According to the Plan

Last week, I came back to Nepal after the most incredible 8 days in Tibet.

We had snowball fights at 4900+ meters above sea level, stood on passes overlooking the bluest lakes I’ve ever seen and 5 of the highest mountains, slept at Everest Base Camp, and made friends from all over the world.

I don’t have words to describe the experience, so I’ll add a few photos to this post. However, the true point of this, is to talk about what the actual plan was.

According to the plan, I was supposed to go on this trip in September, not October. But it was canceled. The day I received that email, I cried. It seemed as though this dream trip was completely lost. Then, several emails later, a date in October was secured.

But the week before I was set to leave, a terrible sinus infection set in, my visa process was delayed again and again. And the day before my flight was set to take off, a cyst was causing so much pain I ended up in the hospital having day surgery to remove it. I told the doctors I was going to Tibet the next day, and they said “We’ll see.” There were more tears then.

The next day I woke up taking antibiotics and painkillers, and picked up my visa less than 2 hours before my flight was due to take off.

So far, nothing had gone according to the plan. I sighed as I sunk into my seat on the plane finally taking a moment to breathe, but not truly relaxing until I walked through security at the airport in Lhasa, met my guide and took a seat to wait for others who would join us for the drive into the city. Nothing had gone as it should, but I was there.

This was when the plan started changing in a positive way. On our way to EBC, lunch with a local family was added, we had more time for snowball fights and photos on top of passes, and spent extra time at the most extraordinary monastery and bluest lakes.

While the changes in plans in the days and months leading up to my trip caused more stress than I can put into words, I am glad that things didn’t go according to plan.

If things had gone according to plan I wouldn’t have had the best travel companions, driver and guide. Maybe I wouldn’t have gotten to sit in the sun on a rock, staring up at the highest point on earth with the clearest blue sky as a backdrop. Maybe I wouldn’t have laughed as much, or seen this beautiful part of the world in the same way.

The lesson? Sometimes plans go awry just to fall into an even better place. Here’s to learning to be patient, rolling with changes, and saying yes to new things that might alter the plan a little. You never know what beautiful things it might lead to.

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