|Atop the Dhood Gu Hotel looking toward the Potala Palace, Lhasa|
Who would have thought that a birthday gift given 55 years ago, would spawn a dream that is only now realized? That birthday gift, from my parents, was a copy of the book Seven Years in Tibet (author Heinrich Harrer - published 1956) .
At the time I lived in an industrial suburb of the city of Newcastle, Australia: a city known mostly for steel production and a huge shipbuilding dockyard. Mayfield West was about as far from Tibet ... in terms of exotic vs non exotic, old vs new, complex, long, cultural history vs relatively new (at least the white culture in Australia was comparatively new) ... as one could imagine. However the seed was planted and since that time I have dreamed of going to those amazing high places at "the roof of the world". The dream recently became a reality for my daughter and me.
I now live in the NW corner of the United States and recently returned from a month-long sojourn in Tibet/China. The accompanying photo shows me on the rooftop of our Lhasa hotel - the famed Potala Palace ( now a museum with a time schedule for entry ) as the backdrop. I can easily read the delight on my face at being there finally.
The shirt I am wearing is a much treasured t-shirt, made by Olympia WA artist Martie Carroll ( as an experiment, , she said, at the time) which has been part of my travel wardrobe necessities, since I bought it from Martie more than 10 years ago. Sharing this adventure with daughter Amy added greatly to the fun and delight of the trip and as I enfold the experiences into my "real life" I hope to write more about it. It was truly the journey of a lifetime.