Sunday, March 20, 2011

lonesome traveller

when mom asked me the other day what it was i missed the most i told her two things - family and friends {of course!} and not having the space or time to unpack for a while.

after this crazy wonderful journey {i still wake up some days and just have to laugh. i'm doing what i've always dreamt of - living abroad, on my own, fully living and loving each day.} i know travel. i know all about the ups {all of nz} and downs {chinese customs}. i know how to bargain, how to make friends, and how to stay healthy {for the most part - i was sick for a good while here the other week, but all better now}. most of all, i know living out of a backpack!

but that said, i still have lots to learn. i love this lifestyle more than i can put into words and i am forever grateful for this opportunity.

last week, my sick week, i experienced loneliness for the first time of this trip. it only lasted a day or two, but i felt very alone, sick, and tired. since mo and mandy left me i had a really difficult time meeting people and finding enough to do around kathmandu. during this time, i spent a good bit of each day in my room hoping and praying i wouldn't be sick forever.

in this time, i finished the kite runner {i have to admit, i wasn't a big fan until the last two hundred or so pages. it was really hard to read, but those pages changed a lot} and started reaching out. nouwen's first three chapters are on loneliness. i read it at just the right time in life. thanks to the book, i took this period of loneliness and tried to look at it as a time of solitude. i found this passage particularly true, and i am guilty.

. . . "too often we will do everything possible to avoid the confrontation with the experience of being alone, and sometimes we are able to create the most ingenious devices to prevent ourselves from being reminded of this condition. our culture has become most sophisticated in the avoidance of pain, not only our physical pain but our emotional and mental pain as well. we not only bury our dead as if they were still alive, but we also bury our pains as if they were not really there. we have become so used to this state of anesthesia, that we panic when there is nothing or nobody left to distract us. when we have no project to finish, no friend to visit, no book to read, no television to watch or no record to play, and when we are left all alone by ourselves we are brought so close to the revelation of our basic human aloneness and are so afraid of experiencing an all-pervasive sense of loneliness that we will do anything to get busy again and continue the game which makes us believe that everything is fine after all" . . .

since i read those chapters, i found new inspiration from this solitude and to be honest, i haven't felt lonely again. i also have been well enough to make new friends each day, so that's good too.

i still don't know what i am doing here in kathmandu, but i am still working through my options! there are so many opportunities, but it is difficult knowing who you can trust {i have heard some unbelievable stories about volunteer placements}.

more to come later!

{this song has been one of the theme songs for my trip, but unlike marianne faithful, grace will never stop all this travellin! . . . all photos from my life in hotels here in ktm!}

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