. I had almost convinced myself to give up on this hazardous and precarious adventure when my mind flashed back to the normal and mundane life I had been living all this time. Being crammed up in a corner with all the work on my head, wanting to be free and to live my life the way I had always thought I would. Thinking of this dispelled all doubts and hesitations that I had from my mind. I went to sleep that night knowing that after this trip my life would not be the same anymore.

The next day all of us packed our bags with all the essential equipments required for the climb and went to the meeting lobby. After giving us the specific instructions, they took us to the starting point of the climb. As we hadn’t been given the instructions to start yet, I just stood near the corner, observing the people who were with me, seeing the joy and excitement on their faces. All of us there could understand each other at that moment as all of us had the same motive for coming here, for getting the adventure that all of us yearned for.

We heard the whistle blow signaling the beginning of the climb, and we started the ascend.

Time seemed to pass away slowly when you’re up in the mountains. It had now been a month since I’d started the climb. The climb proved to be mentally and physically exhausting. While I never got tired of the scenic beauty the Mount Everest provided me with I started longing for the free air that I got back down. As I was on higher altitudes it had become tougher to breath and I started depending a bit on my oxygen cylinder. I had to sleep in smaller tents and I could never get an entire night’s sleep as I would be too afraid of the wild animals might be prowling around my tent. I regularly had to take pills for energy and in case of food, I had become dependent on pre-packed and instant food, I never knew what a blessing they were! So well, that’s exactly how the rest of my days in the mountains went.

Then came the day I had been waiting for. As I was climbing, I glanced up and saw it, the peak of the mountain. I staggered a bit and stood there frozen, refusing to believe that the time I had been waiting for my entire life is finally here. I had to take just one final step to reach the top but I could not bring myself to do so. One step, just one final step, what could we accomplish by that? Some might say nothing but people like me would say everything. That last step mattered so much at that time and yet I hesitated trying to bring the courage to do so. Here, that one step would mean everything. Is this what Neil Armstrong felt like when he took that one final step to go on moon? After a lot of hesitation, I finally did it. I took the final step.

I was standing at the peak of the mountain, at the top of the world. I glanced down and screamed in excitement with tears running down my face. I immediately took out a paper from my bag and wrote my name on it. I dug up the snow and buried the piece of paper in it. It didn’t matter to me that no one would see that piece of paper. All that mattered was that I knew what I had accomplished. A part of my heart would always revel in this moment no matter wherever I am and I knew that no matter how many more adventures I go on, there would be none that could beat this. This exhilarating feeling that I had, the feeling of the cold wind rushing through my lungs, feeling the snow with my bare hands and the feeling of accomplishment. There is no feeling better than this. I felt powerful and free, like a newborn bird who recently learnt how to fly. At that moment, this was my world, just me and the mountains. The mountains surrounded me like a barrier from reality and let me revel in the moment. However, soon reality kicked in and I realized that I, unfortunately, could not stay here forever. So, after staying there for some more time, I started the descend back to the base camp knowing that no matter what, these memories and this feeling would always stay with me forever.

All of us have our own journeys to talk about. Some of them are insignificant and some memorable but this one is definitely the most memorable of them all.

 


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