Back in Romania I got myself into a group of people who took me to hike in the Carpathian Mountains. It was totally new terrain for me, but I instantly fall in love with it. Through this community, I met wonderful people who accompanied me during my ups& downs of that time. I also discovered photography as being a real hobby, a real activity, a place I could create and express how I see the world. I discovered a happy place, my happy place.Going to the mountains with my friends taught me the joy of sharing, the act of helping, the sounds of folk music played by the guitars that were carried to each peak, the beauty of the cold, the sun, the rain, the snow, … the power of mother nature, the team spirit and the trust in each other. Well, since I moved to Frankfurt, I kind of neglected this part and I totally missed it. It pissed me off that I was not doing anything about it!?!! But this had to change!When I am pissed and I reach the point that my heart is screaming after something that I want, in this case go to the mountains and meet people who love the outdoors, there is nothing else to do, then to GO! So, last year in autumn I saw the trailer of the Mountain Festival organized by The North Face. I knew right then, that is the place I need to go! I was very sad that I heard of the festival so late and that I have missed it. So, I promised myself I will go next year no matter what, because it was time to reconnect with the mountains, with like minded people and with myself.Can you imagine how it feels to be with approx. 800 people in one places, breathing the same fresh air, being in the outdoors engaging in activities like hiking, alpinism, rafting, climbing, paragliding, and many more? Can you imagine? Can you feel the cold, the ground, the sun, the rush, the joy, the unknown? Well, let me tell you it is overwhelming, it is a place where you are never alone even if you go alone. The power of the outdoors, mixed with people from all over the place, is INSANE and addictive! Like seriously! The Mountain Festival had it all! The location, Lauterbrunnen – breathtaking, a funny, knowledgeable “north-face-guru-guide-moderator” (Keith you rock!), good food, hot showers, constant fire places, Wi-Fi (even though I only used it to post my toilet view and tell my family I am doing great), smiling faces all over the place, the smooth mud, the rain, the shiny sun, the BLUE sky, the inspiring talks held by amazing athletes – like Simone Moro, Tamara Lunger, Lizzy Hawker, Pau Capell, Sebastien Chaigneau and many more. They all shared with us a part of their life, their job, their passion, their dreams, their training, their ups&downs, their success and challenges. And last, we shall not forget the music part which has been well chosen! For me personally, Men on the Moon set the stage for an amazing weekend, moved us to dance and sing along. They were the perfect sound and vibe that connected us, me.These four days had a big impact on my life. I returned with many stories, new experiences, life lessons, inspiration and motivation to work on my own dreams and with a handful of kind people who love the outdoors. I do hope that these connections, which felt so real, honest, warm will last and we will see each other again. Everything I tried to express above is probably nice and you can relate to some level, but honestly you have to experience it on your own skin and feel it with your heart! I dare you to go outside and escape for a short time into such places. Because if I ask you this: can you remember when you experienced something for the first time again?! When was your last sunrise, your last night in a sleeping bag, climbed the pick of a mountain, sit at the fire place, watched the stars, you shared a meal with a stranger, when did you see the fog coming, … I could continue. And don’t think about money and all this kind of sh***, because honestly the view, the people you meet, the fresh air you breath is priceless. So, go and invest in yourself!
Mountain Festival organized by The North Face was exceptional! It was the right place to be.
Thank you for everything. I will never stop exploring, training, loving!