Tag Archives: media

In Kathmandu… Anything Can Happen

Kathmandu Street Scene

I wake up on my first full day back in Kathmandu. The familiar sounds of the city waft through my third floor window at Hotel Florid Nepal in the heart of the tourist district, Thamel. I look at my watch and realize it is still early: 6 a.m.

I pull on some clothes, pack up my Canon DSLR and its lens and hit the streets. I figure that I might as well take this opportunity to take some photographs of the city waking up from its slumber. The winding alleys and streets, which used to be emblazened in the back of my mind, are quickly coming back.

A sharp turn here, a soft left there and I find myself at Asan Bazar. The bazar, also known as the market, is buzzing with vegetable peddlers and various hawkers. Hindu women, marked by a red tikka on their forehead, buy marigold garlands and other offerings to leave one of the many local Hindu temples.

As usual, it seems that there is some sort of festival, which means the streets are especially clogged with devotees, many dressed in orange and shoeless. Remembering why I love Kathmandu so much is easy, but hard to explain when people ask. This city has a unique charm that most likely doesn’t affect everyone, but it washes over me in tidal waves, even on my first day back.

I’m attracted to how completely different Kathmandu is from anything I know. Absolutely everything and everyone is interesting and colorful. There are problems in Nepal that at times are beyond discouraging, but the beauty of the place is fantastic.

After I’ve returned from my photography mission with somewhere near 300 new photos, I meet my friend and we head to the News 24 Nepal office. The next thing I know, I find myself sitting across from the managing editor of the television station. She is shuffling through my 4-page curriculum vitae, asking me about my experience with electronic media.

“Is this really happening?” I wonder to myself.

The next thing I know, I’m meeting with the CEO of News24Nepal in his plush, top-floor office. He’s asking me for concepts for a new show which he’d like my help producing. It will be called ‘Discover Nepal’ and it will be aimed at tourists interested in learning about the city and surrounding areas. Of course, I came here to work at a magazine, but I tell them that I can help on the show on my free time.

The CEO and manager of the station welcome me to their crew and swiftly issue me a ‘Press’ card which names me as ‘TV Journalist: Producer.’

News 24: My new employer? Can it be?

My head is spinning as I leave the office.

I look at my card wondering how in the world I got to this point.

Since then, the planning and scripting stages of Discover Nepal have begun.

My suspicions are correct: anything really can happen in Kathmandu.

The Trade-Offs of Long-Term Travel

Photo by: laurenashley

Cruising from one foreign city to another with nothing but a backpack and a guidebook is exciting. Hanging out on tropical beaches, exploring crumbling temples and trying new foods: these are some of many benefits and exciting things about long-term travel.  To have the funds and the time to do an extended around-the-world trip seems like a dream for many, and it’s true: an extended travel is guaranteed to be life-changing in more ways than one.

Of course, along with the good also comes some down sides.  I’ve been considering the cons of long-term travel a lot lately because I am about to embark on  a one year trip to Kathmandu, Nepal where I’m moving for a job.  I’ve also been on several long-term trips in the past three years.  The first for ten months, the second for three months.  After these trips, and in anticipation of the next one, I’ve begun to consider both the pros and cons of long-term travel.  Just what are you trading to travel/live/work abroad for an extended period of time?  What are the trade-offs?

I think the major trade-offs of long term travel are the small things, things that you wouldn’t normally even notice during everyday life back at home.  You miss the everyday occurrences and events in the lives of your friends and family. You miss stories about encounters at work, updates about someone’s mood on a particular day.  You miss random phone calls from friends who just want to chat and see what’s going on.

In the age of social media and hyper-connectivity, it is easier to stay connected than ever before.  The internet can be accessed from most places in the world and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter make it easy to send friends and family quick updates.  Skype is available for phone and video chatting and we have blogs to share all the abroad experiences with our loved ones.  But, even with the technological avenues, we still miss the mundane-ness of everyday life.  It is is sharing these run-of-the-mill details that create strong friendships and relationships.

Although extended travel is an incredible opportunity, there are inevitable trade-offs.  The trade-offs are the small things in life, which sometimes make it easy to stay in one place, near home.  Traveling is an incredible opportunity, but there are drawbacks too.  It is necessary to find a balance between maintaining connections at home and being connected to your abroad experience.

How do you stay connected with friends and family while traveling or living abroad?  Do you think there are other trade-offs of long-term travel or other things you miss when away from home?