How do you sum up a year which has changed the course of your life? A year in which I experienced innumerable acts of kindness throughout my own country as well as in India and Nepal. A year throughout which I also learned the daily hardships of many women in our world who live in oppressively patriarchal societies . A year which involved cycling over the highest passes in the world, trekking in some of the most isolated regions, and camping for weeks on end beneath the stars in the middle of the Himalayas. A year during which I was invited in by families in every country I visited to eat with them, sleep with them, and live, if only for a day or a week, as they do.
“The core of mans’ spirit comes from new experiences.”
Those damn rats! Their tiny pitter-patter is multiplied into a roaring thunder, at least to my sleep deprived brain, as they scurry to and fro on the tin metal roof above my head.They have kept me awake all night, though I silently acknowledge that they aren’t the only reason I can’t sleep. There is also a passed-out drunk Indian lady curled up half-on half-off the blanket we are using as a bed, and someone is rattling the scrap piece of metal that doubles as a door to the shack next to mine.
I am sleeping in an Indian slum, one of the last places in India you would expect to find a young Western girl who is traveling solo.