There’s always a first for everything.

When I was invited for a hike to Mount Nuang, I was doubtful in the first place, as I’m not the kind of person who is fond of the deep forests. In my opinion, "there’s nothing much to see, only huge trees and broken logs".

I was not even well prepared; probably I wasn’t looking forward to it, and I just want to get it over and done with. I wasn't sure about purchasing my own personal equipment, as I am certain this will be just a one-time thing for me.

It was a sudden shift from an easy two-hour walk to a day hike that began with a brief taste of Mount Nuang. I felt nervous and skeptical, as I knew for myself that I had no experience and no training for this hike.

At the entrance, I told myself that I could do this and that I must have a strong mind-set and good breathing in order to overcome the constant elevation before we reach the basecamp. After 4.91 KM on the trail, while suffering from shoulder and lower back pain, I realized that I was not physically fit. How extremely exhausted I was at the end of the day.

When I reached the basecamp, my team and I quickly set up our tent for the night and prepared a meal. We had our early dinner by the river, and it felt so good as I dipped my legs into the cooling river water.

Honestly, I felt so proud of myself as I managed to come this far with a 14kg backpack on me. Moving on to the next day, we woke up before sunrise and prepared to embark on our journey to the summit; this time around, my stars were not aligned.

The uneven trails and the river crossings were really mentally challenging, as we had to walk in the middle of the night with just a headlamp. This time around, the elevation to the summit is taxing, as we have to rope climb to the top. I continuously took 5-minute breaks just to catch my breath. After six hours of climbing, I saw the first ladder leading towards the peak, and I knew that I had to overcome a few more before reaching the summit. That was when I knew I could make it.

At last, I finally conquered something that I could proudly share with someone in the future. The view at the top was breath-taking! I was overwhelmed; the scenic view left me speechless. Everyone was proud of each other and just celebrating the whole journey. This was a truly amazing experience for me. I never knew I would have a deep connection with nature during this whole journey. Quickly, I realized the moral of this unique experience was that hiking was all about enjoying every step of it and making the most of the journey rather than reaching the top.

This brought me to the realization that it's not just about getting to your destination. I will never forget the sense of achievement and experience I gained from this journey.


April 13, 2023