Last month, I and my husband, Saurabh Jain along with few friends climbed Mt. Kota Kinabalu, one of the highest mountain peak in South-East Asia with an altitude of 4095m.
My name is Reenu Lodha and I am originally from Udaipur, Rajasthan. My parents Dr. Gajendra Lodha and Dr. Snehlata Lodha reside in Ashok Nagar. I moved to the US in 2010 for higher education, started my digital marketing career in Silicon Valley, worked in the US and then moved last year to Brunei after six years.
During our years in the US, though we were doing great professionally, we weren’t spending enough time to do things that we really enjoyed. It was after coming to Brunei that we decided to change that. Brunei has very clean air and offers myriad outdoor activities. As expats, we decided that now we were going to enjoy our present to the fullest. We started maintaining an active lifestyle. We did gardening and today have more than 200 plants in our garden. Saurabh started playing squash. I revived my love for swimming and yoga. Now I am able to swim 1.6 miles at a stretch. That’s a huge leap given I could barely swim one length of the swimming pool a year ago. We started trekking hills every other weekend and after six months we decided to climb KK.
The climb was a test of endurance and persistence…We had heard about the sudden weather changes on the mountain…it can rain anytime and can get really cold and slippery. During last three kms of the climb, the winds became stronger and colder. This resulted in swollen faces and red noses for a few. Taking out hands to take a photo seemed like a bad idea.
Our climb was a great experience many can have, but unfortunately, won’t. Because most of the Indians (like our past selves ;)) are stuck in the age-old mentality of making money first and enjoying life later. But the truth is that when we grow old, we may not be physically or mentally well-equipped to enjoy small things in life.
I’m sharing this story with you because while growing up in Udaipur as a kid, I did not hear about many inspiring Udaipurites who had followed their passions along with their day jobs. Fortunately, times are changing. The young couples need to know that they don’t have to kill their dreams for their 9-5 jobs. If planned well, they can enjoy both. Simultaneously.
Sharing my story with you is my way of giving back to the community I come from.
I’m sharing my story with you because I’d like to inspire Udaipurites.. especially, little girls, young career-oriented couples and middle-aged people in their 40s. They can do anything they set their eye on. Life is too short to be spent on anything but our own dreams. Our team other than my husband included me- a 34-year-old woman, a 45-year-old man with severe ankle pain, another middle-aged man suffering from Ankylosing Spondylitis. We all are winners because we did not say:
“Oh! I’m just a girl” or “I’m old!” or “I’m too busy!” or “Oh! I have a deadly disease!”
Lastly, I’d just like to share these lines with my fellow Udaipurites, “We are what we make of ourselves. Measure success by how many dreams you ticked off on your checklist, not just by how much money you’ve earned. Do not follow the herd. Do what you love. Enjoy your life even in hardships to the fullest because you never know when it’ll slip away.”