Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Ladakh - First Aryans and Nomands

Smiles from Dha village
Photo by Inga Urbonaviciute

A little bit about what is left from Ladakh past. For Lithuanian version press here

In Dha village
As I mentioned in previous post, Ladakh was inhabited already on neolithic times. It is thought that first Indo-European tribes, Mons and Dards, settled exactly in this area. It is still possible to meet their descendants in Ladakh, Leh market selling vegetables or in Dha and Hanu villages. Poorly, but Dard language is still alive. It is believed that this is protolanguage of Vedic Sanskrit, which means is protolanguage of all Indo-European languages. Unfortunately, younger generation cannot talk this language anymore. Ladaki, Urdu and Hindi - these are the languages children learn in school. Dards still has distinct face features, which visually differs them from other Ladakies and proves that they didn't reach Ladakh from Tibet side. They still preserve some old traditions from ancient animistic believes. Unfortunately, mostly of Dards already practise other religions, Islam or Buddhism. Recently the monastery was built next to Dha and Hanu villages to prove Buddhism victory over animistic traditions. Well, monastery still doesn't look very active, but, I guess, it is a matter of time. Dards still decorate their heads with decorations made from dried flowers on special days and festivals and sometimes to expose their identity. Anyway, we are lucky to have possibility to witness the existence of this tribe. People of Dards are moving out from their remote villages to Leh or other bigger Indian towns and cities. They create family with local Ladakhis, Indians or even foreigners. Their language, traditions, and distinct physical features dissolve into  space of multicultural world and their ancient culture will remain in the form of entertainment for tourists.

Me with the kids from Dha village
Photo by Nomeda Baranauskiene

Girl of Dards with school uniform
Photo by Inga Urbonaviciute

Girl of Dards going from school to her village
Photo by Inga Urbonaviciute

The old Dardian lady with traditional dried flower
Photo by Inga Urbonaviciute

The other exotic lifestyle in Ladakh is nomads. Lots of them you can find in plains of Changthang. These people usually make living from nomadic pastoralism. They rear cattle, produce milk products and wool (sheep, yak). Because of severe climate of Ladakh, the shepherds have to move from one place to another. This lifestyle is also about to be changed with next generation. Indian government opened Puga valley boarding school for nomadic kids. Children, who stays in school all the time, do not take over traditions and most important knowledge form nomadic parents. Instead, they are keen to choose different, settled lifestyle in bigger village or Leh city. We shouldn't judge them everybody wants to live better. If you want to experience their lifestyle, be ready for a walk! Usually, they stay off-route.

Making butter
Photo by Inga Urbonaviciute

Goats milking
Photo by Inga Urbonaviciute

The children for Puga valley school
Photo by Inga Urbonaviciute

Thanks, India Miles, for help!

Monday, 5 December 2016

Ladakh - Where Do We Travel?

For Lithuanian version press here

Ladakh is a part of Himalayas in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India. Being in Tibetan cultural area Ladakh represents different face of India than famous Golden Triangle (Delhi, Agra, Jaipur) representing splendid Indo-Islamic history of Mughal dynasty. Last decades Ladakh is getting more and more popular among travellers. If you type word Ladakh in Google search, you find many links to "5 reasons to go to Ladakh" and similar. If you try to read scholar books about Ladakh, you find yourself lost among Tibetan names and terminology, which is very hard to memorise or even to understand. I am not going to name the reasons why to go to Ladakh or give detailed cultural and historical description. Reasons are written in the virtual space already too many times. Ladakh culture and history are too rich to put it in one blog post. So, it is just short look into Ladakh history and influences, which created nowadays Ladakh.

Ladakh attracts travellers with its beautiful sights

Archaeological excavations have proved that Ladakh was inhabited already in Neolithic era. It is thought, that Ladakh was the area, where the first know Indo-European tribes, Mons and Dards, got settled (more about them next post). They religion must have been animism. Till these days we can see some decorations of animals scull and horns on the roads. It must be the artefact left from old days. 

