The book “Wie in einem Traum” (“Like in a dream”) by Ulli Olvedi and its impact on my life

In a comment by Sophie under my post about my relationship with Nepal, I felt inspired to finally look up the title of the book that I read 12 years ago and which had inspired me back then to travel to Nepal for the first time.

In winter 2000/01 I was 18 and had finished school about half a year ago and was living on Wangerooge – a small island in the Wadden Sea of the German North Sea. I was working as a volunteer in nature conservation. It was the first time I had left my home and my family (“…it was no more than a job in the company of strangers…” 😉 ) It was a difficult time for me back then. I loved to be away from the suffocating and hostile athmosphere of my family, but I did not feel inspired to whole-heartedly fulfill my given tasks (observing the bird life and chasing tourists out of the restricted areas). I would have felt much more inspired to dream in the dunes all day long, watch the lights of the ships at night, roam around outside at the beach during a storm and always always be close to the red guiding light of the light house at night. But instead I had to do this job that I realized only too late was not my hearts calling. Furthermore while I was there I received news that my parents had seperated and at almost the same time myself had a traumatic experience of sexual abuse by someone I knew.

Then in January 2001 a new colleague arrived. We got along well and she was planning a trip to Nepal and India. Being one year older than me and pretty cool I looked a bit up to her. And she was reading this book. When she had finished it, I started reading it. I liked the story. Reading it, it was not like a clear sign of guidance with this inner voice saying: “This is what you are going to do.” But it was more like a small seed of light planted into my heart, that few months later when I was reaching for guidance, suddenly blossomed into a strong clear signal, lightening up my path.

When I read the book I could well identify with the girl who had to face the world on her own, with little support from others. Find her path, trust her own calling, take responsibility for her life at a time where she felt alone and vulnerable. She had lost her parents and experienced sexual abuse from a prospective spouse. Which I could relate to as well. But she did not focus much on what had happened to her and instead looked inside herself and then moved forward, leaving all those shadow-experiences behind.

I had never read anything about Nepal before, so the location and everything was merely the fantastic background for this wonderful story of freedom and spiritual awakening. In a way you can say: It was not the country calling me, but the story of this young woman. The freedom and happieness she found in her journey from the mountains to the monastery in Kathmandu into her soul and heart. And how she overcame the tiger – her fear.

And then 6 months later in spring of 2001 when I had finally decided that I was not going to go and join the university for the fall, but rather travel first, Nepal immediately sprang to my mind. I was going to travel to Nepal! Life was not supposed to be to follow some path decided for me by society and whatever other imaginary obligations. Life was going to be discovered.

Because of the seed of guidance planted in me by this book that plane that might have taken me anywhere on this globe, landed 8 months later in the airport of Kathmandu, where the next part of my journey began.

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One Comment

  1. piyush
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Hey Hanna!!
    I would rather love to greet you as “Namastey Bipana” , as it sounds familiar Nepali words to me. Today, I am googling about you and I feel myself blessed to come across such a personality like yours. Today, I am supposed to read for my exams but I felt bored little while ago and just wanted to watch some songs in youtube. There, I found from nowhere about “Nepali language lesson”. I wondered who might have done that, coz We(nepali) are so lazy on doing such stuffs. There I saw you. I went through all of your videos. I got to know that you stayed in Nepal for several years, you mentioned south, terai and solukhumbhu, manang, of course ktm.
    I know lot of tourists and trekkers come to Nepal and enjoy the little frame of time. But you stayed there for so many years, that too I guess, you were not sent by any united missions or anything. I would like to know, what did you do there for such long years? Did you teach in some schools in rural Nepal? Or you just wandered places? Were you guided by some guides or you were all alone? Now,after googling you for some time, I came to your blog where you write your master pieces. I really love the way you write. Now, just recently I have subscribed your blog, that means I will have a great opportunity to read your writings.
    Being a Nepali myself, I never valued my country when I was in Nepal. I haven’t travelled to many places over there. But now, when I am in a foreign land, my love for my country and its beauty has been amplified and I miss it every hour. On contrary, You explored the foreign land (Nepal) and totally engulfed the language, culture and the way we people live out there… It is truly respectful and so mesmerizing. I seek you as my source of an inspiration…. I thought to read that book that you mentioned, but i found out there is no english translation :( So, lets see. I think one day I will be able to read the book by Miss Hanna describing some stories about my country. Thank you so much.

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