In 3 days I will be boarding a plane on route to Nepal. I’m still pinching myself to make sure everything that is happening is actually real – GoPro is making my dream come true!
I will be heading there to paint and explore some scenic villages. Although it is monsoon season, I am hopeful for some sunny breaks and mountain views.
I am beyond excited. But, heres the thing: I’ve never been outside of North America. I’ve never been on a plane longer than 3 hours. I know, I know, I could have travelled before now. Even though I could of, I didn’t – life got in the way.
I grew up really fast from 16 until 24. Not completely by choice but some things happened in my life that put usual teenage/post-graduation activities (such as travelling) on hold.
I come from a huge family – 2 girls, 4 boys, 2 parents, 2 horses, 1 dog, 2 bunnies and several budgie birds (named after the Jackson 5 band obviously). Life was busy for most of my childhood, we didn’t travel much (clearly) but we did have family adventures in our old camper van. We played in small campgrounds beside towns with names that no one knew. We had beautiful adventures building forts and chasing each other through the forest. I wouldn’t change anything about the freedom of my childhood and the lessons that it taught me.
A few months after my 16th birthday, one of my brothers passed away. That’s when life really started skipping steps. Life as a teenager was hard enough but then having something like this happen really changed things for me.
After my brothers accident came cancer for my dad and a near death experience for another sibling. And to top it all off – I lost one of my best friends to suicide.
My family just couldn’t catch any breaks for close to 10 years. I always wondered why so many things could happen to one group of people – and good people. My parents are some of the sweetest, most caring and genuinely honest people I know. My siblings are wise, talented and the best friends I could ask for. Thinking about the pain we all felt, in our own ways, is still an aching memory. Flipping through photos with my family is all we have left of those times when we weren’t missing any puzzle pieces.
Some time has passed now and things are looking brighter. A new “Bulford” was born, beautiful and resembling the loved one we lost. My dad is healthy and everyone is doing seemingly well.
Now I am heading to Nepal. Basically 24 hours of flights and a whole new experience waiting for me on the other end.
For the most part, I live an adventurous life at home – but I’m looking forward to exploring this new side of myself. The side who isn’t afraid to drop everything for a wild opportunity. Saying goodbye to constantly being afraid of things going wrong.
So here I goes – jumping into the rapids of life’s crazy river. I’m painting a new chapter for myself and I can’t wait to see what comes next…