The decoration of animal scull and horns
reminding us old animistic times

What we see the most in Ladakh is Buddhist monasteries. Only guide with good knowledge can help you to understand the differences between and specific of each monastery as well as confusing network of Tibetan Buddhist schools.

Ladakh is also famous for its monasteries
 and Tibetan Buddhist culture
Photo by Inga Urbonaviciute

The Tibetan Buddhism, also known as Tantric Buddhism of Vijarayana school, is the main religion in Ladakh. They worship Budha as deity, who reached Nirvana. They also believe in Boddhisatvas, the Buddhas, who reached enlightenment, but decided to stay in this word to help other beings to reach Nirvana. People usually is stunned by pictures on monasteries walls, which depicts demons and other fearful beings. “I never thought, Buddhism can have such creepy iconography”- somebody told me. The pictures depicts the Buddhist stories, which usually have some sermon behind. The fearful faces of protector scare the bad spirits and keeps them stay away from monasteries.

The most common picture on walls of
Ladakh monasteries depicting
circle of life

 Dalai Lama, the spiritual head, is the other important figure in this Buddhism. You will see His Holiness photos with his enlighten smile everywhere even under animal skulls decorations. Many monasteries and holy sights have a touch of Holy Dalai Lama. What surprised me most was a parking place for helicopter next to remote Insa monastery. His Holiness Dalai Lama wanted to visit it, but his body was to weak to reach the monastery. So, immediately big H letter and circle around made from stones appeared near Insa monastery. What was left for His Holiness was to sit in small helicopter. It proves locals love and dedication to His Holiness Dalai Lama

The big H made from stones next to remote
Insa monastery is a helicopter parking for
His Holiness Dalai Lama

It is not known, when exactly Buddhism reached Ladakh. It is thought, that it happened in 1st century, when the empire of Kushan reached this area. Anyway, at that time Buddhism didn't become the main religion and didn't do big influence on local culture. From 8th century Ladakh started to get influence from Chinese and Tibetan culture, until finally Tibet culture took the top. Ladakh became a part of Tibetan empire. The era of fragmentation in Tibetan empire gave an opportunity for Ladakh to create the new Ladakh Kingdom with its own dynasty. The oldest know monasteries, still present today, are Samstaling and Alchi monasteries. They have this mystical aura being filled with mystic energy of monks' meditation already more that 1000 years.

The old prayer wheels of Alchi monastery
 built 1000 years before

The kings and rulers of new Ladakh Kingdom welcomed coming Buddhist monks and gifted them land to built monasteries. Many famous monasteries as Thiksey, Hemi, Dikshit and other started to find their place in between Himalayas mountains. But Budhism is not the only one religion of Ladakh. The Leh bazaar was and still is full of Muslim traders selling Cashmere, jewellery and carpets. In 15th-17th century Ladakh started to be attacked by Muslim communities. But fights was not the only one Islam way to Ladakh. Few famous Sufi visited Ladakh. They travelled here, meditated and shared their knowledge with locals. Ladakh folklore is full of stories about Sufi teachers, their teachings and miracles. They influenced an appearance of new kind of Islam, which, I think, was influenced by Ladakh Buddhism philosophy. Example could be Noorbraksia, the Islam practice, which is still alive in Baltisthan (now in Pakistan). Islam got its firm foundations, when one of Ladakh kings married to Muslim princess from Baltisthan. Anyway, Tibet did the strongest impact to Ladakh culture. Mughal-Ladakh war in 17th  finished with the Treaty of Tingmosgang, which settles the dispute between Tibet and Ladakh and restricted Ladakh's independence.

