7th Annual Nomadic Journey: Trekking the Incan Citadel of Machu Picchu

Experienced by Kimatni D Rawlins

For my 7th Annual Nomadic Journey to enlighten the mind, body, and soul, I adventurously explored the remote citadel of Machu Picchu by way of trekking the awe-inspiring Inca Trail. Consisting of continuous miles of stone paths and thousands of original rock-strewn Incan steps carved from the Andes Mountains centuries ago, the short expedition was spiritually uplifting and full of awakening sustenance.

The Journey


You will fly into Jorge Chavez International Airport outside of Lima from your home destination and then take a short flight into Cusco to prepare for the adventure to Machu Picchu. In my case, United Airlines routed me on a direct Business Class flight from Newark. It is advised to enjoy Cusco for at least two days to acclimate to the altitude before hiking. But please make sure to visit Green Point while in Cusco for some of the most delicious and purest vegan food the city has to offer.

Whether you decide to engage in an extended 4-day hike to Peru’s 7th Wonder, or ride lavishly aboard the 1920s-styled carriages of the luxurious Belmond Hiram Bingham train through the Sacred Valley, the enchanting experience will replenish your temple with restorative Andean wisdom and vitality. More affordable options include either IncaRail or PeruRail from San Pedro station in Cusco. I chose the 1-day Inca Trail trek with Sam Travel Peru, which required me to train it to stop 104 (common hiker’s drop-off point) for a deeper understanding of the archeological site. This option was about $400 from the experienced Peruvian tour group. My guide Miguel educated me on the history of the Incas and vicariously showcased the ways of the ancient world.  I also met some new friends from London, Marta and Nuno, who were just as adventurous.

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Fit Fathers 6th Annual Nomadic Journey: Kenya’s Maasai Mara & the Balance of Nature

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Jambo! It’s the Swahili greeting I heard and repeated regularly throughout my 2-week journey in the Motherland to experience the beauty of nature in its purest and most divine form. The 6th Nomadic Journey — where I venture solo like a rover to rediscover life, disconnect from addictive American culture and explore deeper consciousness and spiritual freedom — brought me to the lands of Africa to spend time with the wild in their natural habitat within the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Southwest Kenya.

Majestic, serene and spiritual scenes left me in awe for the entirety of the trip and ultimately fulfilled some of my profoundest, transcendental aspirations. I began the long excursion from Washington, DC and traveled on United Airlines to Frankfurt and then Lufthansa to Nairobi. As a frequent traveler I always fly with the same airline alliance to earn miles, upgrades, respectable customer services, etc. After traveling almost 3-million miles with the Star Alliance I’ve earned a prestigious position for exceptional treatment. Arrival to Nairobi took place on Jamhuri Day which is a national holiday celebrated December 12th to commemorate Kenya’s attaining of independence. As you can imagine people were rejoicing with adulation across the country. [Read more…]

Free Your Mind at Shenandoah National Park

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Interestingly enough I stumbled upon Shenandoah National Park after the need for an immediate getaway in the woods to free my mind. A nice rustic cabin, trails for hiking, running and epic scenery was my intention. Of course, I’ve always heard of Shenandoah but never had a chance to visit until now. Suffice it to say I enjoyed the solo yet peaceful few days in Virginia which also included meditation atop the mountains, conscious reading and poetic writing. It was the most enlightening and energetic methodology to kick off the new season. [Read more…]

5th Annual Nomadic Journey: Life Rediscovery in Vietnam

The perseverance of the Vietnamese people is unwavering, their spirituality is deep, they are hyper active in terms of fitness, and the plant-based foods they consume are pure and divine. This is why I chose a week-long mountain biking tour with Cambodia Cycling to rediscover life while riding from Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) to Vung Tau beach city. Continue to travel wide my friends and never rest on your laurels.

