I am in Nepal, a country home to eight out of the ten highest peaks in the world. From the moment I stepped off the airplane, I found myself in trekker heaven. Ambitious mountaineers from around the world populate Kathmandu for one reason; to soak up the sights from the top of the world! After I experienced the breath-taking views and natural splendour of Uhuru summit peak (Mount Kilimanjaro) back in 2013, I knew this was only the beginning of my trekking career. And here I am, standing at the base of the stairway to heaven; beaming with excitement and ready to, once again, have another life-expanding experience! This time I am taking on the Annapurna Circuit, which is the name of a trek within the Annapurna mountain range. It is considered one of the best, and most beautiful, long distance treks on the planet. I spent the last week running around Kathmandu getting my permits, purchasing gear and planning my route with the assistance and insight of an experienced local guide. Although I am doing the trek alone, ie. without a guide and agency, you’re never really a lone wolf on the mountain as there are many other trekkers on the path. I’ve already met several who are doing the same route as me, so I’ll no doubt have company and most importantly, someone to sing too along the way…
I’ve been staying with Anshu – a passionate activist, humanitarian and loving mother – who lives with her beautiful adopted daughter and adorable/ mischievous granddaughter Yuma. Their quaint, cosy, ‘girl-power’ driven home is located in an expat-infused region known as Sanepa, about 25 minutes outside of Kathmandu. Since the sun rises early, by 5:30am the streets are already flooded with people, motorbikes and vendors. As someone who thrives in the morning and sees the hours between 4:30am and 9:00am as ‘prime-time’, my vibes totally flow with the Nepalese current.
The last 6 days have been a complete whirl-wind as I have not stopped moving since I arrived last Tuesday. I’ve been running back and forth to the Indian Embassy, getting my visa paperwork finalized; planning my trek and obtaining all the necessary equipment and paperwork; wrapping up final details for the book AND playing tourist! Of course, I’ve been physically adapting to the environment as well. Kathmandu is very dusty and the change in altitude is something to be noted. Every night I’ve come home exhausted, filthy and ready to call it a day at 8:30pm, but my days have been sooo fulfilling and memorable! While I can see many similarities between India and Nepal, the people, the culture and the way of life is very different.
From my experience and observations, people go out of their way to make eye contact, smile and say ‘Namaste’ to you. I mentioned my observations to a few of the locals I’ve come into contact with, and they all said it is not ‘ok’ if you don’t greet or give attention to the people in front of you. AAAA-greed! The other day when I was crossing the street, traffic – as a whole – completely stopped and allowed myself, and a few other locals, to pass. After being in India, you totally consider small acts like THIS a notable treat! While the people here might have some place to get too, overall I find their demeanour to be very relaxed and un-pressed.
Oddly since I arrived, I’ve probably spoken more French than English and have eaten more Korean food than Nepalese food. I’ve met, and befriended, several French speakers and am taking the opportunity to practice with whomever is willing to promenade and chat with me. It’s always refreshing to receive compliments from native French speakers that my language abilities are still très bon! And while I only lived in South Korea for 6 months, my love for the food never dissipated. Anshu happens to live across the street from a Korean restaurant which is run by a traditional Korean family. I instantly became their favourite customer once I indulged them with the little Korean I remember and flashed a few photos of my half-Korean niece Alina. Even at a distance her cuteness manages to get me discounts!
I am often told that I speak ‘loudly’ and when this comment is communicated to me, I whole-heartedly accept it as a compliment! I believe I was blessed with a voice that is intended to reach the masses and fill an auditorium. I was given a gift, and I believe I am suppose to constantly utilize this gift and share my voice with the world! In doing so, I am perpetually overheard and led to people who are inspired by my work and who are themselves up to BIG things in this world! I cannot express the number of people I have connected with thanks to my ‘powerful’ voice. The snowball continues to roll and grow, and it’s incredible who I’ve connected with and where. Some of the most influential people I’ve come into contact with were people I met while standing in line waiting for a sandwich (made with organic, non-GMO veggies and spelt flour of course). Consider you never know WHO is listening and since I believe in only sharing positive, loving and compassionate words, this keeps me from ‘worrying’ about who is, in fact, listening. I strive to ensure that whatever words exit my mouth are words that inspire and uplift those around me. THAT’s the ripple I want to stretch across the water – a ripple that uplifts, inspires, enriches and empowers…
So this is the last you’ll hear from me for a few weeks… Know that I’ll be a sweet-sweaty mess, joyously singing Disney songs, up on a mountain top somewhere in the Himalaya’s!
Remember, each drop of water contributes to the ocean. Every drop is significant. Every drop matters. Every drop is a contribution to the bigger picture. Consider the drops you add to the world and the ripples you create each and every day… Does it add power and love to the goal or does it add judgement, hate and anger??? You CHOOSE!.
More on ‘The Power of Choice’ in the Passion over Past book which will be released very SOON!
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