Quote #1

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In my grief I saw myself being held,

us  all holding one another in this

incredible web of loving kindness.

Grief and love in the same place.

I felt as if my heart would burst with holding it all.

~ A Zimbabwean woman

***

I decided to post an inspiring quote  beginning today and also my favorite photo. The above picture was taken on Teej Festival at Pashupatinath Temple on 28th August 2014. It is the Bhagmati River of the Kathmandu Valley, which runs through the Gangga River and at the end would reach the Indian Ocean. It is also on this side of river that they cremated the death and pour their ashes to the river.

The Himalayan Effect

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The sunshine above prayers flags – Jergu, Tibet, 2013

It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves ~ Sir Edmund Hillary

Everybody who goes climbing the Everest or read about going to Everest would always have the above quote ringing through their lives. For me the Himalayan regions experience offers you just that. The mountain view outside, our own ego in the inside. It is a personal journey, indeed it is the journey of the heart. It is a journey to find ourselves, especially within.

My second trip to Nepal become a beginning to start answering everything myself. Where somehow my life  start synchronising and that the random things that I’ve been doing the last 16 bloody years has finally make sense. I saw that I was not actually randomly doing things, I actually gain knowledge and skills for other greater purpose. One of them is to know my own self. My love of travelling has brought me to completely accept my nomadic nature. I decided to completely embracing it and not making excuse when I know it is the time for me to go somewhere and answer that deep calling from within. And yes, I love travelling solo. I feel naturally being myself when I travel alone.

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The journey to the unknown – Jergu, Tibet 2013

Last year journey to the regions of my dream was one of the heaviest point in my life where I completely went to a blank state for the 3 – 4 months post journey. I need major space in my life to just literally space out. To really understand what I really looking for in my life and keep on doing things that I’m good at. I am now literally all over the place, finding myself all around the major cities in Java and going back and forward back to Bali. And soon come, going back to Kathmandu. I found myself getting lost and not getting so lost in Tibetan monastery, the guerrilla track of West Nepal regions and the dusty alleys of Kathmandu. A city I began to called as another home in my heart. IMG_0595

Kopan Monastery initiation – Kathmandu 2014

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The first view of Rukum landscape – Rukum, West Nepal

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Getting lost in the Rukum forest – Rukum, West Nepal

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A Nepali lady on the side of Sanamberi River (aka Uttar Gangges) – Rukum, West Nepal

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The always all seeing Buddha eyes of Boudanath – Kathmandu 2014

If this is another start, it is a blessed one. With the many gratitudes on this journey and my life until today. This journey of wisdom and compassion has just open a new chapter. Om Ah Hum.

May all beings be happy. May all beings be free from all sufferings.

Om Mane Padme Hum 

Back to Kathmandu

I know, I know. I owe a lot of stories last year but after 9 months I decided to go back. It is a bit unplanned, but I’m here again :)

We often go back to some places to answer the most unexpected things in life.

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 Swayambunath Temple aka The Monkey Temple at sunset, Kathmandu – Nepal

20140522-031059.jpgA greetings from Kopan Monastery, photo credit by Anggi Frisca

Indeed I am home. Namaste _/\_

Landing at the Ancestral Land

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“Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” ~ Lao Tzu

After meeting a dear old friend again who share part of her Nepali experience a couple of days ago, I realised my blank state mode was actually quiet normal. The conversation left me with a beginning of a paragraph. Those long process paragraph that need to start pouring out in this story. I had to make a choice in order to put things together with this post, to maybe map myself in this current planet of mine. Picking the trails where I left it off. I checked the sky, the stars and I know where to start from the very beginning of my own personal history. China.

My great great grandfather from my mother side came from Fujian. That’s all that I know. Although from the very beginning I didn’t even plan this trip, in the end I had to pay respect to my ancestor first by literally landing in China. I never imagine I would reach Chengdu in 2013. This part of Mainland, at thirty.

I learned to make peace with part of my blood somewhere along the line which as an Indonesian peranakan has been quiet a complicated experience. This part of your growing up identity sometimes matter much, sometimes it doesn’t matter at all. My first encountering problem of course is because I don’t speak Chinese at all. I had the lack of will in learning the particular language and yes, part of it cause by my grandparents generations all speak fluent Dutch instead (see it’s complicated?). Language and culture all tumble and mixed up so bad along with the Indonesian history plus politics, where I in end always have the difficulty to answer where I originated from.

It took me time to take all about being a Chinese Indonesian, having a mixed blood do make you feel like Hermione in the mudblood situation. My Chinese interest range record was reaching as far as Chinese food, kungfu movies and musing the contemporary Chinese literature translated in English. I learned three kingdoms history from the never ending Japanese manga series “Legenda Naga” (Ryuroden by Yoshito Yamahara). I do somehow often moved by the lyrical sad traditional Chinese tunes, especially those from the classic music records ones which I never catch the title or even understand any single word being said. It is a feeling of a tragic beauty fascination. The rest I often remain ignorance or even denied when I was younger, this part I had to admit. In the end I always feel I can’t take side with 4 ancestry down my bloodlines. My son have another extra 2, which make him with 6, well, at least we have a lot of ancestral guardianship or to put it simple, simply human.

It’s my first time in China, my only Mandarin dictionary was a small Lonely Planet Mandarin compact guide that T (my travelling partner) got hours before we landed into Chengdu. The plane from Kuala Lumpur feels hectic already, we end up drinking two bottle of Soju along the flight, to silence the killing voice of a mad Chinese family who keep on arguing and their scolded children keep on crying, throwing mad fits every 3 minutes at the back of our plane seat. We couldn’t sleep. No, not even the Bob Marley songs in T’s Ipod help with the situation. We arrived in the middle of the night at Chengdu Shuanglia airport with no clue, half drunk on Soju, in the middle of China’s summer breeze.

