This blog isn’t about the beginnings of the country of Bhutan itself. Rather it is about the beginnings of my own journey of making my decision to travel to Bhutan.
Although, the beginnings of the country of Bhutan itself are actually quite interesting, so I’ll throw in a few sentences about that. (It really would require another blog for all the details.)…The early history involves semi-nomadic herdsman. People of the Bon and Buddhist religions. Periods of turmoil and instability; and periods of victory and peace. Several key figures that changed the course of Bhutan’s history. Isolated from the outside world for centuries. Modern Bhutan with its philosophy of Gross National Happiness.
Taktsang Monastery aka Tiger’s Nest
Anyway, the trip that I will be taking in October 2011 actually began transforming in the back of my mind several years ago. In 2008, I knew that Beth (of Wanderlust and Lipstick, whose website you are on now) led groups to this fascinating country. I still even have some emails that I wrote to Beth back then about the possibility of my going to Bhutan.
However, other events in my life began to happen…the sale of one home, and the purchase of a new home. The birth of my niece! Now these things aren’t bad at all, and I do not regret not going to Bhutan several years ago, as I love our new home, and I of course, love and adore my niece. I guess you could say that the time and money involved in these things kept me from pursuing Bhutan.
Through the years though, I still managed to have some fabulous in-country trips to satisfy my travel bug. “Staycations,” as they call it. Alaska, with one of my sisters. Two long backpacking trips on the Wonderland Trail. And several trips to San Francisco (where my niece lives).
View of the Himalayas as approaching Bhutan
The years passed, and honestly, I had kind of forgotten about Bhutan. Then that travel bug creeped up on me big time at the end of 2010! Instead of staycations though, I felt like it was time for me to go abroad again. I had not been out of the country for over two years, and I wanted to go somewhere. But where?
For a month or so, I tossed around several ideas of where to travel. Many countries and continents came to mind that I had not yet been to. But no decisions had yet been made.
At the same time as the ideas were being tossed, I had already been reading a series of six blogs written by Beth on a trekking trip she had done in Eastern Bhutan. I was intrigued. Somewhere in the midst of all this, it said to contact her if anyone would be interested in traveling to Bhutan. I emailed her, and while at that time, her trips at that time weren’t scheduled till 2012, I wrote to her of my interest.
King of Bhutan and Fiancé
Beth’s Eastern Bhutan trips combined experiencing local life, the people, the culture, the villages, and the religion. While at the same time, trekking in some beautiful scenery. All of that definitely appealed to me!
Then those 2012 trips got moved up a few months. To October 2011! Instead of going to the eastern side of the country, though, the trip involves the western side, but still with same combo of people and culture, with trekking and scenery. And just like that, I made my out-of-country travel decision, called Beth, and soon signed up. It was my beginnings of Bhutan…
By the way, the King of Bhutan recently announced his wedding that is occurring in…October 2011. If you want to join me and Beth on the trip, don’t delay, as flights will be extremely difficult to secure during October. Here is a link for more information.
The history of the country of Bhutan is from this fabulous book written by a former Queen.
Photo credits…Two from Beth Whitman, and King and Fiancé picture from the press.