I know that some of you might be wondering how I was able to travel throughout Nepal with my group. Simple: I travelled with Five14Nepal.
This company has such an amazing mission in Nepal by helping prevent exploitation by providing responsible and ethical tourism! They have a cafe, a bed & breakfast, and an adventure part of their company.
The staff that I interacted with were very warm and kind and I loved how hospitable they were towards us. You can tell that the staff really cares about the customer and after the end of the adventure, they were more like family.
There is a cafe that opens at 7AM and they really know how to brew some incredible coffee! The breakfast is included with your stay and you don’t want to miss out on the sausage croquettes! They were my favorite thing to eat there along with the buttermilk pancakes. When I was there they didn’t have the croquettes every day but I was recently informed that they do provide them daily!
At the beginning of our time in Kathmandu, we went on a social justice tour and got to learn about the different ways that people are being exploited in Nepal and what Five14 Nepal and other businesses in the area are doing to help prevent exploitation.
We also did a scavenger hunt! It was literally the first day and we were basically baptized by fire. It was a moment of culture shock for me but I also enjoyed the craziness of the day. Initially, I wanted to win but as the day wore on I just wanted to get back to the base!
After our first few days of introduction to Nepal, we were taken to three different villages at different times.
The first village was called Sanga and we helped to build a home for the kids of the family we were staying with. It was the first time that I had worked that hard in a long time and it was definitely challenging a few times because I was sick during this part of the trip. We had campfires almost every night and the hostess would cook us some delicious food! If I’m being honest, I would hire her in a heartbeat, to be my personal chef. I taught the kids there how to play Skip-Bo and our tour guide, Raj, was really into the game as well.
This little kid that you see in the picture, his name is Sovit. He has so much energy and you can feed off of his happiness. There was a moment when I was trying to draw a picture of what I saw during a sunrise and he sat down next to me.
After Sanga, we went to another village called Ghyangphedi, or GP for short. This area was actually one of the worst times I had in my life but I would return because it made such an incredible impact on me and I really love the people there.
The trek to get to the village was so challenging for me. I am not the most physically fit person and climbing at high altitudes is not my forte. Trying to get to this place made me feel angry, exhausted, annoyed, thirsty, and reassured all at once. I was the last one of my group and my tour guide, Ezee, carried my backpack to our homestay. It was a moment of humility for me because I am a prideful human being that doesn’t want to be shown as vulnerable because I have grown up thinking that I need to be tough and carry my own weight.
Aside from this place being my most challenging one, it was the most beautiful. There was not a lot of air pollution like in Kathmandu and nature around me was hard to believe was real. We helped to till soil for crops to be planted and we got to invest a lot in the people that live there. I like to push my limits when it comes to my comfort zone, but this one definitely pushed it a lot more.
The last place we went to was to Nepalgunj in a small village called Amilyia. We were helping the people be encouraged there and also to help build a place for them to gather. We went through a schoolyard to get to another village and the English teacher there asked us to teach the students. I personally didn’t teach the children since I was videotaping and taking pictures but it was really neat to see how much attention the kids were giving us.
I honestly want to go back and relive these moments. I still can’t believe that I experienced something so challenging and amazing all at once. I don’t know how much the travel cost since it was included in my DTS fees but it was all worth it.
I lived the local experience with Five14 and they really do love to take care of everything – they really cater to your needs and answer the questions that you may have. The neighborhood felt safe to me but I still didn’t go out and explore by myself – it’s just not wise, especially at night time.
If you ever think about traveling to Nepal, I highly recommend you getting in touch with this organization. Even if it’s not what you are used to – the memories and the experience afterward is what will stay with you for a long time.
Have you ever had an experience with a travel company that helped prevent exploitation? Please let me know, I’d love to hear all about your experience!