True, most of us don’t have Nepal on our dream vacation list but we must admit, we were inspired to take another look. While perhaps this isn’t the ideal trip for a family looking to hit the beach for spring break, Nepal does deliver on some more major experiences like the temples and rich Kathmandu culture, the breathtaking snow covered peaks of the Himalayas, and some of the world’s most friendly and beautiful people. We were drawn in by Ayda’s post about her recent trip there. Give it a read and maybe even feel inspired to step out of your comfort zone to plan a life-changing trip to Nepal. For more great posts like this, check out Ayda’s blog: Us On Earth. Ayda was also a guest on our podcast, listen here.
In the past couple of months, it has been difficult for me to put my experiences into words as we have been to Myanmar, Nepal, and India.
I keep asking myself why? Am I finished with these countries? Am I not enjoying this life?
After much reflection, I find myself humbled that I am beyond blessed to be able to experience this and see a world outside of the US.
You see, this is where the American Dream comes into play. Being born in Iran and moving to America at the age of 9, I was removed from what the outside world truly was and is. I was sucked into the suburban life. Admittedly, I was a millennial who thought everyone should be who they want to be and there is no excuse for failure.
Yet with countries like Nepal, the obstacle to that is — How?
As a Nepali citizen you can work your whole life and still be stuck in the same predicament. You can go to school and be the best you can be, but if there is no job for you afterwards, what’s the point?
I spoke to a local man named Dhokun. He has been living in Kopan Monastery in Kathmandu as a monk for almost 40 years. Has a PhD in philosophy and strives to learn more everyday. For people like Dhokun, it is hard to even make a trip to Cambodia as they don’t want people from similar “poor countries” to come and reside there and ultimately bring their economy down. They are expecting the visitors to overstay their visa and become beggars or take advantage of the system.
Poverty can be inevitable as you can’t help the family or circumstances you are born into. And in some instances, there is no going up. It’s either you go to school to be educated so you can perhaps, hopefully, maybe find a decent job that supports your family or you quit elementary school and work, maybe even beg on the streets to help your family get by right now.
These are the choices kids and their parents have to make. As for many of us in America, we are worried about picking which teacher our child gets in 3rd grade or why our food is taking so long to come out at restaurants. Not pointing fingers here, that one was me.
Right now, David and I are welcomed into every country we have traveled to with open arms. They don’t care if we are rich or poor, it’s just that we belong to or were born in a developed part of the world. We are able to experience different cultures and travel freely. Other citizens of other countries don’t have the luxury. Why is it that I can step on the same soil miles away but they can’t?
It’s because I am not restricted. I am privileged. I am lucky. And there is no excuse because I am an American.
Make your life count for something.