Travel for Change

Join us in Nepal to travel to our project sites, help with a current initiative on the ground, and take part in a classic Himalayan trek with local staff from The Small World Nepal. A trip to Nepal with The Small World USA helps us to collectively create positive change in the lives of the communities, girls and students we work with, and such a trip is sure to change you, too! Travel with us and experience transformation for yourself and others.

In Spring and Fall 2018 we will offer incredible treks through the Solukhumbu Everest Region of Nepal to experience local cultures, foods, ways of life, see world-class mountain scenery and visit our project sites in person.

Trip cost – $3500 per person ($1000 of this cost is tax deductible as a contribution for The Small World USA’s work in Nepal.)

Trip cost includes everything from when you land in Kathmandu until you leave Kathmandu, with the exception of 2 lunches, 2 dinners, and extras in Kathmandu such as alcoholic beverage, gifts, etc. In-country transportation is covered. Trip fee does not include airfare to and from Kathmandu, Nepal or visa for entry to Nepal.

Trip size – maximum 10 people

Spring Trip: March 26 – April 6, 2018

$1000 non-refunable deposit due as soon as possible to reserve your spot. Deposits are due no later than December 27, 2017. Balance is due by March 4, 2018.

Fall Trip: October 14 – 25, 2018

$1000 non-refunable deposit due as soon as possible to reserve your spot. Deposits are due no later than June 15, 2018. Balance is due by September 23, 2018.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1. Arrival in Kathmandu (4,264 ft. /1,300m)

Today is our arrival day at Kathmandu airport (unless you choose to come a day or two early to get acclimated and adjust to the new time zone). Our guides are on hand to meet you with a khata, a traditional white scarf of honor, and drive you to our hotel. That night we’ll have a Welcome Dinner together, and we’ll end the day with a group Council, to check in and begin to get acquainted with one another. Council is a way for us to speak from our hearts about what has touched us, disturbed us, perplexed and delighted us, and we’ll have one together each day. Overnight at Hotel Harmika, a Buddhist-themed boutique hotel. (breakfast included)

Day 2. Kathmandu sightseeing and trek preparation

In the morning our group will gather to talk about the trip and set our personal intentions. Then you’ll be free to explore Kathmandu on your own. In the late afternoon, we’ll meet with Karma Sherpa and his wife Sonam, our guides and the founders of The Small World — a remarkable foundation that supports girls and young women in the Solukhumbu region to get higher education and empowers them to be able to earn their own money. 10% of the trip profit will go to this foundation, so know that you are making a difference in these girls’ lives! Before dinner, Karma and Sonam will brief us on our trekking schedule.

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Boudhanath Stupa

After dinner, we’ll go to Boudhanath, Asia’s largest stupa. Stupas are commemorative monuments, often very ornate, that are covered with iconography and usually contain sacred writings. Boudhanath is known worldwide for the mysterious, penetrating, painted eyes of the Buddha that gaze out on the throngs of people who make pilgrimages there to circumambulate the stupa. All your senses will be kindled by the flickering butter lamps, the spinning prayer wheels, the fragrance of incense, and the sounds of bells and chanted mantras.

Lunch and dinner on your own. Overnight at Hotel Harmika. (breakfast included)

Day 3. Fly to Phaplu—Trek to Chalsa (7,218 ft. / 2,200m) 3-4 hours

From Kathmandu, we’ll take a half-hour flight to Phaplu, a mountainous town in the Solukhumbu district. Before the airport in Lukla was built in the 1960s, all expeditions to Mount Everest set off from this town. After we arrive, we’ll have tea and meet the rest of Karma’s staff, who will be our guides on our trek. From Phaplu we’ll set off on our first day’s trek to Chalsa.

Phaplu airport
Phaplu airport with Numbar Himal in the distance

On the way we’ll visit The Small World’s Solukhumbu Girl’s Higher Education hostel in Salleri. This is a dormitory and educational center for 40 girls from this remote mountainous region. Most of them have been denied educational opportunities because they come from poor families where boys’ lives are deemed more important. Several of them are survivors of prostitution. After visiting the hostel, we’ll trek to Chalsa, a refugee camp for Tibetans who have fled their native country. Here we will learn a bit about the ways in which Tibetan and Nepali lifestyles and cultures meet and interact. We’ll stay overnight in the girls’ dorm in Salleri and have an opportunity to meet the girls and hear their stories. As usual, we’ll conclude the evening with our Council. 

Day 4. Trek to Mera Monastery via Ratnage Dada—4-5 hours

We set off this morning on a trail that descends to the Ratnage mountain range. Our trek today sets the rhythm for the rest of our journey. Our days will be composed of both intimate and distant perspectives of life in these majestic and storied mountains. We’ll see clouds nestled in mountaintops and vistas of far-off peaks glowing in the sunlight and beckoning in the thin mountain air. In Sherpa villages perched on the sides of the mountains we’ll hear prayer flags fluttering in the wind and see white stucco houses with brightly colored paint around the doors. In the fields we’ll see barley, potatoes, and hearty greens. All day we’ll have beautiful views of the Mahalangur Himalaya Range, including Mt. Everest, Mehra Peak, Numbur Himal, and a beautiful valley that opens up from the top of Phaplu area.

Day 5. Trek to Basa

Today we will visit the village of Basa where The Small World has built many classrooms for the local school. Tonight we will stay with local families in homestays to expand our experiences of the daily lives of these people, and enjoy local, home-cooked foods.

View during trek
View of Mehra Peak on the trek to Basa

Day 6. Trek to Phuleli

Today we will trek past several rural villages where Rai and Chetri people live on our way to the village of Phuleli. We’ll visit more schools built by The Small World in response to the 2015 earthquakes along the way.  

Day 7. Rest Day/Volunteer Service Day

Take it easy on a rest day in Phuleli, or get your hands dirty by working with local community members on constructing an earthquake resistant Community Center, one of The Small World USA’s priority projects. Learn more about this project here.

Day 8. Trek to Taksindu Monastery

Trek up the steep hillsides of this Himalayan valley with beautiful panoramic views of high Himalayan ranges and dramatic hillsides all the way down to the Dudh Koshi River, sourced up near the bottom of Mount Everest. Taksindu is the hometown of both Karma and Sonam Sherpa. Attend a traditional puja ceremony with the Buddhist monks of the Taksindu Monastery. Overnight in a local teahouse.

Taksindu Monastery
Taksindu Monastery

Day 9. Trek to Phaplu—4-5 hours

After breakfast we leave Taksindu and walk over broad agricultural fields with more beautiful views. After a celebratory last night’s dinner with our entire group, we’ll spend the night in Phaplu before heading back to Kathmandu in the morning.

Day 10. Fly back to Kathmandu.

After breakfast we head to the Phaplu airport for our return flight to Kathmandu. Once in Kathmandu you’ll be taken to the hotel and have some time for shopping or sightseeing.  Lunch and dinner on your own. Overnight at Radisson Hotel. (breakfast included)

Day 11. Day in Kathmandu

Enjoy one more day in Kathmandu to sightsee or shop or relax. We’ll join together for a final Council and reflection on how this trip has impacted us and will continue to change us. We’ll celebrate with a group dinner. Overnight at Radisson Hotel. (breakfast included)

 Day 12. Return Flights Home

Safe travels and Namaste!

 

GUIDES

Karma Sherpa

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Sonam Sherpa

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Sally Wier

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Dawa Sherpa – The best cook you’ll ever have! Dawa will prepare fresh, organic, locally-sourced meals for everyone when we are in the Solukhumbu.

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For questions or to discuss details, please contact us.

Namaste!