I learned…

I learned a lot from this journey which is soon coming to an end. I learned to appreciate my family and my home – I always have but now to a much stronger degree. The culture here is very family based, generations and generations thriving off one another. The lifestyle here is also very simple. Simple houses, simple meals, simple days. Life is seemingly so much less stressful, mostly because people aren’t fighting in the rat race. Nepal’s family-based culture, plus spending so much time away from my family taught me to appreciate what I have back at home. It also caused me to start planning for a future – a future where I live in my own simple house, grow and cook my own food, and live without the materials we deem necessary in our culture.

In our culture, we, as a whole, tend to be driven by materialism. The advertisements are released, the product is bought, and then after a short while it is thrown away. I found that in Nepal everything is a bit old and dinged up, but still working. The difference between American and Nepali culture can probably be found somewhere between the lines of marketing and the financial state of the people and the government. In Nepal, it’s more common to find people working at their little family run businesses simply in hopes to get enough money to feed their families. I prefer a family-based life, living simply instead of obsessing about materials, making life more fulfilling and less stressful.

I find that in our culture, as soon as children reach college age, they focus on finding a high paying job, even if it means moving far away from one’s family. There is a certain beauty in this adventurous spirit when everyone spreads across our planet. Societies and cultural traditions spread, making the citizens find common ground and integrate more. But, within this new tradition of moving far, far away, the tight family bound communities are lost. In Nepal, the generations look after one another, the grown children look after their elderly parents, and the grandparents look after their grandchildren. When you walk down a village street in Nepal you see generations of a family all sitting together in their businesses with big smiles on their faces because all the day asks is that they be together. They feel safe and secure. There’s such a beauty in the tight families. In the future, I will keep my adventurous spirit and seek new horizons, but I would like to stay out of life’s rat race and never lose sight of my family. One day I would like to live close to them and maybe even open a family run business.

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