2 weeks trekking the Annapurna Circuit in the Himalayas of Nepal with my wonderful friends was exactly what my soul needed and craved. The pure, unfiltered beauty and power of nature fills and humbles my spirit like nothing else. Being in nature dematerializes my cluttered mind and rematerializes the complex sensuous experience of my surroundings. Nature enables me to feel into each moment paying attention to the ebb and flow of my energy and how it relates to the universe as a whole. By feeling into the moment we can become increasingly mindful of the inner world that is so easy to neglect. Nature helps facilitate this presence within me – what ignites your presence?
Only in Nepal can you hike to 18,000 feet in altitude, walk all day for days on end, and still have a hot meal and a bed each night. Not a bad life. I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the sharing.
Loading the Jeep on Day 1
The First Steps
Meet Joe: Our master planner for the trek who has been traveling the world for the last 7 months.
Meet Gabe: My good friend whom I have known since early elementary school.
Meet Scott and Wendy: They will be getting married in August and decided to quit their jobs and spend this whole year traveling. They were just coming from spending 3 months in rural Thailand teaching English.
Meet our Porters: Tough, simple, and humorous.
Meet the Trail
Endless Prayer Wheels: Throughout the trek, there were long walls of prayer wheels to spin as you pass.
Tea House Mini Magic Show
Goofin’: They say that with a beard comes great responsibility…
Rounded Rock Face
High Camp: A bed and hot food at 16,200 feet
The Crew at High Camp
High Camp Views
Throng La Pass: 17,769 feet, I was told it is the highest point you can hike to without venturing to the realm of mountaineering.
Throng La Pass from 7,000 vertical feet and 27km below: On the trek, I was consistently blown away by the sheer magnitude of the mountains. Those peaks on either side of the pass are well over 23,000 feet.
Parting ways in the Mustang Valley: Joe and Gabe continued for a week to the Tibetan Mustang Valley while Wendy, Scott, and I began our journey to Pokhara and then back to Kathmandu.
Mustang Valley to Tibet
Pokhara on a Cloudy Day
Pokhara on a Clear Day
Buddhist Stoupa in Kathmandu
Satish’s Family: Our dear Gonzaga friend, Satish (not in the picture), is from Kathmandu, Nepal. His family invited us to their home for a delicious lunch after trekking.
My heart goes out to the Everest climbers who lost their lives in an avalanche. As we began climbing to Throng La Pass at 4:30 am, we heard an avalanche boom down the peak across the valley below. Too close to home. Life is fragile and we must savor it.
This trip provided invaluable space to re-center myself before my final month in India and before I begin medical school in less than two months. Now back in Mumbai, I am eagerly awaiting Magicians Without Borders Founder and President, Tom Verner, who will be arriving this week.
I will leave you with a quote that I have been reflecting on: “World conditions continue to challenge us to look beyond the status quo for responses to the pain of our times. We look to powers within as well as powers without. A new spirituality based social activism is beginning to assert itself. It stems not from hating what is wrong and trying to fix it, but from loving what could be and making the commitment to bring it forth.” – Marianne Williamson
Feel into it, bit by bit, peel the layers back so that together, we can bring forth what it means to truly be alive.