LE MORNE BRABANT MOUNTAIN

Located at the southwestern coast of Mauritius, this mountain is held close to the heart of Mauritians because of the formidable tale attached to it.

Le Morne Brabant has been registered as a UNESCO world heritage site in 2008 because of this very story.

For those who are unaware, our ancestors were brought to Mauritius as slaves and indentured labourers from Africa, India and China. Centuries ago, some of the slaves evaded capture and hid in Le Morne Brabant for days. After the abolition of slavery, On February 01, 1835, some soldiers and police went in search of these slaves to inform them that they were free men and women. The slaves misinterpreted the arrival of the police and were terrified of the idea of being caught by their ruthless masters. They jumped from the top of the mountain, choosing to be dead and free rather than being alive and owned. As a tribute to them, a cross has been built on the public beach situated at the foot of the mountain.

Le Morne Brabant is only 555m above sea level and it takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to get to the summit. However, the steepness and loose gravels on the way up to, add a little spice to the difficulty level of the climb. For these reasons, the trail is closed during rainy days.

The views on the blue lagoon throughout the climb can only be described as picturesque. I climbed this mountain in summer when it was about 32°C. When we would get tired, the thought of how our ancestors went through this path barefoot, without food or even a single drop of water kept us going. I remember how other hikers got discouraged about halfway up and went back saying that the descent will be more challenging as it was about to rain. However, when hiking and travelling, it is more reliable to trust your instinct than following others.

We continued our way up and the satisfaction of reaching the top of the summit despite all the challenges we faced from the start of the journey, was fulfilling. Just like the slaves won over their masters, we won over our fears and doubt.

A true feeling of victory.

The cross is often a religious symbol but the one at the top of the summit is a sign of recognition for the choice of freedom made by the slaves. Though many would find it controversial and offending, I climbed the cross to express the respect I have for my ancestors. As I stood there with my hands stretched out, the winds blowing all around gave me a sense of freedom and joy. The freedom to be true to yourself, despite others trying to impose their thoughts and beliefs on you. The joy of reaching your final destination. Maybe that’s how my ancestors too, felt in that moment when they jumped. 

Kavina Iyavoo

Instagram Handle

https://www.instagram.com/skiytoearth/

TRAVEL TO LIVE BUT NOT ALWAYS FOR A LIVING

Travel is simple yet so vast. He had seen a bit of the world and the worldly ways. He understood life is a cycle when you start somewhere you have to reach the end. But he always enjoyed the journey in between. It is always the journey that pulls him towards the unknown. He loves striking a conversation whenever he is travelling, he loves looking people at the airport, albeit it sounds strange but he loves it. He thinks there are so many people travelling for so many reasons.
Aren’t we all travelling? We have been travelling since the inception he understood it now. He knows this cycle will never end. He travels for exposure, knowledge and experience. But the most important thing he travels for is wisdom and quietude. It is strange, he loves meeting people in his travels but he seeks solitude and prefers to be alone.
Sipping incessant cups of chai with different people, sniffing and drinking freshly brewed coffee with some delicious cookies at a cafe, walking the narrow streets, smelling trees and plants while climbing the mountains, he loves it all. He lives to witness this world. Travel for him is not a choice, neither an option. It is a necessity. A need to evolve his soul and grow, a need to nurture his passion and the need to unite with the universe. He travels not just to observe or for recreation. He travels to live but not always for a living.

WE BELONG TO NATURE!

Nature does not belong to us, we belong to nature.
Have you ever wondered why people find happiness and solitude in travelling?
Humans have been nomads since ancient times, and it has been our trait from time immemorial. Our natural instinct was always to roam, stay close to nature and adapt to our surroundings. It always brought peace to that instinct and self-satisfaction to the soul. Hikes and treks have become the new means of that part of seeking ourselves.
No mineral water bottles. Drink from springs and streams, do not worry if it isn’t a renowned brand. Be a part of nature. It is okay to sweat, it is okay to get some bruises, it is alright to not bath for a few days, to try new stuff, to meet new people while travelling, to caress the dogs that lead your path. Be Kind. Let us be humble and grateful for all we are offered by the mother Earth.
The whole purpose of travel is to become a better person and establish a bond with nature which is now somehow diluted due to all the modernization surrounding us. When in the lap of nature, let us try to be as sustainable as possible.

Nirvan sah

Instagram handle:

https://www.instagram.com/theguyfromhimalaya/

ALL LIVES MATTER/BLACK LIVES MATTER

It is disheartening to hear what is happening around the world. Please think hard and know that we are all one. How much anger is creeped within us to take someone’s life? What kind of anger is this? We have no right to form a judgment on someone’s colour, race or ethnicity. All lives are important and all lives matter, but at this moment it is crucial to understand and completely empathise with the black people in the world. We take this time for solidarity with all the black people in the world. We completely apologise for what has happened.
Here are some black Olympian’s who have won medals in Winter Olympics and have made significant contributions to the world of adventure sports.


