travel journal excerpt – nepal

While I was cleaning out my room today I happened across a wall hanging I picked up somewhere in Nepal.The wall hanging has a quote from the Dalai Lama

Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.

This find inspired me to open up my Nepal travel journal, what I found was quite a powerful entry! Please excuse the kind of new-age hippy vibe – i was about 19 when i wrote this. I hung it up on my window to remind me of that trip and what I gained from it spiritually.

Tuesday 5th of Feb 2013

We are sitting in a cafe called Moondance wearing our ugly beanies and our ridiculously puffy ski jackets,, but getting stared at as if we are either Mirranda Kirr or wearing our bathers. Which is borderline flattering, but a little scary too.

I am drinking my coffee black and we are both re-evaluating our lives and spirituality,

Yesterday I brought a wall hanging with the quote from the dalai lama about ‘A precious human life’. This quote kind of sums up our experience in Nepal so far.

Since we have arrived in this very interesting country we are had a realisation of just how precious and fragile human life is and can be.

Although we have only been here for two days I already appreciate my life back home and both C and I feel very lucky that we have been blessed with the countless abundance of opportunities that have been part of our privileged Western upbringing.

People say a visit to the third world changes you. When you hear someone say this when you are at home in the comfort of your own bubble, perhaps you roll your eyes or accuse them of being some new age idealistic hemp loving tree hugging hippy. Continue reading

Advertisements

Blessed are the girls of the west

screen-shot-2013-02-23-at-11-13-45-am1

It is amazing how snippets of people’s lives that you witnessed while travelling can stick like glue in your mind, and how you often find yourself thinking about encounters you had months or even years later. Sometimes time is a lens through which we can reflect on our encounters, and the more time passes, the deeper the reflection.

Whilst backpacking in Nepal, I accidentally stumbled across a traditional wedding ceremony, and I have even though I do not even know her name or her story, I have often thought about the girl who was around my age, and what may have become of her.

It was that magical hour before sunset when the shadows grow long. The orphans, from my volunteer placement and I were going about our twilight task of collecting tomorrows water in old faded sprite bottles.

As we awaited our turn, amongst some monks and several shoeless gap-toothed children, the peaceful serenity of the late afternoon was disturbed by the screech of a scooter. This was unusual as the water pump was on the outskirts of Nepal’s second city, Pokhara. It was located next to a crumbling but still majestic temple and a rice field on a little-used side road and was generally exempt from the numerous scooters that zigzagged around filling the fresh mountain air with petrol on the main roads.

Continue reading