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when i went to nepal


Hi, it’s Akari. Have you ever travelled alone? Travelling solo sounds lonely, but I became a solo travel lover because of this trip. Today, I’m going to share about when I travelled alone to Nepal for the first time!


In March of 2018, I visited Patan, Nepal for three weeks. I went there by myself because I wanted to escape my life in Japan, and I thought it was better to be alone to think about how I want to live my life. In Japan at the time, I was doing something I didn’t want to do and I was struggling with that. Why Nepal, you ask? I’m sure you’re wondering haha. The reason is simple. I wanted to go far away from Japan in terms of distance, culture, and religion. And I found a travel agent who can send me as a volunteer to Nepal for a good price. I stayed with the family of the travel manager. I used a travel agency to travel to Nepal because I was totally afraid of staying in Nepal alone regarding safety and hygiene.

昨年の3月にネパールのパタンという街に3週間滞在した。そこに一人で行った理由は、日本での生活から逃げたかったのと、一人になってどうやってこれから生きていこうか、日本じゃないどこかで考えた方がいいと思ったから。その時の日本での生活では、自分がやりたくないことをやっていて、苦しんでた。ところで、なんでネパールかって?みんなその理由気になるよね!笑 理由は単純で日本から距離的にも文化的にも宗教的にも遠いところに行きたかったから。そして比較的リーズナブルにボランティアとしてネパールへ行ける旅行代理店を見つけたの。旅行代理店を利用した理由は、安全面や衛生面に関して全く一人で過ごすのは怖かったから。

Although I went to Nepal to be alone and escape from reality, I actually never felt lonely in Nepal and I met new people in this new world. In other words, I couldn’t be alone because I realised that people cannot do anything without the help of others in the world. In Nepal, I was always helped by someone around me, like my host family, new friends, people hanging out on the streets because I didn’t know how to live in Nepalese society. I did my research on Nepali culture and religion before I visited, but it was not enough. In Tokyo, I thought it was possible to live alone as long as I had access to information, but I noticed that interacting with people makes me happier and more active! Talking with others can make me open-minded and I can find new joy from ordinary things. For example, when I wanted to get off the bus, I needed to ask the man who collects the fare to stop the bus because there’s no button to notify the driver and occasionally the buses change where it stops. It seems inconvenient but it was a good chance for me to communicate with people, and I enjoyed the unexpected events.


I met two Nepali friends when I was volunteering at Mother Teresa's house. First, I want to tell the story of Moni. She was a nursing student, and she also worked as a volunteer there. She guided me to a famous Hindu temple after volunteering, and she taught me some religious concepts in Hinduism and how to pray in the temple. When I experienced the religion, I saw the beauty in the temple. I was really surprised when she put flower petals in the water into her hair, but I also put them in my hair. When I went to the temple and did something holy with her, I felt something special in my heart. I couldn’t understand what it meant to pray to God, but I felt something holy along with her kindness. After that, we got on the same bus and headed to our homes. We are different in religion, but we had similarities. For example, we thought “music on the bus is really cool,” “our studies are really hard,” and so on.


The next day, I became friends with Sunny. She was also a nursing student, and I met her while working at Mother Teresa’s house. She was really worried about me because I was a teenager and travelling alone. So, she guided me around town and taught me about Nepali culture. When I was walking with her, I felt that she had a big heart and she treated me as her sister. Before we went home, she bought me samosas* and flagged down a bus for me. I was really moved by her kindness because I had never experienced such kindness from someone I just met for the first time. Even if I don’t see them again, I have to always remember them because they made me realize that interacting with people is important to feel "love", and it can lead to warm friendships. Thanks to them, I was able to really enjoy everything in the moment.

*Samosa = a popular street food which is fried or baked with a savoury filling, such as spiced meat, and vegetables shaped into triangular in Nepal.

次の日、サニーという友達に出会った。彼女もまた、看護学生でボランティアしている間に出会った。彼女は私が若いから一人旅のことを心配してくれて、私に街を案内してまわってくれた。 そしてネパールの文化も教えてもらった。一緒に彼女と歩いてた時、彼女の愛をたくさん感じたし、彼女は私を妹のように可愛がってくれた。帰り際には、サモサ*を買ってくれてバスも拾ってくれた。私は本当にその優しさに感動した。初めて会った人に、こんなにも優しさを分けてくれるなんて思ってもなかったから。たとえ彼女たちに二度と会うことがなくても、私は彼女たちを忘れてはいけない。なぜなら、人と交わることが愛を感じるのに大事だと気づけたし、そのことがあたたかい友情にも繋がることが分かった。彼女たちのおかげで自分の目の前に起こっていることに全力で楽しむことができた。


This is only a fraction of my experience in Nepal. I was helped by others a lot during this trip, and I still remember the people I talked to. Although I travelled to Nepal to try to be away from people and escape my reality, I interacted with a lot of people and I enjoyed my reality there. When I went back to Japan, I tried enjoying the moment right now because I learned from the trip it is important to be happy for the moment. And then, I’ve been able to concentrate on what I really wanted to do, and I tried not doing what I don’t really want to do anymore. And, I feel like my worries are tiny things when I value the connection with people because I don’t have to be worried alone. This trip didn’t make me lonely, but made warm relationships with people. I can see what is happening in front of me as important and interesting things by experiencing the trip. I realised that there was no more lifelessness I’ve struggled with before going travel alone. Traveling is amazing, isn’t it?


It sounds weird that travelling alone doesn’t make the traveller feel lonely, but it’s true. If you are in a difficult situation and struggling, it’s not a bad idea to escape reality. I believe you can find another place of your own in the place you escaped to. You won’t be alone, you can interact with people wherever you run away to. The place where you go is your reality.

I’d be so happy if you could share your experiences from a trip or your feelings with me! Bye :)



Images by Akari

Edited by Eli, Kiara and Hikari

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