After almost 8 months of traveling, time had finally come for my personal highlight of the entire trip: The Everest Basecamp trek in the Himalayas in Nepal. The name itself, the challenge, the sceneries and the list goes on – what’s not to get excited for here?! I came here with expectations as high as Everest itself. That’s always risky, just as the higher a mountain is the deeper you can fall – and the more disappointed you can get. But my gut feeling was right, this turned out to be like a dream.
I’m not going to go through every part of it, since that’s not very fun either to write or read. It’s more about the feeling of this adventure, the rewarding challenge, the breathtaking nature and the simple lifestyle that comes with it. To be honest, you don’t do much besides walking, eating, sleeping and of course spending time with other trekkers. For sure a simple life, but that’s also goes for my entire trip and really something I wanted. Being a really remote area of the world adds up to the simplicity of the life along this trek. No roads, no cars, not even meat as it’s hard to transport and to keep it cool and very limited wifi contributes to the simple lifestyle – and I loved it. Instead of people sitting on their phones the entire time checking things just for the cause of checking, instead people were talking, playing cards and having a good time. It was really relaxing to be offline for such a while. Definitely something I’ll try to continue with.
I also have to rose Nepal with it’s people and the artistic nature that mother earth created here. Let’s start with the easy one; the nature. After a scenic flight from Kathmandu into the Himalayas, you get stunned pretty much after just a few meters. Mighty mountains, roaring rivers, forests, suspension bridges, temples and loads of breathtaking views pretty much along the whole trek. We were blessed with good weather 12 out of 13 days, and that day full of snow was just a beautiful contrast to the blue skies. If these mountains were impressive, I literally have no words for the people working and living along this trek. I’m of course thinking of the sherpas and porters. From young age, I guess around 15, they walk this (and other treks in Nepal) carrying unbelievable loads of packing. To put it in perspective: boys around 1,65 meters and with an own bodyweight of 65-70 kilos were carrying 70-120 kilos – some of them in just flip flops! For you to really understand, it’s not exactly a walk in Central Park in NY. We are talking around 130 kilometers, going from 2500 to 5400 meters above sea level, sometimes rough and cold weather and last but not least; they are probably walking this faster than you would without a single kilo on your back. Maybe you ask why are they doing this? Well, it’s easy. It’s their way of making a living. For a lot of people it’s the only way of earning money to support their families. Keep this in mind next time you sit in your office chair and complain about a tough day. It could be even tougher.
Everest Base camp is a thrilling name. For many people it fills you with respect and it sounds extremely hard. Hard it its, but it’s still just a really long walk and the only real problem I would say can be the altitude. I suffered from some headache and nausea, for half a day really bad, but that wasn’t going to stop me. Winner never quit and quitters never win. The rewarding feeling of reaching the goal was way too tempting! I also think this is something EVERYONE should do. Not feeling fit enough? Well, perfect reason to get in shape. No mountaineering experience? No problem, you are in good hands go the Nepalese guides and fellow trekkers. Not sure this is for you? I’m sure this is for everyone and trust me, you will thank me afterwards.
Last but definitely not least, it’s never about the destination or the activity. That’s of course two contributing things when it comes to enjoy an adventure – but the most important factor is always the people. We were a mixed group of 13 people from the US, Europe, Latin-America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and of course local Nepalese guides. I met some friends on this trek that I hopefully will keep for life and for sure meet later on my trip and I’m super excited to see those familiar and friendly faces again. As cliché as it its, I’ll round of this post from two of the best weeks of my life, with a quote. I guess one of my favorite quotes, because it makes a lot of sense and it’s origin is really inspiring:
“Happiness only real when shared” – Christopher McCandless