Archive for August, 2008

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August 26, 2008

Why Nepal?

August 13, 2008

When my friend Heather told me years ago that she was in love with Nepal and wanted to live there indefinitely, I thought she was crazy. She visited a few times, and every time she was more and more sure that she was going to live there. And then she moved there. And I still sort of thought she was crazy.

We are Westerners. When we move someplace exciting, it’s London or Paris or Vienna. It’s New York or San Francisco or even Halifax. If we move anywhere exotic – Peru, Vietnam, Vanuatu – it’s for a limited time, not forever. We go for a few months to two years and can say we had our adventure. No one uproots, sells all and moves to Nepal.

Heather did it. She knew a few people over there and met even more. One was a man named Maika, a Fijian she later married. He had just up and moved to Nepal, too. And their friend Bob, an American, had done the same. He married a gorgeous Nepali named Sonam.

Westerners typically travel to Nepal for trekking and for the spiritual atmosphere; Kathmandu is largely Hindu and Buddhist, and is a refuge for exiled Tibetan monks. But Heather moved because she loved Nepalis, and within a short period of time she was fluent in Nepali, had a zillion friends, and was tutoring a dozen kids in English and Math.

She loves it. She has no regrets.

In 2007 my husband David and I visited Maika and Heather and Bob and Sonam for 6 days. And when it was time to leave I cried. I was airport-bound in a taxi and I got a lump in my throat.

Nepal is charming. Nepal is green. Nepal is bustling. Nepal is soothing. Nepal is lush. Nepal is poor. Nepal is active. Nepal is turbulent. Nepal is colorful. Nepal is tender. Nepal is magic. Nepal is home.

David and I return just over a year later, this time to spend almost 4 weeks in Kathmandu and the area. This blog is to keep all our friends, family, coworkers and curious internet onlookers in the loop with pictures and stories and a bit of video. Enjoy!