2019 Year in Review: Setbacks

2019 Year in Review: Successes and Setbacks – Part 2

Why do we fear failure? Isn’t setback something that truly takes you towards eventual success? Success won’t taste as sweet if there was no setback or failure before. So, as much as the year 2019 was full of successes for me, it was almost equally marked with setbacks.

I won’t call those setbacks as failures as they are simply learnings; they are the indicators about the areas I need to work upon; they have become foundation to my future success in those areas.

I have already shared my successes in the previous blog post, 2019 Year in Review: Successes and Setbacks – Part 1.

Now, here is a list of setbacks that held me up for a little while in 2019.

Read also: Kupwara: The Beginning of My Epic Journey to Offbeat Kashmir
Setbacks are integral part of the journey!

Failure No. 1: Could not finish Basic Mountaineering Course

I was fortunate enough to get an opportunity to do Basic Mountaineering Course from the best institute, Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi in September-October 2019 batch. As the institute and one-month basic course is run by the officials of Indian Army, the training is indeed one of the most physically and mentally challenging.

As much as I love mountains and cold climate, seems like my physical body doesn’t enjoy them as much. In the beginning of the course, my body performed well beyond my expectations. It cooperated and adjusted well in early morning PTs, during long treks on mountain terrain while carrying heavy backpack and doing rock climbing at Tekhla. I have too much to share about my experience, which I will do soon in a separate blog post.

Trekking from base camp to ice-wall at the glacier to learn ice craft techniques

As of now, it is sufficient to say that after successfully completing the gruelling two weeks, reaching base camp and learning rock craft and ice craft, my body gave up. I suffered high altitude mountain sickness when my body stopped taking in sufficient oxygen to function properly. I was immediately made to descend overnight, and thereafter took many weeks to recover.

Although bitter-sweet experience and one of the major setbacks, especially after putting in so much effort, it made me know more about my own body, its capacity and limitations.

Next time, I will be better prepared!

Tekhla – the rock climbing area of Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi

Failure No. 2: Did not work on my blog/website

When I started travelling solo in 2016-2017, it was not a mainstream thing. As I started sharing my journey, I received so many queries about the things I was doing and how I was managing. So, instead of replying to individual and repeated questions, I thought of writing blog posts for whoever was interested and started lifebeyondusual.com.

I managed one or two blog posts every week until December 2018. However, in the entire year 2019, I only made two blog posts in January 2019. Since then, I have been pretty inactive on my blog. Although I have not yet shared even 10% of what I have to, somehow my continuous experiences and professional work became overwhelming and I could not keep up the pace.

Silver lining here is that my blog indeed grew multifold organically even when I did not post in 2019.

So, you shall be seeing more blog posts in 2020!

I filled several pages making notes for blog posts, but didn’t finalize and post on my blog

Failure No. 3: Plan to visit Sikkim got canned

After travelling mostly solo in 2017 & 2018, I was craving for travelling for a longer duration with my hubby. So, we had planned a trip to Sikkim during summers of 2019.

Since I had little more time than my hubby, I spent some time exploring Bodhgaya and Darjeeling. My hubby was supposed to join me in Darjeeling for our onward road trip to Sikkim. Unfortunately, he fell ill on the very day we were supposed to meet; so, we had to abandon our Sikkim plans, and instead the summer time was spent in his recovery.

The positive result of this setback was that, since we could not go anywhere during summers, we did a 10-days road trip exploring coastal area of Konkan in Maharashtra in August 2019.

Oh Sikkim, I shall explore you some day!

2019 Year in Review: Setbacks
Post sunset hues at Darjeeling, West Bengal

Failure No. 4: Had to abandon Sangalila Ridge Trek midway

While I was in Darjeeling during summers, instead of doing tea-estate trips, I chose to do a short 4-5 days trek – Sangalila Ridge Trek. As I walked on the ridge that separates India and Nepal, I was greeted with spectacular views of the Himalayan range.

Crossing through small hamlets, bamboo forests and rhododendron trees, I enjoyed my first day of the trek. Mind you, it is not an easy trek due to high altitude of the ridge which is mostly above 3000m.

However, despite taking all precautions and following all the instructions of my local guide, I got swollen eyes and headache by evening. Somehow, I survived the night. On the second day of trek, my condition worsened and I got diarrhoea. Since my body became extremely weak due to frequent loo visits, I was not in a condition to climb any further. So, my guide decided to take me back to Darjeeling, where I stayed for a while recovering before going back home.

I have really got tired of altitude sickness now!

Nepal on one side and India on other

Failure No. 5: Did not read enough books

I honestly wanted to read more books in 2019. Unfortunately, after finishing couple of books in January – February 2018, I could not manage to finish any book. It is not that I didn’t read at all; I started reading few books, but all of them were heavy reads. So, although I read 100-200 pages, I could not finish them on time.

Also, since I did not want to read them just for the sake of reading and finishing, I ended up not reading at all. I was hoping to make notes while reading so that I can better understand and remember the important things. But, as you can see now, none of that happened.

High time I read my own earlier blog post – My Journey with Books: How I Cultivated the Reading Habit

I will try to be more regular with reading in 2020. Wish me luck!

One of the setbacks in 2019 is reading less books
Have to start reading more, irrespective of how busy I get!

Just like any other year, 2019 was also a mixed bag. But, in the end, I can say for sure, there are definitely more successes than setbacks in 2019. And as we bid adieu to the year 2019, I can only feel blessed and grateful for all the love I have received and all the opportunities I have got.

Looking forward to 2020 with contentment and hope!

What are your goals for 2020? Have you made New Year resolutions? Share with me in the comments section below.