Vipassana: Ten Days Of Silence

“I believe in morality, which is doing right no matter what I am told… Not in religion, which is doing what I am told regardless about what is right.”


Meditation is not for me. At least that is what I found myself thinking at the end of day four as I fell asleep on my knees, exhausted and in physical pain, during the last hour of meditation. I had just spent the day sitting on a cushion supposedly concentrating on my breathing, but in reality, all I could think about was how much my hips, knees, and lower back hurt. And I still had six more days to go. Quitting wasn’t an option, I am too stubborn for that, but I certainly couldn’t figure out why everyone has always had something positive to say about vipassana, a ten-day silent Buddhist meditation course. Granted, the food was delicious, but still not quite worth getting up at four a.m. every morning to start a full day of fidgetless sitting (well, as fidgetless as I could manage at least).

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When You Give A Girl A Camera

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”


Photography is not really about the photos I take, but rather the way I look at the world when I see it through my lens. I am forced to slow down and notice the mundane things around me, things that become beautiful when presented as a photo. I spent a few hours wandering around town on a perfectly cloudy day, and here is what I came up with.

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What Cyclist Discuss

“Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to.”


During my few weeks in Pokhara I was lucky enough to meet other cyclists, who, like me, are doing world tours. There were two couples (both Swiss) and a single Swiss man, all in their thirties, who have been on the road for varying amounts of time (one and a half to three years). The six of us hung out on multiple occasions, and even celebrated Christmas together. There seems to be an automatic bond between us cyclists as we are living the same lifestyle and can compare stories and anecdotes that “normal” people just wouldn’t understand. After the third or fourth evening together I realized that our conversations were quite different than those I have with other people, so I decided to share what an outing between cyclists looks like.

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Cyclists Unite

“Life will just not wait for us to live it: We are in it, now, and now is the time to live.”


By far the best part about my week long vacation in Pokhara, a very touristy town in central Nepal, was the fact that I met other cyclists like myself. My favorite cyclists, who I quickly befriended and spent every day and evening with, are a Swiss couple in their thirties who have been on the road for a year and a half from Switzerland to here. They are now taking a two month break (in which time their families will come join them), before they set out again to a still unknown destination. Talking with them about different places they have cycled through, including some of their favorites, the Balkans, Turkey, and Iran, has made me change my route as well (though that is a whole other story for a post later on). Another part that I enjoyed, and probably needed, was to meet someone else who understood. They know what it is like to be living out of your tent, camping wherever there is flat ground. They too have done home stays thought their journey. And most importantly, they understood just how difficult India was. After my frustration with India, with the men, but also just with the constant attention, it was great to hear how they too experienced the same thing, and how it drove them insane as well. No matter how well I explain the feeling, no one else will understand these things unless they too have lived through it, which they have.

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