Kathmandu Durbar Square 2015


I've had a wanderlust for as long as I can remember.  Originally from New Zealand I've been blessed to travel the world for over the past 30 years enjoying no less than just as many countries.  Having lived and worked in the travel industry in Australia, UK, USA, Africa and in South Africa (where I now reside) I can honestly say that although each and every country has its beauty and wonderful sights, no other country hit me to my core quite like Nepal has.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing - New Zealand

I can't explain to you exactly what it is, whether its the mix of the friendliness of the Nepali and Tibetan people with their spontaneous smiles and Namaste! greetings or the simplicity in which people eek out a living and the devotion to the many Hindu and Buddhist deities and temples all the while being hospitable, helpful and willing.   The beautiful centuries old stupas, temples and mysterious chanting, drum beating and lighting of butter lamps and blowing of horns that continually intrigues me each time I visit.  Or is it the mighty Himalayan snow capped peaks which humbles even the biggest of us mere mortals.  It truly is a spectacular work of art created by the Gods and here it doesn't matter what religion you follow - the earth is made for ALL of us to rejoice in and admire, reflect in the meaning of it all.

Nowhere else have I felt so 'alive' and 'free'.  Perhaps its the lack of cellphone reception or Wifi connections in the valleys and mountains, that actually give us the 'time away' most of us seek but can't seem to find or escape from our so called 'real' world.  Is it real?  You'll ask yourself that after spending time in the Himalaya. What is really important?   The old adage of 'Seek and ye shall find' certainly applies when you sit in a moment of meditation, stillness comes along with a greater understanding following quietly behind.

Xochimilco - Mexico

All of us have a story to tell, we only need to sit, listen, be aware and open.   You'd be surprised at the person sitting beside you on the bus, in the movie theatre, the one standing behind you in the que at the grocery store, they have a story too.   It's not always an easy story either but you can grow and manage yourself better, believe in finding balance and acceptance, its a continual work in progress - daily, even for those who think they have it all under control.  It's ok, just be kinder to yourself a little bit, every day - be conscious and aware of yourself and your actions - before long you'll start to find the positive changes that occur.

My story has not always been rosy either and its certainly had its mountains to climb, however, here I am and no matter the past I am ready to embrace the future and create a new story to add to 'my movie'. What I do know is the way I feel about Nepal, those feelings are here to stay and with my practice of yoga deepening my awareness of who I am and what I want to be doing, I will grow further in my journey and I hope you decide to join me and find the peacefulness that Nepal has given me and has changed my life and no doubt will change yours too.  Start the new episode of your story on a beautiful journey to this incredible Himalaya region, Nepal!

Love and light. Namaste!

Joanne Gonsalves, host for Himalaya Yoga & Trek (Free Spirit and Adventurer)

My wonderful family - Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe