Tag Archives: kathmandu nepal

Scribbles from 9 Months Ago

19 Jun
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Yes, there is a cow scratching its head on a downed tree… in the street.

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I began this journey — “my one year escape from the real world,” if you will — on September 4, 2012 with a one-way solo plane ticket to Kathmandu, Nepal. That was only nine months ago, and I’m already doing that thing you do a decade later. You know, the “What was I thinking?! Geez, I was so young and dumb. How did I ever survive.”

I just found a scribbled note from those early days. It made me laugh and dusted me with a light coat of wonder. Maybe it’ll do the same for you.

“9/9/2012

Observations from Kathmandu

Problems in my life right now:

  • No visa for this country. I could go to jail.
  • Brushed my teeth with tap water this AM. Creepy shit is swimming around in my gut.

People pee in the street.

Internet is very slow, goes off sometimes. Cannot stream YouTube video in all of Nepal, too slow.

Rubble on the streets.

Coffee with our landlord. He brought us coffee. Then he bought us some kind of chicken salad sandwiches. Then chocolate cake. Then some kind of shortbread soaked in syrup. I ate it all with great appreciation. Especially since he was dressed in rags. 5 minutes we sit there, have 20 second conversation, watch dog fight, look at guy selling stuff, then 5 mins sit there.

Stray dogs.

Rubble in the streets. Feel like I am in sarajevo.

Bumpy roads: next time, note to self: wear sports bra, full-body airbag, and back brace.

Problems in my life right now:

  • Need SIM card. I have no phone
  • roads here… all this crap on the road
  • I am the tallest and fattest person all up in here country”

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Why I Didn’t Buy a RTW Plane Ticket

5 Jul

My preferred mode of transportation. Spotted December 2011 in Norfolk, Virginia.

There is a lot out there on the pros and cons of buying a round-the-world plane ticket, which basically: (1) are purchased upfront with a certain # of stopovers; (2) are good for one year; and (3) require that you keep going in one direction (no backtracking).  Good links include AirTreks and BootsnAll’s free report on RTW tickets.

For me, it was a fairly easy decision not to buy a round-the-world ticket.  My reasons:

  • I have time.  A year of it.  I’m not in a big rush.  I can arrange plane tickets as I go, managing the cost by waiting or going to cheaper places.
  • Since I’m traveling solo, and I don’t have super strong feelings about must-see destinations, flexibility is at a premium for me.  I want to be free to meet people and travel with them.  Go to the train station and buy a ticket for the next train… destination unknown.
  • I’ll opt for overland travel, where possible.  It’s often cheaper. And can be more interesting.  I hate flying.  And I love trains.  I’ve also traveled via long-distance ferryboat and rented Soviet car.  I still need to add tuk tuks, camels, and dugout canoes to the list.
  • I don’t have a pile of miles or elite status on any particular airline provider.
  • I was able to use $40k of my Dad’s United miles (accumulated simply from signing up for their Mileage Plus card!) to buy my Washington, DC – London, UK – Doha, Qatar – Kathmandu, Nepal flights to kick off my trip.  I had to pay $46.87 in security fees.  That’s it — to go halfway around the world.

Of course, I’ll let you know how it turns out!