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Bye Bye India, Hello Nepal

Having been in India this long makes me feel like a superhero. It’s a series of hard won battles. The food that I fell in love with in DC is now accessible to me, the spices, the vegetables, the oils that its cooked in no longer cause me the gastrointestinal equivalent of a London firebombing in World War 2. The sun greets my skin. It kisses my face, my head, my arms my legs rather than searing it like the chicken in the tandoori ovens so popular here. I can navigate the stalls of vendors, tune out the touts, and have an actual knowledge of the value and price of goods and services.  I laugh more, and I fret less.

Hostel Time

We’re about to leave all this behind, for the next of adventures in Nepal. There, my back will be bend and strain under the weight of my pack as I carry it six hours a day, unaccustomed to being its own porter. The skin on my soft American feet, accustomed to carpeting and padded sneakers, will be rubbed raw from the friction of footstep after footstep for nearly 130 miles. The altitude will lessen our strides, weaken our breathing, and ultimately try to kill us. The cold and the rain, visitors we’ve seen nearly none of for the past 6 weeks will resurface to wreak havoc on our gear, our immune systems, and ultimately our resolve.

Annapurna Time

But, like India, we will find that moment – that moment you learn your opponent favors his left side or that split second when you double down after figuring out the guy next to you has a tell. I’m talking about that moment when you’re no longer a victim of circumstance, but one who navigates the difficulty, unfamiliarity and strife with aplomb and ease. But once we’ve got that, we’ll move on to the next county, the next strange and unfamiliar culture, the next set of challenges and unknowns, and that’s where I think we find ourselves, who we are, and what we’re made of.

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