An immersive trek through the jungle brings invaluable insights and wisdom, as Olivia Palamountain learned on a transformative five-day expedition in the Guyanese highlands, led by indigenous guides. 

Here are her top ten learnings: 

  1. Survival skills – From learning how to locate and purify water sources, to identifying edible plants, finding suitable shelter and navigating treacherous terrain, the jungle equips you with essential skills to ensure your safety and wellbeing in the wilderness.
  1. Appreciation for nature – On a trek through pristine rainforest, you develop a profound respect and admiration for the beauty of the natural world, the incredible biodiversity and the intricate interconnectivity of all living things within this complex ecosystem.
  1. Adaptability – The unpredictability of the jungle teaches you to be flexible and responsive, as well as how to make the best of any situation, fostering a valuable skill that translates to all apects of life.
  1. Self-reliance – With only yourself and a small team to depend on, you can work on cultivating problem-solving abilities, critical thinking skills and a sense of self-motivation. that arises out of the necessity to overcome challenges independently.
  1. Mindfulness – The captivating sights, sounds and experiences of the jungle engage all your senses, drawing you into the present moment and encouraging a state of deep contemplation and introspection.
  1. Resilience – By pushing the boundaries of your physical and mental stamina, the jungle reveals an inner strength and tenacity you might never have known you possessed. This serves as a reminder that even the most daunting obstacles can be overcome.

  

  1. Team-building skills – Outside your comfort zone, you have the chance to enhance your communication abilities, sense of responsibility and conflict resolution skills, becoming a more effective and compassionate team member.
  1. Gratitude – As basic necessities such as food, water and shelter are rationed, a profound appreciation for the simple luxuries and comforts of home is developed, fostering a deep sense of gratitude for all that you have.
  1. Cultural wisdom – By interacting with local guides who generously share their rich traditions, survival knowledge plant lore, and more, you gain a fascinating window into the lives and wisdom of indigenous communities, broadening cultural horizons and mutual understanding.
  1. Connection – Removed from the distractions and demands of modern life, surrounded by the raw beauty of remote nature, people form incredibly strong bonds, engage in deep reflection and conversation and connect with themselves and others on a profound level. 

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Caroline Maber
Karen Chapman
Serena Winn-Darley

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