Welcome back, ya lovely souls (& if you’re new welcome)!
I obviously struggle at keep consistency on this blog, but we will get there eventually. Today I am going to tell you a boring story about the time I adventured out in Nepal and a 7 hour bus ride turned into more of a 12-ish hour bus ride…..yes, you read that right. It is an experience I would not trade for the world.
If you’ve been following my instagram blog, you probably have witnessed me talk about my trip to Nepal a few years ago. I was 22 and feeling ballsy. Alone, I went on my first international trip to Nepal ( & No, I hadn’t even been to Canada at this point). The main objective of that trip was to volunteer and give back and do some sight seeing & soul searching on the weekends.
One weekend, another volunteer and I thought it would be fun to take a trip from Kathmandu to Pokhara. After all, our volunteer coordinators hyped it up for us – they told us about the beauty of the Himalayas there and all the fun activities to do. They even bought our bus tickets for us (grateful still to this day for that).
The trip was planned to be short, considering we had to be back to volunteer at the beginning of the week. We struggled to find the bus stop the morning we left. & GUYS, I cannot tell you how much anxiety I used to get about being late and missing things, I was low-key FREAKING out about not being able to find it…..but at last we found it and hopped on the bus. Assuming we would arrive while it was still day light, we didn’t book our hostel or really have any kind of plan, we straight up were just winging it.
The ride started off great. I was astounded by the fact the roads weren’t paved at all and of how narrow the roads curving up the side of the mountain were. I had already accepted that if that is how I died (in a bus crash on the side of a mountain in Nepal), I would be content with the life I had lived. After about the second stop, we ran into some traffic…..traffic that just didn’t move. The moment the driver turned the bus off, we all knew we were stuck for a while. One by one we slowly started hoping off the bus to catch some air (mind you, this was in the middle of the summer and there was no rain so it was HOT).
While stuck in traffic, we started befriending others on the stop. One was a sweet girl who spoke Hindu, which apparently a lot of Nepalis know Hindu. So, this sweet girl spoke to a local cab driver and found out that there was apparently a bad mud slide on our route and that we would not be moving for awhile. With that information, everyone from our bus slowly decided to walk through the traffic (about a mile) to a little village. If you’ve never seen 100s of people walking through traffic in the middle of a mountain road, you’re truly missing out. Such a culture shock.
Once at the village, we started befriending more people and somehow we all ended up in the same area together. We ate noodles and talked about our lives, which was so interesting to me. We didn’t have wifi for our phones and there wasn’t much else to do, but speak and share stories. There were two friends who were from Mexico City, an enthusiastic teacher from Brazil who was about to move to India, the sweet girl from our trip who is from India and speaks Hindu, and me and my friend Margoux. They all shared travel stories and apparently visiting Panama is a dream, according to everyone. We laughed and I almost died when I went to use the restroom and saw a spider the size of my face….*nervous laughter & a little bit of dramatization
It had now been what felt like house since we had been in his village. It was dark and we were all walking around looking to see if our bus had moved up any to the village. While searching for our bus, I met some girls from the states. They were so kind and funny. One was from Florida and doing some soul searching another from California, on a break from volunteering in India. These girls bought some whiskey and we all shared it straight from the bottle as we waited (honestly never felt more like bada$$ sipping cheap foreign whiskey straight from the bottle). We eventually found our bus and settled in. Still sipping the whiskey and kinda laughing. I eventually fell asleep and we stopped at this weird equalivant to a “travel plaza” where we stocked up on some food.
I eventually fell asleep on the way back. When we arrived it was early morning, maybe 2 or 3am. Since my friend and I had not planned on finding a hostel, we had no idea what we were going to do. Panicking, we decide to split a cab with our sweet friend we met and just hope that her hostel had two spare beds. I would like to publicly say that we struggled to get there and the hostel was total sketch, but I feel like thats a whole other story for another time.
This story may sound boring to some, but I seriously love it. I connected with so many strangers that I otherwise never would have met. I got to be a human experiencing life inside a village of Nepal, which is just so humbling and meaningful to me. Yes, being delayed hours of our trip wasn’t ideal, but I wouldn’t have traded that experience for anything else. We still enjoyed Pokhara and had amazing experiences.