I’ve always wanted to see the world in its entirety, but as exciting of a journey as it sounds, it has also terrified me. I hate to admit it out loud but I used to get scared, scared to go too far out of my comfort zone. It’s one of those luxuries I couldn’t really afford for a while, being a black female traveller I worry sometimes about how the world will perceive me, what will they think, have they met another black person before, what if they don’t like me, will I fit in, will I make friends?
So there I was with this option to go to Nepal, a free ticket, a new job, a new country, but after having some issues adjusting in the previous country I was working in because of my race Ithough it would just be so much easier to go back to Canada. I am so happy I denied my fears and hopped on a plane and arrived in Nepal.
Although I looked so different in Nepal, I felt so embraced and welcomed. In fact I’ve never found so much in common with people I am so different from; but we always found commonalities that surpassed language, race or religion.
Love is a language I learned to speak and share more of while in Nepal.
One of my best memories was the time I went to Nagarkot alone and decided to go for a half-day trek. While on my trek I wandered into a small town and managed to get myself lost, if you know me you know this is very typical. While trying to find my way back to the trail these young girls whom I presume were watching over their cows signalled me over to join them. The only English they spoke was “what is your name” and after that there was silence for a while. But it wasn’t an uncomfortable silence, they shared their water and snacks with me, they played games and explained with their hands how I can play, they shared smiles and laughter with me that I will never forget. I sat with them for about an hour until a monk who was also a tour guide spotted me and offered to walk with me back to the trail. That moment was and still is one of the best and most precious moments of my life. With just my name they let me in, they let me sit and they let me play, as though they had known me their whole lives.
I lived in Nepal for a year and a half and it had such a profound imprint on my soul. I returned home bursting with stories, memories and pictures, but I was most excited to share my tales with my little cousins who look just like me and are so curious about the world. I felt so privileged to have made such beautiful stories to share, and I think I even inspired my 12-year-old cousin who wants to climb all the mountains in Nepal!
Perhaps I’m being too spiritual about my experience, pardon me! But if you’ve ever felt like an outsider before, Nepal can make you feel like you belong. I pray you all get to know the kindness that lives in the hearts of Nepali’s, may you all get to know their warm smiles and friendly faces. I hope I can speak to anyone out there that has been afraid to travel for whatever reason; you truly don’t know how the world will receive you until you venture out there and find out. I will always be thankful to Nepal for helping me find my wings and become a more confident black female traveller.