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I will be headed to Nepal.  It’s been quite a few years since I have travelled internationally, so I’m starting to get back into that frame of mind so I can prep accordingly.  Last week I received confirmation of our flight info from the US –> Doha, Qatar –> Kathmandu – so it’s all getting very real.

For this trip, I’m challenging myself to only travel with a camera bag and my backpacking pack.  I’m a chronic overpacker, so this could prove to be a challenge.  However, I’m choosing to go this route so I can travel more simply, and I guess in a way live more simply and try to be as focused on the experience as possible.  I want to take in the beautiful vistas, the culture, and really use this as a time to reflect on the last few years, all while away from the excitement and activity back at home.  Yes, I will miss a lot of people, my animals, my bed, and more than likely my phone/the internet, but I think this will be a good experience for me.  And it probably couldn’t come a better time.

I’m also looking forward to focusing some time and energy on my photography on this trip.  This will be my first major trip with my DSLR and I can’t wait to see what I can capture with it.  Granted, as someone once said to me, it’s the photographer not the camera that results in good pictures, I still will have more options and flexiblity with this camera and really want to let my creativity/skills show.  I haven’t really had the time to go out in Minnesota to shoot, so I do have some pent up inspiration and creativity I can’t wait to unleash on this trip.  I’m also going to see if I can borrow a prime lens or a wide-angle for the trip.  There’s a local camera shop that does this, so I need to check into whether I can leave the country with it – yet another thing for the to do list.  Oh yeah – and find/borrow a suitable camera bag for the trip.

It will be weird to also be cut off from all of my technology during this trip.  Yes, my iphone will be travelling with me, mainly because it also serves as my ipod & has games to keep me distracted/amused as needed.  Since it has wifi, I will be able to check things at the airport in Doha, and possibly at hotels while in Nepal, but my ability to constantly check twitter & email will be cut off.  However, it’s not something I haven’t done before.  When I was in Antarctica, I was cut off from all internet stuff for about the same period of time, so this will be a bit more. . .civilized?  I’m sure there are some that think I won’t be able to do it – but I can.  I’m also still debating if I want to bring my laptop – this decision will likely depend on 1) if I get more memory for my camera 2) what kind of camera/daypack I get.

Once I get the final itinerary, I’ll likely share it here – and if the wifi situation is decent may try to post updates here while travelling.  I know that we will be visiting Kathmandu, Everest Base Camp, Pokhara, and Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge.  More details to come, no doubt. 🙂

Getting ready for this trip has also led me to reflect on my previous trips.  I am very thankful for all of the opportunities I have had throughout my life to travel – both in the US and abroad – to see and do things that have help shaped the person that I am.  I’m sure this trip will have an impact on me as previous trips have.  I once had a debate with a friend in college that I think everyone should take time to travel (doesn’t matter if internationally or not) in order to really gain perspective about the world around you and also learn about various cultures, histories, traditions, and ways of life.  While you can try to get this through documentaries or books, I believe that direct experience is one of the best ways to learn something.  I think if more people had direct connections or experiences outside of their small slice of the world, they would likely be more understanding of people that are different than them.  I’m not saying that world peace would be acheived immediately if everyone went on vacation – I just think that having a broader set of experiences and perspectives to draw from will likely lead to greater cooperation, understanding, tolerance, and respect. 

We all could use a bit more respect and tolerance these days. 

Feel free to offer any suggestions for camera bags, things I should bring along on the trip or a good book to read. Time to get planning – October 8 will be here before I know it.



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