open to the will of a higher power to show me the way. It never fails. I’ve set myself in the most ridiculous and outlandish circumstances, far away from the safety of the known and calculated, but as long as it’s something my heart truly desires I find myself being serendipitously carried away on a swell of fortunate occurrences and unlikely scenarios. Today was no different. We caught an early morning jeep from the quiet mountain town of Yuksom to the transportation hub of Ravangala. Our goal was to make it to the hot springs hidden somewhere in the region, but all we had to go on was the name of a town and our own intuition. After waiting hours for a shared jeep to take us to Borong, and then making the long timorous crawl up the side of the crumbled washed out road to the upper limits of the city, we soon found out from some helpful locals that where we actually wanted to go was ten kilometers back
down into the valley with no roads or marked trails to get there. We gathered as much information as we could from the friendly villagers and set out with nothing but an idea and a prayer. Without a guide, map or directions we wandered further into the uncharted mountainside and eventually found a path leading downward into the valley. Being up for adventure and ready for whatever may come, we took the first step down the slippery rock embankment into what very obviously now was nothing short of our destiny for the day. A local dog had decided to join us for the trek and trailed at our heels the entire descent, barking at other mutts who tried to impede our progress and occasionally running forward to lead us in the right direction. After a grueling couple of hours with the entire weight of our packs dragging us down, we realized we had no idea where the lower village was or if we were even heading towards the hot springs. Then suddenly, as if something heard our internal doubts and reservations, a warm voice called out to us from afar.
Speaking perfect English and waving at us from his hillside farm home, the man we soon came to know as Rinzing had spotted two desperate souls in need of help, and as was his nature, he leaped to the call. Inviting us into his humble hut for some refreshments, we soon came to learn that he was a local school teacher and friend of Pema, the proprietor of the guesthouse we stayed at in Yuksom. Before long, we had shared stories and bonded over a few beers and some Nepalese dance provided by a very spry local village elder. (Video Below) Rinzing made a quick call down to the riverside and arranged for his friend by the hot springs to feed us and put us up for the night. We were flabbergasted at the gesture, and little did we know what truly lay in store for us later that evening. Following another villager down the narrow twisting path to its endpoint at the frothing gnashing stream, we came upon one of the most pristine glacial currents I’ve ever seen in my life.
Our new furry companion immediately bounded into the icy waters as we unloaded our stuff at the solitary hut perched on the high river bank and went in search of the hot springs. We hadn’t walked five yards when it dawned on us that we were literally neighbors with the bubbling sulfurous pool of rejuvenating waters. A gang of local fishermen were soaking and simmering away the sores of the day and welcomed us in with smiles and cheer. I don’t know how many of you have had the luxury of bathing in a natural hot spring, but it was and still is one of the most refreshing and enriching experiences of my life. Especially here, in a place like this, with the lush green forest arching up over the undulating hills, the spotted blue heavens alternating between fat cold droplets of rain and clear fresh mountain skies, the steam rising off the mineral infused waters, bubbling at 100 degrees. I felt reborn in the salt of the Earth and renewed in its vitality. Now, here I sit - the cool night sky overhead, the walls of the valley reaching out like a cradle for our souls, sounds of rushing water ceaseless and eternal, a low fire burning in the clay furnace and all around peace and solitude in the glory of nature - it’s exactly where I’m meant to be and no map or plan could have ever lead me here.
There's times in this life where things may seem uncertain. The road ahead of you laid out like so many puzzle pieces with no idea what the final image is composed of. Traveling truly spontaneously and without plans or suppositions leads you down many paths without the comforts of assurance or itinerary. There’s a hairline edge of accomplishment and disappointment that you feel balanced upon in every single moment of every single day. It’s these moments when you’re really alive. When you unleash yourself to your fullest potential and let the seemingly random yet consequential will of the universe sway you in the right direction. So many times I’ve found myself in this situation - purposefully placed with no idea what lies next,