Talking with Sohin About his Himalayan Charity Trek
Fresh from his incredible journey through the Himalayan mountains, Sohin sits down with us to tell his amazing story.
How did you prepare for your 42 mile Himalayan Hike? Any Intense Training Regimes?
I did a lot of walking; I think I did three or four walks of 15-20 km a day over several weekends, with the help of a couple of friends. And plenty of gym work over the past few weeks as well. I think I managed about 40 km by myself over Easter weekend, but it’s quite demoralising doing it by yourself. Which is why I took Chelsey (Redsquid HR manager and Sohin & Vince’s PA) and Andrew (Redsquid Head of Accounts) with me whenever I could.
Other than that, the itinerary was probably the hardest thing, if it wasn’t for the support of people like Chelsey, I don’t think I would’ve been able to have done any of this.
What was it like sleeping rough in the mountains? Did you take to outdoor living well?
It was great fun! It felt mentally really good, we saw some sites that I’m probably never going to see in my life again. You can get a lot of mood-swings; one minute you’ll wake up ecstatic and ready to face anything, and the next you’ll be utterly exhausted. But the camping experience was truly amazing; the food was great and the people were lovely.
I’d wake up to some amazing scenes, and it was really the quietest place I’ve ever been to.
What were the views like? How amazing was it to experience the Himalayas up close?
It was incredible! You could see snow right there in front of you, but it’d be 25 degrees. And the fall-down was pretty intimidating; it must have been around a 20-30,000 feet drop below. The entire landscape was just surreal. It was all very tranquil, even when you weren’t walking, you just had time to think.
Obviously, you were joined by others on the hike, what were you like as a team?
I was very lucky, because I was put into a great team. My roommate was fantastic, and I think I’ll certainly be seeing people to catch up over the next few months. But it was quite fascinating how doing the hike together just made you bond with everyone, because you’re just put into the position of being isolated with these people.
Were there any particularly tough moments? Any times you had to remind yourself why you were doing it?
When you enter Dehli and you see how much poverty there is, it really does get to you. Going from seeing kids laying in the street, it’s quite a shock to the system. Once you get the Himalayas, you’ve already experienced quite a lot, so the prospect of having to hike 42 miles is quite a daunting one.
I mean the first day was probably the hardest, I wasn’t entirely prepared for the intensity of the hiking. There was a storm the night before I arrived, so at points I was actually slipping around the top of a 20,000 feet drop, which was obviously quite scary.
But after I just mentally applied myself, it was all fine. It was all a bit of a shock, but by staying positive and being determined, I made it through.
Any stand-out moments? Great achievements or amazing experiences?
So many moments; from the massive culture shock of arriving in Dehli, to the surreal experience of just walking down the street to fetch something, and having several dogs, a horse, and a cow, just walking alongside you like it’s entirely normal.
But when we finally reached the highest point in our journey, the views were spectacular; it was like you could see the whole world. And the people who actually live there are incredible: lowest cancer rates in the world, you know? They just seemed very content.
Would you ever do something like this again?
Oh definitely! I’ve actually already got plans about doing something exciting next year.
Would you recommend this particular trip to anyone else? And if you could have done something differently, what would you do?
Absolutely yes! But you’ve just got to be mentally prepared; as much as the shock was exciting, it’s probably better to know what you’re going to be up against. There was so much going on during the organisation and the sponsorship stage, that I never had the chance to just let it sink in.
I feel like a better person for doing it though, possibly the best I’ve felt in four or five years. I’ve just been waking up at half five every morning buzzing!
But if I’d advise anyone wanting to do something like this, I’d also emphasize how much work needs to go into acquiring sponsorship; it really is a matter of organisation and getting your message across.
Are you happy with how much money you’ve raised? (Over £3500)
Well, the JustGiving page doesn’t close until the end of this month, so there’s still time to add to that total. But obviously three and a half grand is a lot of money, so it’s nothing to gripe about.
As long as that money goes towards something great, as long as it helps someone, it’s money well spent.
Will you be following where your funds are going to be spent? Obviously, all proceeds will be going to the YMCA Watford Orbital Community Centre. But did you have any exact idea as to where it’ll be going?
YMCA obviously know where best to spend the money, but they will be updating me on how that money is being spent. I’m actually planning to see their representatives from the orbital centre in the next few weeks, and we’ll be meeting with the youth from the centre in the summer for a special Apprentice themed workshop day, so plenty of opportunity to stay informed.
Once again, a big well done to Sohin from the entire Redsquid team. You can donate still to his JustGiving page now, which will be open until May 31st.