China, Nepal · 18 Days · 24 Moments · October 2017

Will's voyage in Nepal

30 October 2017

And then we were back. One last day tour in Kathmandu and one last dinner at our favorite spot. I cant say enough about this journey. It didn’t just tick off a bucket list item. It changed my life. These dots... they changed me. My appreciation for life, love, people. Deepened. Nepal will always remain my favorite place in the world. And I will always be forever thankful for the wonderful people I met and the life long friends I will always have.

28 October 2017

And that was it. We were back in Lukkla. We had an amazing going away party from our group leaders and guides. Our friends. Our Nepalese family. There were tears, lots of laughs, dancing... yes. Dancing. And beers. And at the end of the day our soul was both full... and empty. Leaving the place we found ourselves in.

24 October 2017

The trip down was much faster but no less special. I think we were all excited to be breathing again but sad that it was over. To go back home. To civilization. To electricity... this was the first place I had ever been that I didn’t want to leave. People were so friendly. So welcoming. We could learn a lot from them here in the states.

23 October 2017

Everest Bass Camp. It’s crazy to be here. To know how special it is. What it means to so many people. And to understand that it won’t be there in 10 years. Due to global warming we were told this beautiful area would be gone. Forever. Just made the trip more.... special. More important. The world is so beautiful.

22 October 2017

Gorak Shep. The doorstep of Mt. Everest. Altitude was 18,000 I think? It was the last town before Everest. The highest point in the world. People here were tired. Destroyed. And full of wonder and excitement. It’s hard to explain. Everyday just getting hurt, worked. And knowing that you were going to be where few were. It was fun and the best time of my life. And the guides did everything they could to keep us happy. Even baked a cake for Laura way up here.

21 October 2017

On the way to Gorak Shep. Everybody was so excited. We started to feel the work. We knew it was hard. I cant explain the smiles though. Every morning was filled with them. Wonder. Stories from our guides. We also learned to fact check everything, because everybody lies. Especially about cloud flags. Turns out that was legit. Oh. You know what else was legit? Clouds weigh a ton. Fact check. Confirmed.

20 October 2017

Another night at Lobuche. Trying to get used to the altitude. Also... KyQuan and Salty Buns took Pace Car and I on a side trek. Then when the jokkyokks went crazy they left us and we almost got hit. That was fun. Beautiful area though. So quiet. There is no internet for miles. No drama. Just life.

19 October 2017

Going to Lobuche the group stopped taking their jackets off when we hiked. Still amazingly beautiful. We had to split the group because KyQuan and Salty Buns kept wanting to do side hikes, and the rest of us were dying. However we made every moment work. That sexy man is Bal. He was our guide and one of the most caring individuals you will ever meet.

18 October 2017

Temps started to drop around Panbouche. Cloud covers became more common and the big jackets came out. Also, we learned how special our guides were. They always made sure we were warm, gave us bed warmers (water balloons filled with hot water) to put in our sleeping bags. We were also sleeping with our clothes on. Still. It was perfect. And although getting out of bed and moving became harder, every one of us had a smile on our face.
On the way to Porche, things began getting less touristy... not to say that it wasn’t at all... but things became more desolate. The group found themselves alone more often... the area became more mountainous. It began to feel like we were really doing this. And honestly the culture became more real. More farmland. Quiet and rich. It was stunning. And my mind began to become clearer. It felt like we were part of the culture. Oh. And I almost got hit by an jokkyokk and knocked off the cliff. Aaaah hiking.

17 October 2017

Worst day of the trip for me. I became very sick and people began wondering if I was going to have to be flown back. It was also our first view of Mt. Everest. Clear, perfect skies made for an excellent “side hike”. Ps. French fries after a long hike... way more delicious than the ones from McDonalds.
Namche Bazar. This is the “city” in the Himalayas. Farmers markets, and everybody knows that anybody going to Everest goes in this town. It’s loud, big, and beautiful. Hikers and sellers. Everybody is there. It’s also where we learned how to play spoons. And when I learned that the home team is better at it than the away team.

