Three months into my semi-permanent vacation, I’m making this monthly check-in a variation on the theme: these are things I knew already, but in the last month I’ve noticed them more sharply than before.
- My strengths: tenacity, endurance.
- My weaknesses: staying on the correct trail, wayfinding generally.
- I love, love, love my family and friends and their easy, generous, spirited enthusiasm for my oddball, unusual goals. Life is less lonely when you’ve got a tribe cheering you on, and I’ve had that and more throughout this trip. Thank you for the steady stream of encouragement from home, it’s been invaluable.
- Porters are badasses. Seriously, these guys are so strong. They carry unimaginably heavy loads over difficult trails and across narrow bridges, uncomplaining and often smiling. I’m amazed every time they make the effort to unleash a joyful, “Namaste!” Were I they, my utterance would be closer to, “Get the hell out of my way….”
- Dal bhat is the best! Rice, curried vegetables and lentil soup, served on a tray with a crispy bit of papadam, this is the ideal nutrition for long days of hiking, and generous seconds make it the best deal on the guesthouse menu. 24-hour dal bhat power.
- Everywhere in Nepal I’ve observed the easy kindness of strangers, and it makes smile and feel glad to be alive in the world. Sharing water with thirsty people on the trail, congratulating people on reaching the top of a climb, making space for everyone around the fire. There is an interest in communal well-being and kindness that softens the severe environment we’re trekking through.