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Trek View on Nepal: Himalayan Studies Gap Year Semester with Where There Be Dragons

A Letter to Myself

My experience in Nepal is coming to an end.

For my last Yak, I want to write a letter to myself to help me remember all the things I have learned from this trip and to help me make sense of this experience as a whole.

Maria,

As the city of Patan and your Patan-homestay family indirectly taught you, learn as much as you can because you like doing it, not because you have to. Explore and experience new things because it’s fun. Dive head first into a new culture and enjoy the interactions with the people of that culture you will have along the way. Also, learn from those people as much as you can.

As Rupesh taught you, do yoga as much as you can because yoga is a state of mind. As he would say while he was talking about the history of yoga, “we are doing yoga right now by being present in this moment”. Remember to be more yogi every moment of your day. However, don’t forget that practice makes perfect and that it’s all a process. Remember to take care of your body. Meditate because it’s fun and because it makes you feel good, not because you have to.

As Tashi La taught you, nothing is permanent, don’t try to cling onto things and don’t try to feed your ego. This is pretty damn hard, but it’s a good idea to keep in mind and a good (and distant) goal to strive toward. As the monastery indirectly taught you, remember to always question the things that are presented to you. Remember to admire the beauty of the places you are at and to look at things with a fresh eye. However, remember never to lose perspective and never to lose yourself.

As the village of Ale Gaun and your rural-homestay family indirectly taught you, the important moments in life are the simple ones. Just sitting in the shade of a thatch roof, on a sunny afternoon, listening to the birds chirping, while reading a book, is enough. Just sitting there, on a paddy straw mattress, while talking to your friends is enough. Enjoy the simplicity in life and the connections with the people around you.

As trekking and Pasang indirectly taught you, always value nature. Learn from it and enjoy it. It replenishes you with energy. Remember to admire the things in front of you that are stupendous, grandiose and deserve admiration (like the mountains and sites you see while you are on a trek). Be ready to move and pack your things every day. Be ready to walk and exert yourself. Enjoy the change that is part of a nomadic lifestyle and enjoy the close quarters with people that lifestyle imposes. Enjoy the 24/7 interaction with a group that camping provides.

Also, be patient with yourself.

That’s it! You made it!

Finally, remember to be very grateful for all the people that made this experience possible.

So, thank you very much to all of you!