Vouloir toucher les étoiles
Book – Review
Mike Horn Vouloir toucher Les étoiles
The title resumes very well the entire book, which represents the man who has written it.
This is a wonderful book in which we are between two parallel stories that are taking us in two different universes, but that complete each other perfectly. Those two stories bring us to understand this man who seems to be insane, incredible, and full of mystery at first sight.
Throughout the story we are discovering a solid man, like a rock with not only a strong will and motivation but with especially something more, which is his passion for adventure that permits him going as far as possible in his adventures in order to thrive on experiences he is living, in return, share them with people.
Not only liven him up profoundly this passion but also this is thanks to this one that he makes out projects and has many dreams. This passion permitted him to relay to people met in the right moment to transform his passion into a profession. Although, he will say: “I am becoming Adventurer. It is going to be my profession. I am sponsored for what I love the most in life – this is a chance”.
This is really a chance? I would rather say this is his destiny. Indeed, upon his arrival in Switzerland, he has lived difficult situations, but yet, he has never given up. Despite the fact that he does not know how to work Swiss’ system, he is going to meet the right person who is going to give him his trust and allowing him to be on the right track. Furthermore, with his strong will, motivation and his desire, he is going to sign the first agreement with an Italian brand that will permit him to be the man that we all know. We may notice that life brings him on his path the right situations to allow him to meet the right persons in order to do what he loves above all – being an adventurer. Moreover, he shows us that everything is possible and life is very well arranged.
This is his courage and his passion for having another life that brings him to leave South Africa. In a few hours, he does not have anything else in South Africa, instead of the only 50 dollars and a backpack at Johannesburg’s airport. It will be Zurich as his final destination, by showing departure’s board. This is from this choice that his Swiss’ adventure is going to begin. This is a big jump into the unknown at the same time that going out from his comfort zone! Do we know very well this comfort zone? We could resume it in one word, which is security! After all, security coincides very well with the comfort zone. A lot of people don’t dare to go out of their comfort zone due to fear of losing their landmarks, their security, and their habits. Yet, Mike Horn has done it by leaving his home country and we may notice it with this sentence: “I give in to destiny that knows what it is doing”.
By going out of our comfort zone we hand our life over destiny and we must have faith in life. That is why we need to overcome our fear that can stop us in our tracks in order to realise our dreams. Fear is a feeling of being part of our ego. This is a low energy feeling that likes to keep us in certain security but which one? Does really security exist? The human being is not protected from everything and he often forgets that aspect, which not allows him to dare to make his projects, dreams, and ideas into reality. On his side, Mike Horn has overcome his fear. Indeed, he wanted another life; something more authentic and something that corresponded more than what he lived in Africa. He listened to his intuition, that one we all have, and guided him where he had to go to live, and what we had to live: Adventurer’s life!
Upon his arrival in Switzerland, he has been confronted with disenchantment moments but also to despondency. These two feelings gave him to question himself but it will have been necessary in order to go forward in the right direction. There are moments in life for which we question ourselves but it needs to know that are important moments, which do not have to be forgotten because if they are present in our lives, this is for good reasons. Nevertheless, this is not very easy to understand what is the real sense behind those moments, doubts, questioning. Then, instead of wanting to understand, it needs to summon your patience, do some useful soul-searching in order to have the right answers, get everything clear and go forward in the right direction, which one is specific to each of us.
Just by opening an atlas, and we feel it well in his book, eyes’ Mike Horn are illuminated only by exploring places, in which he projects to undertake his next adventures and showing the beauty of Earth to everybody. Those adventures will allow him to discover differently this planet than ever before. Through his treks, he is going to simply show: Beauty of Earth and all fragility that it emerges from her. This planet deserves to be well treated by all humans who are live on it. Indeed, Earth in which billions of humans are living on it must be respected, salved, and treated for what it’s worth. This planet allows us to live, it gives us all we need but in gratitude for what it gives to us, humans are destroying this planet. What did she deserve it in order to be treated in that way? Why do not to be grateful towards what Earth gives to us rather than taking its riches only for money? Money is it such important? At that rate, we have reason to think when humans being is going to live on Earth until? Does he go to disappear in turn? What is sure is that human being is going to contribute to his loose. This is time to act and not crossing our arms and wait.
Furthermore, Mike Horn has also noticed thanks to his expeditions across the globe, all damages caused by pollution even “in nooks uninhabited around the globe”. In that case, by putting some points on the globe with his Cathy’s wife, he traced routes and told to himself at the same time: “It would need to rejoin poles, going back Amazon up; showing extraordinary beauty of Great Barrier Reef in the Pacific Ocean, biodiversity of Fjords, sand dunes of Desert. The itinerary takes the shape of an odyssey”. Many ideas came to him in order to catch children’s attention that may change things, and his project Pangeae was born.
This is trough that project he has could show the world’s beauty to young people in order to they may become aware of the gravity of things around the world and contribute to a better future for Earth. Several environmental projects have seen the light of the day thanks to this expedition.
