Part of this post was included in Lily Travella.com – I Left My Heart In…
I left my heart in Nepal.
It has a strange hold over me. When I’m there I can’t help but ask myself “Why am I here?” Then as soon as I leave I want to go back.
There are plenty of other countries I want to see, other cultures I want to experience, foods to be eaten and more strange languages to be baffled by. But I will always want to return to Nepal.
I met my Irishman on the plane journey there and we’ve been back three times and are planning our fourth trip.
It started with Platform2; an international volunteering scheme for 18- to 25-year-olds from the UK who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford to visit a developing country and get involved with global issues of justice and poverty. It was run by BUNAC and Christian Aid and government funded from the UK. I had to pass several interviews and tests before I was accepted.
The volunteers don’t get a choice in which country they are sent to.
When I found out they were sending me to Nepal I had to look it up on the globe!
Platform2 has since been closed however there is ICS run by VSO for 18 – to 25-year-olds that are UK or EU citizens, check it out if you fancy.
For 10 weeks in 2010 I lived with a local family in the charming village of Sirutar in the Kathmandu valley. I worked alongside others from all over the UK and Nepali colleagues to continue the construction of a secondary school. Mixing cement by hand yay! I can still see all the bricks when I shut my eyes!
Then in 2011 we went back. We worked in the school Pathshala Nepal Foundation for 3 months teaching 5 – to 18-years-olds Science, Math, Art, Geography and English.
During our school holiday for the festive holiday of Dashain we went trekking.
We fell in love with the Himalayas.
First the eight day Annapurna Base camp, then in 2015 we went back to trek the twenty-one day circuit trek.
Breath taking views, beautiful hot-springs, homely tea houses, impressive porters and lovely locals.
And at the time of writing this we are currently planning our 4th trip back!
We just need to find the time in between other visas.
Nepal is a challenge. The roads of Kathmandu can be dusty and wild , leeches are a thing here and the odd leopard may make a nuisance of itself. It’s an odd place where nothing runs on time and Bryan Adams Summer of 69 is very popular. There is a festival every other day and it’s so full of culture it’s quite overwhelming. The Himalayan region is spectacular, really you should get yourself there, but there is so much more than trekking to do in Nepal.
- Chitwan National Park for tigers.
- The Birthplace of Buddah, Lumbini.
- The Terrai Region.
- Historic Durbar Square and Swayambhunath (Monkey) Temple, make sure the monkeys don’t steal your stuff!
- Partying in Thamel.
Even if it all seems too much when you’re there, the confusion and frustration of squeezing on tiny buses and finding your way out of Thamel, it’s worth it. You leave exhausted but wanting more.
And if that’s not enough for you, well ladies, you can pick up the best eyeliner in the world for 40 pence here!
Also try the momos, they are delicious! Let’s be honest. They are the main reason I’ll keep going back!