16 October 2017

The big hike to Namche Bazaar. Amazing views. And it was the first day that we understood how genuinely tough this was going to be. It is also where we coined the phrase, “when we become the little people”. It’s also where we picked up our dots. ........
More of the hike to Namche Bazaar. The temple is one of the four original temples in the Himalayas. The monks there believe in reincarnation. That monk you see pictured had to “remember” a detail of the temple before he had ever set foot inside it. You think it’s a joke, but the way he looked at me. Like an old man looking at a child. I believe.

15 October 2017

The hike from Lukkla to Phakding. All downhill so we were able to breathe and just take everything in. The color was so rich. The air was perfect with very little clouds and everybody was in great spirits. To the point that one of our guides commented that we talk to much and he is walking in the back. The trip was filled with laughter. Excitement. Jokes. Love. And learning. Embracing the culture. Prayer rocks. Ohm Mani Padmi om. Namaste. That word genuinely means something to me now.
The craziest airplane ride. The landing strip is up a mountain. So you approach it going straight. Not declining. And the Himalayas. The first taste. Seeing them in person... words can’t describe. They are so much more intimidating in person. And clean. Not just... clean... it feels like your soul has been washed.
Last from our first day in Nepal. The city expands for miles. In every direction it just kept going. The dinner was at this little hole in the wall eatery which was amazing and the dollar goes so far in Nepal we were completely full including drinks for about 7 dollars. Everybody was a bit nervous going to bed. We weren’t allowed to bring a lot of gear and we were told that “the hardest day is day 2,3,4,5,6,7,8 and 9. So basically... it’s all hard. I think all of us were second guessing. And trying to figure out who the best hiker was. PS. It was salty buns.

14 October 2017

The monkey temple in Kathmandu. They have so many temples. And worshiping here isn’t a chore. It’s life. Beautiful views from here and an amazing piece of architecture. The child is the temple priest. They are chosen to live at these temples for three months at a time and run the temple. What you see is all he is allowed to wear.
This art school teaches students how to draw and paint mandalas. It’s pretty crazy and intense. Only specific people are allowed to recreate these paintings and they have to do it exact. There are no allowances for variations. We also went to the historic district of Kathmandu. Old temples that have been hit hard by the earthquake. We went during a Hindu festival, so there were areas we weren’t allowed to go in but the history of this place... everywhere you looked there was something to see.
More from the Bagmati temple. I have to say. Nepal was my bucket list destination. And it did not disappoint. He prayer wheels are amazing. As is the culture. It’s so colorful. So rich. I cant say enough of how perfect this trip is. And the people I have met, my dots... I have made friends for life. I completely believe that. This has changed my world.
This is Bagmati. A temple for both Buddhist and Hindu worship. Monks are in prayer as well as people making their daily stops. Religion here isn’t an option or a hobby. It’s a life. They genuinely understand and believe their religion. It’s amazing and spiritual.
The streets of Kathmandu are in disrepair. It’s not a necessarily wealthy city. And the earthquake two years ago destroyed much of it. People are still out and smiling. The street feels like a market back home. Colorful and narrow. Loud with tons of shops open on the sidewalk.
This is where we stayed in Kathmandu. Looked amazing. And it was pretty much everything I imagined. The night life is pleasant and laid back. People here are much more pushy... but that’s the culture. Not in a rude way by any means. There is order in all the chaos here.

13 October 2017

Landed in China. Let’s be clear. This did not go as planned. I got off on the wrong plane. Missed my flight. Was a day behind. That being said I met some amazing people, learned a little about their culture. Had some great food, oh my god genuine Chinese food is SO spicy. The culture is so clean too. You can’t sleep in the corner of their airport. It’s not allowed. You can’t be disheveled. People are polite but there is definitely cleanliness and order. In all honesty I wish I could have stayed longer. The journey and adventure awaited though.