In My Life

There are years that ask questions, and years that answer. -Zora Neale Hurston


After my first taste of the majestic Himalayas in Leh I was eager to spend more time in the mountains, and planned to spend the last part of April trekking in Darjeeling and Sikkim. As the trip grew closer the idea of going back to India started to give me night sweats, and so despite having lugged around unnecessary cold weather trekking clothes for months, I decided to eat the costs of my flights and instead head to Myanmar for my final trip. I’m feeling pretty lazy about actually writing anything, but here are a few pictures:

During my first day exploring the temples in Bagan the only other people I saw were a handful of other tourists and four monks in crimson robes fixing a flat tire.
Just Buddha and I
Driving alone from temple to temple, squinting against the heat and dust with the only noise coming from the wind or an occasional chirping bird, was totally surreal.
I managed to crash into several of these shrubberies attempting to navigate this path.
Sunset and my trusty rented electric bike, totally silent as it zipped across the grasslands.
My favorite twin Buddhas
A lot of the Buddhas I found had designs around their nipples, bright red lipstick across their enigmatic smiles and painted nails. Totally fab.
Entering the temples I would wait for my eyes to adjust, occasionally getting an adrenaline jolt from a lizard or pigeon scuttling across the darkness
Not bad, not bad at all.
Sunrise over Inle Lake
Stilted homes around the lake
Lakeside village
Baby Buddha
Hillside pagoda with spectacular views of the lake, bells atop each spiral tinkling in the wind.

I left Myanmar equal parts sad that I didn’t have more time, but glad that I was able to visit at all. It’s hard for me to believe, but I write this from the Tokyo airport, bound for California, finally finished with my year roaming around Asia. Through constant tests of patience, my time out here has taught me to embrace the absurdity of any situation, reminding me to keep my sense of humor at all costs. I don’t have enough words to convey how grateful I feel, knowing I now carry with me many new friendships and many happy memories. Every time I feel myself growing sad to leave, I remind myself how excited I am to spend the summer in the Pacific Northwest working as a kayak guide. Furthermore, my exploration and wandering throughout my 20s have (I hope) prepared me well for whatever comes after the summer. I find myself looking forward to entering my next decade, with the various crises of the 20s resolving into some sense of identity and growth, combined with a bit of the satisfaction of survival.  See you soon, California!

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