A pretty rough start…

I made it to Nepal!  Hooray…  The journey has begun!  To be honest it’s been off to a pretty rough start… 

While in Bangkok I thought it would be a good idea to get my eyebrows waxed just before going to the airport.  Well… that was a freakn disaster.   Seriously, I cried.  They are that bad, the woman butchered them and my eyebrow is still sore 24hrs later.   I’m going to have to grow them out and deal with a mono brow for a while before finding somewhere good (aka very expensive) in India to get them fixed up.

To make it worse the woman took 40 mins and by the time they got someone else to try and fix them up I was running VERY late for the plane.  So late I thought I would miss it.  But the gods of Royal Nepal Airlines were shining on me, little did I know that this airline is known for being unreliable… So the flight scheduled for 1.30 was delayed till 4pm, then 6pm… then we left at 7.30pm.   

I got the privilege of sitting next to a group of smelly men one of which who took his shoes off to add to the stink and then stared at me the whole way.   It was horrible, they told me to bring ear plugs – nose plugs would have been a better idea.

Oh, to make that flight even better – the plane was about 100 years old (ok, slight exaggeration) and I was sitting by the emergency exit door which wasn’t shut properly.  I spent the whole flight waiting for it to tear open, suck me out and splatter me on to Mt Everest or something.    I really shouldn’t have watched ‘how not to die’ last week.

So I have arrived… spent the day being harassed by trekking guides and wandering around a bit disorientated.   AND I have already been scammed – I knew what was going on and when I out witted him the little bugger nicked $10usd from me… Grrr…    You live and learn.  

I did score a free lunch though from one of the touts wanting me to book an overpriced tour, he took me to a Nepalese place and I had my first meal sans cutlery…  I can still smell the curry on my fingers… give me a spoon any day!

So…  I’ve got a few days before meeting my tour group, I’m thinking getting out of Katmandu and into the country side is a good idea.   Watch this space… I will post photos in the next few days…   I just wanted to let you know I got here ok.

A fantastic quote

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. “    – Mark Twain

Sometimes I wonder if I am doing the right thing by continually putting my life on hold to go exploring.   Every now and then I worry about the consequences of living such an unsettled life, especially as I get older and see my friends getting married, having babies and doing really well in their careers.

But after reflecting on this quote I feel totally confident that I am doing the right thing. There is plenty of time for all the other stuff (well, most of it), right now is time for me to dream, discover and explore.

2 days left of work and 5 sleeps to go until I fly to Nepal to start my big adventure!!!

Packing for India and Nepal

This is most uncharacteristic of me but I have started packing for my big trip… This is very odd behaviour as I am usually the kind of girl who packs the night before (usually half sozzeled at 2am before a 6am flight). My how things have changed… perhaps I am getting older and wiser as I get closer to 30!

Anyways… the big dilemma of a single lass travelling around India for a few months all on her lonesome is… what to pack?!? I’ve been doing research on the internet and it appears that my usual style of dressing is going to be too ‘slaper-ish’ for India. According to the internet I should be taking long skirts, trousers and tops with long sleeves to avoid constant harassment and groping by the male population of India. Surely it can’t be that bad?!?

To add a twist to my pre-packing ‘what to wear’ confusion… the internet suggests I consider buying lots of Salwar Kameezs when I get to India to wear when backpacking around. I had no idea what a Salwar Kameeze is so I googled it, check out the pictures below. Can you see me in ‘smelly backpacker’ mode wearing one of these?!? I don’t think so.

A selection of Shalwaar Kameez
A sellection of Shalwaar Kameez

I am really not sure about this… but I will (try to) keep an open mind.

So the plan is… I am going to take as little as possible. Experience tells me I will end up wearing the same clothes every day anyway…. And hey, what I forget I can buy over there. And maybe… I might consider buying a Shalwaar Kameez or two.

The next question…. How many pairs of undies shall I take?!? Word on the street says you only need 3 pairs… one to wear, one to dry and one as a backup…. That is disgusting! I may be about to head into the ‘smelly backpacker’ zone but…really… 3 pairs!?!

Bubbling with EXCITEMENT!!!

Oh my gosh, I am bubbling with excitement! I’ve just been looking into Yoga courses in India and its getting me all excited about the upcoming trip.

I have found a bunch of yoga courses in a place called Mysore. Mysore seems to be an appropriate place to go as I am sure doing yoga several times a day will cause me to be rather sore!!! I’m not 100% sure I will do the big intensive course I have my eye on, it will really depend on how much time/money I spend getting to Mysore (it’s in the south of India)… boy I wish I wasn’t so crap at budgeting!!! See the thing about this trip is I don’t want to plan anything in too much detail; I just want the trip to flow and work itself out. This means I’ve done no budgeting – but I think I its getting to the stage where I might need to do a rough budget so at least I will know if I am blowing it!

Right, I better go… got a few more worky things I need to do today before the 5 second commute to the living room (oh how I don’t miss my 45min commute to Strathmore).

I will try to post again with some photos of Bangkok before I leave for Nepal as Mandy is curious to see how they fit a family of 4 on a motorcycle.

I hope everyone is well… missing everyone in NZ already.

ps – If anyone has any yoga recommendations in India please let me know (post a comment here or email me).

The Samutprakarn Sauna

I arrived safely in Bangkok despite some VERY scary turbulence over Australia where I thought the plane might actually break in two! I was a bit worried about problems on arrival due to the lack of visa and an outward ticket … but the woman at customs flipped through my passport and stamped me in without a worry. Eek… my poor passport is looking dodgier and dodgier by the day with all the Asian stamps!

Anyways… Life in Samutprakarn is fine… It’s hot, raining a lot (like a sauna) and I am working from home so my tan has not improved one iota. Oh well, I will have to wait for India before I work on my tan. Hmm… I am not sure how that will work given I have been told to cover up in India to avoid being continually harassed by Indian men who think all western women are up for it.

So, I’m starting to get a mix of emotions about my upcoming trip… I am VERY very excited and a tad nervous. I’ve travelled by myself before but only for a couple of weeks at a time… I’m expecting a few ‘character building’ experiences and am really hoping I won’t be harassed and ripped off too much. Eeek… it is exciting stuff!