If one thing is true about travelling, then it is that it requires nerve. By heading out one’s door the traveller enters into a bargain by which their customs and comforts are consciously compromised in hope of a return for a higher level of natural appreciation, spiritual enlightenment and cultural understanding. Whether they succeed in this endeavour or not is as individual as it is irrelevant; for that decision alone should be greeted with nothing less than the utmost admiration and respect. Moreover, in our increasingly complex modern world, where our social and natural boundaries are constantly being re-negotiated in the name of globalisation, one’s need to travel, and the world’s need for travellers has arguably never been more important.
It is a fair assumption, We believe, to suggest that many of us toss away countless numbers of our precious hours mentally planning our perfect trip. We dream and daydream about our ideal adventure, intimately picturing the flights and the remarkable people, the delicious food and those strange and beautiful landscapes. We manage to pull together a picture so wonderful in our minds that it makes our continual routine of work and play go just that little bit quicker. It is this fact, and this fact alone, which separates the travellers from the daydreamers. The explorers from the homebodies. The difference is in daring to take that first step out of one’s door. For travelling to be something you have to do, rather than something you might one day like to do. The places being places you have to see, the people you just have to meet. One could not say for certain which form the rewards will take in return for this courage, for no one experience is the same and it would be presumptuous to suggest that one is guaranteed anything at all. However to find a traveller who, on the plane home regretted their adventures, would be a rare find indeed… Nevertheless, before embarking on a worldwide escapade, quitting a decent job and leaving one’s home cooking behind, there are a few important questions which tend to present themselves sporadically to the trekker, namely; “Where shall I go?”, “Why do I want to go there?” and “Who should I travel with?”.
In answer to the first two questions, there are a swarm of reasons why Nepal should go straight to the top of any serious traveller’s bucket list. Its rich and diverse culture goes almost unparalleled, and with over 100 different ethnic groups calling Nepal home, the multitude of foods, languages, religions and musical influences is overwhelming. Nepal is a country meant to be explored, its culture meant to be absorbed; Kathmandu is a mirage for the senses! Its colours, fashions, temples and smells all somehow blur and merge together until what is left is nothing more than a feeling that you just must keep on walking, keep on discovering. Moving out of the city and one is gradually met with unquestionably some the most breath-taking scenes on the planet. The Annapurna region in particular, is something one really has to see to believe. Waking up in the lake city of Pokhara, with a morning coffee, and taking just a quick look at your surroundings gives a humbling feeling hard to put into words, but this is it. This is the heart of Nepal. This is where all the stress and the jetlag and the aches and pains take meaning. Nepal’s endlessly unblemished points and crests, ridges and gorges and valleys and lakes must not be underestimated, neither physically nor spiritually. They are both a traveller’s dream and daydream, and long may they remain so. This is why Fundraising Treks is so important.
There are aspects of travelling which are self-indulgent by nature, if this wasn’t the case then very few people would take that step out of their door. However, by exploring a country as glorious as Nepal through Fundraising Treks the very notion of travelling takes on a fresh and perhaps more fitting meaning. Working in conjunction with Partnership for Poverty Action (PFPA) the proceeds raised from each trek are diverted straight back into supporting the local regions and reducing poverty in rural communities. So effectively, by travelling with Fundraising Treks one has triple-heart-bypassed the fat administrations and heavily supported the often forgotten communities who have given and hope to give so much to past and future generations of travellers. Fundraising Treks makes the whole process of travelling and exploring sustainable, and trekkers can rest easy in the knowledge that what is being taken out is being put back in. An opportunity to travel with a charity such as this pulls the whole journey together, and creates an experience which part of a greater cycle of ethical and sustainable travel; an ethos which should run through the heart of any serious and thoughtful traveller.