What to expect when you travel from a place that never goes below 18-20 degree centigrade to temperatures from 0-2 degree centigrade?
It may be the same country but the food, language and culture is totally different. Nature dictates how humans live up in the mountains. The mountains and nature can teach us a kind of inner and outer resilience that will help us live happier and more sustainable lives no matter where we are. On top of it, we learn to live without the modern conveniences of phones, computers and Internet. Even the toilet is different!
What is the quality of the feelings in physical discomfort? How can we stay calm in the face of mental and emotional challenges? How do we see our relationships with each other after we have been close to our friends and classmates on a journey from camp to camp and village to village?
For most kids this is the first time in their lives that they have slept outside or been out in the wilderness. The knowledge they gain from the experience can’t be quantified – we embrace diversity not by knowing but being out in Nature.
We also learn about our own needs, the feeling of catching your breath or searching for a glove in your layers of jackets with fingers that are numb from the cold. Suddenly we gain an appreciation of what we have. These values can only be felt and understood experientially; it is definitely hard to know through description or theory.
Waking up to dazzling snow clad mountains, and resting with the multi-coloured sunsets. Waking up early in the morning, shivering and searching for the lost cap inside your sleeping bag. Stepping outside to catch a glimpse of those beautiful first rays of sun that melt the mountain in a golden glow.
Warm wishes from Ajay Rastogi and all of us in the Vrikshalaya team.