Recently I went on a short holiday with Gerard and Darshen to Langkawi, Malaysia. It was pretty much an unplanned trip with them, I happened to chanced upon some really cheap air tickets at the end of last year/start of this year and I extended my invite to them. We also managed to find some really cheap accommodation, entire room for 10SGD per night, I think that is pretty reasonable? haha.
We hopped on a plane on 7th Feb and flew to Langkawi, a place where we have never ever been in our life. Here is a map of Langkawi, just in case you are wondering which part of the world it is at. Less than a 2 hours flight away from Singapore.
While we were there, there were many touristy things we could have done and we did some of them. Such as Parasailing, taking one of the world’s steepest cable car and also eating some of the really cheap local food. BUT something really caught my eye and that were the mountains. I decided to google about it and tada, I realised that it is possible to climb one of the mountains! Thankfully Gerard and Darshen were really sporty and we decided to trek up the second highest mountain with me on our third day there.
There were not much information provided on the exact trail up the mountain, as many of the website suggested that we hired a local guide. (I done a quick research and it will costs ue 300RM for a guide :/) However as we were on a budget holiday trip, haha, we decided to be adventurous and explore our way up! Based on some of the blogs we read and referencing from trip advisor photos, we began trekking up the mountain. There were 3 things I learnt from this that I will like to share!
First, it was PREPARATION! This is so so important! I read so many of the blogs and articles on the mountain but one thing I failed to do. That was to prepare us for the climb! Being the
adventurous, reckless me, I chose to focus on reading about the route for the climb and totally ignored the part where many of the articles were saying, “make sure you bring lots of water” or “please do not attempt if you are not a regular hiker”.
Guess what, Gerard and I brought only a 500 ml water bottle each for a 6/7 hours hike. The best part is that Darshen did not even bring along any bottle, so it was 1 litre of water for the 3 of us for 6 – 7 hours. haha. We did not eat breakfast either and bought no food along with us. Ok, Darshen did brought along a bottle of Pringles, that was rather live-saving actually. haha.
With such ill preparation, it made the climb unpleasant and dreadful. We had to battle the steep slopes along with thirst and hunger. Making the journey less pleasant than it should have been. We could have had a picnic on the summit, what were we thinking!!
Secondly, PERSISTENCE! When we were trekking up the mountains, there were many times we could have abandoned our climb and turned back. There were times where certain thoughts crossed my mind, maybe I should just turn back and enjoy my holiday. Go for a swim at the pool, chill by the beach, read a book or even go for a really nice meal. However when these thoughts crossed my mind, I looked forward and pressed on instead. I had an end goal in mind, which is to stand on the top of the mountain and enjoy the cool breeze and view. Trust me, during the climb, there were no assurances that we were going to get any view, we didn’t know what to expect as we were surrounded by trees, dirt, rocks and very steep slopes. It wasn’t until 2.5hours into our climb that we began to see something more than just trees.
As I reflected back on the climb, I realized that if I can put my mind into climbing a mountain and persist on and not give up halfway through. This is the same way we can conquer the obstacles, difficult situations or negative thoughts to our end goal. To press on and finish the race well. The reward in our journey with God is far more rewarding than the view on a tall mountain.
Philippians 3:13-15 NKJV
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.
Lastly as we were finishing the climb and descending, I have learnt PERSEVERANCE! To be very honest, while the view was really good at the top of the mountain, it didn’t felt good. Gerard, Darshen and I were really thirsty and hungry; by the time we got up the mountain, 4 hours had already passed. We didn’t stay very long at the summit and stayed only for about 30 minutes, again we could have picnic there :(. Descending wasn’t as easy as it sounds, the same way we went up was the same way we had to go down. There were many steep slopes and many of them were very slippery. We did not have the right shoes and that made it even harder.
As we were descending, my body felt the fatigue due to the thirst and hunger and my legs started shaking very badly. Countless times, I wished I had not gotten myself into that situation but I learned to persevere. Who was I going to complain to and what else can I do but to complete this journey I have started and embarked on. To press on and know that the end was nearer with every step I was taking.
In life, there are times where we make certain bad decisions or get ourselves into undesirable situations and these are the times where we cannot give up on life. There are times where life gets tough, and the journey to our goal becomes ‘questionable.’ Do we persevere or do we give up?’
Throughout my growing up years in church, there were many times I find myself in that position and I’m glad I made all the right decision to persevere and give God my best. My Pastors and leaders had shown me how they overcome their obstacles, difficult times and stayed on their course and walk with God. This is the same spirit I want to have when I faced my difficult times again.
After a grueling 6-7 hours of trekking, we finally ended our mission! We were so thankful that there is a waterfall at the foot of the mountain and we had a great time soaking ourselves in the cool and refreshing water.
On hindsight, the hike might not been the most pleasurable thing I have done during my trip but it is probably the most memorable and insightful activity. I had many opportunities to pray on the mountain, not to boast but because I was rather quick on my feet, I had many pockets of waiting time and I took those times to pray. haha. But with all seriousness, I mumbled many prayers during my weakest moments and prayed for God’s strength to endure and finish the hike. I believe we could have fainted, suffer from dehydration or heat stroke for having no water but God really protected us.
I look forward to climbing my next mountain! Hopefully Lion’s Head in South Africa! hahaha. Hope you enjoyed this post! I made a short video as well, watch it if you have the time 🙂