This is the sixth and final report detailing my travel expenses during a six-month trip through India, Vietnam, and Nepal, as outlined in The Plan: 6 Months, 3 Countries, and $3,000.
Frugal Travel Reports
March 2010 (includes Pre-Travel expenses)
At the beginning of the month, I took an unplanned three day trip to visit two small towns in the mountains north of Kathmandu where an NGO is helping build schools for children in Nepal. That last minute decision turned out to be the highlight of my entire six month journey.
After returning to Kathmandu, I went with a friend to Pokhara where we spent six days trekking in the Himalayan mountains. When we were finished, my friend returned to Kathmandu but I stayed behind to spend an extra week in Pokhara.
I then took a bus back to Kathmandu where I spent one week in the now familiar backpacker district of Thamel. Of the eight weeks I've spent in Nepal, five were spent in Thamel. Although it's probably one of the most expensive places to spend time, it removed any need for transportation and made getting online easy and (at least somewhat) reliable. Continue reading
It's one thing to see less fortunate people on the street and have the urge to help them, but it's something else entirely to have almost one hundred children staring at you hoping that you'll do something to improve their future.
It was my second day visiting the schools in Nepal and I had been greeted like a king and given my first-ever public speech a few hours earlier. I was feeling extremely moved and inspired by how I might be able to help so many people.
As I hiked from the first village of Kahule to the even more remote village of Bhalche, the strangest thought came to me: How could I fulfill this urge to dedicate my life to helping improve the world and still justify skydiving?
For that matter, how could I justify doing anything recreational or fun that wasn't directly related to helping others? Continue reading
If I could take the past four months of traveling through third world countries and compact them into two days, it wouldn't even begin to explain how life-changing, eye-opening, and humbling the past few days have been for me.
I'm still digesting everything so I hope you'll forgive me for not going into too much detail, but it should be enough to say that I gave my first, second, and third public speech, entirely unprepared, in front of almost one hundred children and adults, after climbing up through the clouds to the highest elevation I've ever ascended on foot.
I was welcomed and treated like a king.
And what had I done to deserve all this? Nothing.
I had to keep reminding myself that although I hadn't done anything to deserve such a grand welcoming, my ability to reach the world through my writing gave me a potential that none of them had; I had to constantly remind myself that my life contains such an abundance of opportunity that I needed to find some way to give it back to them. Continue reading
Early Sunday morning, two brothers will pick me up from my hotel in Kathmandu. We will drive several hours to a place called Sole Bazaar and from there I hear it's an eight-hour hike by foot, through areas infested with leeches, to the remote village where the project is located.
This isn't a photo expedition or a mini-vacation. If the weather holds out, I will be taking plenty of photos but that's not the purpose of this trip. I'm doing this for the kids like those in the photo above. Continue reading