After a 1 hour and 15 minute fast paced uphill trek, I arrived at Paro Taktsang. The pilgrimage was like something out of Avatar, a dream to trek, through low hanging clouds with a harrowing drop at any given moment on either side. Prayer flags swayed through the pines, prayer wheels spinning in the breeze, and tsa-tsas (ashes of the dead) wedged between crevices of stone. Passing over a bridge and waterfall and up the last flight of stairs, I entered one of the chambers where I was completely alone. Tip-toeing past the glowing butter candles and sacred relics, I kneeled on a rug, cracked open an aged window and rested my head on the windowsill to reflect and admire the massive 2,000ft plunge into the vast Himalayan valley below, as clouds swiftly passed. Without my phone or camera equipment, I was able to consciously enjoy this moment in peace. 🏔 • • • #expedition196 #everycountryintheworld
Hi to all my new friends and fellow travelers out there! Thank you so much for all of the love and beautiful comments! It’s so awesome hearing where all of you are coming from 🌎😊🌎! Knowing that you’re here supporting my Mission is just the positive push I need to successfully finish. Please don’t hesitate to reach out, I love hearing from you all ❤️🌎❤️ #fbf to Palawan #expedition196
A photo posted by ᶜᴬˢˢᴬᴺᴰᴿᴬ ᴰᴱ ᴾᴱᶜᴼᴸ (@expedition_196) on Oct 28, 2016 at 11:40am PDT
Traveling through Africa has been the most challenging for me. It’s not only the most expensive leg (flights, hotels), the one that requires the most visas in advance that are also expensive, but physically challenging as well, with needing to be careful with my water and food intake, malaria prevention, etc. as well. In my lifetime, I’ve experienced an immense amount of poverty in countries around the world and have lived/worked in impoverished nations, but I’ve never seen anything like what I have seen so far throughout Western Africa in particular. I’ve had such an urge to want to jump outside of my body and leave everything I have to just walk through the villages and live with these people, sit on the side of the road with them. The other day driving around in Bamako it took everything in me to not just jump out of the car and start walking into the dead of night. I can’t explain this feeling but I don’t expect anyone to relate, as if this Expedition were unrelatable enough, but I’ve never really had the feeling of wanting to become invisible to the point of where I can safely live like a local in some of these countries, without being viewed as a tourist or “white girl” or that I had any money at all. When I’m in these places, I feel for these people and the way they live. I can’t believe that if I were back in the states this weekend I’d probably be concerned about feeding my dogs more than myself, and baking a pumpkin pie or going to Starbucks for a pumpkin spice latte. But this weekend… I’m here. And it pained me to eat even just plate of steamed vegetables knowing that these people outside are suffering in this 95 degree dry heat, landlocked with little resources for water and food, where the life expectancy is just 54 years old. Maybe when you drink a pumpkin spice latte today, you can think of this. These people would kill for one (I would too, figuratively speaking 😬). It’s not to feel guilty for what we have, but I think we have a responsibility as earthlings to be educated and subconsciously aware. At the end of the day, we don’t have a choice what society we’re born into, but we can at least be aware.
A photo posted by ᶜᴬˢˢᴬᴺᴰᴿᴬ ᴰᴱ ᴾᴱᶜᴼᴸ (@expedition_196) on Sep 25, 2016 at 11:08am PDT