Why the Mountains are Great for the Soul

I have never claimed to be an adventurer or outdoors lover – until I started hiking in the mountains.

With the lovely, lush green forests and foothills, the tantalizing teal lakes hidden away like a secret prize waiting to be found, and those stunning sky-high jagged peaks, how can you not fall in love? But more than that, hiking in the mountains became an immediate passion because of the way it made me feel. I was able to just be the real me and connect with the version of myself that felt the most authentic and true.

Being surrounded by the mountains has a powerful effect on something deeper. It’s as if being amidst something greater than ourselves, changes our perspective and insight on life and the things that really matter. Somehow without trying, you can confront your demons, re-evaluate your problems or your goals or your desires – you are able to widen your perspective and reflect on ‘the big picture’.


The Mountains Have Healing Powers:

Call me crazy or cliché or whatever… but there is no denying it- Maybe it’s that dose of fresh mountain air, the exercise, or the liters of water I drink when I’m hiking, but I swear to you that after a visit to the mountains I feel enormously better. It’s as if there is an energy source in those summits that you can tap into and feed on. Getting out there literally fuels you and rebalances you; you will notably feel calmer and happier, and less irritable or anxious. There is never a time where I leave the mountains not feeling refreshed, happy and inspired – ready to take on anything that comes my way.

An Opportunity for Personal Growth:

So long as you challenge yourself- both physically and mentally- you will grow. Through pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, you flourish. Completing something you started and seeing it through to the end, gives you a sense of fulfillment. Also, through failing, you learn to not only be kind to yourself, but you blossom into a more humble person! By interacting with nature, you develop respect for the earth and empathy for the wellbeing of the environment.

They Disconnect us, to Reconnect Us:

Spending time out in the mountains really takes things back to basics. There’s no Wi-Fi, no cell service– money doesn’t matter out in the woods or up on a mountain top. It’s just you and mother nature.

This time spent without our devices allows us to be in the moment and recognize the beauty of little things. When was the last time you have allowed yourself to let go of thoughts centered around emails and work? When did you last stop talking or thinking and really listen to the birds sing? Or appreciate the earthy aroma after the rain? We take these little moments all for granted. Spending time in the mountains has reintroduced me to the value of the little things in life.

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I left a piece of my heart in the mountains – or rather, I took a piece of it with me. And that’s a long-distance relationship I’m okay with!

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anisha T April 10, 2019 0 Comments
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Local vs. Tourist Mentality – Indian Edition

Ah, magical, vibrant, spiritual India. A country so full of smiling faces and possibilities. I remember coming to Mumbai in December 2017. India presents an enthralling combination of modern and spiritual life. However, traveling around in a chauffeur-driven car or air-conditioned train, and staying in comfortable accommodations can be deceptive. I came back to Mumbai in June 2018, and this time it was for more than a few weeks. I was now going to live here for a year, without my family and friends. I soon learned India is quite complex, with many interesting customs, and adversities I wouldn’t expect to come across back in 2017.

The beautiful mountain valleys of Himachal. Luscious fields of vivid green juxtaposed with barren, rocky mountains.
India is full of contrasts.

India and its Contrasts

Now, let’s be honest, India isn’t always aesthetically or aromatically pleasing. Initially, the dirt and decay, and my lack of material possessions troubled me. But as I looked beyond these superficial things, I found unexpected beauty in everyday joys. A tiny temple on the roadside, the rich smell of incense that weaves its way through the air at dusk, a bright bird at my window, I started to see India through new eyes and began to appreciate India’s contrasts: I smelt it in the unpleasant odor of feces which turn to the lively aroma of street food and spices. I saw neighborhoods with incredible poverty adjacent to the most luxurious suburbs. Around me, beautiful women in vivid saris wandered amongst dry, barren land.


 Dharavi is barely away from Bandra Kurla Complex, which is India’s most lucrative business district, and one of the richest in Asia

I got 99 problems…

Whenever I visit India, I always feel a rush of altruism to “fix” all its problems. It can be infuriating to live in a country where child labor, sex trafficking, and deep-rooted corruption exist. 9 months into my stay, I have noticed that I’ve disregarded many of India’s issues that I felt deeply for in the past. Was I at last truly accepting India and appreciating people’s determination to survive, and thrive, despite the adversities? Or was it apathy, and too much of a “chalta hai” attitude setting in? Slumdog Millionaire is not India’s reality. Albeit much of rural India face the difficulties represented in the film, there is, however, a much brighter side to this. Citizens fight against injustice and have succeeded to quite an extent.

#StreetKultureIndia – A street art initiative to bring social justice and media bias awareness

Of course, like in any country, there are bad people in the world who commit the most monstrous crimes, but most locals are, in fact, the most hospitable people I have met. Before arriving, everyone warned me the city was intense and overwhelming. After a lot of thinking, I grew wary about what I would face here. But nonetheless, My adventures in India have taught me to fear less and trust more.

Roadside market in Versova

Tourist turns Local?

Hindus believe strongly in kismet ka karvat lena, the turn of fate. Anything is possible, and there’s always hope and faith that circumstances will change for the better. My first few months in Mumbai was particularly tough, as I struggled to be more tranquil and set boundaries with intrusive people. If any parts of your personality are flawed or require development, it’s certain that life in India will bring them swiftly to the surface. Now, I’ve come to believe there’s a solution, a creative jugaad, for everything in India. Living alone in this sensational country has colored my life with wisdom, as it slowly reveals itself a little more each day and continues to shape who I am.

Hindu Deity Laxmi- Believed to bring good luck and wealth.

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anisha T March 26, 2019 0 Comments