Finally, part 2. You can find part 1 here.
As said before, hiking is one of the must-do activities in Hong Kong. With the many outlying islands and mountains, one of the best ways to pass your weekends would be a hiking trip to somewhere rural. It’s rather awesome in Hong Kong because you do not need to travel too far or spend too much money to hike. So, let’s get down to the next 5 lessons hiking has taught me.
1. Wrong Turns are Alright
Trust me, I have made so many wrong turns while hiking. I slowly learnt that wrong turns are alright. They bring you to a somewhere new, sometimes, somewhere amazing. During one of the hikes in Lamma Island, I made so many wrong turns that I kept getting surprised myself. I learnt that wrong turns are not the conventional way of going down the path as planned, but sometimes you will be surprised at where the turns will take you. Once or twice, I got caught in dead-ends, with the company of some ferocious wild dogs. Wrong turns are sometimes dangerous and lead you to nowhere, but some turns lead you to fascinating new places. I found so many wonderful sights from taking the wrong turns. Wrong turns are risky though, but the adventure of exploring the unknown continues to give me the adrenaline. (However I highly recommend not to get used to this ‘high’. It is really addictive. Really addictive.)
2. It may not be easy but it will be worth it
Nothing ever worth comes easy. Hiking is not always an easy task. Some are challenging and it is a constant mental battle to keep going. Sometimes all you want to do is to give up. You wonder why you drag yourself out of bed on an early weekend morning to kill yourself slowly throughout the day. However, the most challenging it is, the higher the sense of achievement. No matter how tough, no matter how much blood, sweat and tears, you have to just keep going. It’s good that hikes are not like games or something. There is no giving up halfway. You just keep pushing and proving yourself that you are able to go beyond your maximum capacity. I guess what keeps me going was to aim high (literally, at the peak) and to focus. Focus is key; and when you place all focus on the sense of achievement and view at the peak, you realise you can get through any obstacle that is thrown at you.
3. Comfort is the Enemy of Achievement
They always say, life happens at the end of your comfort zone. It is definitely more comfortable to sleep in on a weekend than to drag yourself to the nature and walk for hours. However, it is then, when you really get the sense of achievement. I am a person with a very high expectation and it is not easy to feel satisfied with just the normal stuff. So, each hike I go gets tougher and tougher. It’s ok to be out of your comfort zone, because then, you learn to know yourself better and achieve more than you think you can.
4. Climb mountains so you can see the world
You know what calms me? The ability to feel at ease and calm when things around you are moving really fast. I love going to the peak and looking down, because I see everyone scrambling on with their fast-paced life. It’s also a good time to take yourself out of this equation of life, chasing what the society wants, and to observe from above. Sometimes, it is clearer to understand the situation when you are not in the picture. Looking at the world form above really helps me to clear my thoughts and to see myself better.
5. It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves -Edmund Hilary
Lastly, and most important, we conquer more than just mountains. Because we constantly challenge ourselves with more challenging hikes, we become stronger than before. We are now able to climb higher, walk longer and survive rough terrains. We do not just go to the peak and to watch the land from above, to reflect upon yourself, but also to show that we are more competent than before.
It is always a pleasure to hike. Obstacles exist to show us we are stronger than we think. Having fun hiking!