Traveling, in general, is becoming a trend among youngsters. As cities have turned into concrete jungles and have no space or time for emotions, which in turn affects our personal time and does not provide any time for reflection. We are caught in a loop that is vicious where our lives are running at an accelerated speed. Each one of us is part of a rat race that has no end. We never seem to reach the peak of our materialistic desires. We are turning ourselves into robots that have no time to think or display any form of emotions. So, to avoid an early crash in life, we need to slow down and do something where we stand outside the loop and observe the daily circus as an outsider. Many people find various ways to this for examples: some people find solace in sports, some find peace and calm in cooking. But, the one that provides an opportunity to think and bring profound changes in ourselves is through traveling, to be more specific through trekking or hiking.
Each time you travel, you are stretching your boundary, you will get out of your comfort zone and experience something new. Each time you travel you will discover something new about your self.
Yes, most often these days trekking has become more than just a call from the forest. Let me tell you a short verse of my conversation with a cab driver I met today who say, I was so happy traveling for the past 10 days and as soon I saw the traffic signal close to the city all my happiness was lost in a second. This is the situation world over, where people are split between what they want to do versus what they are asked to do. Thus, to gain balance and disconnect from the monotony of routine one chooses to travel. People take short trips to a nearby hill or a mysterious forest in search of peace. Also, people list traveling as one of their hobbies to be more specific trekking as their hobby. backpacking also is another trend that is catching up.
So, what is trekking? Trekking is to go on a long laborious journey, typically on foot. Generally, in trekking, there are no means of transport available. It is usually walking on uncharted paths for a number of hours or days, in challenging conditions which are likely to be hilly or mountainous but, it is not necessarily mountaineering. So, how is trekking different from hiking?
Hiking is also a walking activity- outdoors; here they walk surrounded by beautiful natural environments on pre-charted paths called trails. We can either go on day hikes or day hikes or both. Now, that we have established the difference we can talk about the other aspects of trekking. Well, do note that a lot of others terms are used to refer to these activities also; both the above-mentioned terms could be used interchangeably.
Why does one need to try trekking or hiking or any of these outdoor activities? Does it have any benefit at all or does it just seem cool? Well, personally I feel and know lots of benefits. Firstly, I think the most important advantage is respecting the rules of nature. We learn to co-exist in harmony. The next thing is in the ever growing fast pace we fail to appreciate the small things in life and run behind materialistic things. Trekking is a very nice way to gain spiritual harmony. This, in turn, helps us become humble and learn to live in accord with nature. As a result, stress reduces and at the same time, we get an opportunity to marvel at enchanting vistas of nature. Secondly, we can test our physical and mental endurance. Though there are lots of outbound activities that will provide you the thrill and excitement, trekking helps in the whole body workout which successively improves health significantly. During trekking, the body is constantly on the move due to which the muscles get stretched, like when a trekker tries to cross a lake or climb a mountain. There will be lots of time when you want to give up and that is when you’re your mental stamina is tested. Finally, when the trekker heads home for the night after completing the trekking expedition, he/she will carry along a newfound energy and peace of mind.
Trekking connects us with exotic wildlife which is an exciting part of itself. Wildlife watching is again an excellent activity to do during trekking as it gives a great chance to expand one’s knowledge about the habitat of the wildlife, their diet, and behavior. Another addition to the excitement is photography. Many photography enthusiasts travel to various destinations to stuff their soul and cameras with stunning natural beauty and tranquil locations.
Another advantage is trekking provides an opportunity to meet new people which in turn decreases the cultural and language barriers. It connects everyone to one language and one culture called nature. Trekking is generally undertaken in serene and tranquil places that are away from the noise and pollution, these words are synonyms to cities. Trekking destinations are generally free from anthropogenic pollutions and also are serene which give travelers memorable experiences.
I have stated so many advantages and I have been thinking really hard but, I could not come up with any disadvantage. I could be biased, as I personally enjoy outbound activities thus write to me if you come across any disadvantages of the outbound activities.
Generally, the world over trekkers follows a leave no trace policy to reduce the impact of their presence. A number of hikers or trekkers over years on the same trail can cause unexpected damage to the environment such as wood depletion, wood fires. Fecal matter and non-biodegradable materials can contaminate the watershed. Some trekkers have complained that pole use leaves a visible impact on the surrounding trail, poking visible holes in the ground and damaging adjacent vegetation. Apart of these significant things that a traveler can be groomed, a large number of travelers thinks drinking, bonfire along with listening to loud music in the middle of the forest like in movie adds value to the experience. But, think about it can’t you listen to music and drink on the terrace of your house? The whole point of trekking is to add value to mind, body, and soul and not intrude with nature and disrespect it.
Hence, trekking is positively meant for all those people who just love to spend time outdoors witnessing the many magnificent facets of nature. One of the great things about this particular activity is that it provides an enchanting experience to those who want to enjoy the calmness and serenity provided by the environment. The luxuriant green landscapes, beautiful backdrops, and clear blue waters will even draw the attention of the unwilling individuals to embark on a people to travel.
” I was born to live on the hills, or beachside or bury my self deep in some forest. The city just keeps me occupied.”