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999 places to visit; is Mount Everest one?

Mount Everest has been on the news over the last few days for the wrong reasons – it cut short what were otherwise very promising lives. I don’t know what comes into your mind when the said mountain is mentioned. Personally, the only thing that comes into my mind is Nepal. Which is not news cuz what else am I expected to think of anyway. However, the recent stories got me thinking of something different; dreams. I know people whose dream is to make it up the Summit (that’s the name given to the highest part of the Everest which is apparently the size of a dining room table). The view from there is amazing, I suppose. From up there, there is what is referred to as the rainbow valley which is where most dead bodies lie, in their brightly colored gear.

Now, one can either take the route from Nepal or take the relatively cheaper Tibet side. Well, assuming China feels like they want you to visit and all. It is a process, and it should cost a couple of thousands of dollars to make the said trek.

So, back to where my thoughts shifted. I keep asking myself: “Am I weird?” “Is it strange that I don’t even have the Everest anywhere on my bucket list?” Actually I never think about it. “Are there people like me out there or did I fall from some other strange planet?” Normally, when I start thinking I don’t stop. The questions go on and on, but I won’t burden you with those. But this is the thing: it is not wrong to dream differently. Just because I don’t wish to freeze to death on some mountain, doesn’t mean I should think there’s something wrong. There are so many places across the world that one can visit, and that could as well exclude Mount Everest.

Who said there are no shortcuts? A piece of my Everest 😛

I trekked on a "good" day and saw some of the most amazing landscapes ever. BTW, in Nepal that snow-capped thingy is a HILL :)

I trekked on a “good” day and saw some of the most amazing landscapes ever. BTW, in Nepal that snow-capped thingy is a HILL 🙂

Ideally, there are many groups of people here but we will only talk about two of them. One group is comprised of individuals who dream actively, and part of their dream includes making it to the highest point of the earth. By the way, at the Summit one is at 29,029 ft above sea level. That means that the highest point sits in the upper troposphere (geography, yikes!) The other group is made up of people like yours truly. Here, we know some facts about the Everest but we don’t care much. I am concerned about the thousands of tons of litter that is disposed off by the mountain climbers. I mean, who would carry with them empty beer cans to the top and back? I am also concerned about the cold. I told you here  how difficult Kathmandu was for me. The temperatures were not even at negative. There were no winds rushing at 110km/hour. In Kathmandu I’d have chosen to sit and drink the cold away, but you don’t have that luxury at the Everest. You’re out to make it to the top, remember? That said, I’m very comfortable holding such thoughts, and so should you regardless of where you stand. I know there are other groups of people including those who would wish to make it to the top (literally) but just don’t have the resources. There are also those that don’t know where this huge thing is.

My point: I’ll find my own Everest. I will visit places that make my spirit happy. I will make it to places that I cannot stop thinking about. I will save up for cruises to all my dream islands, but I will not climb the Everest. I may go to the base camp by the way; I think it’s just as amazing, and I can see the North Face of the Everest from there. Win-win, no? I can also take pictures of the incredible landscapes and my joy will be complete. From Tibet guys easily drive there. By that time, I will hopefully have gotten used to the cold – I should do winter in Europe or something. Or better still, go up Mount Kenya or Mount Kilimanjaro topless.

Another angle of some of the amazing views from an experience that could make me reconsider...

Another angle of some of the amazing views from an experience that could make me reconsider… 🙂

And the sunset!

And the sunset! From the opposite side though 😀

To the other group of people who have sleepless nights thinking of which bank to rob to make it up the mountain: work smart (hard), save money, pack your bags and leave. Okay, that’s not it at all. I’m guessing that since it is a life-long dream, one has it all figured out. You know, the need to physically and psychologically fit, having a passport and stuff…

Take on “smaller” mountains, they will help you a great deal.

It is not wrong to even consider doing that amazing act. Actually, I recently read of an Indian girl who hiked up the mountain to prove the thousands of things that are wrong with the caste system. She made it to the very top, at just 13 years. While you might not be the youngest to go up the mountain (that trophy is already taken unless you’re currently 9 years old), it will be gratifying to achieve something you always hoped for –I know it is.

Oh! There are also those who NEVER think about climbing ANY mountain. Go for those things you think about. Rafting, maybe? No? It’s cool. Turn your thoughts into your reality, and most of all, never apologize for not desiring what is considered “normal”.

Till next time, keep dreaming but also strive to make ‘em dreams a reality.

Cheers to climbing to the top!