7 Reasons Why You Should Spend Your Gap Year In Nepal
There would probably be anyone who has been to Nepal and didn't like it! If you ask a mountain lover like me, there can probably be no better place to connect with oneself, other than the Himalayan laps. Nepal, a tiny country tucked between India and China, is gorgeous beyond words and holds a cultural heritage that dates back to the ancient times.
If you are looking for a perfect gap year destination in Asia, and not in a mood to face the crowd of Thailand or the get sweaty on the beaches, then here are a few reasons why you must consider exploring Nepal. (I'm not sure if these reasons would convince you or not, but I'm absolutely sure that after you take a trip to this Himalayan nation, you'll get back and thank me!)
1. It's The Most Budget-Friendly Destination
Do I need to say any more? Considering the fact that you are planning to spend a couple of months, if not a year, in a country abroad, you'll obviously think of the costs that are intrinsically linked to your journey. Nepal was marked as 'The Most Budget-Friendly Destination in the World' by the Lonely Planet in 2017. From the cost of living to transportation, adventure activities to volunteering programs - everything in Nepal is pretty affordable for backpackers and you can easily manage to expand your stay in the country, in case you fall in love with the Himalayas!
2. A Chance to Get Closer to the Himalayas
"There is something about the Himalayas not possessed by the Alps, something unseen and unknown, a charm that pervades every hour spent among them, a mystery intriguing and disturbing. Confronted by them, a man loses his grasp of ordinary things, perceiving himself as immortal, an entity capable of outdistancing all changes, all decay, all life, all death." - Frank Smythe.
You'll only get to know how true these words are when you'll explore this tiny country tucked between the snow-clad mountains. A country that houses 8 of the world's highest peaks, there can be no better place to get closer to the mighty Himalayas. The moment you'll land in Kathmandu, you'll be awestruck by the grandeur of the mountains, surrounding you on all sides. You can choose to go for short treks and hikes during your stay in Nepal and explore the Himalayan villages, where people survive on the barest minimum. Soak yourself in the serenity of the countryside and feel the chills like never before.
3. Make Your Journey Meaningful By Volunteering For A Cause
Considered to be a developing country that has faced severe natural calamities in the past, Nepal has a huge underprivileged population where volunteers are needed. There are orphanages where you can choose to take care of the little ones, or you can volunteer as a teacher in a rural school where the teacher-student ratio is extremely low, or maybe serve at a healthcare center, helping people to live a better life. Being a volunteer during your gap year will add new meanings to your journey, and you'll feel the satisfaction of doing something worthy. It'll change the way you look at life, making you a more humble & compassionate human being.
4. Do Something That You Never Tried Before
For adventure junkies, Nepal would turn to be a treat for sure. But for beginners who've never done something crazy yet wish to feel the adrenaline rush - there are hundreds of adventure sports that you can go for! This is the time when you must let yourself free and do all that you've never tried before! From white water rafting in the Bhote Koshi River to mountain biking around Pokhara, from trekking up to the Everest Base Camp to bungee jumping at the Nepal-Tibet border - there's the option to do it all. And the best part is, none of it will burn a hole in your pocket!
5. Feel The Warmth Of The Nepalese Folks
The people of Nepal will never fail to touch your heart. Every time you'll meet someone, you'll get to sense the warmth with which they'll smile at you, folding hands to say 'Namaste'. They are extremely friendly and welcome the foreigners with open arms. While living with the host family during your gap year, you'll get to know more about their lifestyle, culture, traditions, and festivals. You'll probably have to adapt their way of life, and follow certain do's and don'ts while exploring Nepal. Don't be surprised if you're invited for dinner at a stranger's place - it's not something uncommon in this friendly country!
6. Binge on the Delicious Nepalese Cuisine
Food in Nepal will definitely tickle your tastebuds and leave you craving for more! From steamed momos and dumplings, thukpa noodle soup, dum aloo and Gorkhali lamb - Nepalese cuisine can make a foodie go crazy. You'll get to taste the authentic daal, bhaat, and sabzi at your host's place (in case you are living with a host family) - the flavors of which will linger on your mouth for years. Savor the taste of the Yeti Himalayan cuisine during your gap year and what can be better than taking a note of the recipes & learning to cook some of the dishes!
7. Explore The Gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Starting from the birthplace of Lord Buddha, Lumbini, to the beautiful Chitwan National Park - Nepal has few of the most gorgeous UNESCO Heritage Sites that are worth exploring. The Kathmandu Valley, which lies at the crossroads of ancient civilizations of Asia, has more than a hundred Hindu temples & Buddhist monasteries. Enlighten yourself spiritually while exploring this cultural hub, go for meditation sessions and get blessed by the sadhus at every nook & corner of the Valley. Experience the thrill of wildlife safari and spot the one-horned rhinos at the Chitwan National Park. In case you’re lucky you might even spot a Royal Bengal tiger at Chitwan! And if you are a braveheart, having the zeal to go up and explore the higher altitudes, then you can't miss out the Sagarmatha National Park, a protected area in the eastern Nepal that is dominated by Mount Everest.
I read a quote that rightly said, "Heaven is a myth, Nepal is real."
If you are still in a dilemma and wondering what exactly to do while in Nepal, you can take a quick look at the wide range of amazing programs and tours that we have in store, and drop us a mail at [email protected] for more information. We would love to hear back from you!