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Be a Conscious Traveler: How to Help Nepal Simply by Visiting

Green rolling rice terraces, snow-capped mountains, sleepy cows meandering, peaceful monks smiling and trekking tracks for as long as you wish to stray… Nepal is a wanderlust paradise.

This spiritual sanctuary boasts an incomparable beauty and soulfulness to it. The city of Kathmandu with tiny backstreets that you can get lost in for hours is reminiscent of  India. It has similar colors, dust, beggars and noise, but feels safer and embraces a more subtle chaotic energy.

Once high in the mountains the chaos fades and as you say goodbye to the distractions of the material world and immerse into the present moment, you begin to remember what is really important: connection, adventure and sharing beautiful experiences with others. Days trekking are spent walking through remote villages filled with energetic children and warm smiles from their parents. The soothing soundtrack to your journey derives from the trickle of a fresh water stream backed by the dangling bells that hang from donkey’s necks as they pass you on the track.

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At dusk the Himalayas and their snow-capped peaks glow neon pink as the sun sinks below them and the aroma of Dal Bhat fills the humble village community you will call home for the night.

This is my experience. My relationship with Nepal is a unique one. I visited in April as the photographer / videographer and makeup artist on tour with Emmy Award winning artist Toni Childs to make a film as she released her new album at 10,000ft, making history as the world’s highest fully amplified gig.  We spent 10 days trekking high in the hills, filming and falling in love with the land and the people of Nepal.

We flew out of Nepal 36 hours before the massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit on April 25, 2015. I felt lucky, but I also felt heartbroken for the people left behind. I was fortunate to be back to offer help.  The country needed funds and support but what they need most is the backbone to their economy – their beloved travelers. Remote areas were struggling but, thankfully, Kathmandu is back to its colorful ways, the gorgeous Annapurna Circuit is open, and October is near, the best season to experience Nepal’s treasures.

If you find that you need a new place to journey towards, place Nepal on your list. You will not only help their economy by traveling, but you will help yourself by venturing off to a country whose residents will warm your heart with gratitude.

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By Renae Saxby