There are very few moments in my life where I realized that we are on this rock hurdling through space and time

There are very few moments in my life where I realized that we are on this rock hurdling through space and time

Things Learnt While Hiking In 2023 - Part 2

Part 1

Humanity Is More Beautiful Than What You Think

There are many great things about hiking- the humongous snow-capped mountains, the amazing sunrises and sunsets, the night sky with milky-way, the huge meadows, different kinds of plants and trees you encounter, the ridge and open grassland walks, the local food and many more. But the most beautiful thing to me is the bond you develop with your fellow trekkers, trek leaders, trek guides, and the fellow locals you meet on your way, they are your family and everything to you during the trek.

And with people, you also get to learn about their culture, and different diversities, and the collective knowledge we share and learn from each other is what makes it so much more worth loving the people around you. I have had incredible luck and fortune to meet some amazing people who have inspired me and with whom I still hold a long-standing friendship even after the trek.

If People Looked Up At The Sky, They'd Live A Lot Differently - Calvin & Hobbes

Did You Know That

The last stars will die out 120 trillion years from now,followed by 10^106 years of just black holes.

Condensed, that's like the universe starting with 1 second of stars and then a billion billion billion billion billion billion billion years of just black holes.

Stars are basically the immediate after-effects of the Big Bang. A one-second sizzle of brightness before settling into eternal darkness.

We Live in that one bright second. - Tim Urban

Just Go Hug Someone :)

Below Is My First Image Of Milky Way

From my early days, I was always fascinated by the mysteries of the cosmos. I used to always look up to the sky and wonder about our place in the stars. Thinking about what is the meaning of life given that we are all going to die at some point in time. This also led to my deep interest in generally understanding how things around us work - i.e. Physics. I wanted to become an astrophysicist if not an ML Engineer. Reading the snippets of Calvin and Hobbes, The Hitchhikers-Guide To The Galaxy, and watching movies/Shows like 2001 A Space Odyssey, Interstellar, and Big Bang Theory fueled my interest in learning more about the planets, stars, and everything about the Universe. I'm still a learner :)

There are very few moments in my life where I realized that we are on this rock hurdling through space and time and most of us go with our daily lives without thinking about this fundamental reality - One of those moments was looking at Milky-way and listening to the Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot & When You see something like this it just changes your worldview for a moment and let's you fully embrace this sense that we are in this tiny planet hurdling through space. It's humbling and a character-building experience.

I'll Just keep exploring and learning more about this and you never know I might end up immersing myself completely into it.

One of my dreams is to watch a rocket taking off and punch a hole into the night sky and capture a picture of a galaxy with my telescope :) and more importantly, get back to being a student and learn Physics the right way.

Curiosity Takes You Further Than Anything

One of the reasons I'd want to live longer and travel as much as possible is because of the curiosity and the hunger to learn more. I believe the curiosity to passionately learn something new every day takes you further than anything else. Until I started trekking I never knew how the Himalayas were formed or did not even know the fact that they were the youngest mountain ranges in the world Until one of the trekkers explained the entire story behind them. I went back to being a kid at that moment and ended up spending more time learning more.

There's a difference between knowing the name of something versus actually knowing something and I think one should always aim to be the kind of person who knows the thing rather than a person who just knows how to talk about that thing and it's better to hang around with people of the same kind who knows about the thing they are talking rather than just talking. I think that's how you develop real, deep knowledge and you cannot have that mindset unless you are curious enough to learn new things, unlearn your existing beliefs, and replace them with the actual truth.

This drive to be more curious will also make your travel experience more enriching than it is.

The Relationship You Have With Your Authentic Self - The Most Important

I think we live in a world where our thoughts, actions, beliefs, and ideologies are driven by an outside world. It's how evolution has been where an individual always does things that let him/her be part of a social community and hence social survival, respect, and admiration are earned. That is why we are more social seekers than a truth-seeking species. Probably the entire thing is better explained with humor by my friend Tim Urban Taming the Mammoth: Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think

We all belong to a tribe ( Our Family and friends, Colleagues, Social Communities & these days it's more digital than actually social, religions, etc) and do underestimate how influential the tribe is on our thinking. we always make sure that we are drawn into our tribes because of the comfort and warmth that we receive and at the same time a tribe that understands our goals (Ex: Friends, Your Closest Colleague or your Spouse/Husband). But here's what my concern is even your closest tribes may reduce the ability to challenge your ideas or your existing beliefs because no one wants you to hurt and also at the same time you are self-interested and encourage ideas and narratives that promote the survival of your tribe. This sentiment was coined by Morgon Housel as well. How often do your views get challenged by the people closest to you? Do you enjoy being wrong?

"Mimicking the herd invites regression to the mean." - Charlie Munger

As Jeff Bezos said, "Being yourself is worth it, but don’t expect it to be easy or free. You’ll have to put energy into it continuously."

The fight against normalcy is the most important fight of your life. - Sahil Bloom

Aim to be as authentic as possible and listen to your inner authentic voice rather than relying on external validations, does not matter even if the tribe is your closest - Optimize it to be the one where the foundation is built on top of the objective truth.

Travel Changes The Way You Think

Imagine a scenario where you take some time off from your routine, pack your bags, and travel to someplace exotic. You observe a lot, click loads and loads of photos, do all those stunts and drama to click one amazing picture to post it on your social media handle and brag about it and you finally come back from the trip, share your memories and stuff with friends and family, cherish and live with those for few days and again come back to the same routine it was the weeks before. Traveling only for photos or traveling to earn societal status, to grab attention, or to impress someone on social media (The genuine joy of a journey is often best shared intimately with the few closest to you. While social media offers a platform for sharing memories, the essence is truly felt by those who hold a special place in your heart. It's about creating meaningful connections rather than seeking mass validation, acknowledging that certain experiences are best appreciated by a select audience.) has always been the norm with traveling in this generation.

