Please, Take Me With You

“He was unheeded, happy, and near to the wild heart of life. He was alone and young and wilful and wildhearted…”

“Get me a visa for your country.” “Take my daughter with you.” “Find my son a job in your town.” I can no longer count the number of times I have been asked to magically procure a visa for the USA or Canada for Indians and Nepalis who believe that life in the west must be better. I could never understand it. Sure, we may have more money and toys, but they still have family, community, and time, priceless gifts our money can’t buy. Why would anyone leave behind a peaceful life surrounded by friends for endless hours of stressful work, a life lived purely for money.

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Travel Tips Unlike the Others

“I am going away to an unknown country where I shall have no past and no name, and where I shall be born again with a new face and an untried heart.”

There are hundreds, no, thousands of blog entries giving just about the same advice: travel light, pack enough underwear… But here are a few useful tips most blogs don’t include.

-Don’t bring excess hairbands, shampoo, toothpaste… You can get all that where you are going, and if you are going to a developing country, it will be a lot cheaper there than back home.

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Typhoid Fever: The Harsh Reality

“I believe that we are who we choose to be. Nobody’s going to come and save you, you’ve got to save yourself. Nobody’s going to give you anything; you’ve got to go out and fight for it. Nobody knows what you want except for you. And nobody will be as sorry as you if you don’t get it. So, don’t give up on your dreams.”

Did you know that salmonella, one of the the most common bacterias responsible for food poisoning, can turn into typhoid fever once it gets into your blood? Nope? Well neither did I until we realized that salmonella typhi is what has been causing Kevin so much trouble.

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75,000km and Counting

“You always have time for the things you put first.”

That’s right, in Kathmandu I met a couple who has been riding for the last seven and a half years around the world, racking up over 75,000km in the process. When Kevin yelled down to me “Shirine, I see touring bikes! There are other cyclists here!” I never expected to meet some of the most well traveled cyclists around. Though we only got to speak briefly with them as we all happened to be shifting hotels, here is a small glimpse into their amazing story.

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A Stair Step to the Truth: Persecution, World Unity, and the Baha’i Faith

“Belief? What do I believe in? I believe in sun. In rock. In the dogma of the sun and the doctrine of the rock. I believe in blood, fire, woman, rivers, eagles, storm, drums, flutes, banjos, and broom-tailed horses…”

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(I took this in Delhi at the Baha’i lotus temple)

Shirine (my name for those of you who didn’t know) is an uncommon name for a white Canadian due to the fact that it is of Persian origins, a name you would more commonly hear in Iran than where I am from. That’s because I am named after a Persian young women, a Baha’i martyr who was hung, at the young age of twenty-five (in 1983), because she would not denounce her faith. Though she could have fled, she choose instead to stay in Shiraz in order to continue serving her community. When asked how long she would hold off denouncing her faith, she said, “Even to death! I hope that God’s mercy will enable me to remain steadfast up to the last breath of my life.” Which is exactly what she did.

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The Unruly Power Of Confidence

“We blame society, but we are society.”

Confidence, when in the hands of an uneducated health professional can be one of the most harmful tools. I’m thoroughly unimpressed with the medial system here in Nepal, not because of its lack of resources or unsanitary conditions (though all of that is pretty off-putting as well), but rather I am offset by the confidence that has appeared in multiple health professionals who turned out to be wrong.

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The Difference A Few Words Can Make

“Your life is the message to the world. Make sure it’s inspiring.”

Many people find if pointless to learn the local language, especially in a touristic place like Nepal where many locals have been forced to learn English in order to provide for their western clientele. Here is the perfect example of why it is important to make at least a small effort to learn whatever you can of their language instead of just expecting them to learn yours.

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Testing Out The GoPro

“You know all those things you have always wanted to do? You should go do them.”

Now, before you get excited, let me clarify that this short video simply depicts Kevin and I cycling about a kilometer down the road in order to fill up on petrol (for our stoves, mind you, not our bikes). This is just our tester, and since it worked, I will begin producing more and more videos in order to give you armchair travelers a whole other view into life on the road and the places I pass through.

Enjoy!

Why Twenty is Not the New Thirty

“If you’re thinking about doing something, ask yourself what you would do if you weren’t afraid and then do it.”

Generation Y. We represent a generation of technology, of arrogance, of progress. We were brought up to believe that we are special, that each one of us has the power to change the world. We are the generation who has graduated from school, thousands of dollars in debt, only to find unemployment. Now in our twenties and early thirties we are facing the facts about who we are truly becoming.

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Learning To Compromise

“I think we like to complicate things when it is really quite simple; find what it is that makes you happy and who it is that makes you happy, and you’re set. Promise.”

“Shirine, I think it’s best we head back down.”

WHAT, my mind screamed, we had only just begun the mountainous part of the trek, and were suppose to spend the next two weeks enjoying the Himalayas away from any civilization. Not only that, but we had a goal: to make it to base camp and see how life is there for the many climbers we had been encountering. We were carrying food and fuel for the top, and not making it has never been an option in my mind. This is my one and only shot at trekking in Nepal, and I have waited six months in the country just for this. I was anything but ready to call it quits and go back down.

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