Yesterday, I posted a story about shitting myself in Nepal. I’ve had this story in my back pocket for about a year now. It’s not the most flattering story, to be honest. I’ve never written about it. If you’re good friends with me, maybe you’ve heard it over a few beers.
The last time I remember telling this story, it was election day. I was in Budapest, drunk out of my mind. I told it to my climbing partner, a man I’ve known a long time and have a deep bond of trust with, and a person I’d just met that night at the hostel. “Maybe you don’t share that one on your blog,” my friend said when I finished the story, and the laughter had abated. “See, that’s the sort of stuff I love to hear!” the other guy said. “I don’t fucking care if you went to this city and drank these beers and took these pictures. That’s not real. Stories like that are what I want to hear when people tell travel stories.”
And as much as I appreciate my buddy trying to save my dignity, I have to agree with the second guy. The story of me losing control of my bowels in a Nepali trekking lodge is a lot more valuable than another whitewashed depiction of the country as some Shangri-La.
Sure, Nepal’s great. Going there transformed me. But honestly: it’s not the most sanitary place! And it was the combination of low moments like that, along with the highs, that made the experience what it was.
Yeah, it’s a little embarrassing. But here’s the thing: every time I think about that story, I laugh. It’s been a year, and it’s still funny to me. It’s hilarious. And it’s one of the most honest moments I have, to try and tell the story of my time in Nepal.
And if you’re not being honest, what’s the point?