I just came back from Nepal recently.
Without knowing what to expect, I only did minimal research to get a minimal guidance about major attractions to visit, and packing tips for trekking so that I don’t die on the mountains.
While I was on 6 days Annapurma Base Camp trek, I fell in love with Nepal from head to toes, and back to head again. As easy as it sounds, trekking is tremendous hard work!
There will be times when you blame yourself for spending so much to endure hardship, when you look at the never ending stacks of staircase and feel remorse; when you wish you could just turn back and relax in a nice cozy hotel room.
The cool thing about trekking in Nepal is that the gorgeous mountain scenery along the way would definitely beat whatever negative feeling that you experienced. Whenever you feel tired, just turn around and you are embraced by the beauty of nature.
It was so beautiful that nothing else in the world matter, and I just wanted to immerse myself in that moment, that view, that feeling of lightness when I don’t care about anything but the present. Life is so simple and good when your only goal is to conquer the base camp.
When you are travelling solo, you open yourself up to opportunities and embrace all possibilities that come along the way.
I found travelling partners at different point of journey just because I initiated a conversation; made friend with local Nepalese in a restaurant who brought me to the best rock bar that I’ve ever been; talked to carpet vendor who has a wealth of knowledge in tribal knitting; and had holiday fling with a man who told me that he loves me but lost touch once I left the country.
The richness of experience in those 14 days was so overwhelming that I was disconnected from real life when I got home. It seems like some part of me was left in Nepal and I couldn’t converse with my inner self.
It took me some time to be present again, back in where I am now.
2 years ago when people asked me where I see myself in 5 years, I said I just wanna be happy and do things that makes me happy. I told people if I go with the flow by only doing things I believe in, I will get there eventually (not knowing where ‘there’ is). People shrugged, and someone told me seriously, ‘Belle, you need to know where you want to be and have a plan’.
What is the fun of life to have a 5 years plan and stick to it?
Today, I am turning 25 and I still don’t know where I will be in 5 years. I quit my job after the trip to start a new venture. Man it’s scary and yet exciting to be a self-proclaimed co-founder and living without a monthly pay cheque.
I might achieve different milestone in my venture, such as the first paying client, the first media appearance, the first million and so on. Deep down I know those are not the yardstick I have for life.
I see Nepal trip as a huge accomplishment in life for being able to explore such a gorgeous place at young age. This is how I measure my life achievement and where I see myself in future — having fun with life no matter what I do.
There were so many times during the trip when I was struck by the beauty of this country and I told myself life is freaking awesome — I knew there’s always a beautiful place I can be if things go wrong. It gives me courage in embracing challenges in life, because really, what’s the worst that could happen? I can always come to Nepal.
Knowing how big the world is changes my life choices.