Prayer flags fluttering in front of snow-capped peaks? Huge glacial rivers carving out immense valleys in the mountains? A journey you take with your own two feet, where you can disconnect from technology and the stresses of everyday life?
Sounds good, right?
Those are just a few of the reasons you should go trekking to Annapurna Base Camp. Still need convincing? We’ve got 10 more great reasons below the break!
1.Come For The Mountains…
If there’s one thing most people know about Nepal, it’s gotta be the Himalayas, right? And for good reason—these mountains are amazing. Trekking in the shadow of these high peaks will give you a feeling of insignificance that you’ll never find anywhere else.
2. …Stay For the People
It’s a common refrain in traveling: ‘the people in *x place* are the nicest I’ve ever met!’ I’m guilty of it myself. But out of all the 20+ countries I’ve traveled to, the Nepali, generally, are the nicest and happiest people I’ve encountered. Even the trekking porters, who earn only a few dollars a day for climbing thousands of meters with heavy loads on their backs, are good-natured and willing to spare a smile for you, as they blast past at twice your speed.
3. It’s One of the Few Places You Can ACTUALLY Disconnect
Although you’ll want to Instagram the hell out of your trek, there’s not much wifi in the high mountains (although the lodges will try and sell it to you, it rarely works). Take the opportunity to remove yourself from the insignificant online drama for a week—then rack up the likes when you get back to civilization.
4. Check Your Privilege
Nepal is one of the poorest nations on Earth. Despite this, the people are, generally, very happy. Traveling to a place like this can be an eye-opening experience for Westerners. When I returned home from Nepal, I appreciated everything just that much more.
5. Make New Friends
When you’re trekking, up in the mountains, away from wifi and all the distractions of modern life, there’s not much to do but talk. If you take the weeklong journey to Annapurna Base Camp, or any other extended trek in Nepal, I guarantee you will find yourself making fast friends with your fellow trekkers, guides, and porters. Shared experience draws people together; even if you don’t keep in touch after the trek, you will remember the people you shared those beautiful bluebird days with.
6. Meet People From All Across the World
Nepal and its mountains are famous across the whole world. People journey from all corners of this tiny blue dot to see this amazing country. I met Argentines, Germans, Finns, Chinese, Koreans, Malaysians, Israelis, Canadians, and of course, plenty of Nepali while trekking to Annapurna Base Camp. And, refreshingly—not one other American.
7. Get in Shape—While on Vacation!
Most people indulge in food and drink while on vacation— they need to hit the gym when they come back. If you choose to go trekking in Nepal, your vacation is hitting the gym.
8. It’s So, So Cheap
Many people in Nepal live on less than $2 per day. You won’t be doing this as a tourist, and especially not in the trekking regions, but in such a poor country, the dollar still goes a long way. Trekking to Annapurna Base Camp or Everest Base Camp will cost you no more than $20-$30 a day, all-in. There’s no need to pay a Western tour operator thousands of dollars to do these treks—show up in Nepal, and arrange things there for a fraction of the cost. It’s easy, I promise.
9. Experience a New Religion
Sharing your table at a coffeeshop with Buddhist monks? Trekking past ancient monasteries perched high in the mountains? Prayer flags fluttering in the wind? Like the sound of those experiences? You can get all of them while trekking in Nepal.
While here, in print, they sounds like scenes from your own personal movie, the real magic is going there and finding out: that’s just life in Nepal.
10. Come Back For the People!
In Nepal, there’s a saying: “Come for the mountains, come back for the people.” This is so, so true. Pictures of towering, snow-capped peaks drew me to the country. Memories of smiling, happy welcoming people will draw me back. And if you go trekking in Nepal, I have no doubt the same thing will happen to you, too.
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