Next Stop, Bhutan!

Pungtang Dechen Photrang Dzong in Punakha, Bhutan.

Pungtang Dechen Photrang Dzong in Punakha, Bhutan

Although I started this blog as an assignment for my World Politics class, and I haven’t written anything for several months, I would like to start writing again, but with a more personal flavor. 

In about two months I will be on my way to the Kingdom of Bhutan, where I’ll be doing environmental field work and studying wildlife conservation, climate change, Buddhism, and the sociopolitical status of the tiny Himalayan country for one semester. I decided to study abroad in Bhutan for several reasons, not least of which being that I want to take the path less traveled, and Bhutan seems to embody that, quite literally. 

Another reason is that many years ago I travelled to India to spend time with family friends and explore the world of Indian wildlife conservation. Recently I have had the opportunity to take Hindi through the Five College World Languages program. I feel a pull to return to South Asia and explore more corners of it, and a semester abroad seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so.

In late August I will fly to Amsterdam, where I’ll spend five days exploring the canals, parks, and coffee shops before heading to South Asia. Although I’ve been to England many times, to visit family, I have never been to “the continent,” so I’m really looking forward to this trip. Then, on September 5th, I’ll fly to Bangkok, where I’ll meet up with the rest of the students who will be on the School for Field Studies program. On the morning of September 7th we will fly to Paro, Bhutan! From there we will drive to the capital, Thimphu, where we’ll stay for about one week. Then we’ll make the trip to the central region of Bumthang, and more specifically to the town of Jakar, where we’ll be living for most of the program. The program ends on December 16th, when I’ll be flying to India to visit friends. And then finally, probably in early January 2016, I will fly home to New York City. 

In the following months I will be using this blog as a space to write about my experiences preparing for such a large journey and the adventure itself. So although I am transitioning to a much more personal narrative than I used previously on this blog, it will touch on the same themes of climate change, conservation, animal advocacy, and social justice. 

I’ll be posting thoughts, worries, revelations, and photos during the next two months in NYC and during the fall when I’m in South Asia. Feel free to write to me if you have questions about anything or if you’d like to hear about a particular topic or experience. I hope you enjoy!

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