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Trekking the Himalayas: Episode 1

By Olivia Pedersen

April 30, 2015

Trekking the Himalayas: Episode 1

By Olivia Pedersen

April 30, 2015

Getting to Kathmandu

Ever get that feeling that you’re not where you’re supposed to be? That feeling that pushes you to make decisions that you’re not quite sure about, but something in your gut tells you it’s now or never? That feeling hit me in the fall of my senior year of college.

I wanted to go do stuff. Fun stuff.

Up until that point, my priorities were very linear, and getting my degree had been my only point of focus for the last four years. Once I realized that I was actually going to obtain that goal, my next thought was: what now? To back up a little bit, let me say that during these four years I had spent a solid amount of time studying anthropology, focused in particular on Nepal and Southeast Asia, and now I wanted to go explore these places. I was consumed by my need to travel there. To just get out of the confines and go.

But why? Why travel?

This question kept surfacing while I was trying to sort through the confusing web that planning travel becomes. My answer, after all was said and done, was simple: I wanted to go do stuff. Fun stuff. I wanted to see views that are breath taking. I needed something that would push my physical and mental limits; an experience that would create memories that I would keep for a lifetime. I was curious to meet new people whom I never would have met otherwise. This is what resonated within me, and I wasn’t going to question it.

Gear layout

After almost a year of planning, anticipating, and with a small hint of doubt that it would actually happen, the plan was finally in motion. It wasn’t until the fifth time of repacking my pack that I finally felt ready to go (see full gear list here). I boarded my flight at LAX with my travel buddy, Mia, and we were off. Twenty-five hours of plane rides, a six-hour layover in Singapore, two hours of waiting in line at customs at Tribhuvan International Airport, and we were finally there. As I emerged from the world of constant PA loudspeakers, moving walkways, tight spaces, and horribly colorful carpets, the Kathmandu air filled my lungs. It was heavy, thick with humidity and smog. I exhaled with the anticipation (and a slight wheeze) that I had just started the beginning of something great.

Hour 8 of 12 on our first plane ride to Tokyo
Hour 8 of 12 on our first plane ride to Tokyo
Looking out the plane window
Flying over the Pacific Ocean
Layover in Singapore
6 hour layover in Singapore

For the next 17 days this “stuff”, that helped me rationalize the need to travel, was a trek to Everest Base Camp. Check out the guide company I used here. I figured being able to stomp the ground leading up to the highest point on earth would satisfy my craving for adventure – I hoped. I have no ambition to be a mountaineer, or to climb Everest without oxygen, or anything like that. I just wanted to go do something worth shock value, where I could push my physical limits just to see if I could do it. That’s really all it was. “Can I do this? I don’t know; let’s give it a go?” This phrase eventually formed into the mantra of this trip. “Can I do this? . . . Just give it a go.”

Driving through Kathmandu
First glimpses of Nepal
Driving to Hotel
Heading to Thamel the tourist district of Kathmandu

My first night in Kathmandu there were all these internalized questions that made me doubt my capabilities. Was I physically strong enough to do this? Would I get altitude sickness? Would I regret coming? Is trekking my thing?

I would soon find out.

Check out my full gear list here.

Continue to Episode 2: Struck by Travel Magic

In regards to the April 2015 Nepal Earthquake:

I am deeply grieved by the many deaths and injuries caused by the devastating earthquake in Nepal. My prayers go out to those lost and to those that have lost friends and family close to them.

It is during tragedies like this that we must come together to help our brothers and sisters that are now at the mercy of the elements. While writing my narrative on trekking the Himalayas, my intention was to bring awareness and understanding to the astounding beauty that inherently lives in every aspect of Nepal. I invite you to join Revant Optics, through Doctors Without Borders or one of the many other reliable relief agencies in providing aid to the survivors and restoring that beauty.

Sincerely, Olivia

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  • Trekking the Himalayas: Intro | Revant Blog | Revant Optics

    […] Continue to Episode 1: Getting to Kathmandu […]

  • Trekking the Himalayas: Episode 2 | Revant Blog | Revant Optics

    […] Review my itinerary here Continue to Episode 3: Learning the Ways of the Walk Read the previous post Episode 1: Getting to Kathmandu […]

  • Packing 101 for Trekking in Nepal | Revant Blog | Revant Optics

    […] Continue to Episode 1: Getting to Kathmandu […]

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