Incongruent: Travel, Trauma, Transformation

After two traumatic events and a medical diagnosis leaves her childless at 40, Melanie uses the lessons from global travel to relearn how to let go of the life she had planned and love the one she has. Life on her own incongruent terms. 

She seeks to inspire readers to dive into their own reflections. 

The reasons for making this trek differ widely. Some revel in the adventure. Some cross an item off their bucket list. Some add content to their Instagram feed. And some, like her, need to experience the discomfort to be reminded of what being alive feels like. She needed to traverse the literal and metaphorical trail to uncramp the muscles around life’s wounds.

Her mind scrolls through scenes that brought her to this place like a projector through summer vacation photos. The doctor’s office, with its endless white walls and deafening silence. The words “emergency surgery” hang in the air after the diagnosis. The tear-streaked drive home after a ten-hour toxic workplace retreat. Wondering how quickly she could get out without financial ruin. The smell of mahogany from the courthouse after a second failed marriage comes to a close. The bloody nose from the drunken attack she spent years falsely blaming herself for. And the moment, face down on her bedroom carpet in a child’s pose, where she vowed to change it all. She made a promise to sit in a room with fear until it shrunk away. To stop running. To stop searching. To find her real dharma and live it fully, without regard for others’ opinions.

Today, however, she was here. In a country far away, on an unimaginable path. This 16-day Nepalese trek is equal parts rebellion and emergence. Each portion of the trail invokes memories of the steps taken to find life on her own terms.  From coming to terms with being childless in a child-centric society to finding meaning in a pair of red pointe shoes at 42. She climbed her way through the mountain boulders to shed a life built on the cracked foundation of others’ expectations.

Incongruent takes the reader on a journey through Nepal to Everest Base Camp with stops in dozens of other cities and countries on her search to find meaning outside of motherhood. It is a story of finding ourselves and our personal dharma even in the midst of life’s wreckage. About becoming resolute about who we are, what we stand for, and who we want to be in this life.

Through her journey she tackles her own beliefs on father/daughter relationships, unrequited love, religion and spirituality, and sex, among others. She seeks to inspire readers to dive into their own reflections. She challenges readers to consider the possibility that they have more potential than they are using and why.