I love Nepal. I’ve traveled Nepal as a girl alone.
If I were going to return to any of the countries I’ve visited in the last six months, Nepal would be my first choice.
However, if Nepal was the first country I’d visited on my travels, I don’t think I would have liked it.
The reason is, there would have been A LOT of culture shock. It’s just not a comfy, clean country. Unfortunately, it’s one of the dirtiest countries I’ve visited and it takes a while to get accustomed to other ways of life when you are from a western country.
There is trash everywhere. Just when you think you’ve escaped it, you’ll see a nice ravine piled high with it. That also makes it smell like trash or burning trash, sometimes mixed with incense. There’s also what they call defecation-free zones. To read more about that, click here.
Finding a clean room to sleep in is not always easy. My rooms have come with issues like smelling like gasoline, no sheets on the bed, only a dirty blanket and frequent power outages.
Of course, this is just from a tourist perspective, but when you look at the nation, there are also the huge, glaring, unavoidable problems of poverty, poor healthcare, and child marriages.
And that’s hard when you’re new to traveling.
It’s also hard when you’re used to traveling, but you reach a point where you see past more of that and into the beauty of a place.
So why do I love Nepal? The people are incredibly kind.
The people are so poor but so happy to share. They are kind are very curious towards travelers. They all want to know where you are from, if this is your first visit to Nepal, and why you didn’t bring your family. They also need to know if you like Nepal.
Then, they always need to know if you are married, if you aren’t, you need to explain why. After the interrogation, it is only polite to the ask if they are married; they almost always are.
This curiosity isn’t typical for most countries with lots of tourists. Other countries just want to take your money and get you out of there. Vietnam makes a game out of seeing how much they can scam their tourists. The Nepalese aren’t like that. They are friendly.
Nepal has the most spectacular mountains and countryside I have ever seen.
Two of the most common hikes are Annapurna Base Camp and Everest Base Camp. I did Annapurna because it’s supposed to be the more scenic of the two. If you’d like to read more in depth about the trip, you can find information here.
I’m leaving now, humbled and happy for the time I spent here.
At this point, I’ve traveled on my own quite a bit. I have a fair amount of comfort with it and know what to avoid and how to make the most of bad luck.
If you’re thinking of going to Nepal as a girl alone, here’s what I’d say.
Traveling alone in different cultures is like driving in dangerous conditions. You need to get a bit of practice in good weather first. If you are new to the travel world, start somewhere a little bit easier like Western Europe, Australia or New Zealand.
Build up your skills and confidence and then go to places that are more and more exotic.
I know there will be girls who disagree and say things like, “I went to Nepal on MY first trip and I loved it!” And that may be absolutely true. But for many of us, we want to enjoy ourselves and feel comfortable.
Let yourself learn how to handle the bumps and breaks when navigating the roads first. Then go to Nepal when you’re more comfortable behind the wheel.
You’ll love it too!