While researching a solo expedition 15 years ago i found a very well read tattered book in the travel section of the library about a young Australian woman who traversed the Himalaya.
This woman is Sorrel Wilby and her book is Across The Top
Sorrel is the first person recorded to walk the length of the Himalaya!
Her journey caught me from the first page and i rode all the highs and lows, challenges and achievements, fear, joy, sadness and euphoria of each step.
As i was planning a 4,000km solo unsupported foot expedition across Mongolia at the time i felt an immediate connection to her dreams and passion for culture, landscape and human-powered exploration.
Unfortunately, my visa was denied and the expedition is still waiting for funding but Sorrel’s story opened up my imagination by demonstrating what we are capable of if we are determined and committed to the pursuit of adventure and discovery.
While googling Sorrel for my blog i found a great interview with World Expeditions, a trekking company Sorrel has guided in the Himalaya. Imagine being guided by the first person to walk 6,500kms across the top of the world! Her experience and knowledge is vast.
“But trekking is more a matter of attitude anyway… and on that, I’m rock-solid. No training required. Like I said, I don’t overthink the risks/hardships/etc. I get over there to the Himalaya, and I feel like I’ve come home.“
Sorrel didn’t return to Australia and sit on her laurels after cross the Himalaya. She has been trekking the world and writing about it, presenting for The Great Outdoors, produced a series of documentaries for the Australian Geographic Society and started painting.
I haven’t read all her books yet but plan to. There is a lot of inspiration with the books i have read.
I haven’t reached Tibet yet but when i trekked solo through the Himalaya ranges of Kashmir, Hunder Valley, Annapurna and Darjeeling, meeting many Tibetan refugees including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, i understood Sorrel’s love of the people of the Himalaya.
“I was always pretty adventurous as a kid, but it`s something that evolved over time, (rather) than something that suddenly struck me on one day. I`ve always been attracted to the outdoors, I love being outside. I am much more at home and peaceful in surroundings that are rustic.“
“I do love inspiring people to travel… it is so incredibly rewarding. It puts all manner of things in perspective – including all the stuff we in the west take for granted.“