Blogs from Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, India, Asia

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Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Dharamsala April 2nd 2020

Another few days of uncertainty and obstacles have brought us to Delhi today, en route back to Montreal. It was time...to make the decision and take the first opportunity that came my way. So we’re coming home. No thanks to the Canadian government who “tried” sending 10 planes for the estimated 20,000 citizens waiting in various parts of the country. Some are choosing to stay, given the uncertainty of what their coming home to, others didn’t have the means to fly their families home at $3,000 a ticket. By some stroke of luck I was offered last minute seats on a flight taking French citizens home and jumped on it...despite having only a few hours to pack and secure a “curfew pass” to allow the private taxi I had to hire, to get through each of ... read more
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Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Dharamsala April 16th 2019

Warning: long blog ahead. Make your tea now. I started to write this before I got sick and never sent it. Now it feels unfinished to send without being updated first. So here goes: March: This past year has been filled predominantly with joy, watching my baby become a boy. Considering I left the decision of my motherhood up to fate, I never counted on having a son. So I’m beyond grateful everyday that he came to me. But once the sadness of the situation surrounding his arrival subsided, I was still left with wonder and questions, many questions and worry of our future. Much of this was surrounded by finances of course. But with no clear path for me and the unusually large amount of hours of sleep I’ve needed since Taylor’s birth, I often ... read more
Taylor drinking his chai at the local chai shop
Taylor with Kuku
Getting his haircut

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Dharamsala December 1st 2018

The summer of 2018 was exciting and intriguing for me as I had a chance to visit Dharmashala, a sleepy little town in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. Of all the places I have been before and wanted to go, Dharmashala excited me the most. It radiates a mystical charm that feels different from the other towns of Himachal. It probably has something to do with the monks and monasteries, and the shade of Tibetan culture over the town. In recent years, Dharmashala has almost become a center for the exiled Tibetan government. If it was not for the local folk and the language, I probably would have thought that I am in Tibet. Dharmashala is divided into the upper section, which is McLeodganj, and the lower section which is the main town. Living accommodations ... read more
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Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Dharamsala September 18th 2018

A long day’s drive with chai stop to a place I have always wanted to visit because of the Dalai Lama. The actual town is juse an ordinary town and you drive on to McCleod Ganj which although only 15km takes over an hour. We were unlucky with our hotel which was so damp nothing dried including the floor and one morning my hair was damp! But great German Bakery nearby for brekkie. The highlight of this trip was to see the temple complex and the Dalai Lama’s house. He was not there and the temple was small with a line of wonderful prayer wheels. However the Tibet Museum reduced us to tears telling the horrific story of the Chinese invasion with photographic exhibits. Very subdued after that especially when the realisation that it is still ... read more
Temple in the grounds
Handpainting traditional thangkas
Prayer wheel in the temple complex at McCleod Ganj

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Dharamsala March 31st 2018

Bringing Taylor to Dharamkot felt like introducing him to my heart. He sensed the comfort, familiarity and peace I felt as we arrived. The exhausting 2 day journey, with back to back 5am wake-ups and early morning flights left me depleted. But knowing it was all worth it, must have given Taylor the reassurance that we were in the right place. That the journey was for a good reason. It took a few days to acclimatize to the temperature, the altitude and the mountain terrain. Which meant I took it easy and we dined luxuriously in restaurants for all our meals...reminding me how my travels used to look. I can’t believe I ate 3 greasy meals a day!! it was nice to taste Indian food cooked by locals rather than by me again and I definitely ... read more
This view of Dharamkot will never get old
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Our balcony

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Dharamsala June 13th 2017

Ahhhh India. India. India. India. I lived in the mountains in Himachal Pradesh, one of the states in India famous for the Himalayan Mountains. During my two month life in a very limited town--I was the only international foreigner inhabitant--I had to survive without the basic necessities required of most American blonde girls. One of such necessity: hot water shower. That's right. No bathroom in my apartment. And no hot water shower. The only shower system available was found across the street at my neighbors joint family accomadation, and even then the shower was COLD WATER only. Now did I mention I was living near the Himalayas? In winter? Not exactly the weather I would be tempted even slightly to participate in a cold water shower on a daily basis first thing every morning. Water in ... read more
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Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Dharamsala November 25th 2015

I never quite know what to expect when I return to Montreal for the summer. I always return with a small sense of sadness, having left my happy place. But it’s certainly sprinkled with some excitement to be back amongst the people I feel most comfortable and myself with. Although each time I return, I feel as though I’ve let go a little more of the Trish that grew up here and gained a newer, more confident and slightly (some might disagree) wiser version of myself. Each year it’s exciting to see if that’s true and also challenging to refrain from regressing back to the teenage Trish who finds comfort in being in her mommy’s home. Rather than being completely independent, looking out for myself and finding my own way, I revert back to eating my ... read more
fun times visiting the Berkes in Michigan
a rare and fun visit from the Millers
i don't always have to leave Canada for some wildlife and beauty

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Dharamsala October 30th 2015

October Part 2 During my entire time in India I’ve had some amazing musical experiences. I knew that I’d be coming to India to use music in the school by setting up the music classroom, but I never realised the other opportunities that I’d have given to me to create and explore music. My housemate Alex captured three of my musical highlights that happened in October and I’d like to share why they are so special to me. Firstly, at the beginning of October Alex and I met a wonderful man called Karam Chand who is a music guru in Palampur. He invited us to his small but perfectly sized teaching room one evening and we had such a great time listening to him play, talking and having a jam altogether. He is an incredibly spiritual ... read more
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Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Dharamsala October 8th 2015

Geo: 32.2207, 76.3188After Amritsar we headed for Dharmasala, the home of the Dalai Lama. Dharmasala is a collection of guest houses, hanging precariously to the side of a mountain surrounded by Tibetan Refugee houses covered in Prayer Flags. The town is full of hippy dippy foreigners seeking enlightenment, the shops contain everything we could possibly want as foreigners… well almost. Navigating the queen mary up the very narrow roads hanging off the edge of the mountain was nothing short of scary. Trying to find a place to park was even harder. We managed to find a bit of flat land at the mountaineering institute, a kind of scout camp type place for students learning mountaineering skills. We managed to get a hot bucket shower (yes this is big news.. a hot shower is a rare event ... read more
Camped in a Mountaineering Training Camp

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Dharamsala June 9th 2015

I think I can officially call myself a traveler. Not only because “tourist” sounds like I am 80 years old, follow a guide with a flag and carry an unnecessarily large, overpriced camera over my chest. But because this is my 10thyear living out of a backpack, with no more assets in one part of the world than any other and no clear region to call home. At the moment I have clothes in bags in Italy, India and possibly Vancouver…although I can’t even remember…nevermind the endless piles of sweatshirts from my teenage years in Montreal. Why are sweatshirts so hard to throw away? Now, in my 6th winter in India, I am becoming less of a traveler and more of a fixture in my few favorite places. I move around so little these days (it’s ... read more
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some fun with my friends who also come back year after year
it's slug season




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