Entries by Kieran McManus

Magical Hampi

January 11, 2010: Hampi Just a few hundred miles inland from Goa is Hampi. This town is one of those rare universally-loved places along the traveler circuit. Before arriving you can’t possibly imagine what you are about to experience. After a long, jarring train ride disjointed by frequent layovers and delays, I arrived at the […]

Musings on Traveling and the Death of a Friend

January 8, 2010: Goa While traveling you see your best and worst sides very clearly. You spend so much time by yourself—so many long stretches of time sitting idle on busses and trains, considering the many aspects of any given situation. Your senses are alive as you observe everything, and you find yourself reflecting on […]

Chillin’ in Goa

January 6, 2010: Goa, India I’ve arrived in Goa, the legendary summer place on the southwestern shores of India. I made the bold decision while in Varanasi, and with unstoppable determination I began laying the groundwork for my flight from coldness to Goa.For three months now I’ve been cold. Shortly after arriving in Nepal I […]

Varanasi, Sacred City of Light and Death

December 30, 2010: Varanasi, India The journey to Varanasi was a long one and involved many modes of transport, including buses, Jeeps, rickshaws, walking, and trains. It had taken nearly 20 hours to get this far. It was nine o’clock in the morning and as I exited the train station, my mind was tired, but […]

Sleeper Car to India

December 30, 2010: Varanassi India The Nepal/India border is practically invisible. There is a bustling road from here to there, and it’s busy with countless samosa vendors, produce wagons, and merchants of all kinds of stuff. To my surprise, the crossing of the border is transparent and, in fact, consists simply of checking in with […]

Where the Buddha Once Walked

December 28, 2009: Lumbini, Nepal Lumbini is special because it’s where the Buddha was born. For 2600 years this village was little more than countryside with a sparse population and a few small reminders of its greatest inhabitant. Ten years ago a large stretch of trees and fields was set aside for monasteries. Since then, […]

Onwards to Where the Buddha Was Born

December 26, 2009: Lumbini, Nepal It’s nighttime at a monastery in Lumbini, the place where Gautama Siddartha the Buddha was born. Lumbini is in southernmost Nepal, just north of the Indian border. The monastery where I am staying is one of twenty-six in the area that are strewn about a vast peaceful refuge of trees […]

Christmas in Nepal

December 25, 2009: Boudha, Nepal All week I’ve been listening to holiday music. It fascinates me how music can transport the mind to a different time, and as I listen to these old familiar songs, I smile to recall the years and all of the moments when these songs were my festive soundtrack. There is […]

Living with Monks in Boudha

December 21, 2009: Boudha, Nepal For the past two weeks now I’ve been in Boudha. In traveler time, two weeks feels like two months, or maybe even two years. Indeed, it feels like I’ve lived here for a very long time. The fact is that I’ve become part of this community and it feels real […]

Monkeys, Cremations, and Sufi Music

December 6, 2009: Pashupatinath, Nepal After class today, a couple classmates invited me to come along to a concert with them down the road in Pashupatinath. The show sounded really interesting– some musicians from Rajastan, India who play the sacred music of the Sufi mystics and sing the divine poetry of Kabir. Using sitars, drums, […]