A Walk to Remember: My Spiritual Journey in Nepal [in Pictures]

Last Updated: August 31, 2023

A Walk to Remember: My Spiritual Journey in Nepal [in Pictures]

Photo: Grace with the Monk Kids in Buddhist Monastery

Greetings, all! My name is Grace, and I am from San Francisco, CA. I travelled Nepal last year summer to live in a Buddhist Monastery. It was amazing experience. I met 2 other volunteers from Volunteer FDIP on the trip, Mahek and Fatima. We went for a hike to the eastern hill of the Kathmandu valley, it was a lovely moment walking through the hills and forests, waterfalls and rivers. That’s why this trip has become for me a Walk to Remember.

in a forest in between my spiritual journey

Photo: In a forest in between my spiritual journey

On my arrival day my luggage did not arrive with me, it was delayed. Thanks to my local coordinator and FDIP team, they helped me feel comfortable even without my luggage, helped me receive my luggage next day and provided me all the necessary stuffs I needed in between the time. They treated me like a family, that’s the difference between you being hosted by some commercial hotel or by a local organization. I really appreciate every support I received in between the days.

My Stay in Buddhist Monastery

I must say it was a very immersive experience, I learned about Buddhism and other Nepali cultures. I had the chance to help the monk kids in monasteries in various disciplines like English, Math, Science and Social Studies. My interaction with Tibetan teachers helped me understand more about the Buddhism and Buddhist beliefs from Tibet.

It was a great learning experience and knowledge sharing moment for me. Attending the daily worships and prayers was out of the world experience. I am pretty sure bringing back these chants and worshiping in my memories even after I am back in place will help soothe my mind.

And of Course, A Walk to Remember

Of course, the most memorable moment for me during this trip was the hike to Chisapani, our two days of continuous hike, a walk to remember.

time for a group shot in the trek

Photo: Time for a group shot in the trek

Our local coordinator arranged the hike, along with other two volunteers who had joined the program for psychology counselling program. Coincidentally we all three arrived on the same day in Nepal. Mahek was from Hong Kong and Fatima was from Spain. After the orientation of program, we were supposed to head for our respective project location. But in short span of time we 3 became friends and we planned with Narayan that some days in between this trip we will go for a hiking.

my friendly moments with hike companions

Photo: My friendly moments with hike companions

Chisapani was one of the nearest point from Kathmandu from where we could expect to see the widest range of the Himalayan Mountains. So we decided to pick this destination. Though it was September, the monsoon was not yet over in Kathmandu, it was raining frequently. The frequent rain made our hiking a little bit challenging and a great fun at the same time.

Walking through the green forest (it was literally very green, because of rain washed fresh leaves of the summer in every plants) and filling the lungs with fresh oxygen, it was such a refreshing experience. On the first day there was slight rain, just like a spray of water, it was making our walk even more relaxed. Unfortunately, we couldn’t see the Himalayan mountains as the sky was covered with clouds. But we could enjoy the cool breeze of fog and mist even in the summer time.

portrait of grace amid the trek

Photo: Portrait of Grace amid the trek

In Chisapani, there are still the reminiscence of the great Earthquake of Nepal that happened in 2015. The 7.8 magnitude shock had destroyed almost every house of this area and people have built new houses in neighboring area, abandoning the demolished houses.

We had great fun in the evening stay in a local homestay, we sang and danced with the local people, had some funny and insightful conversation with Narayan and Kamal, our local coordinator and our host of the first days in Nepal.

The next morning however, the rain was little more intense, and we waited for it to slow down. After the rain subsided a little bit we started walking back. This time we took a different road with a little wider trail. It was a great walk. I still remember my conversation with Narayan about Buddhist beliefs, Hinduism and other spiritual beliefs in Nepal. The meaning of OM, how celestial space and astronomy is regarded by the local in Nepal. I was fascinated knowing all the facts.

a moment of walk in the trail

Photo: A moment of walk in the trail

In the late afternoon rain again got intense and even with our raincoats and umbrellas on, we all were soaked with rain water. We reached a village area where villagers offered us some roasted corns. It was such a relief for our tired selves.

grace with the group in a dam

Photo: Grace with the group in a dam

This whole experience of walking through the trails, walking through the stairs, walking through the bushes, walking through forest, walking through broken houses and walking through the villages has been an eye awakening experience for me. This trip will always be close to my heart and this hike will always be a walk to remember for me.

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