It’s crazy how a small country like Nepal can change your life so much. When I first travelled there in the beginning of 2016 with a german voluntary program to work in a Children Home, I could only imagine how everything would be. I was staying in Namibia for a year, visited other african and european countries but I knew Nepal was going to be completely different again. And what can I say now? I fell in love with the country. I know, that´s what a lot of people say after visiting countries they haven’t been before, but I can tell for me that it is true. I fell in love with the country and also in the country, but well, that is a different story again.
Within two months, I could experience local food, dances, beautiful places, new friendships and unforgettable time spending the days with those adorable kids. It’s always difficult meeting people abroad because many times you just lose contact along the individual ways of life, but with those good friends I made, I knew it is going to be different.
Those amazing souls were only one reason for me to return to Nepal a year later. I booked my plane tickets in December 2016, was preparing for exams in University when 2017 struck and turned my life upside down within seconds. I got the diagnosis of colon cancer in February, as a 22 years old girl, sitting in a room in a hospital and being comforted by a doctor, who couldn´t believe himself how a young girl like me could suffer from a disease that mostly attacks people in their 50ies or even older. So what was I supposed to do? I knew that a long surgery was needed and the hospital will be like my second home for the next weeks and months. I was a bit scared and a hell of confused with everything going on…and then there were still my already booked tickets to Nepal.
With the „Okay“ of my doctors, I started my travel in March and with arriving in the children home and being welcomed by all the well known faces, I forgot the diagnosis I got just some weeks before. I used my time completely and freed my mind. I visited places I have never been, enjoyed the craziness of Kathmandu, the local transports and of course Thamel. I tasted traditional wine for the first time, got a little tipsy and danced in the masses of people celebrating Holi. I took solo trips, discovered Chitwan National Park by foot and had drinks at beautiful lakesides. I stood where Lord Buddha was born, spent a night in a monastery and did early morning meditations, met people along the way and continued my journey with them. I went paragliding in the sky of Pokhara and enjoyed the sunrise over the Himalayas. And beside all these experiences, I laughed, played and loved those days I was surrounded by the 27 kids staying in the children home, visited my friends I haven’t seen in a year and day by day lost the fear that was haunting me before.
I went back to Germany with a backpack full of beautiful moments, lessons, experiences, friends and positivity. Only a few days later it was time to go to Hospital, accompanied by a Talisman I got from one of the most amazing people I met in Nepal…what could go wrong now?
I awoke after surgery, knowing that everything was going to be alright. My first check ups this year were positive, next ones to come in a few months but I am sure it will all go well until I will be declared completely healed after five years.
So what can I say? Nepal once again changed me, my thinking and my mind. Despite being a small, developing country, it is filled with magic, kindness, positivity, colours and beautiful landscapes. I know for sure I will be back someday, visiting the country that helped me overcoming the fear of the disease I have, the struggles and the worries, more than anything else could have done. Thank you!
This is Patricia Reinsch. She is a passionate traveler, volunteer and reader. If she happens to be at her home country Germany for some months in a row, she studies American and Indian Anthropology and is trying to learn new languages. You will never find her at one place for long as she loves to explore new things.Her friends and family are the most important parts of her life. She enjoys dancing, going out with friends, sports and sharing love, happiness and laughter.