Trek: It’s not the destination, it’s the journey

8th September 2017

“Where do I turn when I’m unsure where to go? A little broken from the weight of my own thoughts, I left my entire life behind for this – Raleigh Borneo. So, I quit my job, sold all my stuff, and now here I am. Floating like a butterfly – metamorphosed.

What can I offer these young people? I don’t have the answers they seek. A Volunteer Manager, a leader, with a little self doubt; I’m still growing, and unafraid to show my weaknesses and share my strengths.

And before I knew it, there it was. Trek. The most physically challenging of all the phases – a full 16 days in the jungle. I’d be lying if I said it was all easy. But as I sit and reflect, I’m flooded with memories of love, laughter, and happiness. The struggles – yes, they are present – but they seem to almost disappear, morphed into battles won, and transformed into growth.

Being out in the world has a way of putting my life into perspective. All my problems seem to fade away with the morning mist. What really matters? I struggle to find the words to explain all that trek means to me. It’s the connection. The tears shed and the smiles shared are used as stepping stones along the path of growth. Building genuine relationships and watching the transformation in the young people that I hold so dear in my heart.

Keri (middle) and the team enjoying a post-trek back massage.

I walk away from trek with an awakening sense of satisfaction and my heart overflowing with joy. Through the tears and slips, the hills and the heavy bags, the frustrations and the achievements. I made it; WE made it, as one team, together.

The whole trek team for Phase 2.

We were 17 strong; with 11 venturers who have touched my heart and taught me about life and about myself. My 3 beautiful co-leaders, the VMs who have wiped my tears and become my friends. The 3 unbelievable trek guides, who have made my time here unforgettable. A bond was created with each of them, one that can never be erased.

VMs Keri and Amy with their trek guides Fam and Ken.

Dear Borneo; I am forever grateful for your lessons and beauty. Some people may never understand the depth of my love for the jungle and my appreciation of this experience. But I like to say it’s less about the destination and more about the journey. My own journey.

A piece of my heart will forever remain in the beautiful jungle and with these beautiful people. And although I’d rather tie myself to a tree and never leave the jungle, I must say goodbye for now. Jumpa lagi, jungle, I will see you again.”

Youth In Civil Society Malaysian Borneo