One of the most popular treks in the Himalayas is the Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) trek. Very few journeys offer such a wide variety of challenges and landscapes. You’ll find high altitudes, rhododendron forests, and rice paddies along the way. It is unique, spectacular, and something that changes your perspective about life itself.
Our group put together some of the personal lessons learnt while trekking ABC. Although we all had our own reasons for embarking on this adventure, ABC brought us together.
“Multi-day treks can be tough for most people, but members have shown great determination and perseverance to complete,” said Lay Hoon. “Thanks to a wonderful team of guides and porters for making this trip comfortable for me.”
1. People Make ABC an Incredible Adventure
There’s no denying the beautiful vistas that surround you in Nepal. Many will journey here to experience them personally and it will take their breath away. Once you get past that initial breathlessness, however, you realise that there is something more important that Nepal is offering you. It’s a chance to trust your teammates. It’s an opportunity to make a new friend.
“Trekking on ABC used to be about the sights but after going through it, it is all about the people that accompany me on the journey.” – Vester
“I made friends with so many people from different background and experience – which makes this trip so unique! “– Wai Mun
2. The Right Porters and Guides Make all the Difference in the World
Your porters and guides will be with you for an extended period of time. You and your team must “click” with them and sometimes that just doesn’t happen. It’s a simple truth that many trekkers understand, but the positives and negatives are greatly magnified by the challenges and landscapes Nepal has to offer.
“Awesome treatment from them to bring us to complete our ABC trek. It was a wonderful experience, people and journey and not to forget the scenery.” – Paulene
3. It Will Bring Out the Best in You
We always bring our own experiences with us into any adventure that we take on. Nepal is no different. The only problem is that unless you’ve visited Nepal for trekking in the past, the experiences you’ve had previously are only a taste of what is to come.
Once you start, it is difficult to turn back. Sometimes your legs will be on fire. Sometimes all you will want to do is sit down and rest for the remainder of the day. Yet there is something about Nepal which encourages you to take the next step. To endure the pain. To take what you can do beyond anything you ever thought you were capable of doing.
This is what makes Nepal special. It will bring out the best in you if you allow it to do so.
“Never have I imagined that my legs can endure over 10 days of 7hrs daily trekking. Together with my knee caps, they moved over thousands of steps, crossing mountains, rivers, ice glaciers and met everyday sunrise with hope!” – Francis
“It’s amazing! Never expected myself to attempt ABC at this age! Thanks to all who organized this trip. Looking to the next adventure!” – Karin
4. You Get to See the World Differently
As Clara described the Nepali culture, the people are extremely patient and humble. Far too often in our world today, people don’t help even if you ask for it. We have developed a focus on ourselves and sometimes we don’t even notice this. We must be able to accommodate one another to succeed on the trails of Nepal and we must do so when we are at home as well.
“The smiles and happy faces of the people in the team including our friends and local guides/porters. Kudos go out to Nepali friends who have been most helpful.” – Liang Boon
“Been able to appreciate simple things out of comfort zone and interacting with humans daily, enjoying challenges together.” – Bernice
5. You Develop Self-Confidence
Nepal will make you question yourself. It will make you doubt yourself. It will test you to the point that you may feel like you cannot go on. Yet the moment you do, every footstep provides you with a self-confidence that will stay with you forever. You have faced one of the greatest challenges of your life and you have conquered it. Now you can be a conqueror in other facets of life as well.
Or as Edward shared, he had not been feeling well from the first day of the journey. Yet despite that illness, he was still able to complete his journey. “Hurray!” he said.
“I have climbing more than 10k steps daily during this 14 day trip. Never before in my life! I feel great and amazing.” – Yanni
“For me, it was the mental ability to overcome a tough journey (wasn’t sure before I came) give confidence for new challenges ahead.”
6. It’s a Once in a Lifetime Opportunity
Not every trekker makes the pilgrimage to Nepal. For some, the issue is one that is financial. For others, there may be physical barriers which prevent them from taking on a trail like ABC. The fact is that chances like these, even if they get to be repeated, are always a once in a lifetime opportunity that should be treasured. When we take a moment to realize this, it becomes easier to spot similar opportunities as we go through our daily routines back at home. Sometimes even the most simple of experiences can provide profound, life-long truths which guide us.
“A wedding photoshoot on ABC is very incredible. The team’s support makes the whole experience extraordinary.” – Mike
“I think getting to know new people, living together and trekking with differences is meaningful. Learn to see things differently.”
“The beauty of ABC. Once in a lifetime must see, die without regrets.”
“On D-day facing the grand spectrum of the Annapurna though brief was unforgettable!” – TS
These are just 6 lessons learnt from our trekking in ABC. There are many more that we treasure in our hearts, creating profound changes that will last with us for the rest of our days.
In Nepal, maybe the greatest lesson that can be learned is that we all share the same name. Together we are human. The differences we each have don’t separate us. They bring us together so that we can accomplish amazing things. Maybe that means embracing the challenges which ABC offers. Maybe it means not responding harshly when harsh words are spoken to you by a stranger.