I am at Her Farm! It took a lot of time and energy to get here. After the 17 hour flight to Nepal, it took another three hours by bus to get to the town of Bagmati and another 2 hours of hiking to get to the farm. The farm is 4.5 km up. My sister (this is what the women/girls call each other – I am their sister and they are my sister) knew a short cut so we didn’t have to take the road but it resulted in some steep terrain up. I would never have known where to go. It’s amazing the network of trails that people have here to get to each other’s houses. Most people in the village travel by foot with some motorbikes and very few trucks.
We had to cross over this bridge to start our hike up to the farm.
Hike started off nice and flat through a rice field.
And then we weren’t so flat anymore! This is my sister Yamuna leading the way. She was at the volunteer house in Kathmandu when I arrived on Wednesday. She helped me get from Kathmandu to the farm. Help was very much needed. The bus system was difficult to follow especially since we were taking local buses and not the tourist ones. And of course I would not have been able to find my way up those trails!
It was a hot and humid walk UP but once I arrived it was well worth it! I have an appreciation for the way locals travel in this village. Here is the view from Her Farm.
This is the view from my bedroom window. It’s breathtakingly beautiful here.
Namaste from Nepal! It’s 5:15am in Nepal. I’ve been awake since 3am. After laying here for a couple of hours listening to all the dogs barking I decided to get up and get a quick post in.
It was a long travel day over. The 12 hour flight to Doha, Qatar was long but luckily I had the middle row of seats to myself. So I had 3 seats to spread out over. I had a 2 hour layover before an other 5 hour flight to Kathmandu. Spent a couple of hours in the Kathmandu airport with visa, immigration, and waiting nearly an hour and a half for my luggage. But it arrived!
I took a taxi to the volunteer house for Her Farm just outside Kathmandu in Budhanilkantha. That ride was quite an experience. Thank goodness someone else was driving because there were cars, motorbikes, and pedestrians everywhere along with dogs and goats and the occasional chicken. I’ve never experienced anything like it before.
I leave this morning for the farm. It’s an hour long bus ride before making a walk to the Farm. I am very excited to get there. I am ready to settle in and get going. If you’re interested in learning more about where I am going check out Her Farm’s website.
Where is home? Where are you from? Where do you live?
I have always struggled answering questions about “home”. As someone who was born in Upstate New York, lived in Florida and Arkansas as a young child, grew up in New Jersey, went to college in Connecticut, and spent eleven years living in California, I never know how to answer those questions. I certainly haven’t made it any easier on myself since moving out of my California house in June.
When I made the decision in January to leave my job and travel I knew it was going to be a daunting task. First up was what to do with all my stuff. I was living very comfortably in a house filled with furniture, books, pictures, clothes, technology, food, kitchen gadgets, camping gear…no way it was going to all fit into a backpack or my car! I spent the spring going through my house having to make decisions – was I going to keep it or get rid of it? If I was keeping it was it going into storage or was it staying with me? If I was getting rid of it was it something I was going to sell or donate? And if I was going to donate it what organization would take it? It’s been a long time since I literally looked at and touched every single item I owned and made a decision about its fate. It was an exhausting process – physically, mentally, and emotionally.
But I also found it extremely freeing. It felt great to get rid of items that I have been hanging on to because I had space. Or items that no longer served a purpose. Or items that reminded me of things I no longer wanted to remember. Letting go of physical objects helped me feel lighter and more open. I found Marie Kondō’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing very helpful in this process.
On June 12th the movers arrived.
While I unloaded a lot of stuff to friends and donation centers, there were still some pieces of furniture, books, mementos, etc. that I wanted to keep. I was proud of myself because the movers estimated that I would need three storage crates based on what I originally had in the house. I only ended up using 1.5! While I didn’t completely let go of everything like some people do when they make a change like I did, I certainly let go of a lot!
So where is home?
If I answer by where the majority of my stuff is then it’s in a storage center in Castroville, CA. It would be impossible to pick one place if I had to define it by where family and friends live. I like thinking about home as wherever I currently stand. I know there will come a day when I long for a physical house to call my own but for right now I am really enjoying the idea that home is literally wherever I am.
As I embark on this nomadic lifestyle there are a few people I have to acknowledge who were very helpful in my transition:
Sally – thank you for being an awesome colleague! And thanks for having the best moving and storage company. Cardinale Moving and Storage has been instrumental in several of my moves. Always professional, I know my belongings are in good hands while I travel!
Rich and Debbie – thank you for being an amazing couple! And thanks for letting me stay with you those first two weeks. It was so kind of you to open up your home.
Sarah – thank you for being a wonderful friend! And thanks for letting me store stuff at your place this summer!
Casey – thank you for being a fantastic sister! And thanks for spending so much time with me in a car this summer!
David and Shelley – thank you for being the best parents! And thanks for letting me spend so much time with you this September!
To the countless friends who supported me in my final months in California – the transition was hard but I really felt so much love and support from so many wonderful people. From dinners, to waffle breakfasts, to chocolate croissants…clearly the way to my heart is food!