Chitwan National Park – Safari Jungle – Part II


Day two was pretty low key although we did an other Jeep safari ride in a different part of the park.

Sunset towards the end of our tour.
We made it back in time to finish watching the sunset with a beer on the river. Fairly relaxing except for the crocodiles that we could see in the water or hanging out on the shoreline!
I had a wonderful visit to Chitwan National Park. It was fun exploring a new area with a new friend. After three days it was time for me to head back to Pokhara and Morgane left for Kathmandu on her way to India. 


Chitwan National Park – Jungle Safari Adventure – Part I


It didn’t take long to find the next adventure after the trek. One of the other women on my trek had some free time, too, so we decided to travel south to Chitwan National Park. We spent four days doing a jungle safari. It was a fun visit to an other part of Nepal that was so vastly different from the mountain region we were in the week before. Here are a few pictures to summarize the adventure.

Our hotel was located right on the Rapti River.
Elephants were often seen crossing the river. The elephants we saw were trained for government use. Their handlers would take them into the jungle in order to feed on the elephant grass.
Elephant grass was very abundant in the forest. It’s height added to the excitement of being in the jungle since it was hard to see over it. We had to be heads up for wild elephants, rhinos, the sloth bear, tigers, and of course monkeys, birds, and insects.
The only big wild animal I came across was this rhino feeding in one of the protected army barricades. Apparently this rhino was known to the locals because he often fed in this area because it was protected. He was an older rhino so the danger level was low in this moment!
On the first full day of our trek we took an hour long canoe ride down the river so we could walk back in the jungle.
These are the trees that locals use to make the canoes.
Morgane and I met the week before on our trek. We are both taking 5 months to travel and Nepal was the first stop for both of us. One of the wonderful things about solo travel is the opportunity to meet people. I went outside my comfort zone when I left for my trek because I didn’t have the next week planned. I have a tendency to plan and prepare! But keeping some flexibility in my schedule allowed me to travel with a new friend to a place I wasn’t planning on traveling to.
After our canoe ride we took a couple of hours to trek back to our starting point. I’ve never been so alert on a hike before. I had to look down to watch my footing in the mud since the ground was uneven with footprints from tigers, rhinos, and elephants. I had to look forward, backwards, left and right to make sure I wasn’t surprised by anything big. Plus I had to be heads up with the monkeys in the tress. We were told to look at the monkeys at an angle since they often pee. We didn’t want to get urine in our eyes. It was both comforting and disappointing that we didn’t see any big mammals. Perhaps my encounter with some brown bears this summer in Lake Tahoe was enough excitement for this year!
Did I mention crocodiles yet? Oh yeah we had to watch out for crocodiles, too!

Ghorepani-Poon Hill Trek – Part 2

The morning of day 4 before setting off for Ghandruk.

Day 4: Tadapani – Ghandruk

While we had amazing views of the mountains we also spent some time walking in lush forests.
We hiked in and out of rhododendron forests throughout the day but when we popped out this was our view! It was hard walking because I just wanted to stop and stare at the mountains.
We ended our day in Ghandruk, a major settlement of the Gurung, an ethnic group of Nepal.
Everyday we had dal bhat, a traditional meal, for lunch.
We did a half day hike on day 4 so we arrived at our guest house in time for lunch. This was the view from the dining room.
With a free afternoon we wondered around the village and had some fun dressing up in traditional clothes. 

Day 5: Ghandruk – Nayapul – Pokhara

Leaving our guest house on the final day of trekking.
Day five was a long day of hiking down through villages back to our starting point – Nayapul.
After five full days of trekking we made it back to Nayapul for our pick-up back to Pokhara.
Taking time to enjoy a cocktail on the lake once we made it back to Pokhara. Cheers!

Ghorepani/Poonhill Trek – Part 1



On October 14th I traveled to Pokhara to join a trekking group through 3 Sisters Trekking. They had a 5-day trek to Ghorepani/Poonhill starting Oct 16th so I decided to join as hiking in the Himalayas was a bucket list item.

I joined 4 other women – an other American who is currently living in Nepal, a French woman currently living in Dublin, a German woman currently living in the the UK, and a Brazilian woman currently living in the UK. We were led by a Nepali female guide and 5 female assistants. Our group was diverse, interesting, smart, and fun! I really enjoyed my time with these women.

Our group leaving the first tea house we stayed at.

Here’s a photo summary of my trek:

Day 1: Pokhara – Nayapul – Hille


We had over an hour and a half long drive to our trail head in Nayapul which was made a little longer with a few traffic jams along the way!


Views from the trail.



We had the occasional traffic jam on the trail, too!


Each day we would trek to a guest house where we would have an afternoon tea/coffee and snack and spend the rest of the evening. So we would have dinner, sleep, and breakfast at whatever guest house we were at. This was our guest house on night one in Hille.

Afternoon coffee with a view. This was the view from our guest house our first night on the trek. It had rained a bit in the afternoon but luckily that was the only rain we had on our 5 day trek.

Day 2: Hille-Ghorepani

We only went one direction on day 2 – up! Lots of climbing!
Most of the trek involved walking on stone steps.
We would stop every morning around 9:30am-10:00am for a tea/coffee/snack break. Masala tea became my new favorite drink in Nepal.

Day 3: Ghorepani- Poon Hill – Tadapani

We got up early to make the climb up to Poon Hill to watch the sunrise over the Annapurna mountain range.


Watching the sunrise over the Himalayas was truly magical. I had to keep pinching myself!
We were blessed with clear weather. We had amazing views of Annapurna South and Machhapuchhare the entire day.
Just had to stop for a jumping picture! Jumping totally captured my excitement and joy of being on the trail, taking in the scenery, and being in Nepal!
This was the view from my room when we ended our day in Tadapani!
After an early morning hike to Poon Hill, it felt good to reach our final destination on day 3. This was my favorite spot on the trek. My masala tea never tasted so good!
Started the day with sunrise and ended the day with sunset over the mountains. One of my favorite days ever.

Day 4 and 5 will be covered in the next post. Having a hard time adding any more pictures!



Update from Pokhara

The view of Pokhara and Phewa Tal (lake) from the World Peace Pagoda. 

Greetings from Pokhara. It’s been a while since my last post so it’s about time I catch up on my blog! Since my last post I’ve been on a 5-day trek in the Himalayas, spent a couple of days relaxing in Pokhara with new friends, went on a 4-day jungle safari in Chitwan National Park, and most recently finished a 3-day retreat with a focus on meditation, yoga, and introduction to Buddhism. It’s been a busy couple of weeks so I am taking the next couple of days to catch up on sleep, update my blog, and just relax in Pokhara before moving on to Kathmandu at the end of the week. I plan on blogging about each adventure so more to come in the next couple of days!

World Peace Pagoda 


Update from the farm



Hard to believe I am 12 days in. My appologies for the delay in a post. The internet is weak here at the farm making it difficult to get online. There have been a handful of power outages (2 alone in just trying to get this posted!) and the internet is often off. When it is on there usually isn’t enough bandwidth to do more then send a message through WhatApps or post a picture to Instagram. I am not sure how much I will be able to post during my stay at Her Farm but stay tuned! More posts to come when internet connection is better!

Taking Tika and Jamara from elders and receiving their blessings during Dashain, a 15-day festival. Photo credit belongs to Scott MacLennan of Her Farm.

Made it to Her Farm


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.




Home is wherever I am

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!
Sunset at Carmel Beach
Sunset at Carmel Beach – one of my favorite views