After 2010, I thought I didn’t need to go to Nepal again, I didn’t find it that appealing. But since so many people continued to be enthusiastic and I also had clients there, I thought I had to give the country another chance. At least I have now been able to understand the fascination somewhat. The fascination of being so close to the really huge mountains – I hadn’t experienced that before. And the variety of mountain landscapes in the Annapurna region alone also thrilled me. But that was almost it.
I felt like a bit of a grouchy complainer. Or did I simply want to resist the mass enthusiasm? Out of principle? I sometimes ask myself: if I had travelled to Nepal instead of India in 1992, when I saw the Himalayas for the first time, how different would my life have been? Would I also have become a tour operator – but with a focus on Nepal? Would I have travelled there again and again to get to know every corner of the mountains?
I would actually like to hike through more mountain landscapes in Nepal. However, I am put off by the conditions:
But maybe it is also the mood/feeling that I am seen more as a “walking wallet” than as a guest. Whereby it should be emphasised: not by the individual people. None of them gave me that feeling. It is rather the structures with the new guide regulation (i.e. must- instead of can-regulation), for which there is not even the basis of sufficiently really well-trained guides, the trekking fees without it being noted where I am in each case and when I leave the area again, and the high entrance fees a) compared to others and b) for places that are actually open to the public. Interestingly, I had a conversation with another traveller at the airport, who was even more annoyed The same length of trip in Japan would have cost her only a little more than the one in Nepal. And in Japan they have had much more to offer.
Perhaps I continue to do Nepal an injustice and should embark on another experience. After all, not only are the high mountains great, but the people are basically nice. And what I also like and appreciate: there is a lot to discover, especially in such small observations along the way. And it is also exciting: such a small country between two great powers. But also the other social facets such as economy and politics and culture, which have certainly been neglected in this blog, are worth further observations and conversations.
As you are mainly travelling in the impressive mountain world – especially if hiking is your favourite thing – it is easy to forget that this is only a smaller part of Nepal and that most people’s lives take place elsewhere.
All this contact with other travellers was something I was really not used to. And I really got to know a lot of very nice people. But it also leaves me with a dichotomy: I don’t want to miss the encounters and yet I missed the increased connections with locals. So it was definitely an interesting experience – but for the future? Well, let’s see.
I can well imagine continuing to sell trips to Nepal, maybe even leading one. And I can also imagine coming back for my own explorations. But I have to be aware that it’s just a different kind of travel than usual. Or I might still find somewhere what I’m actually looking for.
And as it was (once again) different from what I thought and there were new experiences – then it was definitely a good trip!