The Next Challenge
Back in April this year I completed a trek to Machu Picchu in Peru. I’m not quite sure exactly what it was that encouraged me to book that trip. I just seemed to find myself on the website and before long I had paid the initial registration fee then the rest was history. Now I want to tell you about my next challenge – Everest Base Camp.
That trip to Peru opened up a new world to me, I’d never been out of Europe before, the furthest I’d been was Turkey on a summer holiday and although I’ve been to many places in Europe, I’d never seen anything beyond that.
There are two main reasons as to why it left me wanting more, the obvious one being the opportunity to see more of the world and of course to see the infamous Mount Everest.
However there’s another reason, maybe this is a bigger one… I want to continue to test myself with extreme challenges. I want to experience hardship voluntarily because I truly believe this makes other parts of your life much easier.
“I believe that doing hard things voluntarily is the key to unlocking an easier life.”
Of course this can seem a little backwards but I believe it to be a paradox. I think doing the hard things make the smaller day to day things seem easier and that’s exactly how it seems to play out in my life.
The Everest Base Camp Trek
Everest Base Camp sits at 5,364m altitude in Nepal which in comparison to the tallest mountain in England (Scafell Pike) is 5.5x it’s size. It’s no easy feat. I’ll be embarking on an 18 day trip with Discover Adventure. I used Discover for my trip to Peru I had an absolutely fantastic experience so it made so much sense to stick to what I know. Not only that, but I’ll be doing it with a couple of the people who completed the Inca Trail too which will add to the experience.
There has been strong indication that Base Camp will be moved to a lower altitude area in a few years due to the ever changing climate and risks of moving glaciers so this is definitely a bucket list trip to ensure it’s the ‘old’ Everest Base Camp that I see.
Not only that but we finish this trip with a trek up to a sister peak – Kalapatar which is 5545m altitude and once we’ve reached the summit we’ll be experiencing something magical, we’ll be watching the sunrise over Mount Everest. I’m a huge fan of sunrises and sunsets and something tells me this could well be the most magical thing to witness.
Of course all of that sounds amazing but I cannot forget how difficult the trek is going to be. The highest point of the Peru trip was 4215m altitude and that day was possibly the hardest day of my life physically, the altitude had got to me at that point and each step seemed like a huge task.
We had to stop every 50m or so to catch our breath before we went again – it seemed to take forever. We were way up over the clouds and although the trek itself was incredibly tough, the views and the feeling of satisfaction are something that I cannot possibly articulate to do them justice, it was a ‘you had to be there’ kind of thing.
I wanted more of that. On the Peru trip, that day was the most physically challenging by far but it all became worthwhile when we finally got to the final day and made our approached to the magical Machu Picchu. That day, I’ll never forget.
There was a moment before we arrived at Machu Picchu when the sun was rising over the mountains in the distance to our right and partially covering the landscape were some beautiful Wild Orchids of the Andes. For me, this was the second best moment on the trip and I managed to capture it in a magnificent photo which you can see below. It seemed like all that work had been leading to that moment right there.
Of course the best moment of the trip was when we approach the Sun Gate and all of a sudden after climbing the treacherous ‘monkey steps’, they are known as the monkey steps because they’re so steep that you’re on your hands to climb them – but as we arrived at the top, in the distance we could see the very thing that we’d been trekking 26 miles and 4 days for, it was finally there – Machu Picchu. The emotion that overcame me was incredible, I’ve never felt more alive, more grateful, more fulfilled that in that very moment.
After taking that in and enjoying that moment, it opened my mind up that I wanted more of these experiences. I wanted to experience things that are greater than me, greater than life at home and I wanted to see things that humble everything else and everyone else around me.
It was then, I realised, I wasn’t done.
I just needed to work out what was next.
We hadn’t even made it home and the decision had already been made. When we got home, we were booking the trek to Nepal, we were going to Everest Base Camp.
Kilimanjaro was discussed but I know quite a few people who’ve done that, I don’t know anyone who has been to Everest Base Camp, so it had to be that.
As well as sharing about my travels, the purpose of this blog post was to inspire you to take on voluntary challenge too because I know the impact it can have on your life and those around you.
I like to think that we should take responsibility to be the inspiration for people around us – we have an opportunity to give people the belief that they can do incredible things.
I’m not saying everybody should or can do what I’m doing, but someone else’s trek to Everest Base Camp might be climbing Scafell Pike or maybe it’d be simply entering the gym for the very first time.
We all have different starting points and having dealt with hundreds of clients over my years as a coach, I know how difficult something that seems so trivial to me can be for them.
So I encourage you to ‘do that thing’ no matter what it is. I know that you can do it, I believe in you (the reader), I know you’re capable of way more than you give yourself credit for, so get out there and make it happen.
The people around you need you to show up at your absolute best, they need you to be their inspiration.
Get out there and #DoTheWork
“Striving for comfort will lead to discomfort and dissatisfaction. Striving for challenge will lead to fulfilment and the belief that you can do more.”
Dale – The DoTheWork Coach
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