11 October 2012

Travel is a hell of a drug - Moving to Kathmandu

Sarita and me in Pokhara, Nepal 2009

Well, I suppose I should start by sheepishly saying hi. I mean, it's been over a year. I'm not sure if you missed me, but I sure as hell did. I've spent the last 2.5 years since I returned to Vancouver completing a long overdue BA in Communication and Dialogue, and now that I am all degree-ed I am ready to go again. Y'know. Into the far - to Nepal.

Sure, in the last few years I have taken trips to Peru and to China, but nothing quite as monumental as the trip through Asia and Australia that many of you accompanied me on 4 years ago. I returned to Vancouver on November 22, 2009. And then everything changed.

Ok, so first things first. I know he was a big reader favourite, but S and I broke up shortly after our trip to Peru. This has been both incredibly liberating and heartshatteringly devastating - sometimes at the same time. I also ended a few very, very close friendships this year, and all of these losses were (and are) painful, but also extremely humbling. I learned a lot, and man, the world is a vast place - sometimes people are in your life for exactly the amount of time that they are meant to be there for.  Which sucks, but is, like, a big adult-y sentiment so I will stick with it. ;)

Second. I am a Buddhist. Weird, right? The sputtering, vitriolic, brash little thing you once knew is now a much calmer, sputtering, vitriolic, brash little thing. Less vitriol, more loving kindness - or so is the goal. I decided to take refuge in Buddhism last year when EVERYTHING in my life fell apart and I was in a dark place - meditation, compassion and kindness were quite literally the only things that got me through an incredibly shitty time. But don't worry, my friends call me "the foul mouthed Buddhist" - I'm still a fuckin' piece of work. 

Third. I am moving to my beloved Kathmandu in three weeks. Surprise! I will be working for an NGO called Next Generation Nepal for 8 months, acting as their Ethical Tourism Advisor and creating a branding and awareness campaign aimed at backpackers that works to end the trafficking of children. I discovered NGN when I read the New York Times bestseller "Little Princes." I knew that I was needed, hell, if I was Catholic and all nun-y I would say I was 'called.' I sent them a funny, sweet and bizarre cover letter that waxed poetic about my love of heritage, ethical tourism, Gramsci, salads and travel. They hired me. ;)

So in 3.5 weeks I leave Vancouver again, this time for 8 months. I leave behind my poor cats (those little fuckers move around a lot), a boy I really like and my friends and family yet again. But, I move toward my career goals, all kinds of Buddhism shizz and many new people: Western expats and Nepalis; old hippies and little children; seekers, destroyers and probably a few drunks. I think we'll all get along well.

This evening I was buzzing with anxiety and my nerves were thrumming at a fever pitch and my head was swimming with financial woes and impending heartbreak, yet somehow writing this helped to assuage it all. The old sarcastic and cheeky Violet Dear is still here, but tonight I needed to write this - something a little less quippy and more matter of fact. More vulnerable.

I hope you still want to come on this journey with me. I am going to post weekly until I leave, and then I will be silent for a month as I enter the Kopan Monastery for an intense retreat. But after that, starting mid December? Oh, you just try to shut me up.

See you soon.
Deep breaths and dahl baht - Violet Dear


Jocelyn Pascall said...

Wow! Well, first of all, welcome back! It's nice to see you 'round these parts again. Secondly, I am so sorry for your breakup and difficult year. I went through an horrendous breakup about 6 years ago that completely shattered my entire world, but today I can say it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I think it's great what you are doing too, with your job. Amazing. And, the perfect thing to take you out of feeling sad and into new adventures and humbling work.

Amanda said...

Welcome back, and welcome forward!

Tonia said...

We DID miss you! You really have been on a journey of all sorts the past year but look at the way you've picked yourself back up again. So envy you the opportunity in Nepal: you go grab it with both hands!

VandD said...

What a nice surprise to hear you're back in the blogging world!

Congrats on getting your degree, and for finding something that works for you (your religion), and I can't wait to hear about your adventures!

Anonymous said...

Glad you're writing again! Hope I can come visit you in Nepal sometime before you leave and obviously you're welcome in Muscat on your way back through or anytime!

Andrea said...

I'm sorry to hear about your losses and your heartbreak. I have missed your posts, but I'm glad you're back so that I can live vicariously through you on your adventures!

Pat said...

I just read both your posts. This is quite an adventure! I clicked on all the links and read up on The Little Princes and NGN. What a wonderful organization and you should feel proud to be joining it! I look forward to reading your entries. I can't imagine a month retreat at the Kopan Monastery, especially not much talking - if you are a talker like me!

Talya M. said...

SO excited to see you're posting again. It's funny - I am in a similar place in my life and wrote a VERY similar letter to a similar organization (have I used "similar" enough yet?!) and am waiting to hear back. I will be following your adventures. Best of luck and tonnes of good energy coming your way!

Ivana said...

I actually started reading from your first india posts and then skipped to the end. Only to notice that...S. was missing! So I had to read them all from the start and cant say that I'm sorry. LOVE your writing and if you're ever in Amsterdam let's have coffee or preferably tea. Love, Ivana