In brainstorming about the content of this post, I had actually forgotten why I chose to go to Nepal for my second destination as a solo traveler. I retraced back to all of the events and lifestyle decisions 2 years back and remembered that at the time, I had started to search for spiritual influences in my quest to understand my purpose and the encompassing meaning of existence and life itself.
Nepal was the first place I went to which stood out with the most unique points of contrast. Up until that point, all the countries I have visited in the past shared similarities such as Japan and South Korea, South East Asian countries like Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Hongkong, and the Philippines. Exploring Nepal was thought-provoking and adventurous. Nepal was where I worked my bargaining skills and discovered that I had a knack for it.
Why I had chosen Nepal
Seven months after my first solo trip, I find myself in Kathmandu – the capital city of Nepal. I can vividly recount my experience watching Doctor Strange sometime after I had booked my flights and felt a great sense of connectedness with the movie as the protagonist (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) sets out in search of healing and hope after he had suffered from a debilitating accident and lost the use of his hands. It sounds a little silly to be describing this experience on my blog right now, but I felt like Doctor Strange was my fictional character. I was on a mission to explore mysterious enclaves in hope of finding answers to life’s most unconventional questions and I was actually hoping to discover a bit of magic along the way.
Dawn in her favourite dress (view on the way to Poon Hill)
I had written about some of my Kathmandu experiences in a post (read here) in the past talking about my fascinating findings of the living Goddess of Nepal – the Kumari. The female living Goddess is ritually chosen at a very young age by members of the Newari community – the indigenous inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley. She is believed to be the reincarnation of the feminine energy deity Taleju. The young and the old would all worship her, even the King would visit the Kumari once a year to kiss her feet to seek for his blessings. Since we are traveling back to all the events that began in my journey of self-exploration, I will touch on this experience with added touches around the topic in relation to beliefs and ideologies around the world.
Some questions to scratch your head around
What makes a belief valid to a group of people and mildly estranged to another group of people?
How do we quantify a particular belief or ideology and its validity in the modern world?
What about the stories of Jesus performing miracles on people? Can that be scientifically proven? But how many people in this world believe in such a story?
How many people are needed to witness a phenomenon before it can be deemed as an event that has in actual fact occurred?
Do all ideas and beliefs around the world usually spread through an individual or a group which then becomes a common ground to which the idea or belief lives?
We hold the power to choose the beauty in which we see, and we also choose to believe in myths and ideas and the negative news that we allow our attention to focus on.
What I’m trying to get here is; see the world for what it is for yourself. Not just in movies and through stories, scriptures, books, and mainstream media. Although stories and legends do play a crucial role as it holds so much wisdom and knowledge from our past and our historical findings, we ought to acknowledge that the world is in constant change.
The Real-life Little Red Riding Hood
Newborn puppies on the mountain top
Bhaktapur Durbar Square
In the modern world, these powerful ideas and beliefs are capable of separating us as a human race but at the very essence of it all, we are not separate from one another and we have what it takes to contribute to a collective power that will not only inspire others to find theirs but it will bring together a greater sense of purpose, events, actions and ideas that are within our control. This is a space where we’ll get to direct, write, produce and play the main character in our own unique lives while at the same time, contributing to building something greater than ourselves.
We think we know ourselves until we find out more
Kathmandu was the perfect place for me to connect with people from an entirely different culture and walks of life. I traveled from cities to remote mountains on my trek to Poon Hill. I curiously asked questions and heard stories that made my mind stretch beyond its comfort zone in order to understand what it was receiving. Metaphorically – my mind was the antenna receiving new signals and I would then broadcast these new signals into my own storyline.
I became more aware of my place in the world, more appreciative of what I have and realized that there’s an abundant source of happiness from corners of the planet that have so “little” compared to what we have accumulated in a material sense.
A typical home on the mountain top
I’m not saying that materials aren’t important to one’s happiness and fulfillment. It definitely makes me happier to be sleeping in a 5-star hotel in comparison to a hostel with 5 other people – It is important if you have a certain level of comfort that can’t be compromised. What I’m conveying is that happiness doesn’t always need to come from having so many material possessions. Happiness overall, in my opinion, is being satisfied or at peace with your existence, your mind, your body, your spirit, your soul, your mission and your purpose. Feelings of happiness will fluctuate from time to time and that in itself is yes; a perfect part of life but more so I feel that emotions and its versatility play a role for us to think and rescan all that we are going through so that we can correct, erase, add, make changes and not be carried away by the waves of our external influences and the noise in the midst of our disturbing social landscapes.
In my experience, traveling is like a vehicle that can take you to the edge of global awareness, it can transport you to beautiful events, nature, people and ways of creative living. You’ll be able to navigate through the sheer wisdom and appreciation of our only home, planet Earth. All awareness will essentially lead to self-awareness, and self-awareness is what will fuel us and aid others through this beautiful journey we call life.
Morning on top of Poon-Hill lookout
Layers of beauty
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“If you don’t experience with your life to see what fits for you, how will you ever know what you’re made of?”