An Unprepared Traveler – A Culture Shock In Nepal

I’m normally a non-planner traveler. That’s my favorite way to travel around the world. However, I don’t think I was ever so unprepared as when I landed in Nepal. That was surprising even to me as Nepal was my main destination and flying here for the retreat is the reason for traveling in the first place. And yet, I didn’t even know how much Nepali rupees amount to 100$, I didn’t know it costs 100$ to issue a visa, I had no idea with regards to the price of taxis, guesthouses or food and everything in the last few hours in simply very surprising.

 I think that already while waiting at the boarding gate at the airport in Bangkok when Indian looking men stared at me and women giggled I realized I may going to have a culture shock in Nepal and I think that Nepal is not goona be what I expected it to be. For some reason I wanted Nepal to be the Austrian alps. Instead I landed in Kathmandu.

But, to be honest, I really like it here – with the unpaved streets, the honking, that “where you goin mam?”, the “which country?”, the children that waited an hour until I left the book shop just to chat with me in English, the terrible smell of pollution and all the other shit. I find myself walking with a big smile. Enjoying. Once again feeling blessed and fortunate.

I still don’t exactly know what are my plans in Nepal. Actually, I was planning to begin my retreat within a week but I feel that I want to do one or two more things here before entering “Hotel California”. I want to volunteer here with orphanage children and I want to trek for some 10 days or at least one of these activities. So I may postpone my retreat for a few weeks. I cannot decide yet. Feel as if I need to rest for a day or two. You may raise an eyebrow with regards to this last sentence and you may be right doing so hence I’m on vacation and all. but hey for the last three days I’ve traveled for almost one whole day in Thailand and flew an international flight to Nepal. My soul needs to catch my body now so I need to slow down for some days. And also my poor heart needs to rest from the emotional turmoil he’s been through in the last few days. I think I may take it easy for 2-3 days in Kathmandu until I figure out what, where and when.


About advaharma

Been fascinated by the mystery of life ever since I can remember. Have been practicing meditation for more than 20 years. Dedicated two years to an ongoing silent meditation retreat whilst living in Buddhist monasteries in Nepal and Burma. A Yogi and a Front Line Humanitarian.
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