1. Akwasi Frimpong: Ghana’s second athlete to ever compete in the Winter Olympics.


2. Shani Davis: one of the most decorated long track speed skaters with four Olympic medals in his belt.


3. Sabrina Simader: first person from Kenya to compete in alpine skiing. The only athlete who represented Kenya at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.


4. Maame Biney: an American, originally from Ghana. The first black woman to make the Olympic speed skating team and only the second African American born athlete to represent the U.S. in the Winter Olympics.


5. Erin Jackson: qualified for the 2018 Winter Olympics after learning how to speed skate just four months prior. The first black woman to be on the U.S. long track team.

A big salute to all of you from and a message to all from us – WE ARE ALL ONE.

Image credits – Getty Images

MINDFUL TRAVEL

My mind continuously travels and has an unimaginable speed of peeking into my past and quickly diving into my unknown realm of future, weaving my coveted dreams only to be distracted with a sudden sound and bang, I am in present. Yet, it continues my voluntary journey.

The moment I am back in the present, I consciously start planning my next visit, as most of the times, to lesser-known undisturbed territories that are full of nature’s magnificence. After the humdrum of city life soaking into the purity with no social abiding law gives a sense of liberty. A moment to be truly me appreciating God’s gifts.

It is there I get a sense of real belonging. My senses merge with nature’s five elements in complete union. The burbling of stream, the gentle swishing of leaves, the tall and short trees, the natural light, sitting under the various shades of the sky on a rock takes me into complete bliss. The walk encountered with few people in the same spirit ignites the rejuvenating spark.

 In continuity and tirelessly, I am never bored with the flora and fauna; the wildlife, landscapes, scenery and the countryside; each location has ample to offer and teach. My yearning is the same. I come back as a humble and grounded person.

Neelam Jayneel is a life coach and a counsellor with a vast experience in hospitality, human resources, FMCG sector and writing. She loves to help people achieve their goals and to pave a way forward for humanity. she has the joy of spiritual awakening through regular meditation that has provided a sense of inner calm and looks forward to impact as many people’s life both professionally and personally.

Six Reasons why you should Travel to the Mountains

We should feel blessed that it has become easy today to access the beauty of the mountains, an overnight journey from Delhi and you are amidst the big mountains grasping the fresh cool air into your lungs and witnessing the vistas of incredible nature.

We want to highlight six reasons why you should travel to the Mountains:

  • Good for Physical Health: Travelling to the mountains and indulging in activities such as; nature walks, hiking and trekking can boost your overall health. The high altitude of mountains causes the heart and lungs to work more than the usual routine which builds up your cardiovascular strength and thus spikes up your endurance levels. Plenty of sunlight enriched with Vitamin D is essential for the body to function effectively which you receive in abundance in the mountains. Also, indulging in outdoor activities gives a true reflection of your physical well being which you sometimes don’t realize in the busy city life and this realization gives a message that taking care of your body is paramount to live a better life.
  • Good for Mental Health: According to research, spending time in wilderness and nature benefits mental well being. It detoxifies the mind by releasing feel-good chemicals in the brain known as dopamine and serotonin which are responsible for reducing stress and anxiety and ultimately creates happiness. Nature not only heals your body and mind but also purifies the soul. So, whenever you want to relax in peace amidst nature, get disconnected from the hustle-bustle of city life, keep in mind that mountains are the best places to do so.
  • Activities in mountains: From off-road biking, mountain biking, paragliding, trekking at high altitudes, climbing on rocks, river rafting, skiing on snowy slopes, mountains never score low on filling you with adventure and thrill. If you are not an adventure junkie, mountains have other exciting offers for you; camping in forests, chilling beside a river or a lake or sitting on a cliff and admiring the breathtaking view of the valley, meditating in a rock cave to taking a cold shower in a waterfall or relaxing in hot water springs, there are countless things you can do in the mountains which give a memorable experience.
  • Nature at its best: The true beauty of nature can be witnessed in the mountains which harbours a wealth of flora and fauna. Lush Green Forests, gushing rivers and waterfalls, magnificent Lakes, stunning meadows and exquisite glaciers glorify the beauty of the mountains. The dynamic weather conditions make it more dramatic; you never know when a clear sky will be enveloped by quaintly shaped clouds and after a while, the valley would be filled with rain or snow and even a rainbow. The mountains make us realize that we are very small in comparison to nature, we will eventually leave the earth, but the mountains will stay forever.
  • Bonding and Knowledge: A trip to the mountains with friends holds a special place in the journey of friendship. Mountains help us bond and know each other well and leaving behind joyful memories that stay in the heart forever. Along the way, we get a chance to meet new people and make new friends. We also receive valuable knowledge by watching the lives of mountain people and their traditions, culture, language, way of living and surviving which helps in expanding our mind and intellect.
  • Budget-Friendly: A trip to the mountains would rarely dig a hole in your pocket. Are you thinking of a holiday in the mountains but worrying about the money? Then let me inform you that taking a holiday in the mountains is quite cheap compared to a beach vacation? With plenty of options for budget hotels, hostels, home stays and budget travel companies that exist today, you can plan a mountain trip at a nominal cost. 

