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I’m back..

Both times I’ve come to this part of the world (India/Nepal) I get absolutely swept away. I never update my blog, I find it hard to keep in contact with people, and everything but my immediate world ceases to exist. I guess there is a very calm vibe about this place and a self-centeredness that goes with being a laid back traveler.

Almost 3 months have passed since I came to Nepal for the 2nd time. I’ve volunteered in an orphanage, met up with old friends, made new ones, attended a psy-trance festival, had a fire photo shoot with professional photographers, been in the newspaper numerous times, had a belly dance gig, enrolled in school, started learning Nepali, and got 2 jobs.

Phew..its been a crazy few months but I’ve finally decided to put down roots for a bit. I’ll be here until December (95%) for sure, October 100% sure. I’m going to try to keep up with my everyday life via blog again.

 

Enjoy ~

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Here I go again..

I find myself on yet another eve of a great adventure. Like before, I’m sitting with a good friend, awesome family, wine in hand, still half packed with loads left to do..enjoying the comforts of home down to the very last hour.

It amazes me at how I get here. I don’t plan it..I stress it, I google it, I ponder it, I flip a coin over it..and wa-lah! I find myself sitting in my basement, doing the same thing I always do the night before departure.

I’ve said my goodbyes, I’ve seen the tears, cried the tears, and thanked the tears.I have no idea what the next stage of my life entails or where it will take me but I sense something great.

Guess we’ll literally see if the grass is greener on the other side..

~Lost in the East~

Westerns have talked for ages about the exotic, far off eastern lands. They’ve always captured our attention for their rich spices, vibrant colours, sacred traditions, ancient healing methods, and sheer wonder at how a world so beautiful and exotic can even exist.

For most, its nothing more than a though at the back of one’s mind..a culture or blip on the radar seen on the news or the latest holiday flick..For others, its a holiday filled with trips to the doctor, annoying cabbies & merchants, and an endless array of dirty towns that looked nothing like the brochures or pictures on Google Images.

For the select few..the East becomes home.. a sense of spirituality lives here..the culture gets into your veins..no matter how annoying it can become at times. The people, again, no matter how annoying at times, melt into your hearts. The sights, the food, the language, the traditions..all seem to weave themselves into the fabric of the eastern traveler.

My last entry was 2 months ago, before I found myself smack in the middle of this beautiful world. First Nepal, a wonder beyond all wonders..where the traveling community is strong, beautiful, and bright..Then India..Oh, beautiful India.

Nothing gets to me more than the sheer variety here. Beautiful colored saris, lovely women, garbage piles, atrocious men, hospitality, smells, food, spices, temples, Goa, police, parties, politics, corruption, over population, beautiful children, homeless children, the richest of the rich..The varying degrees of everything here are covered..from one end of the spectrum to the next.

India is a whirlwind..Nepal the calmer version of such. My little house in middle America will forever be my place of Origin..but for now, the East is my home. It’s in my heart..my soul..and after 2 months, I will return and make my life here for however long the cosmos shall allow me.

Namaste beautiful people..Namaste~

Why?

As I’m sitting here in the world’s most luxurious limbo, awaiting my Indian visa that I should have secured months ago..classic Miranda..I found myself watching “Eat, Pray, Love.” This book got me on to the idea that one needs to step out of his or her comfort zone in order to realize one’s faults, one’s weaknesses, one’s strengths, and just life lessons overall. I haven’t seen the movie since being in Bali, so it gave me a bit more of a connection to the movie.

After getting passed the semi-good acting and the fact that so much was missed that was critical to the anthesis of the story..I found myself asking, why is it I’m doing what it is I’m doing..?

Why am I traveling the world? Why I am facing nights of loneliness? Why am I spending hard earned money on sometimes scams or seemingly endless fees and penalties from governmental institutions? Why am I away from my family?

Better yet..what is it I’m searching for?

My only answer..is life. I’m searching for life..like-minded souls..experience…knowledge..conciousness..connectedness..

Why can’t I do this in my own country or at a level of stress that doesn’t reach  a point of being almost unbearable..? I don’t know..Home is comfort. Comfort is complacency. Complacency is easy.

Life should be hard..enjoyable..but challenging. If not, we’re just wandering souls..working, earning capital, doing nothing with it, and keeping our lives the exact same as it is every single day. Each day is a blessing..one filled with opportunity and life. Why do the same every day..?

And why feel guilty about having days of absolute lethargy..sometimes the body needs that…to do nothing..to just be. I think that’s what Bali was for me..the art of doing nothing.

Learn it, cultivate it..and then do something with it..if that at all makes sense. If it does..you’re one step ahead. If it doesn’t..well..get out of comfort zone and you’ll see what I mean.

Do nothing..Envelope everything..and the rest will take care of itself.

