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India & Nepal

Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal
My second time abroad. I was so naive! The trip was incredible but being young, a wildland firefighter, and full of worldly steam, I decided to take off to India and Nepal on my own. Looking back on that trip, it was SUCH an adventure and yet very trying. Traveling alone as a young female certainly had its challenges and if you are curious, I can tell you a few stories about those particular moments that made me question my decision to go alone. That being said, India and Nepal are so unique and so special. I hope to return one day soon. 

I started my adventure with a few weeks of touring in Northern India. I hit all the highlights, Agra and the Taj Mahal, Varanasi, and the Ganges river, and my personal favorite in India, the Mahabodhi Temple where you can still see the Bodhi tree Buddha sat under and attained enlightenment. It was here, in Bodh Gaya I took a one-week meditation retreat, opening my eyes to a new source of internal light and inspiration. Though young and not really playing by the rules, I found a lot of inner peace that week, in a place full of chaos. Speaking of, India is shoulder to shoulder ALL THE TIME. I have never experienced so much intensity and so much peace all in one place. Emotions are on high and soaking in your surroundings can be difficult in a quick visit anywhere. You are constantly surrounded by people who, don't live by the western standards of “personal boundaries or bubbles”, whose words are very direct and to the point, and who just operate on a completely different scale than what I am used to. India was jaw-dropping, exhilarating, exhausting, and very, very exciting. 

After a few weeks of traveling about northern India, it was time to head over to Nepal for my trek. I had been planning a three-week trek of the Annapurna Circuit, a trek in western Nepal. From Hindu villages tucked deep in the mountains to the low foothills of Tibetan borders, the Annapurna’s are to date, the most incredible mountains I’ve had the pleasure of hiking (and I’ve lived in Montana and Wyoming!). Starting the trek in Pokhara, you will spend the duration of your trek passing through tea houses and lodges where you will find accommodations and meals, and warm smiles as you pass by. ABC, Annapurna Basecamp, also known as the Annapurna Sanctuary was an unforgettable experience, and reaching Annapurna Basecamp was one of my greatest accomplishments yet. 

After my trek in the Annapurna’s, I returned to Kathmandu to experience a bit of city life. An avid lover of Buddhist monasteries, I joined with a friend who was touring the world on his motorcycle and we visited stupas and temples all around Nepal. In Kathmandu, we nestled into our local guest house and enjoyed the nightly splendors of local food such as Dal Bhat (rice, lentil soup, and vegetable curry), local bars, and plenty of traditional Hindi celebrations all around. I loved Nepal. I love Nepal. Kind, calm, colorful, relaxed, and mountainous. Everything I need in one place and more.

My experiences in India and Nepal continue to take the fame when sharing my travel stories. This experience was beyond words...even today. And there isn't an ounce of me that wouldn't return to experience it all again. 

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