If these are the core reasons that drive you to travel then it's almost similar to watching a feel-good movie in a theater, but a lot more expensive, because you are always looking and daydreaming about when your next trip is gonna be. Even most of the stuff that you post online with our current attention spans changing rapidly than ever, people will forget about it in a few days and get back to normal.


  • Travel to learn more and be curious - Talk to the locals, and learn about their culture and diversities.

  • Travel to unplug and re-discover yourself.

  • Travel to challenge yourself to be more courageous and adventurous.

  • Travel to seek the truth, observe a lot, and see how your beliefs and ideologies differ.

  • Travel to read more.

As much as I have enjoyed traveling in 2023, I think it can also be a double-edged sword ( my contrarian view) because if every time you are just traveling to escape your life at home instead of facing those challenges ( I have huge respect for those who face the challenges and overcome it back home than trying to find themselves ate somewhere else ), your are stuck in a never-ending loop of not improving yourself as an individual. Get comfortable with travel being an ordinary experience in your life and you’ll do it more.

True Friends

"Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art...It has no survival value;rather it is one of those things that give value to survival"- C.S Lewis

One of my biggest learnings this year how valuable our relationships are and who your true friends are. Most of them are with you through certain periods of life largely when it's convenient, fun, or when they see the friendship being a transaction. But as you grow real friends are the ones who stay with you when you have none of those things in life, when you have nothing in return to offer to them - The Ones Who Show Up In The Dark. The goal is to cherish those friendships forever.

It's better to have 1 or 2 great friends than have 100 who do not care about you, those who respect you because of who you are than what you own, and with those whom you can be your true self. I'm fortunate enough to have some amazing people in my life from whom I keep learning every day ( My Intellectual Partners ), those who do not hide anything and say things right to your face when it's wrong, the ones who cherish my wins and are happy for my success as much as their own and I think I can keep going and most importantly whose love and care that I'll never take granted for. Having someone who truly cares about you is one of the greatest gifts of life and the most valuable thing.

We Take Things For Granted Too Often

“The letter I wrote after my son was born said, “You might think you want an expensive car, a fancy watch, and a huge house. But I’m telling you, you don’t. What you want is respect and admiration from other people, and you think having expensive stuff will bring it. It almost never does—especially from the people you want to respect and admire" - Morgon Housel.

Time & The Why's Behind What We Do: Our Only Real Commodity

We don't understand or have the ability to comprehend how small our entire human timeline and history is on this planet Earth compared to the age of the universe which is 13.8 billion years old.

We understand time as seconds, minutes, hours, months, and years, but our evolutionary brains cannot grasp how old the universe is, something that we cannot fathom to imagine. Imagine compressing the entire 13.8 billion-year history of our universe into the familiar span of a single calendar year, from January 1st to December 31st. This perspective offers a striking reminder of the immense scale of time and the significance of every moment.

January 1st: The Big Bang ~ Our cosmic journey begins with the explosive birth of the universe, the Big Bang. This moment marks the dawn of time itself.

January to August: The Dance of Elements ~ In the early months, elements like hydrogen and helium emerge, setting the stage for the cosmic ballet that follows.

August 30th: Birth of the Milky Way ~ On the cusp of September, the Milky Way galaxy takes shape, a stellar masterpiece in the vast cosmic canvas.

September 2: Formation of Our Solar System ~ Just days later, our solar system comes into existence, paving the way for the birth of Earth.

September 21: The Blue Planet Forms ~ Earth itself materializes, becoming a haven for the incredible tapestry of life that will unfold in the eons to come.

November 4: The Moon's Ballet Begins ~ A celestial waltz unfolds as the Moon graces the cosmic stage, born from a dance between Earth and a cosmic companion.

Mid-December: Life's Modest Debut ~ The first simple life forms emerge, marking a modest but pivotal beginning to the story of life on Earth.

December 17: Breath of Life ~ Cyanobacteria release oxygen, transforming the atmosphere and laying the groundwork for the evolution of complex life.

December 20: Life's Complexity Unveiled ~ Multicellular life emerges, showcasing the remarkable diversity that life on Earth would come to embody.

December 25: The Reign of Dinosaurs ~ Dinosaurs rise to dominance, ruling the Earth during the Mesozoic Era with their colossal presence.

Late December 28: Cosmic Reset ~ A catastrophic event, possibly an asteroid impact, reshapes life on Earth by bringing an end to the age of dinosaurs.

December 30: Rise of Mammals ~ Mammals take center stage, filling the void left by the departed dinosaurs and diversifying across the planet.

Late December 31: Emergence of Homo sapiens ~ In the final moments of our cosmic calendar, Homo sapiens, modern humans, appear, representing a mere blink in the vastness of time.

December 31, 23:59:59: The Tapestry of Human History

All of human history right from the birth of the first homo sapien to the invention of math, physics, religions, monuments, cultures and doctrines, art, agriculture, kings, wars, science, and technology to where we are today - everything happened in the last secs of December 31st. It's something to think about, all of that entire history to happen to where we are today makes me think how valuable our own time is on this planet and how truly grateful for us to be alive. It's truly a gift and should make you think, and prioritize how you want to use your time on what you have.

Other Learnings I Have Had This Year

Think Long Term

Mood Follows Actions

~ When You Don't Feel Like Doing Something, Do It, You'll Feel A Lot Better And Thank Me Later :)

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