What I’ve been up to : or, Singapore, Borneo, and Nepal

I seem to be a bit behind in blog updates, my apologies. I’ve been a little busy. Here’s the very (very very) brief version. I promise more details and pictures as soon as I can.

Pooja and I parted ways in Hanoi, Vietnam. I flew to Singapore to meet up with three other friends : Max, Joby, and Mallory. We spent two nights and one day in Singapore, then flew to Malaysian Borneo. There, we climbed Mt. Kinabalu, which is the highest peak in SE Asia, in a day. Some of us may have made it all the way to the summit, and others of us may have felt like the past year we’ve spent in flat places like Ohio, Florida, and South Carolina did nothing to prepare us for uphill toils at altitude. However, it makes for a pretty sweet story. And there are lots of birds and interesting plants in the Borneo jungle, which made the whole experience slightly more tolerable. After Kinabalu we spent a few days on Banggi Island, off the northern coast, relaxing on the beach and swimming around looking at coral and vibrant blue starfish.

From Borneo we flew to Kathmandu, Nepal. A 6hr bus ride brought us to the town of Pokhara, where we are currently. This morning we went paragliding off one of the mountains just outside town. I won’t try to describe that experience in a few words, because it’s not possible. Fantastic and breathtaking sorta sums it up. The rest of the day was spent procuring permits and supplies, and tomorrow we head out for about 9 days of trekking around the Annapurna region, heading to a place called Poon Hill and possibly Annapurna Base Camp. I expect it will be awesome, and that I will probably take way more pictures of the mountains than I will ever want to go back and look through.

I still can’t quite believe I’m actually in Nepal, just as I couldn’t quite believe I was actually in Borneo ( Good thing I have the passport stamps to prove it, or I would think it was all just a dream). These are places that I’ve read about in National Geographic and seen in wildlife and nature programs, not places that I ever thought I’d actually go myself one day. I knew they were real places, but they were so far away from Ohio that I almost didn’t really think they were real. And now I’m here.
Every day truly is a new adventure, and I cannot wait to see what tomorrow brings.

“Whatever tomorrow brings I’ll be there, with open arms and open eyes, yeah.” That song played on the radio as I drove away from Merritt Island NWR in March, and it helps me to remember that no matter how wonderful (or awful) the past, we must always look forward, because if you’re too busy looking behind you’ll miss all the beauty and wonder in front of you. And, in my case, you’ll probably then run into a tree or trip on a rock, and be forcefully reminded that life is in the present. Every bruise and scratch just reminds us that we’re human though, right?

Every tomorrow is full of promise, the promise of life.

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