Key to a meaningful existence till the very last day.

It is so wonderful to see a strong sense of community among Tibetan elders. Their sense of meaningful purpose till their last day stems from a believe that accumulating merit in this lifetime benefits the next.

Once I have some more time next week I will put a short doco together from inspirational footage shot over a few days I spent hanging out with them. Delightful days that made my soul sing.

The Coddiwomple Journal #001

The inaugural edition of ‘The Coddiwomple Journal’ is ready.

The Coddiwomple Journal is a free armchair travel journal in PDF format for activities staff to share with their residents. Click here to get your FREE copy, and don’t forget to subscribe to this blog for instant updates.

For instant photos and updates in between The Coddiwomple Journal editions, follow Nontropolis on Facebook.

I would love to hear feedback from you and your residents through the contact form on this site.

I promise I will reply.

Namaste from Nepal, Marcel.

What’s in a name? — Reminiscing Resource 01

Namaste from Nepal,

Names are fascinating. The process of naming even more. Traditions vary from culture to culture, and also depend on religious backgrounds. This is particularly so for the generations that are currently in aged care facilities. This activity resource start with my story about how, and why, I was named the way I am. No doubt that your residents have a few stories to tell as well.

To help the conversation started I have created a list with 21 questions, and some  suggestions that can make this activity fun and informative. It will provide staff an opportunity to learn more about residents, and thus an even better resident centred care.

Since I am a new Zealand citizen, I offer this first Nontropolis resource for free, why? It is a Maori tradition that the first thing you make you give it away. Donations, even $1 will always be greatly accepted, as well as any feedback on how your activity went. I came up with the idea for this resource as I passed through customs at Sydney airport and was confronted yet again with the 5 names in my passport. I started writing while flying from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur, high above the Australian Outback.

More resources will follow, including an armchair travel resource about Boudha, short for Boudhanath, Kathmandu Valley, Nepal, the location where I am right now.

Click here to download the FREE resource in PDF format.

Purpose and intent

Image: Tibetan woman feeding pigeons at the Great Stupa of Boudha, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Every morning the pigeons and street dogs around the stupa are being fed. Tibetans honour all sentient beings, from the smallest primitive creature to the highly revered Dalai Lama.

The feeding of the pigeons is a ritualised act, meaning it is done with purpose and intent. It gives it meaning beyond the mundane act of providing food. This sense of unconditional respect is tangible around the stupa. This is only one of the many rituals that are constantly performed here.

Rituals demand focus and awareness. They create a heightened state of being present, with the world around us, with others, and most importantly with the divine, ones heart, and soul.

That is why it feels so amazing to just hang out here, because it brushes off on you, without having to do anything, other than being open to it, and willing to let it in. Being here facilitates a ‘coming home to myself’. You do not need to ‘be a Buddhist’ to experience this.

I hope that somehow, my photos, videos, stories, will facilitate a ‘coming home’ for anyone who feels alienated or displaced. I hope that somehow, the resources I create will empower those who work with our elders, to do the same. Nontropolis intends to be a ‘home’ for anyone, a ‘home’ that is nowhere in particular and everywhere at the same time.

Taking a first step, well flight really.


A photo

through my airplane window

of a window

reflecting the window

I took the photo through.


The journey has begun!!!

It almost didn’t though, as I nearly missed my first flight. Due to changing timezones within Australia, my calendar did not adjust my departure time for the new timezone. A small panic  as I wandered into the airport terminal, when I realised I could be denied checking in. What a start that would have been. But the normally strict budget airline rules worked in my favour. I had 3 minutes to spare. The staff told me to relax, and processed my check-in with a smile. I am having a one-night stop-over in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Soon I will board the second flight that will get me to my first destination: Kathmandu, Nepal. I have been busy writing my first story on the plane that with accompanying questions that lifestyle/activities staff can use for a reminiscing activity with their residents.


I took a ferry ride on the stunning Sydney harbour, sailing past the most iconic building of Australia. Look at that intense blue sky! What a way to celebrate my last day in Australia.

Tomorrow, after months of preparations, it is time to start the big adventure. Tomorrow, 10 April 2017, I will board the first plane at Sydney Airport. I will fly to  Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for a one-night stopover before I continue the next day to the first real destination: Magical Nepal.

I am very excited to have your company for this journey. Let the journey begin!!!

Not long to go

I am starting to get very excited about the year ahead. Shrinking a year into a small suitcase is quite a challenge, especially when you need to bring a lot of work equipments such as laptop, hard drives (3), cameras (3), microphone (2) and too many cables. I do enjoy living compact though. It is wonderful to have all my possessions in one place. Tomorrow I leave the house I have been looking after in Adelaide, South Australia for 3 months. A few more days in Sydney before the first international flight to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where I will enjoy a one night stop-over. Since time is my friend, I will try to avoid those horrible night flights and sleep in a bed instead.

Getting ready

I am flat out getting ready for a year of travelling as coddiwompling digital nomad. This website will be officially launched on April 10, 2017. the day I leave Australia and head for the northern hemisphere. After a one-night stopover in Malaysia, I will arrive the 11 April in Nepal, the first destination on this epic journey. I am getting really excited, but till then I am buckling down to get everything done that needs to be done. Below is the trailer for the website. Looking forward to have you come along for the journey, Marcel