When Vanessa and I talked about going on a honeymoon, we wanted to go somewhere monumental. I wouldn’t quite call my job demanding—more consuming, really—but hers is fairly high maintenance. We knew we had this particular time set aside and that it might be the only time we are able to get away for more than a weekend at a time. Vanessa is a planner, so she started researching destinations. She was the one who came up with Nepal. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was a wonderful trip.
After recovering from the flight out there, we decided to explore the city of Kathmandu. Our guide directed us to Swayambhunath, an ancient Buddhist temple. It was absolutely amazing. All the different color flags, the statues, the people. And the monkeys. From an art standpoint, I was enthralled by my surroundings. The carvings were awe inspiring. As a regular person, however, I have to say that my favorite thing was the monkeys. We heard the mythology behind them, about how they were bornfrom lice. It is a hard thing to describe—you’re mobbed by these wise looking holy monkeys. It is a really cool experience.
I could have spent our whole vacation there, but Vanessa had other plans. We explored more of Kathmandu, visiting various markets and bazaars. I kept finding pieces that I wanted to mail back to the gallery, but Vanessa told me I had to wait a few days. I took photos and sent them to the gallery owners, who got as excited as I did. I made some arrangements with the locals to hold various things until I returned. It was definitely a challenge to get everything shipped off, but it was totally worth it.
Then Vanessa had a surprise for me. We went to the amazingChitwan National Park, taking a canoe ride on the Narayani River. That was probably the closest I have ever been to an alligator or a rhino and it was both exhilarating and terrifying. You don’t realize just how big a rhino is until it is standing on the banks of the river and you realize what a small, crushable vessel you’re in. It was one of those things that I am grateful to have seen but probably both more grateful that I survived and never need to do again! Vanessa, on the other hand, was completely in her element. She took pictures of everything, filling up her memory card in just a few hours. It made me so happy to see her so enchanted by our surroundings.
After that, we made the long trek to Lumbini, believed to be the birthplace of Gautama Buddha. Vanessa wanted me to see the Ashoka Pillar located there because it is the oldest inscription in Nepal. While that was an interesting sight, it could not compare to the temple beside it—the Maya Devi temple erected in honor of the sacred land where Buddha was born. We were not allowed to take pictures inside so I will have only my memories of the fascinating drawings we saw inside.
It was a wonderful trip and I am both happy to be home and sad that we had to leave. I guess that’s the sign of a great trip, though, isn’t it?