youngandthrifty Personal Life Update

As promised, here's an update on the adventures of youngandthrifty while in Nepal.  There's not really much financial information in this post that would better your life, but if you want to live vicariously through my trip to Nepal, please read on!

I did a trek in eastern Nepal, called the Annapurna Sanctuary (also known as Annapurna Basecamp trek).  We started the trek out in Pokhara.  We had hired a guide and porters through a local Nepali tour company.  It was a 10 day trek and some people do the trek on their own (e.g. lugging around their own backpacks) because there are tea house lodges you can stay at, so you don't need to bring all your own heavy camping gear etc.  We were deliberating between the Everest Base Camp trek or the Annapurna Base Camp, but glad we decided on the Annapurna Base camp because the scenery we were exposed to was absolutely amazing.  Every day was a different landscape, from lush tropical trees, to rolling hills, to rhododendron forests, to beautiful mountain vistas, and finally to the Annapurna Base Camp.   We also passed by langur monkeys, donkeys, buffalo, sheep herds, children saying “Hello!!! What is your name?!”.  The view at Annapurna Base Camp was absolutely spectacular- it was literally a 360 degree view of the mountains– we were surrounded.  We woke up early (e.g. 500 am) to enjoy the sunrise and its pink rays shining on the Annapurna South mountain.  We were 4130m above sea level, and despite the thin air, we felt so alive with the beautiful view.  We would walk by other trekkers, or locals at the teahouses, and a familiar and friendly “Nameste!” brought warmth to my heart (even though it was occasionally freezing!).  Nameste means “I salute the God within you”.

Nepal is absolutely beautiful.  Nepali people are beautiful! Everyone is so polite and friendly, now I know why so many people who I met traveling in India said they really liked Nepal.  There is a peacefulness about Nepal…I found that when I was there, I was thinking only of the present, not the past or the future…it was indeed a spiritual journey.  People are so tolerant, there many different cultures of people co-habitating harmoniously in Nepal and it was so refreshing to experience that.

The food was delicious (and more importantly, cheap!) in Nepal.  In Thamel (the touristy backpacker area of Kathmandu) there was Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Middle-Eastern food… the list goes on!  I budgeted about $9 USD a day on food (including breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and I was eating like a queen.  Here in North America, you can't even get ONE meal eating out for $9, really.  I was a happy camper.

We had booked through a local Nepali tour company and were pleased with the results.  I made sure the references were good (very important you do this!!) before we booked with them.  Because we “traveled on the cheap” and cut out the middleman, we saved about 50% (or $500 USD) compared to booking the same guided trek through a company like Gap adventures.  I am pretty sure it would have been even cheaper had we arrived in Nepal, then found a local tour company in Kathmandu.

Thanks for reading about my adventures, hope you enjoyed it!  Here are some pictures to inspire your cheap-traveling wanderlust!

13 Comments

  1. Financial Samurai on May 31, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    What a fantastic adventure! Welcome back! Is there a direct flight from Vancouver? Did the air feel thinner?

    I’ve never been, but sounds like a beautiful place to visit. The food must have been good too!

    Best,

    Sam
    .-= Financial Samurai



  2. young on May 31, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    @Financial Samurai- Thanks Sam! No, there wasn’t a direct flight (so doubt there would be a direct flight from San Fran, too), you usually have to either get in from Bangladesh, India, Hong Kong, or Thailand =) Yes, the air did feel thinner at the higher altitudes. Other than a bit of a headache, no other altitude related problems, thankfully!



  3. Financial Cents on June 1, 2010 at 5:22 am

    Wow, what a great trip! I’m inspired to travel more this year because of that post and those photos. What a great experience!
    .-= Financial Cents



  4. Money Obedience on June 1, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Thanks for sharing! This must have been an awesome and awe-inspiring trip.



  5. young on June 1, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    @Financial Cents- wow really? cool- I’ll be interested to know where you decide to travel to this year =) It was a great experience indeed- I feel so rejuvinated and ready to get back in the game (work).



  6. Financial Cents on June 2, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    Hey Y&T – my wife and I are thinking of travelling to South America this fall…

    Have you been?
    .-= Financial Cents



  7. young on June 2, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    @Financial Cents- yes I have! Where are you going? You must go to Mendoza (if going to Argentina) for some wine tours on bikes!



  8. Len Penzo on June 3, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    What an incredible adventure, Y&T! Nepal looks like a beautiful place to visit.

    All the best,

    Len
    Len Penzo dot Com
    .-= Len Penzo



  9. young on June 3, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    @Len Penzo- It certainly was! I would go back in a heartbeat =) Thanks!



  10. Little House on June 4, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Sounds like you are having an amazing journey! And, yes, I will live vicariously through you on this one. I would never be able to get my husband to fly clear across the world (he’ll barely fly to New York!) Enjoy the remainder of your trip.
    .-= Little House



  11. young on June 5, 2010 at 11:41 am

    @Little House- Is your husband afraid of planes? I guess you could always train it! Sadly, Little House I am back in North America- it’s nice to come home too!



  12. Austin @ Foreigner's Finances on June 6, 2010 at 5:26 am

    Wow, awesome trip.

    I’m starting up a podcast about money and travel and I’d love to have you on as a guest. We could talk budgeting for a vacation and you could share some stories.

    If you’re interested, email me and we can work something out.

    Thanks 🙂



  13. young on June 6, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    @Foreigner’s Finances- Ooh podcast, huh? I’ll email you! =)



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