Resolutions are usually hard to stick to. But, not with the right resolutions and the right people around to help you stick to them. My resolution for 2012 was a big one, one that created a change in my life that was absolutely necessary. That change was to live my life more as I do while traveling, and part of that is to treat each and everyday as a travel day, as if it is just as special.
January started off quite well, with many adventures discovered nearby home, and February seems to be off to the same start. I’m learning that there’s just so much to see, and finally realizing what I’ve been missing the past few years. Last night was a pure example of that, where I was able to experience two entirely different cultures and experiences very close to home.
I began last night at Cafe Himalaya, a Tibetan and Nepali restaurant in the East Village in Manhattan. The decor is low-key: a few simple tables, some pictures of Tibet and Mount Everest hanging on the walls, and a chalkboard full of the restaurants recommended dishes in brightly-colored chalk. And with a bright red awning hanging out front, it’s almost hard to imagine just how good this restaurant can be. But, by the time the first dish is passed by you on the way to a nearby table, you understand exactly why you may need to wait a while before you are seated.
The food is delicious, relatively similar to the cuisine of India. To start, we had beef and potato dumplings, or Sha Momo and Shogok Momo Takpa as they are called. Then for dinner, we had the Chasha Shamdey, a Himalayan style chicken curry with basmati rice, along with the Shapta, traditional Tibetan spicy beef. If you’re feeling brave, try the Bocha Tibetan Tea made with salt, butter, and milk. It can take some getting used to, and personally, I couldn’t get used to the flavor, but at the moment I just had to try it. I guess I was keeping in the spirit of travel and one of my many mantras, “sure why not!”
After dinner, we headed to Union Square to see Fuerza Bruta, a show that ignites all of the senses. Originating in Buenos Aires in 2005, it’s unlike any show I’ve ever been to. As the audience, you actually become part of the show, moving around the room when necessary. The cast also moves throughout the room coming in contact with the audience and allowing everyone to partake and interact in the show. The cast also hangs from the ceiling, breaks through boxes, and mermaid-like fashion swims in water high above your head. From the beginning, you know that the experience is unlike any other. Then at the end, there’s music and rain that pours down from the ceiling as everyone dances, and you feel like you’ve been transported far away from New York City. It was a truly memorable night.
Slowly, I am beginning to realize that there is a lot to discover in my own backyard. For so long, I believed that I could only learn about myself through travel, and maybe that’s true, but I now understand that I don’t always have to travel so far. There is much to be learned here at home.