Nepal 108: The Stupa

The Stupa in Pokhara, Nepal

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid-in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: “Wow! What a ride!”

—Hunter S. Thompson

The day after the interview, I got the email I knew was coming: After further consideration and review of your C.V., we have decided not to… blah, blah, blah.

I wasn’t sure if I should be relieved or devastated.

I didn’t feel much either way.

I had known I was not getting the job.

I knew I didn’t have the energy to remain abroad much longer. I was thoroughly used-up and totally worn-out. All that remained was to skid across the finish line: a bus to Kathmandu, then a flight home.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Nepal 106: Back to Civilization

Photos of Pokhara with Himalayas

The jeep ride back to Pokhara took forever.

The road, typical of developing infrastructure, was rocky, dirty, and pothole-filled. The huge 4×4 jeep, luckily, was prepared for these conditions But I, riding without a seatbelt on one of the jump-benches in the back, was not.

My stomach was also feeling a little iffy — although clearly not as poorly as the diplomat’s daughter’s, who we had ceded the front seat to without any argument — and the jolting and sloshing was not helping anything.

But, the same way a life goes by day by day, month by month, year by year…the ride passed: minute by minute, hour by hour, until we were back on familiar ground.

Continue reading

A Completely Arbitrary List of My 20 Favorite Cities in the World

List of 20 Best Cities To Travel in the World

Every travel magazine, site, and company worth their salt has a “x best cities list.” While yes, some cities do generally feel a little better than others, the truth  is… it’s all subjective. The city that steals one person’s heart may leave another with a stolen wallet, and the pair will return home with two very different tales to tell their friends of foreign hospitality.

So, with that in mind, here’s my ranked list of my 20 favorite cities in the world.

And as they say: I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list. Feel free to give me suggestions for cities you think I’d like in the comments!

Continue reading

Nepal 53: The Drunk Welshman

High-resolution Welsh flag

I took a few more games from the Malaysian. Either he had gotten too stoned, or I was starting to understand his playing style.

“Tomorrow, we will play again?” he asked me as I stepped back from the board.

“Nah, I have to go trekking tomorrow,” I said. “Need to redeem your reputation, losing against this youngster?” I say, half-joking. He had handily taken the majority of games from me. I knew he was the better player.

“Don’t flatter yourself,” the Malaysian said, looking down. “You are not that young.”

“I’m only 23!” I protested.

“Exactly,” he said. “That is not that young.”

I stepped back, slightly offended. He was probably right. He seemed like the sort of man who was usually right about things.

Continue reading