Nepal, April 28, 2010
At dawn this morning, Bryan Berry, Tony Anderson and I climbed aboard Buddha Air Flight 102 from Kathmandu (KTM) to Mt. Everest. It was a little twin-engine turbo prop with just one seat on each side of the aircraft, so everyone had a window and isle seat.
And here's why that mattered: we flew along the Himalayan range from Borile Lakpa to Makalu, including Mount Everest herself. Accedning through the Kathmandu clouds, the first peaks to come to view were Shisha Pangma, Dorje Lakpa, Phurbi Ghyachu, and the unconquered Choba Bhamare - all part of the Rolwaling range.
I was in awe of the sight of these peaks - fingers of rock into the sky - all snow capped and majestic. As we approached Mt. Everest, the pilots brought me forward into the cabin so I could see their view. All I could say was "Nice office" as the peaks before us were humbling.
Right about then I thought to myself "Top of the world, Ma!" and started to cry. I am so lucky, honored, and as another business traveler said once, privileged, to live this life of travel and adventure.
For all the screams in frustration, all the cold bucket baths and nights of barking dogs, swarming mosquitoes, and outright misery of developing world travel - I live dreams. And I get paid to do it. Better yet, I get paid to travel how I want to, with the people, not removed from them.
This morning I saw Mt. Everest
Now, hours later I am still crying every time I think of it. I am crying right now as I type this.
Thank you Mom and Dad for giving me the bravery and motivation to travel anywhere, anytime, thank you Amy for giving me permission to leave you and our family for these adventures, and thank you Inveneo, infoDev, IESC Geekcorps, Mercy Corps, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Peace Corps for paying my way.
I am such a lucky man.