Noor’s Story: How I Returned to Finally Summit the Mountain
By Noor Al Tamimi ·
February 26, 2017
This post is part of the Oola Travel Adventures Series, which chronicles the adventures of Oola pioneers far and wide, in pursuit of mountains and lakes to rivers and waterfalls. Each post is a guest post from a brave Oola pioneer.
About the Oola Pioneer
NAME: Noor Al Tamini
DESTINATION: French Alps
TIMING: February 2014
PURPOSE: Taking a mountaineering course
EXPERIENCE: When she traveled to France to take a mountaineering course, Noor Al Tamini didn’t know her determination would be put to the test in summiting the mountain. Though defeated the first time through, she gathered the courage to try again.
I traveled to France from Qatar to hike the Alps. When I got there, I enrolled in a mountaineering course to learn all about using equipment, safety at the mountain, and dealing with harsh climate conditions during the adventure. This was completely new to me and the idea of doing something new arose from my feelings back then, an underlying urge for a change. I didn’t realize the extent of the benefit of this trip until I came back.
I actually dreaded the trip while I was there. Although I absolutely loved the scenery, the physical exhaustion overtook the majority of my experience with the exception of few things that made me smile. The little things made me smile: Birds, plants, views. I looked forward to breaks to unwind and relax — which was a strange, well-earned feeling of rest I never felt before.
This type of trip transformed me. I used to be impatient, but the trip made me more patient. I took life step by step. I knew I wouldn’t reach the top by skipping critical steps in climbing, nor would I in life.
Taking life step by step builds our success on a strong foundation. That’s what I learned to do: Make sure I always have plans for well-calculated progression. I also learned that the real benefit is in the journey, not the destination. Reaching the top of a mountain is great, but the journey is what really matters. I took this mountain as a challenge, and I wanted to succeed in this challenge. The best part is that the trip taught me to think creatively. Thinking quickly on my feet in dealing with challenges during the trip is a skill I took away and now practice in my day-to-day life… from the simple thought of where I place my foot next, to the courage of facing problems head-on and solving them effectively.
Life, Like Conquering a Mountain, Doesn’t Always Come Easy
The first attempt at climbing this mountain wasn’t successful. It did, however, teach me to never give up. The first time I attempted to summit, I ended up giving up and turning around. I regretted that and the unaccomplished mission haunted me. That taught me to complete what I started and do my best to reach my dreams.
My message to you is that there’s no challenge without a solution. If you want to do something in your life and you know you’ll face challenges, you should also know they can all be defeated. The solution might be now, or it might come with time. Be ready for the opportunity to come. You never know what changes may come, so dream and open yourself up for the opportunity no matter how impossible it seems. I never dreamt of going on such adventures but with turns of life events, this became my passion and I became able to enjoy it.
Practical Advice for New Adventurers
On a more practical note, if you travel with adventure or travel companies, it is important to check the company’s ratings, experience, feedback from customers from different websites. Read about the activities and what to expect. Don’t forget that your safety is most important and comes above all. Get your first aid kit, medication, vaccination, and everything you need. Do your own homework before going, and don’t rely on what you hear of others’ experiences or the information you get from the tour company’s site. It’s your life!
Lastly, ENJOY the moment. You’ll remember the good experiences fondly and laugh at the bad ones.
All photos courtesy of Noor from her travel adventures in the French Alps