Growing up I spent more time in the library and on the couch in front of the Television than on the playground, which I almost never stepped onto. I spent most part of the past two years working insanely long hours at a TV channel. When I quit to join an online news portal, ‘getting a life’ was at the top of the to-do list. Get a life, I certainly did and somehow trekking has become a huge part of it. It started with a small trek to Lohagad Fort near Lonavala early last year. Then in December 2014, on a trip to Pune with friends, I insisted that trekking to Sinhagad Fort must be a priority. While I wanted to do the trek for the novelty of it, by the end of the trek I wanted more.

Somewhere along the trek I understood my limits – both mentally and physically. While I was sure that I knew myself well, I realised that I can push my body further than I thought. Even though I was never a sportsperson, I enjoyed the rigours of a trek, the view from the top, the adrenaline rush and the experience of the climb. I wanted to do more and recently I went with a trek group to Tung Fort near Lonavala.

Pawna lake at the bottom of the fort

Pawna lake at the bottom of the fort

We left on a Saturday night from Mumbai and reached the base of the fort in the wee hours of Sunday morning. At 6 am, after some rest and equipped with torches in our hand, we were ready for the climb. As we went higher, the sun came up, bringing the scenic beauty to focus. Below us was Pawna lake, glistening and blue, next to lush green fields and scattered homes here and there.

The trek was fairly simple and we reached the top of the Tung Fort in less than an hour-and-a-half. The sight below was something to behold, especially because we were not very far from Mumbai. Being raised in the crowded metropolis, my eyes are used to the jarring sights of concrete across the city and greenery is a rarity. And yet, just a few hours drive away from the overcrowded city was this sight.

The view at you trek up the Tung Fort

The view as you trek up the Tung Fort

While on Monday morning I was back again at my desk editing articles, the high from the trek was yet to wear off. In my head I had already begun planning the next one.

While it might sound strange, I feel that trekking has changed me as a person in the past few months. My mind feels free to wander like it had never done before. While earlier when I thought of a goal, the small steps needed to reach it seemed daunting, I feel a shift in my perspective now. The goal looks more important in anything I do, and I feel that the obstacles will be easy to handle. I have just booked tickets to a Himalayan trek of eight days something that I would not have even dared to think seriously about. Me? Going to Himalayas? And here is already is!

Trekking and travel in general teaches you more about yourself and other necessary life skills than anything else ever can. To every girl especially, whether on the road to self discovery or not, I would recommend a trek. You would be surprised to know your limits.

An edited version of this article appeared at the the website http://www.indiahikes.in. You can read it here