Backpacking Through Nepal: An Unforgettable Adventure

Have you ever wanted to study abroad in the UK? Arnica Palechuk, a student here at TRU, spent an entire academic year studying in Chester, a city in Northern England. Arnica fell in love with the ancient walled city of Chester and the people she met there. However, during her year abroad, she didn’t want to limit herself to staying just within the UK. Throughout her travels, Arnica visited the Netherlands, Spain, the Canary Islands, Greece, Albania, and even spent a month backpacking in Nepal. Read on to hear about Arnica’s adventure in Nepal firsthand!

Kyanjin Gompa, the highest village on the trek sitting at 3800m.

Arnica’s experience:

To begin, I never intended to go to Nepal while studying in the UK. My parents were planning to go for a month while my dad did research there, but until March 2023, I didn’t think I would be able to join. About a month before they were scheduled to arrive in Kathmandu, my flight was booked to meet them there. The itinerary was for 3.5 weeks in the Himalayas, backpacking in some of the most remote places in the world.

Arriving in Kathmandu was more of an adventure than I anticipated. I had heard of its chaos, but until I witnessed it first-hand, it only sounded like a made-up story. Kathmandu is the most chaotic yet seamless city. It is fascinating, yet extremely overwhelming. After two days in Kathmandu to sort trekking permits, my family and I were off to the Langtang Valley.

The Langtang Valley was the main objective for our trip, as this is where my dad was conducting the majority of his research. In 2015, a devastating earthquake hit Nepal and impacted the Langtang Valley immensely. The village of Langtang was destroyed, and to this day lies under thousands of tons of rubble. The Langtang Valley trek lasted about ten days in total. During this time, I met the most amazing people, and even learned Nepalese. Although their valley is an extremely harsh environment to live in, the people are happy and grateful for what they have.

Bamboo, Langtang Valley, Nepal

After the Langtang trek, we went to Pokhara, where we would do a shorter trek of four days in the Poon Hill region of the Himalayas. This trek was much more glamorous in terms of accommodation. In Langtang, we stayed in shacks built with thin plywood and covered in tarps (I am not kidding). In Poon Hill we had proper walls, and even mattresses thicker than an inch. Although Langtang was an incredible cultural experience, there was a morning in Poon Hill that still has my heart.

Before one of our longest trekking days to the next village, we woke up at 3:30am to hike up to a sunrise view of Annapurna and Machapuchare. This view (above) is forever ingrained in my mind.

After this trek we headed back to Kathmandu, where my time experiencing Nepal was over. To write a short blog about Nepal is hard, as there were so many experiences and mental challenges that I faced. This trip was the most discomfort I have ever felt, as I was constantly being pushed out of my comfort zone and into new situations. However, it showed me how much I can do and where pushing your limits can take you.

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