We saw the first glimpse of them from the plane window – the rigid, snowy Himalayan peaks. They were practically at eye level with our cruising altitude; you could reach out and touch them as if they were the pages of a book. They looked beautiful and scary at the same time. They were so cold, hard, and barren; as if they were saying “leave us alone, you don’t belong here.” Yet at the same time they were the fascinating peaks I had studied as a child, topped with snow that looked like an inviting dollop of Cool Whip.
It was a bit surreal; all of my planning was becoming a reality. As my dad excitedly peered out the window at the daunting peaks I asked him if he ever thought he’d see the Himalayas in his lifetime. He thought about it a bit and said “No. I don’t think I ever thought about it before. I’m sure I learned about Nepal as a kid, but I never thought beyond that I suppose.” I’m pretty sure at his elementary school, which was a one room school house in the Nebraska countryside, no one ever thought they’d see the Himalayas. It was a marvelous feeling to know I was helping someone achieve goals they never knew existed; isn’t it wonderful when we push beyond our boundaries of possibility?
If I had been traveling solo as I normally do, I would have simply bought my flight ticket, arrived in Kathmandu, and then figured out the rest of the itinerary in a spontaneous manner. This lack of planning is the ‘badge’ of a backpacker – carefree, go where the wind takes you attitude that comes from a fat passport. However I wasn’t a typical backpacker this trip; I was a daughter traveling with her father, and I knew I couldn’t be that blasé; I needed a plan prior to arriving.
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