THE WEEKLY #255: KATHMANDU TO LOS ANGELES TO OAHU

That was one hell of a transit. A bit of an odd route and one that only a lockdown can induce. I flew all the way out to Oahu from Kathmandu as a bit of a safe haven for a month. I felt like Oahu was open for tourism, unlikely to have an outbreak and somewhere I could recharge and enjoy a bit of tropical life before heading to Pakistan in July to trek to K2 Basecamp.

The journey began at 10 pm on the charter flight from Kathmandu to Doha with a couple hundred trekkers and mountaineers who had also been stuck in Nepal. From there I had a 16-hour flight from Doha to Los Angeles. The timings weren’t great and I think I racked up an unfortunate sum of just three hours of sleep throughout the two-day transit.

I arrived in Los Angeles and actually decided to stay for two nights for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I had to grab some trekking essentials, which just weren’t available everywhere in the world (or without a shipping address). Secondly, for some reason, America is offering the Covid vaccine to anyone even if you aren’t American. With many countries imposing bans on those who aren’t vaccinated, I took the opportunity to get the jab while I had the chance and got the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine injection. Hopefully I don’t drop dead in the next few months and this vaccination is as safe as we have all been promised but for now the show goes on and I’m considered fully vaccinated within the next couple of weeks.

Being in Los Angeles for two nights didn’t entice me at all to want to spend any more time in this land of freeways, traffic, and shopping. I was happy to get in and out quickly and head off to the tropical land of Oahu, Hawaii. As we headed to the hotel from the airport in a taxi, I was hit by some heavy nostalgia as I recognized many old streets and stores from my few years of living on the island. It felt good to back and I’m really excited to have a relaxing month-long stay on Oahu.

The plan is to enjoy the beach, hike some new trails, get a bit of work done, and just soak up the tropical life before heading back to the trekking life in Pakistan. I’ve no idea what the rest of the year holds after Pakistan but for now, I’m just going to be present and make the most of being on one of the most popular tropical islands in the world.

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