Neeraj dropped out from the Tech World to choose happiness over money forever and is now a professional trek leader !

wingedclub Trekking is not just a hobby, it's a passion- says Neeraj !
Neeraj Sharma – Trek Leader

“Mountains for me are not just a place to visit. It is my home, a place where my soul resides and no matter how far away I go, I always come back to my home.

I am from Bageshwar. Coming from the land of mountains itself, I always liked being in the hills. But I never thought that mountaineering will become my passion. Mountains have always pleased me and I never missed an opportunity to be there. Initially, I liked going on small treks for fun. But during one of my trek, my whole perspective about trekking changed. That’s when I started my beautiful journey with the mountains.

I was in 2nd year of my when I went on a trek to Kedarkantha. The trek was 20 km long and approximately 12,500ft high. It was a three-day trek. Those three days, we struggled to get proper food and clothing. That’s when I discovered the challenges of being on the hills. It was a completely new yet amazing experience for me. After completing the trek, we reached Sankri, a small village at a height of 6,500ft. There we had our first proper food in three days and that was noodles. Though the food we had was mere street food but for us, it tasted heavenly. I’d call it the best food ever and since I was having it after three days, it was all worth it.

After completing the trek, I felt amazing and realized that this is the place where I belong. I was not meant to live a comfortable life. I was meant to live a life full of challenges, in the mountains, with the mountains. Trust me not everyone can do it and it was the challenge I accepted that day.

After realizing my passion for trekking, I started my beautiful journey. I started going on more treks, some solo, some with friends. Every trek I went on taught me something new. I realized these mountains had something I could never get enough of. Every new trek was a journey towards finding myself. The more treks I went on, the more I was inseparable from the mountains.

After completing, I had two options before me, either find a job or follow my passion. The decision was very difficult because in both the choices, I had something to loose. I chose to look at it differently. I saw what I was gaining. Having a job sure could’ve provided me money but choosing my passion gave me happiness which is the most important thing. Money was just a matter of time before your hard work starts paying you off. I started with leading small groups to small local treks but I wanted something more. I applied in Nehru Institute of Mountaineering. After I got my degree, I professionally became a trek leader.

wingedclub Trekking is not just a hobby, it's a passion- says Neeraj !

So far I have been on many treks of Uttrakhand and Himanchal Pradesh. I’ve been to Rupin Pass, Dev Kayara, Har ki Dun, Pindari Glacier, Kedartal, Laka Glacier, Triund, and many more. Every trek is a new learning experience and an opportunity for me to grow even stronger. Now I am aiming to explore the unexplored Uttrakhand and experience the heavenly beauty of our state. I am sure the path I’m walking on is full of difficulties and challenges. This is the beauty of trekking. If you have the courage then a path is automatically created. It’s not you but your will power which pushes you forward in this journey.

Like I always say:
Kar Guzarne ki zid agar andar ho,
Tabhi pahad tumhe apne upar chadne ka rasta dete hai,
Bina uske kitni bhi koshish karke dekhlo,
Tumse na ho payega.”

Instagram: @_pahadi_rango

*The views expressed in the above article are of the writer and not Winged Club.