The mosque in Leh bazaar

I was surprised to find out, that for a short time Ladakh also was a part of Sikh empire (the empire founded in 19th century by Sikh religious group). Now Ladakh is also holy pilgrimage place for Sikhs community. The holy Pathar Sahib Gurudwara is near Leh. It witness the superpower of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak. At that times one demon was running amok around Leh. Guru Nanaksar disturbed his bad deeds by meditation. Guru Nanak was meditating on the top on the hill behind big rock. The demon saw meditating teacher and decided to kill him by rolling him down from the hill with  the rock. He pushed the rock with his big feet and rock rolled down with the guru Nanak. On the ground rock pressed the teacher, but he came out of it without any harm. Guru Nanak body was heated by austere practice, so the rock, instead of pressing him, got melted. You will see the rock with shape of guru Nanak and footprint of Demon in the Pathar Sahib grurudwara.

The holy stone with the shape of Guru Nanak
 in Pathar Sahib gurudwara

On British Raj times Ladakh was princely state ruled by local king, who paid taxes to British government. When India got its independence in 1947, Ladakh became a part of Jammu and Kashmere state. China closed Tibet border in 1960 and some restless times came into Ladakh area. It lost its importance as trade market and was closed from outer word till 1947. In 1947 India government opened Ladakh for tourism. Now it is becoming one of the most popular destinations. Ladakh culture is being influenced by tourism and global culture. Some people are afraid that tourism will spoil local culture and will effect Ladakies honest character in negative way. But why, instead of complaining about changing honest ladakies character, we do not bring their sincerity with us to home? From the other hand, Ladakh is improving its infrastructures and cities. Locals have better access to education, healthcare and food products than before. Is it good or is it bad is the matter of discussions. The fact is that Ladakh is changing and is affected by global culture. I believe that global culture will effect the culture of Ladakh, but I don't think it will destroy it. Students of international marketing know very well, that if you are introducing any global product into new area, it is a must to adopt the product to local culture and needs. A good example is veg burgers in McDonalds, which reached the market when McDonalds decided to open their restaurants in India. The cultural changes are natural process. Only dead cultures do not change.

The best memories from Ladakh
Photo by Inder Thakur

Thanks for India Miles for opportunity to know this land better!

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Inspire Childhood: Visit to Bal Ashram

For Lithuanian version press here.

Children started to run as they would be running towards ice-cream van. I turned my head towards the direction they were running. I knew that 7:00 a.m. he should come. “He will come with the sun” - I was told the day before. Children were touching his feet (indian way to greet respectful person, guru or elder family member). He was giving blessings touching their foreheads. “Ruta, come – Eirliani told me and took me to meet him. I was confused for awhile: how should I greet him? Should I touch his feet, too? But that would be so unnatural...  While I was trying to take a decision, Eirliani introduced me to him. He reached my hand to shake it in western way. I shacked his hand and bowed my head as Japanese people do. Seriously? Nothing came out of my thinking how to greet a person of great deeds.

Kailash Satyarthi, founder of Bachpan Bachao Andolan
 and Peace Nobel Prize laureate
Photo by Bachpan Bachao Andolan

Kailash Satyarthi founded Bachpan Bachao Andolan (eng. Save the Childhood Movement), the movement against child labour. It has been working and fighting against child labour, traffic and poverty since 1980. Bachpan Bachao Andolan organises raids to rescue children. Children are taken out from the factories or other places where they are forced to work (child labour) and taken to save place, where they get opportunity to get back their childhoodBachpan Bachao Andolan aims, as it is written in website, "to identify, liberate, rehabilitate and educate children in servitude through direct intervention, child and community participation, coalition building, consumer action, promoting ethical trade practices and mass mobilisation" (for more press here). Children usually work in dreadful conditions. They work long hours physically challenging work, which is not suitable for small kids. The only one joy for them (if you can call it like that) is ration - one small bowl of rice. The scars on some children faces witness that they had experience violence, too. People, working with Kailash Satyarthi, search for miserable children parents going though long legal issues. Unfortunately,  parents are not so easy to find. Some children are too young to remember from which village they are. The worse is that some parents, when they get their children back, resell them again for 1000 – 5000 INR (13,5 – 67,5 EU as per rate on 19th October, 2016). While all process is going on, children stay in Mukti Ashram, Delhi. Later, if parents are not found, they are shifted to Bal Ashram, a nice oasis surrounded by Alvari hills in Rajasthan. This was the place, where my friend Eriliani invited me to spend a weekend.

