Trijntje Van de Wouw – „I want to do something that I really really want to do!“

Alleine reisen ist toll. Man hat die Gelegenheit noch einmal gründlich durch eine Charakterschule zu gehen und lernt sich immer wieder neu kennen.  Ich liebe es, auch mich immer wieder meinen Ängsten zu stellen. Aber für mich gibt es Grenzen. Während ich keine Probleme damit hatte, alleine mit Zug und Nachtbus durch Indien zu zuckeln, zitterten mir die Knie bei der Vorstellung alleine im Himalaya zu trekken. Einige sagten mir, ich wäre ein Schisser. Ja, die Vorstellung alleine durch die Berglandschaft zu laufen, fand ich mega, aber die Info, dass alleine trekken das Einzige ist, was man in Nepal NICHT machen sollte, bremste mich. Auch die Info, dass Menschen verschwinden und/oder in den Bergen sterben. Seit Februar fehlt jede Spur von einer Französin, die alleine los ist zum bekannten Poonhill Trek. Für mich war klar: Alleine mache ich das nicht. Durch Zufall traf ich Trijntje aus meinem 10 Tages Vipassana Meditations Kurs wieder. Mit 18 Jahren ist sie schon alleine den Annapurna Circuit gelaufen. Jetzt ist sie 19 und möchte im Sommer mit ihrem Studium beginnen: Lehrerin werden für das Fach Lebensanschauung / Levensbeschouwing. Dass sie vorher noch einmal 5 Monate alleine reist, ist perfekt, um ihre Gardinen noch weiter zu öffnen. Trijntje liebt es nicht nur viele Menschen kennenzulernen, sie steht auch total darauf, sich ihren Ängsten zu stellen am besten mit Abenteuern. Als ich sie treffe, ist sie dabei, eine Wanderung zu planen in eine der isoliertesten Gegenden Nepals, hochgelegen im Nordwesten. Mit Zelt. Ich bin beeindruckt und deswegen bekommt sie einen Platz hier. Nach dem Gespräch beschliessen wir, dass wir erstmal zusammen den berühmten Poonhill ansteuern und Trijntje dann alleine weiter zum Annapurna Basecamp wandert, dem ABC, als Warm Up für ihren abgefahrenen Wunsch-Trek.

1 Woche später nach dem Gespräch am Poonhill auf 3210 Meter Höhe. Trijntje ist der perfekte Trekkingbuddy für mich.


Traveling alone is wonderful. You have the possibility of getting to know yourself better in different situations. It is a school for facing fears and shaping your character. I love it, but I have my limits. I had no problem traveling alone by nightbus and train in India, but the idea of trekking alone in the Himalayas in Nepal made me trembling.  Some people said that I worry too much, but as I got the information, that only one thing you should not do in Nepal is Trekking Alone, I really feard it.  I mean I would love to walk alone through the mountains, but this information and the one about people that are still missing and or dead, were big warnings for me. Since February a French woman, that was very experienced with trekking is missing, she did the popular Poonhill Trek. So I came to the conclusion I will not go trekking alone. Per coincidence I met Trijntje again, she is from my Vipassana Mediation course that I did for 10 days. With 18 years she did the Annapurna Circuit alone. Now with 19 she is going to study soon. In summer she will start  to become a teacher in Levensbeschouwing, means worldview. That she is traveling the world now for 5 months is perfect to expand her horizon even more. Trinjntje loves challenging herself and overcoming fears. She is very cool with the world. When I met her in Pokhara she was planning her trek to a remote area with a tent. This time she looks for a partner. I am impressed. After the talk we decided to go together to the popular Poonhill Trek and Trinjntje will stay in the mountains alone for doing the ABC, Annapurna Basecamp as a warm up for her maybe upcoming extraordinary trek. I could not have imagined a better buddy than her.



Yvi: Who are you?

My name ist Trijntje Van de Wouw. I am living in the Netherlands. I am travelling in Nepal starting 1,5 months ago and I have like 4-5 months still to travel.

Who I am? That is always a good question.  I am a girl who likes adventure, nature, poetry, words, outdoor, meeting people and have nice conversations.

Yvi: When it comes to poetry and words, which sentence do you have in mind now? Maybe you just read something and you thought: “Oh that is great!”

Actually there is one coming in my head, because I just read it 2 days ago. It is “Your soul is the whole universe.”  (Trijntjes version from Your soul is the whole world in Siddhartha written by Hermann Hesse). I really like that one, because it is true like everything is inside of you, it is all inside the frame of the body, everything is happening there. If you are feeling good or sad, it is all inside your body.


Yvi: What is your current mood?

My current mood is not so good, because I have been thinking a lot the last 2 days and now I realize how calm and relaxed I was the days before. Now I feel very busy in my head and a little bit anxiety of what I going to do next, about the trekking I want to do.

