En­light­ened trekker Ka­sia Nowak

Wanderlust Travel Magazine (UK) - - 25 YEARS OF WANDERLUST -

“In 2010, I en­tered the Wan­der­lust Photo of the Year com­pe­ti­tion and was highly com­mended in the land­scape cat­e­gory. That didn’t change my life in it­self – what did change was re­ceiv­ing a goodie bag con­tain­ing the Fe­bru­ary 2011 is­sue. It featured a story on the newly opened Merak Sak­teng Trek in the rarely vis­ited east­ern part of Bhutan. I found the cover photo of red-robed monks ir­re­sistibly en­chant­ing, and thought the con­cept of Gross Na­tional Hap­pi­ness ut­terly fas­ci­nat­ing.

“Six months later, I booked my trip of a life­time – travers­ing Bhutan from west to east, with the Merak Sak­teng Trek thrown in. The tour in­volved plenty of highaltitude roads, trekking, lo­cal peo­ple and their horses. See­ing how peo­ple lived there changed my at­ti­tude to so many as­pects of my own ex­is­tence, al­low­ing me to dis­tin­guish be­tween what I want and what I need. When I think of my­self as I was, I can hardly recog­nise that per­son. The ar­ti­cle was en­ti­tled ‘Foot­paths to En­light­en­ment’, which is ex­actly what it felt like to me.”

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