Child labour
Photo by Bachpan Bachao Andolan

Eirliani and their colleagues went to Bal Ashram to record children stories, which are needed for Bachpan Bachao Andolan campaigns. On the way to Bal Ashram I was a little bit worried. I volunteered in orphanage in Lithuania (Students organisation – Ne imti, bet duoti (eng. Not to take, but to give)). I had experienced character of children insulted and left by their own parents. Children are difficult to communicate with. They are silent, denying, refusing and sometimes aggressive. But once I took off in Bal Ashram, I felt that atmosphere were different there. We were accommodated in dormitory same as children live in. The schedule of the day (Summer) was hanging on the wall. It starts on 06:00 a.m. with yoga class. “I looked at my phone screen, which showed 11:56 pm. “So early – I felt a little bit unhappy to wake up so early. “Yes – somebody told me from my back in the same sad voice. “Well, but we should take part in yoga class with kids” – we decided in the end.

Children doing yoga in Bal Ashram
Picture by Bachpan Bachao Andolan

I was surprised how disciplined are the kids. I was late in the morning for yoga class. I was running to do yoga still trying to open my eyes wide. Children dressed in uniforms were following the guru's instructions. I was surprised by children's soft character. They were obedient, polite and good behaved. They greeted me: “Good morning, Didu” (hind. Didi- elder sister, Didu – its diminutive) or “Good morning, Hindi" (They couldn't memorise my name, so they decided to call me Hindi, while I know this language and talked with them in Hindi). I was touched by their smiles and happy faces, which you cannot see among the people, who have comfortable life. I was touched by their opened-hearts and their love to each other. I never saw anybody taking care of each other as these children did. During my stay, I didn't see or hear any fight or conflict among boys, which is quite usual at this age. I was touched by their pain and they effort to live further without anger in their minds.

Kailash Satyarthi with children in Bal Ashram
Photo by Bachpan Bachao Andolan 

One child was asked: "What do you like the most in Ashram?". He replied: “Guru Ji”. “Why?”. “He have more love for us than our own parents had”. Guru came to stand next to with modest smile. The guru Ji, child was talking about, was rescued by this organisation, when he was a child. When he grew up, he decided to stay in Bal Ashram and help kids to grow up. He is not the only one. I noticed other young man running around ashram in T-Shirts with note “Best – Buddies”. He was helping kids and us. I asked: “Who is the guy?”. When he was 10 years old, he was rescued by Kailsh Satyarthi organisation and grew up in Bal ashram. Now he is a student of engineering, but he spends all his holidays volunteering in Bal Ashram.

Children doing yoga with guru,
Photo by Bachpan Bachao Andolan

For all his work, Kailash Satyarth was nominated by Peace Nobel Prize in 2014. My visit to Bal Ashram was really inspiring. The values are handed generation to generation. Hopefully, I have taken enough inspiration during this two days in Bal Ashram.

Me and Kailsah Satyarthi
Photo by Chandrima

The Lithuanian Footprints in the South Pole

For Lithuanian version press here.

Lithuania is a tiny country with small population. Anyway, you will find them everywhere on this planet.  I have tried to trace the footprints of Lithuanians in Antarctica and it was surprising to me.

