I love to go exploring without planning ahead. Exploration to me is not limited to discovering the geographical nature of a place and the creatures living in it. Through interacting with my surroundings and responding to the new adventures imposed by the events of the trip, I also explore myself.
Despite the long time we spend with ourselves, there remains hidden parts of our personality that we least understand. That's why sometimes we feel surprised by our reactions, interpretations, and view on some matters.
My first trip to Oman was with a group of young expats coming from different parts of the world. We went to the ponds of Wadi Dum to swim amid the high rocks. We were so happy that one of us pushed decided to climb the high rocks and jump into the water. Soon he was followed by another and yet another. And I loved to try with them.
The distance was not very high, though I felt very anxious and tense. I was hesitant to jump. I tried once, twice, thrice until I gathered some courage and jumped.
The same situation recurred on another trip, years later, to the same valley. And a third time, to another valley named "Wadi Shab".
All of my friends jumped , but I couldn't! I went to a lower place and I tried to encourage myself to jump. My fear surprised. The distance was not that far! I did it after some trials.
One of my friends explained to me that I have a problem with depths; if I'm not sure lies behind I feel hesitant and confused.
On a fourth trip to climb Jabal Shams, I walked behind the my friends. I was third or fourth and after me came four ladies, two Americans and two Omanis. We reached the climbing stage using secured equipment, which protects against falling. If I slipped , I would not fall to the bottom but I might slam some rock protrusion.. Everything seemed safe.
Yet I was overwhelmed by this confusion again. My hands got too sweaty that I could not hold the rope. I asked a couple of experienced friends to come down and help me. They gave me gloves and urged me to finish my ascend. And one of them approached to make me feel safer. I regained my confidence and started climbing again. When I arrived to the peak, one of my friends chuckled, "You were just worried you would fail the girls behind you."
I never experienced those sensations or knew they existed in me before. For over 43 years I always thought I feared nothing. They were exposed and resolved by experience, by the journeys and by cooperating with friends. Now I'm training hard to climb a higher mountain .. fearless.