It’s clear to us how much the high mountains intrigue and fascinate us in many ways. There is a sense of pilgrimage as we take each step higher. It’s a purification of the soul. Physically, the body gets detoxified from all the impurities and starts to fill itself up with clean air. There is a chemical change that happens to the body, the mind and the soul.
The high mountains makes us feel alive.
We are learning a lot but still need to get better at living in the mountains. So much more to learn…
There is no time to waste on petty small things, just can’t waste energy for something that is not useful. Rest is essential. Silence is golden. Patience is key. There is no room for whining. What you have on your sack is what you got.
Time is slow in the high mountains. Movement is in slow motion. Waste not the air you breathe because there is not much there. Learn from the Yaks.
This is our sixth month living out of our backpack and we have grown to like it.
Maybe, because this is who we really are?
It’s still a question as we continue our journey from Nepal and soon to the high mountains of India, into a place known for spiritual high mountains – Ladakh.
We just got back to Thamel, Kathmandu and we’ve visited all the vendors that captured our hearts. Everyone is okay. The pharmacist’s home was destroyed but he has a second home he and his family are staying right now. The hotel staff’s are all okay and in fact, we got a big smile from them as we entered their hotel. Great people and of course, the unlimited masala tea! (kidding) We ate lunch at our favorite restaurant and everyone there was also okay. Friends we know are all okay. When we were up in the Khumbu and the earthquake happened, we thought about all of them. How is it that such short acquaintances, yet we worry about them as if they are our family. It is no longer a smile for the good service but it’s now a smile for just knowing they are okay.
Nepal is a developing country. It also has a dramatic range of difficult mountain terrain. Most of the villages are hard to get to. We got a clear view of all the villages we passed trekking the Solu-Khumbu on the plane today. Spread out, far apart and many steep terrain around them. This is how Nepal is and this is what makes it one of the most popular destinations in the world, because of it’s remoteness. Centuries of multi-ethnic groups live up in the mountains that remain untouched and unchanged. Everything is preserved in it’s place just like how it was many centuries ago. The preservation of the many ethnic culture have allowed outsiders understand more about how it was then, it’s like going back in time.
We, in the western world have lost a lot of that. This is one of the beautiful aspects of Nepal we love, their culture.
Nepal has very little, yet the people remain happy. I am not making it up. Nepalese are resilient people and hard working people. It is their country, a country they are proud of.
I was a daughter of war, the Vietnam war. We to, have lost our home and with good fortune, have resilient parents so I was able to grow up with a good life. It was not our choice to leave our country nor was it our choice to lose everything we own at that time but we survived. Over the years, not only did we survive but we also flourished through my parents hard work and through our continued faith. I’ve lived in the Philippines most of my growing life, also not a choice, however it was a good blessing. The Philippines is also a developing country and for many years, we’ve had natural disasters such as typhoons and cyclones. We worked through it and life goes back to normal. The strong culture, community and religion have kept everyone moving forward in tough times. It is the spirit of strength to continue life and be grateful of life.
Through war and natural disasters, life moves on.
Doug and I didn’t expect traveling to the high mountains would give us such valuable lessons in life. We didn’t expect traveling to the high mountains would bring new meaning to humanitarian relationships. We didn’t expect traveling to the high mountains would be much more beautiful than we expected.
I’ve heard people say that reaching the higher mountains is like being closer to a higher being.
Yes, standing at 18,000 ft would feel like being closer to a higher being but the journey to reach to that point is what matters. Life is really a journey of many things, all sorts of things happening, all sorts of experiences, all kinds of people in every single emotions – fear, love, happiness, sadness etc until you get closer to the higher being.
Life is beautiful. We are full of life.
(Author’s Note: higher being applies to any religion)