A very generous Nepalese man I met while trekking in Langtang Valley welcomed me to his home in Kathmandu. I gratefully accepted the opportunity to become more intimate with the locals. Over a cup of tea we talked and he shared with me his views on compassion, which strung a chord in my heart that I can still feel humming inside. This is what he said:
Hiking to Everest Base Camp began as a young girl's dream to stand at the foot of the tallest mountain in the world. It seemed to me so foreign and wild and paramount. Yet when I finally reached her at base camp after five days of walking I felt an emptiness within me that echoed the word, "Why?" I didn't understand what I was feeling. It was as if the buildup that led me to my destination ended up being a one-way ticket to nowhere and I was left with a longing for something that did not exist, at least in the places where I was looking.
I vividly remember a conversation I had with a young woman about authentic connections and our own personal struggles. She came across as a strong and self-motivated individual with more wisdom than she probably realized. Something she said that we could all take a moment to think about is this:
When you travel, it is important to understand and be aware of the culture that you are traveling to. There is more than one lens to which we can view the world. One traveler reminded me of this quite boldly. This is what she said:
While hiking the Haute-Route Pyrenees I met a hiker who soon became a close friend. Something he said really resonated with me and is something I still carry close to my heart to remind me that every challenge I face is an essential part of my journey. This is what he said:
While helping Doreen build libraries for schools in Nepal, she introduced me to a few Sisters at a nunnery who she donates books to. The eldest woman was full of wisdom and compassion, not only for her faith in God but for the people on this earth that she devotes her life to. Something so simple she said could spread like wildfire across the earth and change the hearts of many. This is what she said:
While sharing an intimate talk with my sister on the quiet beach of Southern India, she told me something that reminded me how it is the mind that shapes and shifts our reality. This is what she said:
In a conversation with teachers in Nepal about corruption in Nepalese school systems, one teacher admitted he had left a school because the head master cared less about the children’s education and more about the money in his pockets. I asked him why more people don’t stand up like he did. This was his response:
This blog post is the entry I submitted to the Navigator Around the World in 80 Pages 2018 travel writing competition. To my surprise and great joy, it was awarded 2nd place and published in a book.
Two weeks had passed since I arrived in India and I sat at the bank of the Ganges river in Rishikesh reflecting on all that I had experienced. To sit in silence with only the sound of the rivers silent caress against the shore was new to me and much needed. The India I had seen, heard, touched, and tasted was not mellow in any way.