Both places feel like home to me. There are things that I love about Kathmandu and there are things that I love about New York City.
Both of these cities raised me. They added their own flavor to my personality. New York gave me the confidence, wit, and ambition. Kathmandu gave me the humility, community and meaning. I am what I am because of these two vibrant cities with their unique cultures.
New York is a city full of confidence, street smarts and ambition. When you land anywhere in New York City, you meet people confident in whatever they are doing. That confidence rubbed off on me especially as a teenager attending a New York City public school. I have taken that confidence and applied it to every part of my life. The street smarts came from my experiences of going to a high school in Manhattan and having lived and worked in the city for many years. You can’t find another city in the world with more ambitious people than in New York. When you walk into a subway station and see the people commuting to work or walking down the street in Midtown Manhattan, you literally feel that people are driven and hungry to get somewhere in life.
Kathmandu has its own charisma. One can automatically fall in love with the natural beauty of the country. Once you witness the beauty all around Nepal, you will also fall in love with its people. Humility is a strong attribute of the Nepalese culture and people are humble in their accomplishments. That humility has stayed with me all these years and is a part of my personality. The emphasis on community is another attribute of the culture and I have always loved how we do things and plan activities as a group. From all my travels and having lived in Egypt, US, The Netherlands among others, Nepal was the place where I found meaning. There was a purpose to my work and a powerful impact to everything I did.