Lithuanians are proud of the mount Kosciuszko in Australia, which is named under one of our heroes Tadeausz Kosciuszko (The famous Poland-Lithuanian warrior of 18th century). But very few Lithuanians would even know that one coast in Antarctica is named under Lithuanian, too. Have you heard anything about Bakutis? Bakutis left not only his footprint in the snow of Antarctica, but wrote his name on its map. Bakutis coast is in Merry Berd land now. Anyway, he was not the one, who first brought Lithuanian flag to the South Pole. Is there any Lithuanian, who did it? Yes, and it was surprise to me. I knew him before. He is famous businessman and one of the richest Lithuanians – Arvydas Avulis. He flew towards the South Pole, but last 111 kms he had to walk to bring Lithuanian flag to the South Pole. Now we have more enthusiasts from Lithuania, who are training, dreaming and making plans for expeditions in cold Antarctica. 


<...> my father always thought us – you always have to find things you like to do, it doesn't meter, where you are“ - the son of cardinal Fred E. Bakutis

Cardinal Fred E. Bakutis
Photo from 
Thanks for my professor of Indian history, Diana Mickevičienė, for sharing the information about Bakutis. I would never have thought to check if there is any geographical object in Antarctica named under Lithuanian surname. Fred E. Bakutis was American of Lithuanian roots. His mother was from Poland and father Frank was born in Lithuania. Bakutis did his M. A. in U. S. Naval Academy. Later, he studied in Naval War College (U. S. institution doing researches on naval war strategies). Bakutis proved himself in one of the biggest sea battles of 20th century in Pacific Ocean. His survival story was travelling mouth to mouth for a long time. His plane was shoot, but he managed to land safely on the water. He got ready his lifeboat, while the plane was sinking. Bakutis spent seven days in this boat until he was rescued by U. S. aircraft carrier “Hardhead” team. Bakutis, also, was part of the famous “Apollo”missions. 

But how does his name relate with Antarctica? In 1960 Bakutis was assigned to Operation "Deep Freeze" in late 1960's. He next took command of the U. S. Naval Support Forces in the Arctic and Antarctic. He, also, was responsible for foundation and development of USA meteorological stations in the South Pole. The last time Bakutis visited the South Pole was 1966, when he dropped the post and food for the scholars staying in American stations. The coast in memory of cardinal Bakutis was named by the Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names. This coast now is a part of Merry Berd land.

After his retirement till his death in 2009, Bakutis lived in Hawaii, Oahu land. He initiated navy base closure in Oahu island. Since than fishermen and surfers are enjoying the sea. By the way, Bakutis also was passionate surfer till his 80's.

From: Aviacijos Pasaulis, Nr. 2 (217), 2013.


Imagine, that you are travelling on a big white table, where is no landmark – there's nothing at all, only snow and sky. You would get upset with thoughts, that you are heading on wrong direction! And just let these thought inside your head, that you are on the wrong way... (A. Avulis, cit. from

Arvydas Avulis is well know businessman in Lithuania. Anyway, very few people know, that he is first Lithuanian, who reached the South Pole.

It was not a regular trip, when you buy and ticket and fly. It took 5 years for A. Avulis to get ready for this trip. At that time A. Avulis couldn't find any other Lithuanian, who wanted to travel with him. So, he decided to join Russian travellers. Unfortunately, once they reached Antarctica, The Union Glacier Camp, the weather was bad and traveller was stuck in library. But one happy day pilot agreed to fly. On 8th of December in 2010, Avulis landed in the South Pole. They had to walk 111 kms to reach the middle of the South Pole. The first impression of Arvydas Avulis was strong wind, lack of oxygen (The South Pole is on 3000 meters altitude) and loneliness. “When we took off the plane, wind was stronger than in base camp. No mountains, no shelter from the wind. It was only three of us in vast expanse. Where-ever you look, it was only horizon, white everywhere. I felt loneliness, because there was no chance to meet other people” (cit. from Lietuvos Rytas) On 14th of December in 2010, 99 years after Norwegian Roald Amundsen reached the South Pole, A. Avulis brought Lithuanian tricolour flag there.