His motivation, his courage but also his self-control took him to take up a challenge so far. Was he afraid of? Yes, he did and even several times according to what he is telling in his book. We must not forget that fear is part of our ego, which is there in order to stop us in our impulse. Fear is a feeling that comes to us so easily and whose we must come apart to move forward in life. According to Mike Horn, he overcame his fear and kept forward. This is important to trust in life as he did so well. He put his destiny back to life, which knew very well that Mike Horn had to be in Switzerland at that time of his life in order to meet people to become the man we all know at this time.
So, don’t be afraid of life because it is the most beautiful thing that can exist and everything is well organised, and this, for everybody as was the case for Mike Horn.
By challenging himself with 4 summits of 8000 metres each, he is going to undertake new challenges and this is with curiosity and a little bit of apprehension he is rushing into a new adventure by having never hiked before. This is a new world that he is going to discover with lots of dangers and a different way to behave. We all know that, in general, the mountain does not forgive at all, that is why we must become tame it and learn to know it. Mike Horn did it by being with a wonderful team very well experienced throughout his expeditions. This team allowed him to live moments so different compared to what he has lived so far. He has been tackled to the mountain and its dangers. He has also quickly understood what was in play in 8000 metres. Incidentally, he was faced to the death at several times by being confronted unintentionally with dead alpinists. In 8000 metres, nothing is forgiven, everything is confused and we must move forward carefully because a wrong analysis of the situation can be a disaster. With his experiences, Mike Horn can be very proud of him. He went down exhausted but got new experiences and has been enriched on a personal plan because mountain at this altitude marks a lot.
He resumes perfectly his mountain’s expeditions by telling: “ Each of us, in his life has his own K2 to climb. If we are stubborn, and we are taking the right decisions, we can find solutions. This importance is trying, and not dwelling on failure. As me who aren’t still arrived at the summit, we must keep fighting ourselves. By keeping feet firmly on ground… we can touch stars”.
I wanted faithfully write this quote because it resumes very well what each of us is living. Indeed, we all have our own mountain to climb and sometimes we want to abandon in the middle of climb such it is demanding and tiring. This is at that time when this desire comes that we must redouble our efforts especially for having more motivation because we must keep believing in it so that having no regrets at all for the future. Indeed, the essential in life is having no regrets because this was in that way that had to go by and not some other way. Then, keep climbing your K2 and look back only for noticing all you have accomplished and what has allowed you to be this person you are at that moment.
We all have plenty of dreams as Mike Horn, and they are all feasible as he showed us very well because he has understood one thing: everything is possible in life! It seems to be unrealistic to affirm this, and yet this is the strict truth. Circumstances, meetings, and experiences do not happen by chance on someone’s path. They still happen in the right moment even if we may think that this is not the case. This is with hindsight that we still understand better why they are coming at that time of our life and not while another one. They are still there to allow a person to grow up in the right way.
By being full of nature, he is demonstrating the importance for us to be in harmony with her. As he is saying: “ All our electronic devices, computers, screens, and our robots are never going to give us joy. Simplicity, balance, here are an essential quest. Take Earth up again, with soil, with air. We are all cut off of the world. It matters to find it again”.
Indeed, through what he is going to say, we understand that is really important to revitalize ourselves close to nature because only her can refocus ourselves and remind us where we are living and why we are on Earth. All this technology in which we are daily is quite nice because not only disconnect us from reality but also is not good for us. Reality is what is happening outside in nature and Mike Horn explains it by telling us that he is in complete harmony with nature while he is travelling. Nature is the most beautiful thing can exist in the world, this is important to be conscious and act as a consequence as he is doing very well by showing the beauty of Earth. There is nothing beautiful than make sensitive people to the beauty of Earth so that makes us understand this fragile beauty. Furthermore, we do not forget to thank Earth to give us all it is giving us daily.
In the eyes of world, Mike Horn is an extraordinary man. Certainly, he is but above all, he is a father and a husband who has his heart set on being with his relatives when he must be with them and in all circumstances. We feel very well the link he has developed with his wife Cathy throughout the book. This is very touching reading how much they love each other and how much she was at his side in order to motivate him and help him in all his projects and expeditions. That is why we understand better why he is letting go everything and decide to cross the globe so that being with his family and his wife Cathy because his family comes first before anything else. His family? This is his force, his motivation. Indeed, this is thanks to Cathy that he is this man we all know; this man who seems to be mysterious, senseless, and even crazy, but, in reality, he is simple! That man is Mike Horn.
Mike Horn Vouloir toucher Les étoiles is a book that I highly recommend not only for travelling with him but especially for having a huge dose of adventures. A book that I encourage people to read it so that seeing life through his eyes and going out of this reading again with plenty of questioning.
Author: Mike Horn
Edition: Editions XO
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Travel blogger and photographer from Switzerland.
I travel the world and with my photographs I show the beauty of the world in order to raise awareness to people about Planet Earth’s issues, and wildlife.