Lessons from Abroad: Study Abroad Returnee Conference, Student Life Abroad, Study Abroad Goals, Traveling

An Unexpected Journey

July 11, 2016

_DSC0142 I came to Japan without carrying any expectation of ascending mount Fuji in the beginning. In fact, I never thought of going to Mt. Fuji at all and that only certified climbers can ascend. It was not written on my to-go list – or maybe I just simply forgot to. But I did it, in the most arbitrary way.

My inspiration of climbing Mt. Fuji rose on the way home to Tokyo from my 3-day vacation in Kawaguchiko with my friend. Hours before boarding on the home-bound bus, I told my friend that we should be climbing Mt. Fuji before we left Japan simply because it is there. It is right there. At first, feeling hesitated, my friend attempted to avoid that conversation and gave me some time to decide whether he would go ascending Mt. Fuji with me. Eventually, he gave up and decided to Mt. Fuji with me after multiple times of convincing him. Let’s do it.

Just couple days before heading off to Mt. Fuji, we made a brief research about the mountain and figuring out many ways to get there, invited some other friends, and immediately bought the bus tickets. And the D-day, we went to a retail store, rented basic hiking equipment (boots, gloves, and lights), and head off to Mt. Fuji by bus underprepared.

We arrived in Mt. Fuji at 6pm and began to ascend at 8pm in order to see the sunrise around 4:30am. In other words, it would take us about eight hours of ascending. That was our primary goal.

The first two hours on the way to the peak with a number of breaks, some of us were tired and wanted to go home already. I felt the same way but I would not go home until we reach the peak. The ascending was exhausting. The next couple hours, the surface got steeper and we needed more breaks and rested. We kept motivating each other to reach the peak. We were almost there. The ascending was painfully exhausting. We should have been aware of it and made a concrete plan all along.

At the end, we made it to the top, yet one of our friends decided to stay in the nearby hut for a break and take a rest. Glad that some local supervisors were available all around in case of any help needed. Ascending a mountain can be painful if mentally and physically underprepared. It is the responsibility to all of us to ensure everyone in the team is mentally and physically prepared and aware of the upcoming challenges. The more we ascend the mountain, the harder it gets to the top, and the more challenges we have to face off.

After all, we all had the chance to see the sunrise wherever we stood at. It was a breathtaking moment and our journey to Mount Fuji was paid off. I have found inspiration after ascending Mt. Fuji and what to do next in my life. As a person who loves and appreciated mountains, I still can’t believe I actually ascend Mt. Fuji.

 

Life lesson:

When ascending a mountain, it reflects on the long steps you have walked so far in your life. You may have reached the peak of a mountain with all the challenges and obstacles you faced. But when you reach the tip, you realized that there are still other peaks to ascend. There are still other goals to achieve without realizing it.

 

Photographs: Immanuel A. M. Sinambela

*these photographs clearly have something to do with the content above. It is also for decoration purpose.

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