11 frequent questions people throw in my way
1)How long are you planning to travel like this? You cant do this forever. So what will come next?
I don’t know. I used to have life long plans before. But nowadays I just don’t bother thinking about it. I just don’t know.
When I started trekking and was doing it almost every weekend, I told myself, this is what I want to do all my life. Nothing else matters. After few years I started climbing and I got immediately addicted to it. I told myself, this is what I wanted to do all my life. I still like it and is my biggest passion at the moment. But I don’t know where life will take me after. I like to go with the flow.
I know that I can’t do this forever. In fact no one can keep doing things endlessly they are doing. That’s simply the nature of things.
2)Why don’t you start writing(or take good photos) about your travels and try to generate some revenues from it?
May be in the future. At this point I haven’t felt that way. I want to travel and climb without the pressure of thinking, what should I write about this place? How to make the article look more cool and so on. Same reason, why I don’t take photography seriously.
I do feel like sharing some of my experiences with the rest of the world. And I do it here. Since I don’t intend to make any money out of it, I feel no pressure,or at least not much, to impress people and get likes.
3)Why are you walking barefoot?
I don’t have a specific reason for this. Few years back,I tried barefoot for two months. Then I went back to wearing slippers. I have always loved to keep my feet free, to make contact with the earth without anything in between.
Recently I was in Manali and my slippers broke. I was forced to walk few kilometers barefoot, before I got a lift. And I thought, this isn’t so bad. It had hurt in the beginning, but after few days your skin becomes thick enough.
I do have a pair of shoes, which I use occasionally for hiking in difficult terrains and unknown places after dark.
4)Why don’t you(or when will you) climb Mt. Everest?
I tell people that, I am a climber and they have only a vague idea about what that means. First of all, climbing Mt Everest is mountaineering and this isn’t what I do. I do only Bouldering and sport climbing at the moment.
On a second note, even if I get into mountaineering, I don’t feel like going to a place like Mt Everest, which is a very commercialized peak. These days, it’s more like anyone with a lot money and zero climbing experience can get on top of Everest. I would prefer to go to mountains which are more virgin.
5)You are so happy. I wish I could lead the life like you do.
I don’t think you really want to live like me. May be from our interactions you thought that, I am an only-happy person. But not only me, but almost all the humans have their sad sides, weaknesses and short-comings.
My life-style may seem appealing to you. But when we do such comparisons we normally tend to compare the bad things in your life to the good things in mine.
If you really feel like, this is the life style you want, then you just have to call upon your strength and make the necessary change in your life. Get rid of all the excuses and worry about what will happen in the future.
6)Most of your clothes are old, they have lost their color and some even have little holes in them. Why don’t you through them away?
Since last year, I don’t have a fixed place of stay anywhere. Whatever I need, I have to contain it in my 70 liter backpack. And there is not much space left in there, after the climbing gears. So I take only 3 pairs of clothes. I admit that these are not the best looking clothes. But I don’t want to through away clothes, before they become unusable. I consider it as a wastage of resources.
Plus, I don’t worry about what people might think about me. I think for a person, who really have a connection with me, will not get affected by the clothes I wear or how I look. And opinions of others, doesn’t matter.
7)Why do you have long hair? (OR) Long hair looks good on you, but only if you shampoo and maintain it regularly. (OR) Why don’t you straighten it?
I never had long hair before. So I am just trying out a new style. For the moment I like it. When I feel like I don’t fancy it anymore I will cut it.
There are always people around you, who will suggest you what you have to do. But you don’t have to listen to them always. If I had done that, I would have never had long hair to begin with. I would have never done travelling,climbing, trekking or anything out of the ordinary.
8)You are travelling alone, don’t you get bored?
Yes, I do get bored sometimes. But who doesn’t. Life isn’t happy-happy all the time. But I prefer,at least to be doing what I want to do, when life isn’t treating me the way I want it to.
Plus, travelling alone doesn’t mean I am always alone. When you are in a place, you of course meet other travelers if you want to. And at the same time, when you feel like you want to be alone, you have the option to do so. I have observed that, I learn a lot about myself when I travel alone.
The freedom in travelling alone, is another advantage. You want to do something, go ahead and do it. No need to convince someone else or check if the other person have time to do it.
9)Why did you become a vegetarian?
There are two reasons why I don’t eat meat. I believed in these reasons much before I actually turned a vegetarian. But I liked meat and was lazy to change my diet. So I kept these reasons inside me, until they came out to the surface after I had an argument about veg-non veg diet with my two of my friends.
First and foremost reason is that I didn’t want to be responsible for the torture and death of an another living being. It’s not just the killing, but how these animals are treated whole their life. Imagine for a second, you being treated like that by another species for all your life. How would you feel? Some people say, even if I don’t eat there are plenty of other people who do. But at least, you can avoid the suffering of few animals and at the same time become a role model for your friends.
Secondly, the environmental impact caused by the meat industry. There are so many signs that shows that Earth is already reaching its limits. We have been using the resources without any thinking. Let’s not rape the nature any more.
10)You are spending so much time climbing. Why don’t you make it as a profession and get some money while doing it?
This question is more like No 2. I don’t want to mix profession with passion. I have seen people who have done that and most of them loose either one.
Some people like trekking a lot and being in the mountains. After a while they starts a trekking company. Soon they are too busy organizing the treks, and couldn’t get themselves to the mountains. This is why I think mixing profession and passion might be a bad idea if you aren’t extra careful.
11)Don’t you think you have to settle down sometime. What if you regret all this after 10-20 years when you are alone and no one is there to take care of you?
I don’t know. May be I will settle down in the future. At the moment I don’t feel like it and I don’t know how it will be in the future. I don’t want to plan my life based on fears about my future.
Regrets? May be or may be not. Doesn’t matter how you live, regrets are something which will attack you if you don’t have a clear consciousness. It doesn’t matter on what your choices are now, but your state of mind at that time.