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Photo by Kendall Marianacci, Nepal Semester.

Trek Yak of the Week

I believe that I’m currently experiencing a monsoon, or something close to it. My homestay room has a tin roof, and I thought it was close to blowing off, but then I realized how they go through a monsoon season every year, so I’m sure they have it down.
Chokati is a beautiful place. Everytime I look up, clouds are covering deep green mountains, and I take a minute to comprehend where I am. This climate and location is similar to the trek, yet life feels drastically different now that we’re in Chokati. We walked long; about 18 days, to get here. What does one do with that feeling? It’s a feeling I don’t know how to describe or feel in itself, as I’ve simply never had an experience like this before. I slept in a tent every single night, except for the one night lightning came a little too close in Bedding; and the tents surrounded us in the potential to be struck by lightning, with tents structured by poles. After this halfway point, rain and/or snow were a nightly occurrence, with thunder and lightning looming late at night. Many nights, I was awoken by the flashes and boomings, taking my memory back to childhood anxiety of the jumpiest of thunderstorms. My safety during these moments felt slightly threatened by the inescapability of being on trek.
During the trek, the only choice was to move forward–one sec I gotta role some momo balls–ok, I’m back, sorry about that. Anyway, any fear, any soar muscles, any regretful feelings, were to be acknowledged and then ignored. Having left Kathmandu with a sleeping bag that would keep me warm in temperatures as low as 45 degrees farenheit, keeping warm throughout the night was not expected, in fact it was rather unexpected after reaching an altitude of 3,500 meters. Some nights, I would go to bed with the expectation of being awoken by all of spasming muscles, thunder, and frigid toes. If at least one of these did not occur, I would feel accomplished in taking care of myself; celebrating each small victory at a time.
When feeling fed up was the easiest result to the weight of the fatigue in my body, it became more difficult to appreciate life, at times. This feeling of pessimism was one that brought me back to the saltiest of attitudes from my childhood. But, much like when I was a child, all I had to do to bring myself back to reasonability, was to take a look around. It’s that moment when the extreme discomfort of life digs a little too deep under the skin, and I forget why I’m here. I have never been on a single trek before. I have never been so uncomfortable in my life. I have never slept in a tent before. I’ve never been with this group of twelve people for this many consecutive days before. I have never seen this view before. These are the thoughts that both strained me, and pushed me to get out of my sleeping back every day. These are also the thoughts that fueled this indescribable feeling aforementioned. Everyday and every step I took was towards my destination; each day bearing its own destination in the form of a campsite.