Q: I recently bought a ticket to Japan and will be there (in the cold and snow…burrr) from Dec. 27- Jan. 15. You went earlier this fall and I wanted to pick your brain for any things to do or tips on getting around. We wont be able to climb Mt. Fuji but I did want to go see it, do you recommend any particular area to view the mountain from? How did you travel around Japan? They have Japan rail passes for tourists but I’m not sure if its worth the money… do you know anything about those?
So long Nepal, thank you so much for the unbelievable scenery and warm hospitality I enjoyed over the past three weeks.
It’s currently 5:30am in the Kuala Lumpur airport, where I flew in from Kathmandu, and I’m waiting out the night to board my next flight… to Lombok, Indonesia! I’m going to be spending my final two weeks in Asia getting my beach bum on and learning to surf on this idyllic island near Bali. A big change from the chilly nights in the Himalayas, which I am totally ready for. I gave my trekking jacket to the driver of the cab I caught to airport. “Won’t be needing this anymore!” I gleefully told him.
I haven’t slept tonight, and only got 1.5hrs the night before, but hey, that’s what the beach is for right?
It’s almost not fair how lovely Pokhara is.
This is my first stop in Nepal and, despite my resolve to focus on the positives about India, it’s impossible to avoid unflattering comparisons. People are so friendly and relaxed here - no one has tried to rip me off, the few touts who have talked to me have been super nice and smiling and understanding, none of the random men approaching me have left me feeling skeezed out afterwards, people smile and joke and let each other pass on the street(!). People don’t honk their horns unless it’s necessary(!!). The road isn’t covered in garbage(!!!!!) and nobody uses it as their toilet (bless them). In fact, I even saw a) a bin reminding citizens to “make Pokhara clean and green” and b) people sweeping up what small litter there was outside of their shops, on multiple occasions.
I’m surrounded by clean air and snow-capped mountains and free WIFI and shops that sell beer and a lake filled with happy day-trippers. Oh Pokhara, you make my heart sing.
Sometimes, as hard as you try, you just don’t vibe with a place. And as much as I hate to admit it, despite the many amazing places I’ve been here, that has been my experience with India.
The Golden Temple, Amritsar, Northern India. A major Sikh pilgrimage site, visitors and pilgrims can stay in the grounds for free, and free meals are served 24/7 to anyone who wants them. You can donate to help fund this, but the bulk of the resources come from volunteers who you can see working everywhere. People bathe in this water and relaxing Sikh hymns are played over speakers throughout. It’s probably the most peaceful, calm place I’ve been to in India, a truly special experience.
I made another spontaneous international plane ticket purchase yesterday. Although this time to a place I’m very familiar with, somewhere I won’t need to get a visa for or figure out cheap accommodation in.