Gearing up for a Himalayan adventure…. On Sept. 23rd, 2015 I board a plane headed to Kathmandu, Nepal with my trusty 55L Osprey backpack filled with the few items I deem necessary for survival. My adventure actually evolved from a 2011 thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail where I met and became friends with Rick Nooft and from there the story continues to grow and take shape. A few of us met while hiking through the great state of Maine, summiting Mount Katahdin together and creating some forever trail friendships along the way. In April of this year Rick was doing a trek to the basecamp of Everest when the earthquake struck and turned his trek into a very real and immediate relief effort. I will be volunteering for his newly organized a charity called the New Hope Society USA http://www.newhopesocietyusa.com, a 501c3 here in the U.S. created to continue to support the New Hope Society founded in Nepal by Shree Prasad Koju http://thenewhopesociety.org. The combined mission is to provide support and relief to the villages devastated by the recent earthquakes and with the support and network of people in Nepal Rick has come to know I am proud to be a part of the volunteer efforts. I have decided that the most rewarding and authentic way that I can help is by traveling to Nepal and putting my hands and heart to work on projects they have already started and continue to manage.
The Nepal earthquakes which struck in April and May of this year killed over 9,000 people and injured/displaced tens of thousands. The opportunity and choice in going to Nepal is simply an example of how one decision in life involving travel and adventure can certainly lead into another which will bring an even greater sense of accomplishment through giving back. So many fellow friends and family members aren’t able to go out and experience such a meaningful rewarding trip to the other side of the world and it is my intention to share the joy, pain, truth and honesty about my own experience while taking such a life-changing direction. I resigned from from a comfortable salary and benefits working in the financial industry just a few short weeks ago, have packed all of my material possessions into a storage unit and purchased a 1-way ticket to Kathmandu, Nepal with the intention of giving because I feel capable and willing. This choice is not for everyone and I am thankful for that because somewhere in all of us is a want to live life a little different from the rest and to describe our own version of a ‘successful’ life.
I will be posting as much as possible amidst my 90+/- days of trekking and the plan is quite open to change and evolve based on the people and places I encounter. My posts are going to be at the discretion of my heart and relative to the thoughts and emotions that travel is evoking in my own life. I am not sure what tomorrow will bring but I know I want to remain authentic and directed more by my experiences and not by what people want to see or hear. Death and divorce in particular have brought me to this present place in life where I haven’t been able to shake the bigger questions about who I am and what I am living for. Fear of rejection, not being liked and having to defend one’s choices can keep you from fulfilling some of the most rewarding and positive dreams. The first thing I had to come to terms with before writing my first post on my very own travel blog was that another’s acceptance (or lack of) is unnecessary to continue forward on my journey and I can share from a place of enjoyment and empathy for others. My way is no better, no easier, no more difficult than that of any other and it takes all kinds to keep this world moving forward.
I am ‘making’ this time for myself and I do not believe you have to be rich or lucky to do what I am doing. You have to be willing to fail miserably and do your best to use both the blessings and hardships to shape and nurture the inevitable growth we have in our human experience. I want to embrace each day as it comes, the beauty of the outdoors and the beautiful people around every new corner. I hope to encourage others to travel, to search, to dig deeper into the meaning behind what drives you, what makes you want to wake up and be YOU. Happiness isn’t one size fits all – it’s an individual experience that we each get to call our own. I hope you find something of value in following along as I continue to share my adventures with you. Take what you’de like and leave the rest for another!
Happy Hiking – Lady M