Nepal 7: DEL to KTM

In flight map Delhi Kathmandu India Nepal

As my layover in Delhi drew to an end, I worked my way back to the gate. It had filled up significantly since I had last been here: full of hippies and fortune-seekers looking to find inner peace in the high mountain sanctuaries of Nepal. Backpackers, families, mountain climbers— these were my people. Still, the nervousness was starting to set in.

I didn’t have confirmed lodging in Kathmandu, and the flight was scheduled to get in around 11 p.m.

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Nepal 6: Dominos Pizza

100 Indian Rupees

When I finally got to the counter, I told the agent I’d lost my ticket.

“What’s your name?” he asked, bored.

I told him, and he handed me my original boarding pass. Someone must have found it and turned it in.

“Try and hold on to it this time,” he told me without inflection.

I took it without further comment.

I was out of excuses. Nepal was back on.

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Nepal 5: Lost Ticket

Disembarking at Delhi Airport

[This is a chapter from my travel book. There are lots more chapters posted on the blog, but if you’d prefer to read them all at once, sign up for my e-mail newsletter and I’ll be sure to let you know when they’re available in a condensed form!]

I spent about 30 minutes sitting there, blackly depressed and feeling sorry for myself.

Eventually, I realized that although fate had intervened to bring me here, it probably wouldn’t magic my boarding pass out of thin air at the last moment, the way it had snatched a ticket home from me.

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Nepal 4: Delhi

Jet Airways Boarding Pass

You don’t need to go through passport control when you just have a layover in a foreign country, so I never technically entered India.

After you’ve seen enough of them, all airports kind of start to look the same. Same bones: check-in, security, passport control/immigration, customs, a pickup area bustling with taxis and touts… by the time I showed up in India, after five months of travel, I was thoroughly unimpressed with airports.

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Nepal 3: Hong Kong to Delhi

Air India

[This is a chapter from my travel book. There are lots more chapters posted on the blog, but if you’d prefer to read them all at once, sign up for my e-mail newsletter and I’ll be sure to let you know when they’re available in a condensed form!]

I had a ticket onwards to Nepal, via Delhi. The five hours between when my girlfriend’s plane departed for home and mine left felt interminable. Yet, sitting in a shocked stupor, it also felt as if things were moving very swiftly. Nothing made sense.

I was a human robot, less than a lost child. I could not have thought for myself or made any decision other than to continue down the path I had set for myself a few days ago: I was going to Nepal, and Holly was going home. What had seemed to make so much sense in the weeks leading up to our parting now felt all wrong.

But she was gone, and I held tightly to two tickets: HKG to DEL, and DEL to KTM. The idea to buy a ticket home didn’t even enter my mind. I was utterly incapable of independent thought. So I sat, and I waited, and I boarded the plane to Delhi.

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