Yvi: This upcoming project gives you a lot of worries, what is it?

Yeah it is fear. I want to do something that I really really want to do. Trekking in a remote area of Nepal.

Yvi: Why?

I always want to do something unique and to challenge myself more and more. Because if I challenge myself and I do it, I feel good. Maybe it is a little bit my ego, but I also want to go to this special area, because of the Tibetan Buddhism. But I am fearing it, because I don’t want to go alone, and I know I can just go there and meet people just as I did it with the Annapurna Circuit, but in this area named Dolpa there are not a lot of people walking, I don’t know if it is smart to go there, and it is also camping – you don’t meet people for 6 days you need to have your own food – it is a lot for someone who is not so experienced as me.

Yvi: You have already faced some fears in your young life with 19 years. When did you do the Annapurna Circuit?

I just became 18. I had to go for an internship for my study and I just wanted to do something really cool and challenging again. I went on an internship on a rafting company, an outdoor activity company, and after that I had time to travel and so I wanted to do the Annapurna Circuit, but I did not have a lot of fear for that.

Yvi: Why challenges like that?

I had a good childhood for sure, but I struggled with some things and maybe this is also something that makes me stronger, because I know what real fears are, maybe.  I had OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), I thought a lot, I was overthinking, it is a mental disease, you are obsessed with thinking with things…. When I was younger I was obsessed with counting stairs for example and if you do not count than something is happening… Then I grew over it, and it was gone. But with 14 – they say there are things that can trigger you and let it come back  – so at 14 I had it again, much worse. In my head I had to think about things obsessively, it was awful! I did not tell anyone, it was just in my head for 3 years. I did not dare to tell anyone, because I thought nobody will understand me. In that time I had lots of fears and I became stronger and stronger, because I was overwilling this mental thing. And because of that I dare to do a lot of things.

Yvi: So how was the Annapurna Circuit Trek – alone?

Amazing, I started alone. The first 3 days I was alone, there were some people on that trail, but I was, like “Oh that people are not so nice, let’s walk alone, I will meet best people later maybe”.  So first 3 days I was alone, it was ok. But after that I got fear like telling me ”You go to the 3000 meters, you need to meet someone, you can’t go alone“. And after few days I met the best people ever, we had the best journey, we walked together for 2 weeks, and we had so much fun. I like the lifestyle like waking up very early, have breakfast and then walk the whole day with great people and then you have the best conversations, because you have time, you walk and around you is the best nature and then you stop walking around 4 pm in the afternoon and then you play games and eat and go to bed early. I love that!

Yvi: Have you ever been in a risky situation where you thought  “Ok now it’s enough!”?

Yeah on the Annapurna Circuit Trek one time when I walked alone the first days. I got a little bit lost and then I asked a Nepali man “Hey where should I go?” and there was a dark tunnel in front of me and he walked me through it and he took my hand and he said like “Oh kiss, kiss” and then I was like “Shit: I have to be alert, this is not good.” Nothing happened luckily.

 Yvi: The feeling must be great to do the Annapurna Trek, overcoming fears and more and more overcoming fears.. how come that you are with 19 years also at something like Vipassana (Buddhist Meditation)? It is very strong, it is a heavy discipline, 10 days of sitting and more than 10 hours a day meditation, I mean with 19 years you travel to Berlin, you go to Berghain and to big parties and not to Pokhara in the mountains to meditate. How come?

It is strange. I just feel attracted to these things. I wanna find out what makes us humans feel good. I developed interest in Buddhism after I had travelled to Thailand and Nepal with 18, and I found out that the Buddhist philosophy is the best way to calm my mind. Because I had this overthinking and I was always looking for a solution. I found out that how the Buddhist do things like „Just don’t be attached to something, live in the present“ these kinds of things helped me. So I got to Vipassana, and I found out that this technique is really a thing for me to observe my thoughts, and let them flow away.  It is just my curiosity. I heard a lot people saying: „You are only 19 what are you doing? You are an old soul!“  It is an interest of me and I follow it!

Yvi: If you would send to your parents a postcard from here right now what would you write?

Huh, I am getting almost emotional. Oh shit. I have tears you will see it on the cards, the drops. I will say that everything is going good here. That I learn a lot, I learn every day. That I found the Vipassana Meditation Technique that it suits me perfect with my overthinking, and that I am living in the present moment a lot. That I think about them also a lot, distance and time it makes you see things clear. Now I see also –  I mean I already knew it – but I appreciate more and more how good they are to me and to everyone and I hope they are happy, that is the most important. For me everything is okay here, but I know that their lives are so different with hurry and doing things that they actually don’t want. I hope that they are happy and they should do what their heart is saying..

Yvi: Thank you so much, Be Happy!

Trijntje: Yes, you too!

Hier geht es zum Interview auf SoundCloud. Trijntje talks on SoundCloud with me about her experiences.




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