My Lovely Hank

“We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness—and call it love.”


“Lizzy, you had better be taking care of Hank up there,” I said looking up at the roof during our extremely bumpy bus ride.

“Shirine, the bikes can’t hear you,” Kevin scolded me teasingly.

With an exaggerated sad face I turned to him and said quite seriously, “Kevin, those bikes can understand us, please don’t hurt their feelings.”

“No, no,” he emended, “I meant they can’t hear you over the noise of the road.”

During this conversation we may have been getting a little silly, we had been trapped going at 20km/h on an extremely rough road for over ten hours and we both decided silliness was a much better outlet than anger, but this definitely wasn’t the first time we had spoken to our bikes. Nor will it be our last.

Mr. Turtle, or Hank as I usually call him, has been my constant companion these last nine months. In fact, he has been my longest travel companion of any kind, and being stuck with him through everything, from the highest most desolate mountain passes in the world to the busy hell of India has defiantly bonded us in a way that makes him more than an inanimate object in my mind.

That being said, I am about to ditch my loyal companion for the next three weeks as I trek into Makalu base camp (and hopefully a little past and onto the glacier), a twenty-day trek in Eastern Nepal through the Himalayas which will take us through small villages before reaching the desolate high mountain plateau over 5,000m. I couldn’t be more ready for this trek as “trekking in Nepal” has always been on my bucket list. And this isn’t just the Annapurna circuit or Everest Base Camp, treks which are absolutely packed with tourists throughout the year (and follow guest houses and now, roads, almost the whole way, not a trek in my opinion). No, instead this is an untouristy and hopefully isolated trek where I hope to see no one else for days, weeks actually. After months in Asia, an extremely overpopulated part of the world, I am in desperate need of some beautiful mountains combined with solitude. I have realized that the constant busyness and chaos of cities just isn’t for me, in fact, I have realized I absolutely hate cities and large groups of people. Which is exactly why this trek shall be a perfect reprieve from the craziness of overpopulation.

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