How an Adventure in Nepal Got Me Out of My Rut
In 2008, my life was in tatters. I had lived a life of full of nights out that turned into weekends lost, I had no focus on what I wanted to do and I thought my whole identity depended on how crazy I could be on my nights out. What people didn’t see was the inner trouble this type of life had on me. I was sad, depressed and angry that I wasn’t successful like everyone else.
I decided to take action.
In fact, I realized that in order to be successful in my own right, I had to do what I cared about: help others. I started to search the Internet for an answer and after a few weeks I had found it. In November of 2008, I booked a five-month volunteering placement in Nepal through Twin Work & Volunteer. I was to leave in July of 2009. What I didn’t realize was just how much that trip would change my life.
In the first month of being there, I found out that I was a very scared person. Scared of not knowing myself, scared of change, scared of losing everyone. Scared of life.
However, the joys I found in Nepal in the months following my realization will stay with me forever. With the help of some amazing friends, in the shape of other volunteers and the staff who looked after us, I learned how:
To be comfortable on my own
Traveling to Pokhara, the adventure capital of Nepal, on my own helped me to realize that I don’t need to be surrounded by similar people all the time. I can enjoy life on my own and meet new people who have amazing stories to tell.
To laugh at myself
My abysmal skills at picking up the language, not knowing directions to places and putting myself in situations that I knew would challenge me enabled me to learn that not everyone is perfect and most importantly nobody expects you to be perfect either.
To communicate more… and find out there is only so much computer training you can do without using a computer!
At the time I was there, Nepal had power outages quite a lot, some lasting up to seven hours! By talking with other volunteers, I found out that everyone has fears and doubts, but if we talk about them, we can find new and exciting ways to deal with them. The best way I found was to don a safety helmet and jacket, grab a paddle and try out some of the amazing white water rafting that is available throughout Nepal.
With my newfound confidence, and the knowledge that I had the support of everyone I had met, I was able to literally run off a cliff and go paragliding. I hired a bike and did my own version of mountain biking with a guide–by this I mean I rode very slowly up a massive hill and then I fell off the bike right at the top and had to cycle all the way back down with the brake on! But you know what? That is OK. Everything you do in life is OK.
The crucial lesson I learned while I was there was to never think you have stopped growing. Throughout life beautiful people will enter your heart, change your world forever, for the better.
If you are struggling with life or if you love life or want adventure and the feeling like you are giving something back to the world–or just simply want a vacation–I strongly recommend you go to Nepal. The country is gorgeous. The people are some of the best I have ever met. You will come away with so much more than you ever thought possible. The crucial lesson I learned while I was there was to never think you have stopped growing. Throughout life beautiful people will enter your heart, change your world forever, for the better.
I will go back one day. Maybe I’ll see you there on a micro flight. On the rapids, volunteering at a monastery or school, dancing in a field or running off a cliff. The choice is yours.
Photos for How an Adventure in Nepal Got Me Out of My Rut by Jo Shaw and Unsplash.