This is the post I have been waiting for…or maybe the posts I have been waiting for. I think I have too much to talk about to do just one. My experience in this country was so special and it’s one I will talk about for the rest of my life. My initial trepidation morphed into admiration and an all consuming love for this country and its people. I was surrounded by beauty that silenced and calmed me. It was exciting to be so far away from home and feel such a strong connection to such a foreign and unfamiliar place.
I arrived to Kathmandu after a insanely long two days of travel. My first day was by car and train to get from the Amalfi Coast to the Rome airport. I then went backwards, Rome to London, and then in the right direction from London to New Delhi, a very strange feeling place. The airport was huge, it was really hot, there were separate lines for men and women at security, and the smog was pretty thick. After a few hours of people watching, I was boarding a flight with a lot of other trekkers-so many khaki cargo pants, baseball caps, hiking boots, and packs!
This last flight was relatively short, only a few hours if I remember correctly. The meal was actually really good and the landscape changed from remote green mountains to a very large and spread out city that was Kathmandu. It was definitely the most colorful cityscape I had ever seen; blue, yellow, pink, red, orange, and green facades. After two days of travel, it seemed like I would never arrive…and then I was walking out of the plane and boarding a bus to get to the terminal.
I arrived at the airport knowing I had to fill out a form and pay about $40 USD to get my Nepali Visa. I quickly filled it out, got in line to pay in cash, and then waited shortly in another line to get the paperwork done. I then retrieved my bags that were traveling down the belt towards me as I walked up. So I ended up finishing a process that typically takes an hour to an hour and a half, in less than 30 minutes. I walked towards the exit with security checking that I had my Visa and started to look for my transportation which was not there.
So, I don’t think I’ve said this yet: I went to Nepal to trek to Everest Base Camp. This trip prompted the rest of my travels around the world and none of my travels since then would have happened if I hadn’t been told to check out a blog called Barefoot Theory by my friend Kate. She thought I’d really enjoy the content because it was by an adventurous, brave, and badass female solo hiker. She was right! I really gravitate to what Kristen Bor is doing and I love watching her following grow and her having so much success!! So, as I was perusing through her site, I saw the link that I was looking for. My friend Kate had also mentioned Kristen was going to EBC, and I was extremely intrigued because I have such a fascination with big mountains and that of course included Everest. I clicked on the link, went through the itinerary, familiarized myself with the company Anywhere+ who was providing the all-inclusive experience, and then dismissed all of my excitement because I couldn’t possibly travel half way around the world to do something like this. OR could I????
At that point in my life, things were falling apart and big changes were happening. My relationship of 4.5 years was ending, I had finally made it through the year long process of settling my father’s estate, and I had just finished my first official storm chasing tour. I had checked the first of many things off of my bucket list. A month or so later I left for my second tour, one that was two weeks instead of 3 days, and came home a single woman. I kept visiting Anywhere’s website and staring at the itinerary multiple times a day. My curiosity became too much to handle, so I sent an email to Karl, the co-creator and guide of Anywhere+. After a few emails answering questions and getting more details about the trek, I wrote one up committing to the trip and it sat on my desktop for 5 days. All I had to do was hit “Send”. I was nervous about the financial commitment, having started the process of selling my childhood home, and not wanting to put myself in a tight situation. But after staring at that email for 5 days and knowing that there were only a few spots left, I knew I had to do it. There would never be a more perfect time for me to do this. I hit “Send”. My tummy did summersaults. Who does this?? I didn’t even know you could trek to EBC until a month ago. Could I even handle that kind of exertion at that elevation?
I was giving myself so many reasons why I shouldn’t or couldn’t do this, but my desire to travel and see something I only dreamed of seeing shut all of that out. For the first time in my life, I had the freedom to say ‘yes’, and saying ‘yes’ without guilt has altered the entire course of my life. I’ve never been this happy or felt I had so much control over what I am doing. My trip to Nepal changed my way of life, my way of thinking, my way of loving, and ultimately it caused me to grow into the person I’ve always wanted to be.
So, yes, this is going to have to be multiple posts. I can’t possibly write about all the amazing experiences and wonderful things I learned about myself and the world in a few paragraphs. Stay tuned to find out if I got picked up from the airport and what I encountered after I arrived to the hotel!