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60 to 60: Travel Stories/Beauties of Nepal

In 2018, I fulfilled a longtime dream of going to Nepal. There are so many highlights, but here's just a few.

The absolute madness of Kathmandu, where many roads don't have sidewalks so you're constantly on the lookout to avoid getting run over. I told my travel pal Lynn I'd be out for a "short" walkabout. I managed to get quite turned-around (really, very lost) in this city on my first night there. Thank goodness for Nepalese tuk tuk drivers with big hearts. Gratitude.

The beauty of Pokhara, a city built around a mountainous lake. It’s known as the gateway to the Annapurna circuit, a popular trail in the Himalayas. Awestruck.

The public cremation site, where I witnessed the most powerful community grieving I'd ever seen, groups of people gathered in close together, offering comfort and love. Holy.

A drive from the border of Tibet. Our kind Tibetan guides were able to walk us only halfway across the bridge (not able to leave the country.) Our Nepalese guides met us here, and welcomed us back into Nepal. This drive lasted 8 hours on un-roads, bumping about, jerking side to side, occasionally thumping our heads on the top of the car. Memorable.

The sounds, the dust, the chaos, the hot sauce, chai, dhal bat and momos, the people, the people, the temples, monasteries, stupas, the 2015 earthquake damage, oh the damage, the mountains.

All of it, it was a grand adventure, Nepal. I hope to return some day.

The best part? These faces.

I was on my way into the Kathmandu airport on the beginning of the long journey home. Waiting in line outside, I caught the eye of these women and men. Such open radiance! It was my parting shot of this wonderful country and its people.

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