That first step entering China, was indeed our first step to the journey of a thousand miles ahead.

2014: Feeling the Ground Beneath My Feet

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To be honest, I didn’t know what struck me last year. Places like dreams are all over my memories. Things happens so fast, it all feels like some kind of explosions, over and over again. Moments, people and experiences all somehow cramp up until I lost for words. It is one of those moments, where you feel at lost even as a writer for no words seems audible even for your own sake. I give it time to digest it, to let things seep in. I closed my laptop for some time, even unplugged the internet connection for time to time and in the end finding myself scribbling endlessly in a notebook trying to get some sense back to myself. I know for myself that I for once need to slow down. To stop even and I need too.

The last few days, stranded under the volcanic ash reaching as far as 300 kilometers from where it spew, I picked up some novels which I bought in Kathmandu last September and read on. And thanks to Amitav Ghosh and some Rilke poems found within, I’m tracing this blog back as an attempt to write things down again. Somehow I gain my belief that in the end literature never fails you in a journey, your journey anywhere. It is always a habit to me to have a book in hand wherever I’m going somewhere. It is in the end the best company.

As someone who always constantly moving around among places, I’m starting to accept that life has been offering me that. That movement is part of my energy within, it is part of something that fuel my life. Even with my son’s around, I can’t denied that pulse is still in constant calling. My journey last year has teach me so many things and one thing is to accept my nomadic nature. The title of this blog describe me no less.

Although I’m not too sure whether I could tell all or I would tell less, for that I cannot answer. But I do want to begin with this reminder of Rilke found in Ghosh:

‘ Look, we don’t love like flowers

with only one season behind us, when we love,

a sap older than memory rises in our arms. O girl,

it’s like this: inside us we haven’t loved just some one 

in the future, but a fermenting tribe; not just one 

child, but fathers, cradled inside us like ruins

of mountains, the dry riverbed

of former mothers, yes, and all that

soundless landscape under its clouded

or clear destiny – girl, all this came before you’

For all that happened, I miss my days in the Himalaya.

A Personal Journey to the Edge

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Tibetan summer, Jergu – Tibet

Imagine yourself suddenly moving out from your comfort zone. Your house, the life you have been the last 4 years, your very dear friends, your yoga classes, your students, your work, even your blog and everything you think before was important. Imagine yourself suddenly moving to the place you thought you are scared off after your marriage failed, thought people say it is the island of the gods where magic still happens. Gods forgive your grudges after all. Things work out not the way you want, but in some ways the way you needed. And trust me it’s not all magical.

You finally let your only son to see his father after four years, because he ask you too. You believe in choices and chances. So you giving them a chance. You took that break, even you know you would not like it. It is part of your biggest fear. You give yourself some time alone. Maybe not perfectly alone because you met someone along the way. You decided to have it a go.

Then you decided to realise one dream. Going to one edge of the world. Places you only see in dreams and magazines, in pictures and films. One things lead to the other. You’re finally there. Like just being there.

***

A Nepali guy said this to me, “After you climb the tallest mountain in the world, what do you want to do next? What’s obvious is that you have to go down in the end. I don’t get it why we as human do it like that,” while we are looking at the snowy mountain capes from afar.

I didn’t climb any mountain yet in this journey, but I was up in the Himalayas. A Nepali shaman, Mina, even decided to give me a new name, Himali, as her god-daughter. It means the range of mountain.

I didn’t feel to do some climbing or hiking in this trip, but I feel I’m climbing my own personal mountain along the journey. But it is back to the Nepali guy questions, what do you want to do next? We are all back in this realities. We are back home now. Did something change then? Did ourselves change along the way?

I just realised it took me nearly a month to even continue a paragraph of this post. It took me to take some distance with myself to digest everything after this journey. It is one of those kind of moments. It  does took me time to write it all and I could say most of it is still in digestion.

I feel I’ve been through my own darkness along the way, seeing the glimpse of myself here and there. It’s funny how travelling with someone could make you reflect every single thing about yourself and your life. And in the end still being thankful of the intense journey that both of you go through.

It is hard to write about the places I’ve been through the last intense two months. It is hard for anybody I guess. It is hard to write it wisely somehow. I’m on my way of finding my own wisdom in writing it. Although I found the whole experience had a very personal impact on me. You could called it  spiritual, you could also call it the way to get deeper into yourself. I think it’s what this journey all about. At the end of this day, I think I’m so grateful for making it, for passing it through this regions and also my own regional hearts. It was vast and simple at the same time.

Om Mane Padme Hum

IMG_6902In the middle of Lhasa, Tibet

P1020883The misty mountain view from the cosiest place in Bandipur, Nepal

After All the Miles

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Announcing that taleaboutnomad.com is back! I’m currently just arriving after a two months trip from China-Tibet-Nepal. It was a dream come true kind of trip, sometimes on the road I feel like I had to shake myself from what I’m seeing and feeling. Those kinda of moment that said, you’re here, finally here.

In the next couple of days I would start sharing and get my ass back on this blog. It’s been a five months of being away from the life before and a travel of a lifetime. It has been an extraordinary experience, moments and meeting a lot of extraordinary people along the way.

So, yes, by this post I’m getting my ground back. Hola world, it has been a long dream indeed. Thank you universe for everything, like usual it has been a journey and a big slap.

Om Mane Padme Hum

Photo: Prayer flags among the hills in Jergu, Tibet.