Empowering Travel:10 Reasons Why Trekking In Nepal Will Change Your Life
Nepal has long been THE destination for off-the-beaten travel. Home to the Himalayas, trekking is Nepal's number one tourist activity and an opportunity for everyone, beginners and all, to experience the magnificence of its mountain ranges. A few years i was fortunate enough to trek the Annapurna Circuit - a 160 km horseshoe trek, that took me through spectacular scenery to the foothills of the Annapurna mountain range. It was a life-changing experience that I'll never forget and one that's still hard to beat. So here's 10 reasons why trekking in Nepal will change your life.
The Scenery Will Blow You Away
Nowhere else on earth will you come across such varied breathtaking landscapes. The Annapurna Circuit trek will take you from cascading rice terraces and alpine forests to thunderous gorges and towering waterfalls. Hiking over two weeks, each step reveals snow-peaked mountains, dramatic panoramas and incredible vistas. You'll spend most the time in a surreal state of awe and disbelief. By day, sun-drenched shimmering peaks will take your breath away. At night, while you gaze at moonlit silhouettes of mountains, you'll stare up at skies filled with galaxies and stars. Mind-blowing, humbling and spiritual all at the same time!
Experience Diverse Nepali Culture and People
Nepal is a multi-ethnic society with more than fourty races and tribes. You'll come across many that are indigineous to the mountain regions, like Sherpas, Magars and Gurungs. Interacting with these communities is a great way to experience their lives, learn about local tradition, religion and share food with some of the most friendliest and hospitable people you'll ever meet. You'll always be greeted by a warm "namaste" wherever you go, so be prepared to return the welcome at least ten times a day!
Experience A Traditional Tea-House
The Annapurna Circuit is also known as the Tea - House Trek. Everyday as you climb higher into the mountains, you'll stay at a different tea-house. Run by families, they offer basic facilities, a comfy bed and communal dining. Considering the remote locations, they offer a surprisingly diverse menu, ranging from the traditional Daal Baat to spaghetti and pizza. Dessert always includes apple pie for which this trek is famous for. In fact, its some-times referred to as the Apple Pie Trek. Tea Houses offer great value for money and are the perfect place to meet fellow travellers and make new friends.
Get Fit, Lose Weight
The Annapurna Circuit trek is one of the most popular routes around and there's a reason. Most people can do it. From young to old, the gradual ascent of the route enables people of all fitness levels to achieve it. Of course, you have to be relatively healthy and the altitude and ascent can be challenging, so it's always good to get the okay from your GP if you've got any concerns. We came across a lot of people who had to give up the trek because of altitude sickness, so you need to be prepared. However, walking from ten to twenty miles a day in fresh air, up and down mountains, burning off the food you've eaten is the perfect way to increase your fitness and lose weight. In fact I lost a stone in two weeks! I felt fantastic and hiking and trekking is now my new hobby!
Meet People from All Walks of Life
There's nothing better than making new friends from a shared experience. We met travellers from all over the world and still to this day keep in touch. Some of my best memories come from cosy evenings, sat around a fire, drinking chai and sharing stories with fellow travellers, porters and guides. Whether we spoke the same language or not, sharing experiences over a pack of cards and a plate of warm food is the best way to make friends.
Although achievable for many, the Annapurna Trek will still challenge you both mentally and physically. Though gradual, the physical exertion of ascending and descending over challenging terrain, false summits, sub-zero temperatures and knee crippling stone steps, all take their toll physically. Mentally, it's about having the will-power to keep on putting one foot in front of the other. The reward will always be a warm welcome and a hearty meal at the end of the day. You'll also learn a lot about yourself as a person and how to deal with situations you would't be in. I discovered a lot about myself. What kept me going was the views and the excitement of staying in a new tea-house every night!
It's so Affordable
There's no doubting that Nepal offers great value when it comes to travelling. Tours are relatively inexpensive considering the remote locations involved and staying in tea-houses can cost as little as £20 a day which includes meals. Of course, porters and guides come as extra's as do tips which i would recommend you always give. If you put it into perspective, the price you pay will be nothing compared to the experience you'll gain from this trek.
It Will Change the Way You Travel
Time and time again, those who visit Nepal can never get enough of it. Whether it's the people or the mountains, Nepal is addictive. For me, it was a game-changer in how i travelled and what I did with my time. Experiencing the Himalayas, changed me. It made me feel a certain way. It made me more adventurous, I appreciated the world and environment around me more. I no longer sit for hours on a beach, I'm always looking out for alternative experiences and I'm heavily addicted to mountains and extreme landscapes!
It will give you a deep sense of gratitude
Experiencing a very basic and simple life in remote locations, high in the mountains helps you appreciate all the luxuries you have at home. As you climb higher into the mountain passes, showers become extinct, the water can be frozen and sleeping in the same clothes you've worn all week becomes the norm. You also develop a real connection to the environment. Surrounded by nature you feel the Earth awaken with you. In the intense chill of the morning you would hear the faint sound of animals rising. That special tinkling sound of a yak bell, local herdsmen guiding their animals or the sounds of cows calling each other. It places you in a moment that you'll never forget. All this was followed by the welcoming cup of hot steaming masala chai!