Whether heading off for a gap-year expedition before university or simply a chance to discover and explore a new and exciting environment, traveling abroad is a popular endeavor for many young adults and students. The chance to develop life skills, meet new people, and contribute to a community are all extremely valuable goals for young people, especially when in a different country – and Nepal is one of the most ideal destinations for this reason.
With its stunning mountains, picturesque forests and lush river valleys, there is endless variety of exciting terrain that the young outdoor adventurer can plunge into, from mountain biking, hiking, trekking, climbing and camping to hang-gliding, rafting, horseback riding and much, much more. Nepal is truly the nature lover’s playground, and sites like Chitwan National Park and Everest Base Camp are a huge draw for young backpackers getting their first taste of the big, wide world. And because other youngsters are traveling from various other corners of the planet, making friends is easier than ever, especially when trekking on a group tour.
As well as the breathtaking vistas which crown Nepal’s heights, the country’s own bustling centers like the capital, Kathmandu, and other cities like Pokhara beckon with their myriad cultural delights. Just as the rural, remote villages are warm and welcoming, so too do the city centers celebrate visitors who come to marvel at the lively marketplaces, beautiful palaces and treasured temples. Nepal’s vast history and its spiritual legacy – intimately tied to Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism and Bon – make it an irresistible draw as well.
Nepal may have its own distinct cultural background, but anyone who chooses to make the Roof of the World their home, even for a short time, will find a place to fit in. And for young students, the opportunities abound. Whether it is a camping expedition in the Kathmandu Valley, an internship at a local tour operator or helping to build schools and other infrastructure, the skills which youth can learn about a solid work ethic and group participation are invaluable, as well as the pride in making a difference. Nepal awaits, along with the next big stage of life.