CHARGE YOUR SOUl
I have always felt comfortable in unknown places where I get to have new experiences and submerge myself into a different culture. Traveling is an important part of my creative process. It allows me to be curious, calm and compassionate. It also teaches me to live in the moment and listen to my intuition.
I arrived to Nepal on a night with a vibrant full moon and scattered stars. As we maneuvered on dirt paved roads lit only by the headlights of other cars rushing to their desired destinations, I was slowly falling in love. Once we reached Thamel, the roads got narrow and began to fill with scooters and pedestrians dashing in and out of bars that lined the streets. I stayed in an inviting space at the Dalai-La Boutique Hotel. The room was minimally decorated with Nepalese decor and had a balcony that faced the courtyard. As the light of the morning filtered in, I could finally witness the beauty of Nepal.
Venturing out for the first time, I collected the intricate twists and turns of the alleys like small jewels and stored them in my memory to find my way back to the hotel later. The smell of incense filled the air and a undertone buzz began to roar as the merchants step up shop for the day. I was finally able to connect with the people. I was greeted with angelic smiles and a sense of wonderment as my thigh length cornrows and I paraded through the streets.
During my journey, I had so many special experiences. I watched the sunrise over the Himalayans in Nagarkot, hiked in the mountains of Changu Narayan, chatted with local ladies knitting on the streets and devoured an 8 course traditional Nepalese meal at Dwarika's Hotel. However, the most memorable moment of the trip was at first a huge disaster. My intention was to pray with the monks to get centered for the rest of the journey. I made all the arrangements (and confirmed them) and was feeling grateful that I would get the opportunity to have this amazing experience. We drove for about an hour outside of Kathmandu on pieces of a road through the hillside. Then our plans crumbled like the gravel beneath us when we found out that the monks were not performing prays for the day. Jessica, my wonderful travel mate and amazing friend tried to get me to embrace the other activities that we planned but I couldn't get past my disappointment.
After a couple of attempts, our guide managed to get us into a monastery. The gates opened and we were greeted by an small boy with a shaved head and wrapped in a saffron robe. His excitement and curiosity immediately dissipated my disappointment and all was well with the Universe. I was feeling satisfaction as we began to walk up to the intricately painted building. I was under the impression that we were only allowed to walk around the grounds and then leave. However, we were ushered to a side door and instructed to take off our shoes. As we walked through a curtained doorway, a huge golden buddha was revealed on the other side. We were standing in the private space where the monks prayed and had their ceremonies. Then there it was, the lesson! You can't plan your special moments, you just have to be present for them. Being satisfied with where you are and what you have is enough to expand your reality to reveal something magnificent.
We spent some time at the monastery taking pictures, having quiet moments and then we all left with a sense of appreciation for day. I feel that I only scratched the surface of Nepal with this visit and definitely need to come back for more. Until then...namaste.