Monday, June 11, 2018

Why Trek? Why not Farm?

This post is again dedicated to my trekking friends…

I think I started getting into trekking because 1) I kind of like exercise and the outdoors, 2) a very selfish reason - I thought that I can get people to be interested in saving the planet if I can do guided nature tours to show them the beauty of nature. 

That was one of the reasons why I joined the Singapore Adventure’s Club Basic Adventure Course from which I got to meet many of my trekking friends. 

Subsequently, there was another reason to trek.  It was that isolation in the middle of the forest whereby no one had any cellular signal.  Everybody really sat around the fire and talk.  Now, I am afraid that will be lost too since cellular signal and mobile data can reach everywhere now.  Even that isolation needed to be paired with something else, special.  
2017 September, I had the chance to live in isolation from the rest of the world through the Lake Baikal Volunteer project.  Absolutely no cellular signal in the middle of Olkhon island, not to mention mobile data.  However, maybe there are no years of friendship behind the participants and myself, maybe due to the language barrier, that was just no feeling of that good conversation that night at Rinjani.  Now, there is another reason why we may never do those multi days trek anymore - we are getting old and now do more day treks.  Too old for overnight treks…

There is another part of my trekking habits that I cannot get as well.  I do not feel a strong need to climb the highest peak or the famous peaks - No Mount Kinabalu, No Mount Kilmanjaro, No Everest Base Camp.  Especially no to “ I conquered XXX mountain T shirts”! You simply enjoy the moments where no one talk to you and you talk to yourself inside the head, the moments where you do some little adventurous stuff with a small elements of danger such as running and down a volcano or using ropes to climb and finally, perhaps, the satisfaction of good scenery after a tough climb.   That is the reason why I hate Gunung Nuang. 

It does seem that reward of a good scenery after a tough trek is the reason why I enjoyed trekking.  Now, it seems that farming seems to be a “more productive” alternative to that.

At my recent Korean WWOOF,  I had the chance to do weeding at the farm, which was backbreaking.  

However, you could stop and take a break and see this all around:

It was awesome when you stood up straight to take a break and when the wind is blowing with all the mountains around you  - it reminded me of this scene in 霍元甲.

It seems that farming is a “productive” way to suffer and then to enjoy the good scenery.  Of course,  it has very much to do with the good weather around May, and the fact in Korea, there are plenty of mountains. 

Still,  I think I will be keen to work on a farm again.

Some other random thoughts about WWOOF experience:

  • There is a PA system like North Korea.
  • Even for organic farming folks, and Crane Research Centre, still use disposable cups.
  • Only seniors left in a farming village. 
  • So much BACKBreaking Work in a farm:
Getting down to your feet to put these protective layers so that there is no need to use weedicides.

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