The Trek of a Lifetime
Maggie Propst: AU Human Sciences – Summer Program in Kathmandu, Nepal Summer 2022
On my study abroad program to Nepal, it was planned for the students and our program directors to go on a trek throughout the lower himalayas. Going into the program this was one of the biggest things that I had any feelings of uncertainty towards. I have never been that big of a hiker throughout my life. I was used to every once in a while going on a hike through a local park to wherever I was living (I.e. Chewacla). However, I found myself sitting in the pre-departure meetings with all of the other students watching our program director teach how to correctly pack our trekking pack so that it could be the most effective and not cause us any issues, and even telling us that we needed to start training yesterday because we needed all the help we could get.
The elevation would be high so hard to breathe and the sun would be closer to you so you need to make sure you had enough water, which we would sparsely be able to refill. All while having to carry a 30 pound pack on your back. The idea of this trek became super clear to me. The trek would be unlike anything that I had ever experienced. It would be a week-long experience in all things hard. I was nervous all the way up to our group getting on a bus and heading out of Kathmandu city and starting to enter into the mountainous areas.
We had been preparing for this bus ride for what felt like months but truly experiencing how unsteady the roads became, you could never actually prepare yourself for. I was nervous all throughout the bus ride because the bus was jerking back and forth up and down mountains, and being so close to the edge that, even though I am deathly afraid of heights, I couldn’t help but to look out the window and see all that was below us. Seeing this brought clarity to my mind of both how close to the edge we were and how easy it would be to fall off a mountain (in my mind) in reality we were perfectly safe. But it also brought the clarity of what an adventure this trek would be for me. It was okay to be nervous and okay to struggle. I needed to not worry and take in every single moment of this trek and enjoy all the sights around me.
I will be forever grateful for the clarity that the bus ride gave me because I ended up being right the trek was absolutely beautiful and an experience that I will never forget and one day hope to be able to repeat.