2 Important Lessons I Get From Climbing a Mountain

This photo on Semeru Mountain by Fajruddin from Unsplash

In 2019 I felt my job and life were totally suck, working in the middle of nowhere without any signal to connect into the “real” world was not what I had imagined before. Working hard and finishing my duty as soon as possible were the only things what I thought every single day.

Being a well-testing operator in the Oil and Gas Field for supporting drilling activities under the pressure were not an easy task and uncomfortable. I didn’t think that was how my life supposed to be.

I felt so desperate during that time and one of the things that entertained me was my lunchtime because I had time to take a break and disconnected for a little while from my job. At that time, I asked my friend that we needed to take the day off to go on vacation after this job done but this time it had to be different, we’re not going to the beach and stayed in a cottage, villa, or hotel. We had go to the mountain and stayed a few nights in a tent. So, we decided to go to Semeru Mountain in Indonesia.

A few days before the day came, all of my friends cancelled. But for me, I already prepared everything from my gear to psychical health so I decided to continue my own journey by myself. No experience on climbing the mountain was my biggest fear because I had no idea what I would face at that time.

If I made a decision at that time based on my logical thinking, I guaranteed it would never happen. My intuition was much bigger than my logic, and my intention was stronger than the risk of the journey itself. That vacation has become the best experience that ever happened in my life.

I’m not saying that I always take my best decision based on my intuition. Sometimes our intuition is less accurate than our logic. It’s hard to explain the decision process that we take based on our intuition. It’s the same as when you fall in love with someone and you must explain it, how and why you love her. Actually, you don’t know anything for sure but it just feels right.

I learned so many things from my journey to Semeru Mountain, but I try to summarize it in two important lessons that gave a huge impact on my life.


Never been to a mountain before it makes me wonder how does experience feel like. Do I need to continue my own journey by myself? Can I survive over there? What if something bad happens? It is naturally okay to doubt myself when I don’t have any experiences yet. My emotion and logic are against each other because I don’t know anything what will happen and it makes me curious to know what the journey will bring me in.

When the journey started, everything was going well at the beginning. But the further it went, my intensity towards the fear and anxiety started to arise when I decided to give a shot to go summit on Semeru Mountain without realizing that is the highest mountain on the island of Java. That experience scared the shit out of me because I had no purpose to reach the top of the mountain and it was out of my own itinerary.

Step by step I walked on the uncertainty route and pushed myself beyond the limit to reach the top of Semeru Mountain at the midnight with some strangers. It became the scariest thing I ever done. Even though I had confidence about my physical health but my stamina dropped so fast not because of the mountain inclination but by cold temperature and less oxygen which drained my energy.

As higher as I climb, some people gave up and came down passed me while they said “it’s too cold up there”, then it made me realize that I needed to stop this journey because it would harm me if I kept continuing. Without any experiences, it made sense if I stopped. But when I remembered how far I had gone, it motivated me to keep moving forward.

When you close to reach the top of a mountain, you would feel the temperature colder, the wind was stronger, less oxygen, and your energy was limited. The feeling of getting the experience for the first time made me think, this was the worst decision I ever made.

Never slightly to think that the journey would drain my stamina fully and made me difficult to breathe. So, I decide to took a break and sat down beside a woman who had a little tube oxygen to help her to breathe. I looked at her and wanted to ask if she was okay or not, but I didn’t because I was scared that I couldn’t help her. We were so close to the top but unfortunately, she stood up and give up because she couldn’t handle it anymore. It distracted my mind for a while to choose either I gave up or I continued. I drank some water, stood up, and take a step to move forward.

This journey getting further and further, it felt so quiet than before. I didn’t see any people or even the light of the headlamp near me. I felt lonely, just accompanied by stars and city lights. The temperature was getting colder and the wind was getting stronger, they pushed me to keep moving on than sitting and shivering. My energy and stamina were almost zero.

This time, it forced me to stop because I didn’t see any chances to reach the top and I felt my body couldn’t move any longer. I felt the cold through the wind that entered the gap of my jacket and hit my skin directly. It’s hard to think clearly about what had happened. So, I decided to step back and forget about this crazy journey.

Just only a few steps back, I stopped for a while and looked around. I was shocked by beautiful lights with so many colors. Never seen these lights before made me wondering maybe I didn’t need stamina, energy, or any other people to support me. I just needed to have some hope.

This photo was taken on the top of Semeru Mountain

That’s the moment when I started to get back and continued my journey to reach the highest roof on Java Island and finally, I did it.

This experience taught me so well into real life when I get stuck in any difficult situation and try to push myself to figure it out. But it doesn’t work and there is no way out. That is a sign to remind me that I need to step back, it doesn’t mean that I should give up but to breathe and look around. If there’s any hope that I can see and feel during that journey, I just need to believe in it and keep moving on. But if there is not, I just need to accept it, let it go, and move on into another direction.


When I put all of my effort and energy trying to summit the top of Semeru mountain, I realized there were some people who I don’t know at all to support and help me during the journey either they give me some water or give me some support.

But what I realized the most, when I climbed a little bit higher and higher, there were less people around me, and as higher as I climbed there were no people around to give me support or anything that I need.

What I’m saying is, there are some people who can facilitate, accommodate, support, and motivate you during your life to achieve what you really want. Appreciate what they have done to you because their effort is priceless and it will help you to achieve what you dream of.

But, as closer you are to your goals, there are only few people or no people at all to help you. It is not because they won’t, but their energy and effort are limited.

However, in the end, their effort towards you will seems as not significant if you don’t believe in yourself. People have some limitations to help you to achieve what you dream of and they are not always be there for you whenever you need it.

The harsh truth is that there is no one you can fully rely on to achieve what you really want because in the end it is you who will get you through your destiny where you supposed to be.

Final Thought

My journey to reach the top of the mountain is much influenced by some external factor, either the people I have just met or something that is greater than myself. Be an observer during the journey plays an important key to get me through difficult situations.

This experience teaches me something in life that I need to be more aware of the people or things surround me whether they can bring me further or closer to my goals.

I know sometimes there’s a moment when you doubt yourself and it’s totally fine. That’s why you need few people to support and trust you during the journey. But in the end, there is no one who believes in you as much as you believe yourself.

People have different journeys to achieve their ideal life and as long as they believe what they are capable of. Sooner or later they will arrive at their destination. Every person has a different timeframe. Trust the process, be aware of the step you take, don’t ignore other people’s favour, and be patient.

Our journey is not happening the way we imagine it, sometimes we get lost in the middle and there is no possibility to get helped by other people. But when we have faith in ourselves, the universe will try to figure it out and will lead us the way.



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