How did you guys meet, and what lead you to start Himalayan Hermitage?
Of all places we met in a Buddhist monastery in the Kathmandu Valley, during a seminar with a Buddhist teacher. Not exactly the kind of place to pick someone up! Hehe.. But it felt very special to meet each other in a place where we both felt in pursuit of something important and meaningful. Shortly after our first meeting we started to see each other more and more and 4-5 months later Himalayan Hermitage was born.
What drives you to do this work?
Since we both have a strong interest in and connection with the Buddhist teachings and the culture in Nepal and the Himalayas as a whole it has felt very close to our hearts to start this kind of project. We are able to share the philosophy, meditation practice and the living wisdom tradition of the region through our immersive journeys and now the art, artisan work and textiles of the region through our online store. It is really the passion for it all that drives it for us. Through the ups and downs - and through this last year of the pandemic!
Since we are of Danish and Canadian descend, creating a shared home together in Nepal has felt really wonderful.
What do you love so much about the Himalayas?
It is really hard to answer this question with just a few words, but really, it is a sense of feeling right at home for the both of us. There is a certain feeling of coming home and being very grounded when we step off the plane at the Kathmandu airport, which I haven't experienced anywhere else! (Sisse laughs). Like the heart is at home.
How is it to be living in between cultures like you do?
That's a very good question, Alex contemplates. I guess it is something that we have both gotten used to over the years. I remember in the beginning of living outside of my native land, Sisse adds, I had this deep wish and longing for sharing my world inside and outside of Denmark with my loved ones - but of course I couldn't always do that in a physical sense! Throughout the years, I feel that I have learned how I can share these 'different worlds' of my life in other ways.
I guess it is something about resting in the choices that we make in our life as human beings, and just trying to feel integrity and joy with this choice, Alex remarks. It's not always easy, but I also couldn't really see it any other way! And now I am married to a Danish woman living in Nepal!
I guess we will always feel like nomads in our hearts.