So after when we get our freedom back, use it wisely, use it for going to the mountains.

ROBIN RAO

3 BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MOUNTAIN LOVERS


For all the mountain lovers, just like us, there is some relief despite the grave situation we are facing. We know it is not easy to let the adventurous bug be suppressed. The trekking season usually starts in May and ends in October. A period of five months full of exploration, camping, hiking, trekking, discovering new trails, Off -roading and making new friends has gone down the drain.

But we have got you covered with three gripping books written on the Himalayas covering the entire region, if we can’t travel temporarily, we can read about the adventures and plan for later what we have missed, so check it out.

A Bond with The Mountains by Ruskin Bond

The famous mountain man Ruskin Bond wrote this book back in the ‘90s and the book was first published in 1998. Simple, innocent and childlike, the story will probably make you fall in love with the mountains like a child’s unstoppable enthusiasm. Things like wayside stations, children waving at the train and the people in it, the exotic plants in the hills, birds, leopards, deodar trees, rhododendron plants and fireflies. A must – read in times like these when we are frustrated with overthinking about the economy, career and profundity, not realizing that; it’s the simple things usually that are most profound.

The Land of Moonlit Snows & Other Real Travel Stories from The Indian Himalaya by Gaurav Punj

If you are someone who has hiked and trekked a number of times and are ready to take the next step, this book is for you. The book covers real stories of Gaurav Punj, his wife and a few of like minded friends journey to upper Himalayas – Leh, Ladakh, Spiti, Kalpa, Sangla, Jolinkong, Kugti and Sikkim. The simple life of people in the mountains, their hospitality, culture and festivals, tips and information, raw adventure, and good humour. Gaurav has written an authentic and interesting travelogue covering his adventures that will help us all adventurers, so you can’t afford to miss it.

Walking the Himalayas by Levison Wood

Levison Wood, ex British Army and now a full-time explorer, writer and photographer walked the most dangerous and rugged terrains of the Himalayas. From Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bhutan, meeting His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamshala – the Central Tibetan Administration headquarters. Meeting nomadic tribes in Afghanistan and Pakistan border and reminiscing hitchhiking times in Nepal at the time of political conflict. Most of the journey is done on foot because as Levison Wood says – travelling on foot is the only way to really explore the back country and villages hidden from the main trails and roads and there is a unique bond that unites walkers everywhere.

We hope these books bring you joy and make you dream about the mountains more often. You have a book to recommend and join The Inner Outdoors community?  Email us at theinneroutdoors@gmail.com with “TIO” in the subject line.

Jayant Jayneel

HE/SHE TRAVELS WINNER

Why do I travel? It makes me free and digs deep within. It eventually and constantly lets me know; nature is always around us no matter whatever you do and wherever you go. Travelling gives me chills and makes me feel alive. Travelling is not just about reaching a particular destination, it’s about the journey you take where you get an opportunity to feel and see new experiences.
While travelling, we take so much with us, our bodies longing for relaxation to a broken heart and so much more. We try to live every moment to overcome all our fears and sadness, and when the journey is over, we come out as better and evolved human beings.
I heard someone say ‘This world is a beautiful place, and we have very little time to see and experience it all’. So, pack up your bags and travel, but live your travels and choose to take the positives along with you.
It is all about the mindset.

Rohan Kataria

Instagram Handle

https://www.instagram.com/rohaan_kataria/

SHE TRAVELS

She is out of the bus and inhaled as much mountain air she could. She fretted the dirt from her lungs of the city’s polluted air. The chores and tea break is over and everyone is going back to board the bus, the driver started the bus and she put herself back to sleep patiently waiting for her destination. The patience is worth all the inevitable pain and trouble that the bus travelling entails; back ache, nausea and dizziness. It is inexplicable how she longs for the mountains, but if put to a very simple theory, it is as equivalent to how a young woman feels and desires to wait for the right man and her first kiss. Maybe that is how she is feeling.  To her every onset and eventuality in the journey of life is nothing, but a step further towards it. As if the whole life is a mountain and the current moment is the peak. As if all our lives are waves of thoughtless storm and the present moment is the shore. Everything that has happened and everyone and everything she becomes is one step closer towards – This Calling!
As if all the paths she has ever walked upon, were to reach the peak of this moment.