A couple of years ago John and I discussed going to Nepal. I don't exactly remember where the idea came from, probably because we love adventures and exploring new places. One of my great loves in life has always been travel. I got the travel bug when I was a teenager travelling Europe by train and I don't think I'll ever lose it. There's nothing I love more than getting on a plane to somewhere new. The promise and possibilities of discovering and experiencing new places, meeting new people - I can't get enough of it. What I love about travelling is the new and refreshed outlook I get on life. Seeing life from a new perspective. Especially a culture that is so different than our own. Living so simply in such a beautiful environment was inspiring and refreshing. We spent 10 amazing days visiting Nepal and trekking through the Annapurna trail in Nepal in some of the most beautiful and inspiring locations I've ever seen.
But what happens when you leave the mountains and come home? How do you re-adjust to life and it's routine. How do you how do you bring the mountain feeling home with you? It's quite scary to think how quickly amazing life experiences can slip through your fingers and disappear into your life of demands and habits. How after a week, it feels like a month and after a month it's just a distant memory. I love to collect experiences and I also love to savour and save them, so I can bring back that mountain feeling when I need a boost.
5 really good reasons to take a life adventure...
1. Snap yourself out of your comfortable existence. Life can get a little dull and 'samey'. We've all got jobs and tasks and routines that sometimes need a bit of a fire-up. I was definately slipping into a slow down period of my life. Exercising was a bit of a chore, I was getting complacent with my midriff!! Well there's nothing like a hike in the Himalayas to strip off some excess weight and shift you into a new gear. Use a trip like this to snap you back into an active zone... It gave me a much needed kick up the butt.
2. See life from a new perspective. We take things for granted in our comfortable existence in the western world. Seeing how other people live gives you a renewed appreciation for everything we have here. Clean running water, hot showers, air conditioning and an excessively long list of choices in every area of our life. We really have nothing to complain about!
3. Taking yourself into a new and big thinking, clear thinking, no thinking head space helps you re-wire the brain. There's something about being high in the mountains that makes me more creative. Take opportunities to get into nature - it will open up your mind to let new things in.
4. Reconnect with yourself and the people you are travelling with. Getting away somewhere you have head-space allows you reflect on what's really important in life. Step away from your 'busyness' and slow down, listen to your heart and let ideas flow. And of course connecting with a great group of people, you really get to know people and make life long friends.
5. It's Rewarding. Challenges are what keep our heart pumping and life exciting. Never stop learning, never stop exploring. There's nothing better than the feeling of achievement at the end of a day where you've pushed yourself outside of your comfort zone. You never know what you can do unless you try.
6. It's fun! Not that we should ever need a reason or an excuse to have fun, but sometimes it does get pushed down the list in our busy lives and what better way to get it back up where it belongs!
So what about bringing it home with you. Sometimes we need a holiday to get over our holiday. Coming back home can be a jolt to 'reality' that is hard to handle. How can we bring our adventure into our every day? Carry on those inspiring thoughts and make use of them at home?
And 5 great ways to bring it home with you
1. Capture your images as soon as you get home.All those photos, video, notes... they are priceless. They will take you back any time you like if you set them up so you can access them. Here's a slideshow I created that just takes me right back into the mountain. Grab yourself a cuppa and enjoy 10 minutes of Nepalese Himalayan magic. (link)
2. Visualise. I just loved the feeling of being on the trail. Sure it was hard in some places, but the freedom and expansive sense of nature and beauty was priceless. There's something magical about being on the top of a mountain. Exilherating, breathtaking, almost literally on top of the world! I love to bring that feeling into my meditation.
3. Congratulate yourself on your achievements. A trip like this is not a walk in the park. It was probably the most physically demanding trip I've done and I like to remind myself of the pain points and how I handled them, to take me forward when I find myself in new and challenging situations that need a similar mindset. When you're half way up a hill in the Himalayas, there's not really an option to turn back. You have to just keep going and find more strength from somewhere! That's priceless...
4. Set up a new routine that helps you keep up the good work that you started. Trips away allow us more time to do the things we love, but why wait until you go away again to bring some of those things into our lives every day? If you enjoyed new activities, look for them at home. Simple things every day can add a fresh injection into your life on a regular basis. We walked the Himalayas, and whilst Mt Coolum is not exactly on the same altitude, it does have quite a few steps and a great view that never fails to make me feel better when I climb it.
5. Capture mementos that take you back. Nepal is a very creative place. Art, music, creativity is at the heart of their culture. It's simple to bring that home. I bought a Mandala and some beautiful music and when I play it, or look at the art, I feel like I have a little piece of that adventure, that experience, that place in my home.
So yes, the Himalayas were and are amazing and continue to bring joy and inspiration to me every day.