After a 22-hour flight from Washington, DC the plan was detailed but exciting. Once breakfast was complete we transferred out of the bustling city Ho Chi Minh to Tan Phu Trung village then rode through the rubber tree plantation to the Cu Chi Tunnels which were dug by Vietnamese during the American War. Next we pedaled from Tan Thanh to Ngai Giao then to Xuyen Moc and Binh Chau Hot Springs to have mud baths. Afterwards the team cycled along the coast to Long Hai in route to Vung Tau Beach City. The last leg had us continuing along the coast while finishing with a climb up to Nho Mountain to enjoy the sea view from inside the arm of the famous Jesus Statue. For more info on riding in East Asia visit http://www.cambodiacycling.com/. [Read more…]

Muay Thai Boxing Training in Bangkok

In Bangkok, Thailand we had to complete the “5th Annual Nomadic Journey” with a bang (no, not partying) at Krudam Gym for a session of Muay Thai with some of the city’s finest instructors. We have much more respect for these boxers after learning just a small fraction of the trade and then watching an actual match later that night. Now only if we can emulate their kick speeds which seem faster than their jabs. Impressive!

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Mountain Biking in Kathmandu, Nepal: A Fit Fathers Nomadic Adventure

Mountain Biking the Kathmandu Valley...31

Mountain biking across the region of Kathmandu, Nepal for six hours was absolutely breathtaking. The journey challenged my morale, willpower, endurance and strength as I conquered steep, mile-long hills, rough single tracks, frenzied Nepali traffic, rocky roads, distant farmlands, muddy waters and much more.

“Like a nomad, I travel the globe with one bag, choose kicks and bikes over a taxi cab.” -Kimatni Rawlins

My annual pilgrimage to rediscover life where nature dwells most prominently led me to Kathmandu to trek the cultural heritage by mountain bike and inherit the spiritual inspiration of Siddhartha the Buddha since this area marks his birthplace. Not sure what to expect or explore further, but indeed it was waiting patiently for my arrival. I went with www.Viator.com and chose the Countryside Bike Tour for $89 per day. They offer both day tours and weekly rides depending on your level of skill and adventure. Another reputable company can be found by visiting www.NepalBiking.com. Toting just a backpack, I stored only the essentials for basic human needs including nuts and seeds, culture reggae rhythms, conscious books, gear and the desire for a peaceful world devoid of prejudices, war, manipulation and cruelty to our fellow brothers and sisters as well as the sentient beings we share Planet Earth with. My goal is the continuation of ultimate enlightenment and is why I travel alone on these particular trips.

Kimatni Mountain Biking the Kathmandu Valley...35Arriving on a Thursday after an overnight pit-stop in New Delhi, India (direct United Airlines flight from Newark Airport) Hotel Tibet sent a driver to escort me to their temple property themed with Tibetan art and simple, boutique rooms inspired by traditional decor. Located behind Narayanhiti Palace Museum and not far from Thamel, the hotel’s Himalayan restaurant provides a complimentary, Nepalese breakfast and serves both Asian and Western cuisine. The aroma of dinner still resonates clearly as if it were yesterday. Full of spices, veggies and creative sauces the nourishment was fitting for my Vegan Pro lifestyle. There is also a meditation room where guests can relax after long hours of hiking or biking, and of course Wi-Fi is provided if you find it challenging disconnecting from society. Quaint, time-honored and peaceful, Tibetan incantations and Buddhist chants infuse the lobby while you take in a good book.

