I love traveling alone. It's when I travel alone that I get to know myself better and not least challenge myself beyond my comfort zones. It's when I travel alone that I'm most alive, most open to new ideas, new experiences and to meet new people. In those circumstances, I often have to force myself to think differently, to make an effort to learn a new language and not at least to get into a new culture. A new culture that might be very different than one had imagined.
When you stay in the same country, in the same environment, you tend to be in the same comfort zone. You know your house, the city and have your own bestfriends. Friends that you probebly have known for a couple of years. And not at least, you're use to formulating yourself on your own mother tongue. As a foreigner in a new country, you dont have any of this. So, what can one do, you might wonder? Well, you just have to adapt. Learn to adapt. Adapt to something that is way beyond your comfort zone.
Sounds fun, right? After being in Nepal for almost 6 months, there is a lot of things that we have learned - both profesionally, but also personally. For example that there is never a meeting without tea and that nepalis prefer to eat the famous Daal Bhaat (rice with vegetables/meat) to every meal (and no, I am not kidding).
Besides that, I have also been reflecting on how people are, like for example that Nepalis and Norwegians are incredibly different when it comes to being social and take contact with "strangers", as we would say in Norway. In Nepal, people often take contact with you wherever you are - at the bus stop, on hiking, at the shops etc - and I love it! Namaste from the locals whereever you are in Nepal - while in Norway, we prefer our personal space.
In Dharan, where we live, I often go to different coffeeshops to read a book, but I think, I have never started to read a book before one or another tries to talk to me - which is very nice! People are very curious and very easy to get to know, at least from my point of view. Well, when I think of it, I actually think that all my local friends (outside of Red Cross) are from different cafes and random talkes (and yes, it might also be that I'm a little too addicted to coffee and reading books at cafes).
Do you force yourself outside of your comfortzone? If so, how does that feel? Are you curious about how me and Camilla are adapting in Nepal? If so, I encourge you to follow me and Camilla on Facebook.
Namaste from Thanuya