In September 2010, I thought to myself, “where can I go next?” You know that feeling when escape is imminent – you can feel it on the horizon just as you’ve been shackled down into a workload of ridiculous proportions. I didn’t want to come back to the office on Monday to hundreds of emails. I wanted to set my out-of-office reply to something funny like, “Sorry I’m currently out of the office exploring the highlands of the Himalaya and drinking yak butter tea, which is mildly disgusting, but I still suggest you try it. I’ll be returning on…” and then it hit me. Tibet was going to be my next adventure.
And what an adventure it was. Almost 7,000km’s (4349mi) were travelled from Beijing to Kathmandu, Nepal, with the majority of the trip being spent in Tibet. From the highlights of the Great Wall and Tiananmen Square to Lhasa and the base camp of Mt. Everest, the Tibet Adventure was truly the trip of a lifetime and the one I had been waiting for. The history and culture of Tibet is richly rewarding, the people were amazingly kind and overtly friendly, the landscape was awe-inspiring, and the photo ops were everywhere. It was an incredible introduction to central Asia and Himalayan culture.
It was a tour of epic proportions and a travelling journey that may only be available for a short period of time. The current Chinese occupation sparks pretty heated intellectual debates and creates a very interesting atmosphere among travellers. Our G Adventures CEO was acutely aware of this, and was able to answer all questions diplomatically enough and share her knowledge of the conflict as well as ideas and opinions into the future of the region.
The experience travelling through China, Tibet, and Nepal is not one I will soon forget. It is one of those magical trips, one difficult to do as a solo backpacker in a part of the world with a hanging cloud of controversy. I believe Tibet and the Himalaya are a spiritual experience for most and one of the enlightenment of the soul, a trip which literally changes your life. There is a mystical power hidden in the landscape and in the wrinkles of the farmers weather-beaten faces, there is a sense of knowledge and strength in the chants of the monks and the silence of the Buddhist temples. There is love and harmony, passion and purpose, there is happiness and belief.