Friday was reserved for exploring the temples, town squares, crafts and various religions of Kathmandu. The city is hectic and traffic is maddening as cars, buses, trucks, motorbikes, crossing pedestrians and sometimes animals continuously fight for pole position. Smog is heavy and many locals wear protective masks when gallivanting the streets. The next day would find me pedaling through the mix since you have to first cycle your way out of the city before entering the purity of the country. Bakhtapur Durbar Square (World Heritage Site) was the first stop to witness firsthand the artistic expressions of the people, which the majority are farmers showcasing their creative skills such as Thanka painting, pottery and artwork when agriculture slows down. For lunch I crept into this trivial shack hidden behind the allure of the Bakhtapur alleys and had noodles alongside three young students. Thinking back, the panoramas in my mind are unblemished and defined. A man clutches his three young daughters laughing in amusement, teen monks enter a noodle shop and speak with grace and respect, an elderly woman sits in a meditative state by appearance but is actually cooking a traditional meal and another festive wedding takes place in a family home within the rural hills. These are just a few constellations of life activities I witnessed during my nomadic journey through Kathmandu.

“Ignorance, anger and greed are the three staples of people of all cultures and should be balanced by consciousness, love, compassion, happiness and purity as often as humanly possible.” – Kimatni D. Rawlins

Kimatni & The Kids at Swayambhunath aka The Monkey TempleNext up was an appointment at Swayambhu also dubbed “The Monkey Temple.” The ancient stupa sits atop a hill overlooking Kathmandu Valley and is the best place to observe religious harmony between Nepalese Buddhists and Hindus. The nickname was ordained by the diversity of visitors amazed by the throng of monkeys running around, and who seem to actually own the monasteries. A group of classmates on a tour approached me with a cadre of questions and photo requests. The energy of the youth no matter what part of the world you venture to is quite fascinating. My new friends and I discussed everything from politics to futbol during our brief encounter. They really don’t know how much inspiration was instilled inside me from our impromptu engagement. Respect to Nepal for blessing my pilgrimage with enlightenment!

A few more stops included The Great Boudha Stupa where monks chanted, visitors prayed and tourists shopped for gifts and snapped photos. I ate homemade humus and a veggie noodle soup and drank freshly squeezed orange juice on the rooftop of the Stupa View Resturant & Café, a vegetarian and vegan eatery specializing in plant-based Eastern and Western foods. The lunch café provides an impeccable view of the Great Boudha Stupa. Afterwards I headed over to Kathmandu Durbar Square to catch a festival celebrating the life of children, and then ended my sightseeing at the Hindu Pashupatinath Temple where the smoke from burning corpses could be seen near and far.

“Vacations are to relax the mind, not the body.” – Kimatni D Rawlins

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A full night’s rest, early Saturday morning stretching and a stealthy, complex carb-based breakfast would provide the required energy for the biking venture. Always plan ahead since traffic is intense all hours of the day in Kathmandu and leave early for any appointments. I met my tour guide Kumar at the Kathmandu Guest House next to the bike shops. We set sail riding through streams, single tracks, villages, weddings, farms, new countryside developments and more. A few stops for hot lemon water (a Nepalese staple) kept me warm throughout the chilly morning. Into the afternoon I began sweating profusely and was ready to come out of my skin. Kumar bikes four to five times a week and never quits. He was the perfect companion since we each kept showing our bravado on two wheels. In Tokha Chandeshwari we made a pit stop for more noodles and Channa. The peculiar village cafe would mimic an abandoned building back home in America. Afterward Kumar and I caught a local futbol game with a group of teens displaying fancy footwork. And since their field of play had no out of bounds we found ourselves riding through the game. Wow, I’ve never been more at peace after witnessing the level of happiness manifested from daily simplicity. Kids playing with sticks, woman hand washing clothes and babies taking makeshift bucket showers outside, and still everyone smiled as we exchanged “Namaste” at least one hundred times. One of the most memorable moments recalled is the set of Nepalese boys running alongside Kumar and I as we slowly churned out torque for a 4-mile uphill battle at Shivapuri National Park. It was a beautiful day and a memory I will never forget.

Travel puts me at peace and children make me smile. My joy and open arms for all kids around the globe is omnipresent. Keep exploring the intimacy and obscurity of nature while living the life you love, and try doing so during an energetic activity such as running, hiking or biking. Namaste!

Please enjoy our complete photo experience!

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