After Avulis came back from Antarctica, everyday life became easier – commented A. Avulis to journalist from newspaper Lietuvos Rytas. The businessman feels stronger even in taking decisions in his work. He doesn't have the slightest doubt, that emotions and experience of the journey, which required lots of physical and financial resources, will last forever. (from Lietuvos Rytas )

Why did he go to South Pole? I think, it was his adventurous travellers soul, his resolve and curiosity, which took him to challenge himself. In interview with traveller told, that this trip was the other step towards biggest aim of his life – to know better yourself.

More about A. Avulis adventure read here and here.    


"Travel is not only for you, not only to satisfy your ambitions. For me the most important is to convey the feelings and experience to others. Maybe my conquered challenges will inspire others to try something new, not necessarily something extreme. It might be changes in personal or professional life" – A. Kuras (from 15 min.

Lithuanians crossing Baltic sea
Photo from Poliarines ekspedicijos
After doing a research on those, who visited the South Pole, I decided to take a look, who is going to. The first link I found on internet was Facebook page „Poliarinės ekpedicijos“ (eng. Polar expeditions). The page was full of white pictures with snow, ice, and sky. Let me introduce the company of friends, who travel in extreme conditions without any support. For travelling they chose not comfortable sunny destinations with luxury hotels next to sea, but cold weather, snow, ice, skies, sledges and tents. They did first polar trip to the Kola Peninsula with Vilnius University hikers club. Trip was organised by Rolandas Jakstys. Two of their amassing trips, crossing the Baltic Sea and crossing the biggest island Greenland, were published in Lithuanian newspaper. Crossing Baltic sea is historical for Lithuanian travellers, while they were the first Lithuanians, who did that. The third big trip is in their plans and it is Antarctica. When I asked him, when do they plan to go, he relied: "The man plans and gods laugh". Everything is ready, they have team, equipment and experience. The only think they don't have is money. Well, at the moment, they are going to Greenland this March. All the best for your journey!

The idea, which touched me the most from the reading about their journeys, was A. Kuras philosophy and attitudes towards extreme conditions. It is important to learn to live with extreme conditions, instead of fighting and trying to conquer it. You cannot change cold or strong wind. „These hard moments do not cause any stress at all. You just need to have a sense. One British expedition of two person, who travelled with better equipment than we did, finished their journey without any luck – their finger of palms and feet had been frozen, without finishing their expedition they were evacuated with helicopter. Later they wrote, they had tried to fight the cold. Exactly, you cannot fight, because this is unchangeable". - shared his experience A. Kuras with journalists from 15 min (cit. iš 15 min)

I asked Kuras if he had to sacrifice some opportunities, because of his polar expeditions. He agreed that he had to reject some offers, studies and some really good opportunities. But he never regrets. Those, who really wants, will find the way.

Picture from Poliarines ekpedicijos
Why do these travellers choose this type of travelling? In conference with 15 min, A. Kuras told, that he gets rest from civilisation, people and work, he leaves the word behind and 100 % he is with himself. „This is like meditation, when you meet yourself. After such trip, you come back fresh, with no debts and resigned with current situation. Your soul and body synchronise together“ - after trip to Greenland told A. Kuras to 15min (cit. from 15 min) As well, as the mentioned above, Kuras wants to encourage others to do changes in their lives.

How and why: #inspireourdream

Press here for Lithuanian version.

It might be the most boring topic, which I could have chosen for the first post, but How and Why must be written about.

It was one of these gloomy December days. I was sitting at home in Klaipeda, Lithuania, when Lin's call woke me up. I cannot remember, did she call from Singapore or Delhi, anyway, she asked me “What do you think, shall we do the North Pole?” ”Why not?” I replied without thinking. It must have been one of these days, when I was bored of everything.  

