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A Pilgrimage to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Bhutan

Singer Shirley Manson on rewarding journeys, interesting traditions, and wondrous places.

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What is the hardest place to get to that you’ve ever visited — and was it worth it?

The hardest place to reach that I have ever visited was the Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Bhutan. From parking at the site, it took around 4 hours to hike up through cold, thick, and falling snow to reach the sacred Buddhist temple, which is perched precariously on a cliffside overlooking the upper Paro Valley, about 10,000 feet above sea level. The experience, whilst mildly arduous, remains deeply etched in my memory. Spectacular, extraordinary, and mysterious. If you are ever lucky enough to make it to Bhutan, a visit to the Tiger's Nest is a must.

What’s the most interesting tradition you’ve ever experienced?

Whilst in Istanbul, the Whirling Dervishes dance the centuries-old Sufi dance ceremony, in which their whirling spins and upturned hands to the heavens help them reach a state of nirvana.

What was a place that defied all of your expectations?

India. It defied all expectations and excelled in every aspect of my imaginings. The place is an endless wonder of sensory excitement. I couldn’t love it more, and can’t wait to return again.

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Our Contributors

Shirley Manson

Shirley Manson is a Scottish singer, songwriter, musician, and actress. She is best known as the lead singer of the band Garbage.

Victoria Rosselli Illustrator

Victoria Rosselli is a multidisciplinary creative and consultant based in Brooklyn, New York, operating in media. She specializes in art direction and design for brand, film and editorial.

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