stephaniemwei stephaniemwei

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Stephanie Wei  Golf, travel & culture reporter-journalist โ€ข Recovered college golfer @Yale 05 โ€ข Walking contradiction. Iโ€™m feisty & I laugh a lot. Product of ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธdream

Last week in India (and traveling for 11 months in Asia) and there are still SO MANY PLACES I HAVENโ€™T VISITED, but decided to go for something different and headed down south to Kerala. First up, Fort Kochi.

I have so much to be thankful and grateful for this year after spending the year in Asia, where I got closer to my roots in Taiwan, learning Mandarin, and then backpacked throughout SE Asia and India, where I met the most wonderful, intriguing and diverse people and seen the good, the bad and the ugly โ€” all of which have left an indelible impact on my world perspective. Iโ€™m concluding my travels with a 10-day Tibetan Buddhist silent meditation retreat in the Himalayas (to be exact, Dharamshala, where the Dalai Lama lives in exile). If you read the rules / code of conduct for participants (swipe to check em out), youโ€™ll understand why Iโ€™m a bit terrified yet also excited. Itโ€™s not exactly going to one of those fluffy retreats; more like...detox boot camp...(??) Haha. Itโ€™s going to be hard af but I have a feeling itโ€™ll be an amazing, transformative experience, and a fitting way to end 2018.
Wishing everyone a happy thanksgiving. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™

Tibetan Buddhist prayer wheels at the temple in Macleodganj, India โ€” where the Dalai Lama lives in exile. Oh, by the way, hello, everyone! Itโ€™s been a few weeks since Iโ€™ve been active on Instagram (and social media) because I was at a yoga retreat and then Buddhist meditation seminar. First, I didnโ€™t have WiFi and my local carrier didnโ€™t have service, so Iโ€™d have to go to a cafe for internet (throwback 2010). Ever since the late 90s when my school organized a #freetibet symposium, Iโ€™ve been fascinated with the Tibetan culture and Buddhism. Where better to go for the pursuit of happiness, inner peace and enlightenment than the town that is home to the Dalai Lama and refuge to the largest Tibetan population in India? More on this later... and check out my story ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฅฐโ˜ธ๏ธ

The journey to Malana, an ancient, mystical Indian village isolated from the rest of the world... #parvativalley #himachalpradesh #trek

Happy Halloween with love from India, where Iโ€™m moonlighting as a Northeastern hippie backpacker ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ˜‚๐ŸŽƒ

Started trek to Kheerganga today, but first an overnight layover in the village of Kalga. Seriously. Godโ€™s country. #himalayas #himachal #india ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ

Godโ€™s country ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ˜ #kasol #himachal

So about last week... ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™ Somehow I was invited to join my friendโ€™s family vacation in Punjab, which naturally was a state visitโ€”yes, that means 10-car motorcade complete with way more police escorts than guests. Oh, there was even an ambulance one day! Just in case, ya know. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ Very cool and intriguing to experience and see the sites in Punjab in this very dignified manner! ๐Ÿ™ (spoiled af) Many highlights, but besides bypassing traffic and queues, my favorite part was visiting the Wagah Border / India ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ Pakistan ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฐ border, where the ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณBorder Security Force and the ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฐ Rangers perform a ceremony every evening. Itโ€™s more like a dance party, halftime at sporting event and football game all in one, with lots of patriotism. ๐Ÿ˜ Speaking of borders, has our President seen this incredibly cool ceremony? We should have something like this with our neighbors to the south in Mexico ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ!!! Eff the wall! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

The Golden Temple, the most important pilgrimage site of Sikhism, is dope af. Itโ€™s in Amritsar, Punjab๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณโ€” less than 30km from the Pakistani ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฐborder.
Also: new favorite /best way to travel in India is via a 7-car motorcade with police/army escorts. Sure makes things a lot faster and easier to get through traffic and toll stations with sirens blaring and door-to-door service ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ Nope, this weekโ€™s adventure is not the average tourist experience; more like Iโ€™ve crashed a state visit!
Hashtag blessed ๐Ÿ™

Himachal is bliss... ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ What an epic sunset ๐ŸŒ…๐Ÿ™Œ

United Colors of Benetton ad, Taj Mahal edition ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท ๐Ÿ˜‚ Such a treat to see the Taj at sunrise and then go to the park on the other side of the river for sunset. Just absolutely stunning. ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ #sevenwondersoftheworld

Watching the sunrise at the Taj Mahal is just breathtaking. Still having goosebumps. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ•Œ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ #7wondersoftheworld #bucketlist #agra

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