Six years ago I was at the foot of the Himalayan mountains in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India.
There was something emotionally overwhelming by this place. I don’t think it was the mountains, but it is hard to say. I took one step into the Buddhist temple at the foot of the mountains - the temple where the Dalai Lama was exiled from Tibet - and I was overwhelmed with emotions. It was one of the most bizarre and spiritual moments of my life, and perhaps the only true spiritual moment I have experienced. It is not something a scientist could really explain to me. Why there? Why in that moment?
I was reminded of that moment today. I was thinking about my husband and I making the move to my home province of B.C. Living closer to the mountains, closer to my family, and just leaving the crazy bustle that is Toronto. My husband doesn’t even like this city, and I haven’t been able to enjoy it with him.
We started dating two years ago. He already knows that had we not met, I would have followed my sister and her family to B.C. already. He is at least used to the idea of moving now.
My journey north to Himachal Pradesh was also a trip that I was introduced to Ondansetron - I had car sickness as my driver was wild. It was kind of neat being an associate of the government university at Ludhiana, because it meant my vehicle and driver were government labelled. But speeding through the hills I was definitely nauseous and Ondansetron was very effective!
Anyway, the move to B.C. was reminding me of my trip to Palampur. This was the only good night’s sleep I had during the two months I lived in India. Yes, the cooler northern temperature had a lot to do with it, but being farther away from a major city also did.
I still cannot believe that Ludhiana is a small Indian city, sitting at 1.6 million people. While Palampur has 3,500 people. Those two days away from Ludhiana were well needed, and had I not had my research to get back to, I would have stayed there. I used to say that I would not choose to go to India again, but I would choose to go to the Himalayan mountains again.