Eirliani received the BMW Foundation Responsible Leader
Award in 2015
I met Eirliani Abdul Rehman (Lin's full name) in  Delhi Rock, indoors climbing gym in Delhi. She  didn't take much time to find connections with  me. We became climbing partners and friends.  At that time, she was working at Singapore High Commission in New Delhi, India. But soon she  finished her carrier as a diplomat and started to  work with Noble Peace Prize laureate Kailash Satyarthi.  She joined Bachpan Bachao Andolan (eng. Save the Childhood Movement) and started to work with abused children. Eirliani, also, is a founder of YAKIN (Youth Adult Survivors & Kin in Need), a non-for-profit working with children from abused or disadvantaged background. They also work with adults survivors. These reasons compelled  Eirliani to make a big journey, which became Antarctica. About her reasons read more here and here.

Eirliani was very enthusiastic about our idea and started to act immediately. In one week, she made a schedule for our training, found the people, who can train us, found the guides, made a list of the equipment we need. But life would be easy, if everything would be simple as puzzle for 3 year old kids. We had to rethink each and every aspect of our journey. We even changed the destination; instead of crossing the North Pole, we decided to do the South Pole. I realised that I couldn't handle the mental challenge of sleeping at the North Pole and being afraid of polar bear eating me. I know, South Pole is not an easy task either. I have to stay in freezing weather for one or two months, drag the sledges of 60 kg in the middle of nowhere. It is not only a physical challenge. It's mental as well. The cold will make the body tired and lazy. It hits your will, which can be crucial under these extreme conditions. Loneliness makes you think, analyse your self, face your demons inside and deal with the wicked thoughts caused by harsh conditions. I am lucky, that South Pole is the land of vegetarians, as I mentioned before, and there's no chance, to become a fresh snack for polar bears. All this is still in the future and we do have time to explore more and get ready for this.

Now we have to deal with other challenges: money and time.

Funds is the first step to make this expedition happen. While we are not „<..> famous professional athletes“ – as one famous company supporting extreme sports wrote me in an e-mail – our internal companies policy are not allowing us to fund you <...>“. Being unknown makes it harder to get sponsors and is taking longer than we had expected. Anyway, thanks for those, who supports us: Delhi Rock, BMW foundation and others.

Exercising in Lodi Park, New Delhi
The injured hand won't stop me from
running or high steps.
Photo by Agne Majauskaite
Time. The physical challenge is not the biggest.  I am hard-working,  used to an active life style and I have a healthy body. I can train hard.  The challenge is to find time for full-power training in our everyday  routine.  “I have to run 3 hours tomorrow”” - I was discussing my  training scheduled with my friend. “How much?” “Three hours”  “What nonsense – he snorted  – there are 24 hours in a day and 3 of them you dedicate to running. It is just a waste of time!” Well, what  can I do? And running is nothing. What about training for surviving  under extreme conditions? Building snow walls, so that strong wind won't grab your bag? It is not possible to train for this in the middle of  the parks in Delhi or any other city. It is hard to compromise between training and the casual routine. I had to give up some hobbies, work. I  have had to reduce my climbing training, which I love. But life doesn't stop, just because I want to cross the Antarctica.

We face different reactions. Some people are encouraging, others are  asking us to cancel it. They are doubting if we can do it. I know we  can, once we get a chance. Anyway, I am happy we decided to do it.  My answer „Why not?“ encouraged me to move further, to rethink,  what I want and what I am searching for. It made me to start new  things, this blog as well. Thank you, Eirliani, who gave an idea to  open the blog about our expeditions, its reasons and training. I decided to open this blog for more topics: for the stories, people and their works, which inspired me. This blog will always find the place for the stories, which needs to be inspired. Some place will be left for my fiction essays, which hopefully make you to rethink the values or our daily things, we see, but ignore.

Me on he way to Kanphri Tibba, Himchal
Pradesh, India
Photo by Karthikeyan Gopinathan

More about us and expedition:

Interview in Outdoors journal:

Eriliani on Trund trek
Photo by Akash Vora

Lin's blogs: