Explore. Dream. Discover.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Welcome Back To Reality: My Thoughts on Travel Thus Far

To preface this post, Brandon and I have been traveling now for nearly two months. We started our journey in Nepal, trekking for a month and then traveling around the eastern part of the country for the remainder of the time. Before we left for our adventure, we had planned a trip back to the US to meet Brandon's family in Hawaii, a sort of vacation from a vacation you could say. After the earthquake hit in Nepal, Brandon and I were unsure if we were even going to be able to make it back to the states because of the chaos in Kathmandu. Thankfully, our flight took off as planned and we got out of Nepal just before the second big earthquake hit and we are now relaxing on a beach in Hawaii.

Stepping off the plane and arriving back on US soil I was filled with mixed emotions. After exploring Nepal I couldn't wait to tell family everything we did, what we saw and experienced, and how incredible our travels have been so far. I was excited to eat fresh veggies again, juicy hamburgers, and any american food I could get my hands on. I was excited to (actually) be able to have English conversations with strangers, whether it be on the bus, in the grocery store or just someone on the street I was asking directions from. I was excited to have a long hot shower and a comfy bed to sleep in. Yet, I was filled with a sense of yearning for the simplicity of our lifestyle back in Nepal; conversing with locals and learning about their culture, wandering around a village trying to get lost, eating cheap food from a street vender, and playing with children on the streets.

Haleakala Crater National Park, Maui. One of the best places in the world to stargaze. You can see why....
Sunrise over the crater

Driving down from sunrise, Haleakala National Park- Maui

I forgot about everything we left behind in the US; the fancy high rise buildings, shopping malls, traffic laws, real hotels... not to mention the cocktail that cost $10-$15. I have to say it's a whole new world to me again, and I'm already looking at everything different.

Napali Coast, Kauai

I immediately noticed the calmness of the vehicles driving in the streets and how beautifully paved roads were. I noticed the amount of luggage everyone was carrying around the airport and I remembered how freeing it felt to not have so much stuff. I felt like a fish out of water with my 42 L pack on my back, a day pack on my front, and dirty clothing that had't been washed in God knows how long. I was exhausted as it took us 5 flights to arrive in Hawaii from Kathmandu. I finally, for the first time felt like a backpacker.

Its nearly impossible to explain how we have changed since we began our travels. One of the most difficult things I have noticed thus far has been trying to convey what we've gone through to everyone. Our most intriguing experiences and eye-opening encounters have come from people whose lifestyles and backgrounds are completely different from our own. They are from the people who have nothing, yet are rich with happiness. We have seen extreme poverty, devastation from a natural disaster, and a country bond themselves together with what little they have left. I feel a sense of humbleness.

Although I can't put this into words, or even begin to explain my most memorable moments, what I can tell you is travel will change you. If you have ever thought about going on an adventure, an adventure to a place you know nothing about, a place where everything is different, book a ticket, pack your bags and go. Whether that trip is for 7 days or 7 months, travel can open your eyes and give you a new perspective; a new perspective that you didn't know you needed perhaps.

To end my post I will leave you with this. While I will keep you as up to date on our travels as possible, I have also decided to, as Walt Whitman wrote, "leave the best untold." I have found that it is nearly impossible to convey my best experiences via text. I have my partner to share it with, a partner who understands exactly what I am feeling, and a partner who shares the same love for travel as I. If you really want to understand, like I said before, go...

No comments:

Post a Comment