Social media makes backpacking, even the most extreme ones, look more glamorous than how it actually is. That’s because we’re only shown the end results – the summit, a stream in the forest, and a campfire amid a snowy terrain.
What they don’t show us is the blood, sweat, and tears shed in completing every adventure. We can’t feel the pain in their muscles, see the bruises or cuts they might have acquired, and witness the high-tension moments when they might have almost given up.
So if you’ve just booked one of the amazing and epic Alaska adventures or any kind of wilderness trip, you must prepare for all the challenges you will encounter. But by all means, the inevitable hardships are not reasons to be discouraged. If anything, it should make you more excited.
If this will be your first time exploring the wilderness, here are the life lessons you are likely to learn and bring home:
1. Perfection is Unrealistic
If you’re the type who prefers routine and predictability, chances are you planned this trip to the core. You went over your itinerary repeatedly, making sure nothing will go wrong. However, on a wilderness trip, or on any trip for that matter, perfection is next to impossible. Anything can happen that might not go according to plan, such as a delayed flight, traffic, etc.
After experiencing inconveniences, you’ll learn that to expect perfection in the things you do is unrealistic, so you become more patient, not just in your travels but in other aspects of your life as well.
2. A Changed Perspective Toward Challenges and Opportunities
Because you’re out of your comfort zone in the wilderness, you’re compelled to rely on whatever supplies or resources you have to make the experience good, even if that means facing your fears and pushing your limits. When you succeed, you’ll go back to your daily life with a new perspective toward challenges and opportunities. The things you used to find so scary before will seem like a piece of cake now, and you’ll never take opportunities for granted anymore.
3. Faith That Tough Times Won’t Last
In a hike, uncertainties loom, such as possibly not finding a camp, getting lost, or experiencing bad weather. They are all terrifying scenarios, but they are temporary. In our daily lives, we also experience setbacks that are undeniably frustrating. But like a setback in the wilderness, they don’t last and you will bounce back from them stronger and triumphant.
4. To Live Simply
Backpacking leaves us with just a few items to survive on. As you go on with your trip, you’ll realize that living big with so little can be possible. You’ll appreciate simple accommodations and food. At the end of your trip, you’ll discover just how blessed you are for owning more than what you need.
5. Making Friends
If you’re hiking with a new group, you’ll rely on each other throughout the journey, so you’ll learn to let loose and be friends with them. In your daily life, you’ll carry these enhanced social and interpersonal skills as you meet new people. You can also reconnect with your hike companions and make your friendship grow deeper.
6. Completing One Goal at a Time is Okay
In life, when we look at everything we haven’t accomplished yet, we’ll feel overwhelmed and sometimes demotivated. When you go to the wilderness, you’ll learn to look at your tasks one by one instead of as a whole, keeping you from being overwhelmed.
You complete one goal at a time on the trail, realizing that life’s challenges aren’t so different. You’ll face your life’s obstacles calmly, feeling no pressure because each step you take is a step closer to your goals.
As you go on more adventure-filled trips, you’ll learn more life lessons and improve yourself further. Keep traveling, as it might just be the key to achieving your lifelong dreams and goals.