During the spring break of my freshman year of high school (2011), my family – which includes my twelve year old brother, my mom, and my dad – to a trip to Nepal, where we hiked for twelve days in the Himalayas to Everest Base Camp. It was an incredible experience, with breathtaking scenery and many interesting people to meet. My family and I hiked with a group of eleven other people and three guides. We started the trek in a small village called Lukla, where the temperature was at about 65 degrees and sunny. The nice weather only stayed for a couple days, and even then it rained both days around lunch time, which was okay because we were generally inside during lunch. It soon turned colder and windier, and although the sun was out, it did not improve the temperature much. Also, because of the altitude, sunburn happened very quickly and easily to exposed skin. Soon after, the trail was above the treeline, so there was much less oxygen in the air and a lot more dust. Then, it snowed for about a day. The next day was the day we hiked to Base Camp, so there was snow on the ground for our hike. Coming back, we went through the same phases.
The most interesting part of the hike, though, was not the range of weather conditions throughout the trek, but the people that I met and saw. The other hikers in my family and I’s group, for example, were from many different countries. There were four from England, two from Canada, one from Germany, two from Sweden, and two from Estonia. Thankfully, they all spoke English, so I was able to talk with all of them easily. It was interesting to see how people, though all from different countries and backgrounds, could come together for a common goal. Another aspect of the hike that was interesting to me was watching how the native people who live in the Himalayas interact with the hikers. Before the trek to Everest Base Camp was established and well-traveled, the natives led a completely different lifestyle, mostly based on farming and herding animals. Now that the trail is popular, tourism has emerged as one of the main components of their economy. The trekking companies employ porters to carry the trekker’s supplies, tea houses have to be built and staffed, and many people make and sell crafts along the trail.
Author Ursula K. LeGuin once said, “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” This quote perfectly states my feeling about the trek. Although the purpose of the trek was to go to an incredibly famous location, the part that I will remember most is not the few hours I spent at Everest Base Camp, but the memories I made and the things I saw and learned about along the trail.
Flew from BWI to Newark Liberty International Airport on Continental Airlines
Flew from Newark Liberty International Airport to the New Delhi International Airport on Continental Airlines
Flew from the New Delhi International Airport to the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu on Jetlite Airlines
Gap Adventures – Everest Adventure Trek
Flew from the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu to the New Delhi International Airport on Jetlite Airlines
Flew from the New Dehli International Airport to Newark Liberty International Airport on Continental Airlines
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