“To be inspired is great, to inspire is incredible!”
I am blessed with parents who have a keen interest in adventure, and an undying affinity to spend time close to nature.
They are avid trekkers, very different from the stereotype families among our community, the far and distant relatives.
We grew up in a house where our holidays were planned around camping and travel. My mother set the tone by going for national level treks to Himalayas and the western ghats of India & she offered to be the base camp leader thrice. My sister, dad and I were fascinated with this unique idea, although we were extremely apprehensive at first. My sister and I hid it well. My dad helped my mom with the schedule for the next month and a half – lot of planning, booking tickets to the Himalayas and the Plan B to run the show back at home.
The enthusiastic stories she would come back with, left us all mesmerized and we sat around her to hear more and more – soaking in the narration and trying to imagine the scenario unfolded in front of us. From a very young age we were introduced to a unique yet exotic version of life. We heard about a life in the forests, among bears, snakes, how it felt to live in tents for days at end.
None of my friends had ever come even close to hearing about camping back then. We grew up in a town called Mysore – its in the South of India. My mothers adventurous stories brought about a mixed reaction among my friends. Some were fascinated and they were in awe of her, others were judgmental about the hiking and camping because a mother never really did anything close to this! This was a huge shock to others. But i would tell them like it was nothing less of a fairy tale because I was convinced this was magical. I would also turn a deaf ear to the criticism from others who thought this was not usual & they are not wrong – this hiking & camping was totally weird 🙂
My father soon followed suit and the next summer he asked my mom to take care of us while he was off in the Himalayas to validate what his wife just told him. We missed our parents when they were off on exotic adventures like this – but it was a small price to pay for the bigger benefit. They gave us a gift – A Brand New Perspective to life!
When my dad came back – he was rejuvenated, enthusiastic and full of life. He had a sense of accomplishment about being able to scale 12,500 Ft above sea level. His self-confidence soared greater heights post the trek & he relentlessly trained to build strength, stamina & flexibility.
We saw a new rigor in him. His stories were more animated and he inspired us so much that we couldn’t really wait to go there ourselves! My dad was thrilled that he could effortlessly scale the snow-clad the mountains – it’s a big deal for anyone who lived all the while in a tropical country. I guess he also felt altruistic about being able to help the youngsters who were either afraid or were terrified of the relentless terrain.
We kids couldn’t wait to go there ourselves. We had years of mental and emotional conditioning as to what has to be done when we were hiking in the Himalayas. It was a dreamy preparation all along.
When i graduated i received a priceless gift from my parents – a ticket to reach the Base Camp at Himachal Pradesh & a registration at the Chandrakani Pass in the Himalayas! It was by far the most exotic, unusual, thrilling gift anyone had ever received and I am very grateful to my parents for the experience.
This experience set the tone for the days ahead & my life has always had this beautiful streak of adventure & I have been bit by a lethal travel bug!