Social icons

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Langtang Trek in Nepal : Regaining Focus


Langtang Trek, Nepal
happy trekker :)

I forced myself to eat lunch after making it to Kyanjin Gompa, the highest village in my 5-day trek in the Langtang region. At 3900 meters, this village sits on a valley surrounded by Himalayan peaks and glaciers. I knew my body needed all the energy it can get to last a day in this village. I could feel my lungs and heart making extra effort to keep my body to function properly. To acclimatize, I decided to walk around the village.


Kyanjing Gompa, Langtang Trek, Nepal
village of Kyanjin Gompa

I passed by different teahouses until I found a wide open space where I saw the mountains closer. It was a little after noon and the sun was shining bright, and the blue sky so clear. Wind was picking up from time to time, but the weather was perfect. It was winter, the cold was sometimes unbearable but it gave trekkers the perfect view of the beautiful landscape. It was also off-trekking season, so there were only a few trekkers on the trail.

Langtang Trek, Nepal
winter gave clear blue skies, and dry and stunning landscapes

I found a spot just near the edge of the valley and sat there. And I don’t know, I just felt so happy again. I guess that’s the thing with trekking and being around nature – it has the ability to make you be in the moment. I’ve always said that a lot of people turn to the ocean when they feel the need to be connected spiritually. I, on the other hand, find refuge from the mountains. I feel so protected and welcomed by these big mountains. And I found clarity.

Kyanjing Gompa, Langtang Trek, Nepal
view of Langtang Himal from Kyanjin Gompa

Kyanjing Gompa, Langtang Trek, Nepal
gorgeous view of the mountains surrounding the viillage of Kyanjin Gompa

This year has been too comfortable for me. I’ve settled into the routinary life, and it’s been great actually. I’ve come to appreciate having my own place, and making that small space homey for me. I spent more time with family and friends. I’ve enjoyed buying new things again. Work has been okay, and it hasn’t been as stressful as my past two jobs. Everything was fine. That sometimes I wonder if I should start planting roots here again. I thought saving up for South America was taking such a long time, that the possibility of it was starting to diminish. I was anxious that traveling wouldn’t have the same magic as the last big trip I did in 2011. And you know, those certain moments when you realize you only have a few years left before the 30s. When you see your friends leading different lives from yours, and your parents getting old. It makes you rethink things you’ve planned – that maybe now is the right time to think about security.

But now, after that two-week trip in Nepal – a last-minute change of plans since my Australian visa got denied and I couldn’t visit my bestfriend there anymore I gained renewed focus.

Kenjin Ri Viewpoint, Langtang Trek, Nepal
view of the glacier from Kyanjin Ri viewpoint

A lot of people complain about the gruelling 7-hour bus ride to Syabrubesi (take-off point for the trek) from Kathmandu. But I actually enjoyed it. It was very bumpy and scary, but I saw it as an adventure, and the Nepalese music being played inside made the experience more interesting. I’ve missed witnessing new things – cultures and traditions – different from what I know. I’ve missed discovering new wonderful places, that even though it’s my second time in Nepal, I still got to see a different landscape. I’ve missed meeting people from different parts of the world – fellow travellers, trekkers, trekking guides, and the Tamang people of the Langtang region. I guess the coolest was when I met these two guys who spent a month kayaking the wild rivers of Nepal, and how much of an adventure they had. Or the Spaniard who’s been to South America and trekked the mountains of Patagonia and Chile’s Torres del Paine. Their stories inspire me so much now to prepare for South America and my next big adventure.

Kenjin Ri Viewpoint, Langtang Trek, Nepal
colorful Tibetan prayer flags on Kyanjin Ri

My two-week adventure in Nepal reminded me that this kind of happiness I’m feeling when I’m traveling is still alive inside me. That there is still a big world I have yet to explore, new things (both good and bad) I have yet to experience.

It’s been a good push to have a fresh start. And that maybe this was the reason why I had to go to Nepal. And I’m really glad I did.