One love.

Cambodia

30 hours on a bus from Koh Tao to Cambodia with a wisenhiemer was enough to make me want to keep going for another 30 hours..but alas, arriving in Sihanoukville was a bit exciting. Although it rained almost every day, I had the most fun I’ve had in a long time. My days were filled with playing cards, drinking beer, more happy sticks, and good people.

Jesse and I met another group of people from the UK and Australia. The two girls became my instant best friends and the guy was the biggest sweetheart I’ve ever met. Genuine good people.

Our nights and days ran in to each other..sometimes waking up just in time for happy hour. I found myself wondering, why haven’t I been in Cambodia before now..? Its SO unbelievably cheap..but you end up spending a lot because it is so cheap. I think I was there for 9 days..and all I remember is FUN!

One day we got to enjoy the beach..enjoy some tubes on the waves..but mostly we were indoors..hanging out..and enjoying each other’s company. My mom said “well Miranda, you could have been volunteering!” ..and yes, I could have been..but honestly..I learned a lot those few days and made connections with so many people that were meant to be in my life at that time..so I have no regrets..and I can’t wait to connect with more like-minded individuals in India..more from there my beloved followers! ❤ Namaste!

Southern Thailand

Leaving Bali, I thought Southern Thailand was the next best option. One, I could save money as Thailand is meant to be very cheap by backpackers standards..and Two, the full moon party on Koh Phangan was only days away. So I bought my ticket and flew to Phuket. I spent the night there and then made the major trek to Koh Phangan.

Along the way I met two Americans and a South African at the ferry. We decided to start traveling together and stayed together throughout the full moon party.

Koh Phangan was Spring Break central on one side of the beach..but luckily my stoner friends and I were on the other side of the beach most days/nights enjoying happy shakes and happy sticks sold right at an amazing bar overlooking the entire island. The night of the party we did indulge in the spring break-ness of it all. I did fire like mad and ended up with some wicked blisters..My friend Jesse and I ended the day with massages, an amazingly refreshing meal and a swim in the sea.

Our American friends moved on and Jesse and I stayed in Koh Phangan for 2 more days. After, we headed to Koh Tao. Koh Tao is infamous for its diving. We were set on doing some diving, or at least some snorkeling.

We ended up doing neither. I don’t know what we did there for four days besides enjoy our hidden little reggae bar, eat more good food, and make fun of the spring break backpackers..apparently we’re more legit?

P.S. Anyone wearing neon shorts or tank tops that say FULL MOON PARTY is a definite spring break backpacker.

All in all..I just spent a lot of money, ate amazing food, enjoyed the scenery, watched some hilarious movies, and enjoyed the company of my new pal Jesse..who is quite possibly one of the funniest people I’ve ever met.

Next stop…Cambodia!

Eat, Pray, Commercialize

In case you haven’t pieced it together, this entry is about visiting the place where the popular “Eat, Pray, Love” book was based on, and part of the movie was shot. The magical location being Ubud, Bali.

To get your general questions out of the way..Yes, Ketut Liar (ironic), pronouched Kah-toot Lee-Air, is still giving out readings and fortunes to those who come to his home..for a heafty price of course. and Yes, Wayan now has a thriving shop where she claims to be able to heal all of your ailments. I was offered to go both places but decided against it. Commercialized medicine men/women just doesn’t seem right.

I did, however, find another medicine man..known here as a Baliman..who is supposed to be the real deal. I’m not going to give his name for fear of the same thing happening..but..alas..it may have already occured. I called ahead before going to visit him, just to be curtious..as the source of my info said he’s open to all people all the time..and I was greeted by a tired voice stating he was closed at 5 pm. It was 4:45..I asked him if there was any way he could see me as I was leaving early the next morning for some heavy duty meditation in the mountains..and without a word, I was handed to a British woman who again told me he was closed at 5. Didn’t seem very much like a traditional healer to me, so I let the idea pass.

I did get a little taste of the real Ubud..as I met some rad locals who took me around on a motorbike. I got to see parts of Bali that I would have never seen otherwise. I even got a new tattoo from a brilliant local artist…for FREE! =)

Aside from having a slight argument with a scuzzy guesthouse owner..losing about $5 dollars in the deal..and in turn gaining a beautifully quiet room at an amazing guesthouse in the middle of a rice field..not too much happened in Ubud. I got swept away by local guys, a good novel..and amazing views.

I was constantly bombarded with tour packages..offers for massages and sarongs..and contiunaly enticed with food that was a little too expensive for my budget..but enticing nonetheless.

After so much commercialization, I picked my next destination far from touched by mass tourism…off to the moutain town of Penelokan..smack in the middle of Bali’s 2 active volcanoes and biggest fresh water lake.