It has been 13 years between my two trips out here. Why has it taken so long to come back? If I’m honest I’d put it down to guilt that I had neglected the place I had once called home. Returning after my previous visit I felt, “I should help more people”, realistically I didn’t have the means to. I felt guilty for not helping much and not giving much time to the people here as my own life back home took over. Over the years it’s probably not gone away – I had to return.
As Cat Stevens puts it in a song, the experience is a “strange bewilderin’ time” – an intoxicating place with the most wonderful people. So finally, I got together the courage to come back. With experience now on my side; confidence that I could carry out the things I wanted to and some money in the bank too – I felt equipped for the journey.
It’s funny how things don’t work out as you think. I have met all my old Nepali friends. I have returned to the places I cherished so much back then. I had thought of apologising for my absence; not helping as much as I could. I didn’t get a chance to. Nobody bared the slightest bad feeling towards me, everyone was just so happy to see me. Big genuine smiles at every turn and unbelievable hospitality and kindness.
For years I had delayed this trip because I had some flimsy idea that the friends I had were not too happy with me and I should have done more over the years. Experience has taught me to test the theories I have – I’m so glad I did and I’m so happy to have Nepal back in my life. I think this time it will remain a big part of me. No guilt, just love.
So don’t delay Nepal, come back here if you once came. Come for the first time if you haven’t been. That message probably works for everything in life too. You’ll be suprised – you will be welcome. Old friends will still be friends, renewed. Don’t delay, do the things you want to today.