I’m On Top Of The World (Hey!) | Week 19 Abroad

I’m On Top Of The World (Hey!) | Week 19 Abroad

This past week in Nepal has been unforgettable. Visiting Nepal has been on the top of my bucket list for years, and achieving this goal meant so much to me!

 

On Top of The World

Not only did we visit Nepal, we even did a 3-day trek in the Himalayan mountains (condensed from a 5-day trek, which makes it feel more legitimate to me!) It wasn’t Everest or Annapurna Base Camp, but it was still hard and we were still there. So I’m proud.

View of Poonhill Trail Nepal The Obriens Abroad Family travel Journal
Mountain forests of Nepal

Although Kathmandu is a much larger city and more chaotic and dirtier than I expected and our trek was through warm forest instead of snowy peaks, Nepal did not disappoint. It’s hard for things to live up to high expectations, and what helped me appreciate our time in Nepal so much was being with fantastic people.

We joined a 3-family group traveling from Chiang Mai, Thailand, to Nepal after being briefly invited by the group’s organizer. We have a “Just say yes” policy when it comes to being invited to do new things, so we decided to join the trip since I’d badly wanted to go to Nepal, anyway. Ben knew one member of the group and I knew zero, but we still jumped in to spending 12 days together.

 

Trekking Group with Porters Poonhill Trail Nepal The OBriens Abroad Family Travel
3 families and 8 porters set out on the Poonhill Trail

 

People are Awesome

 

After meeting these amazing families and so many others on our travels I’ve come to an important conclusion: PEOPLE ARE AWESOME.

I don’t know if it’s the maturity that comes with being this age and stage of parenthood or the fact that what we all have in common is leaving our homelands to travel as families, but we have only found supportive, friendly, understanding, open-minded, and welcoming people.

It has been a personal life goal to become close enough with friends that we go on trips together, and that is exactly what we’ve found. We’ve now traveled through four different places with seven different families in three different countries and loved every minute of our time together. Picking restaurants, exploring new streets, taking each others’ pictures, and staying at the same hotels has been amazing. I’m sure this isn’t always the case, but I feel so lucky to say it’s been our experience.

While traveling full-time sounds like an exotic dream come true (and it can be!) it’s also hard. We lack the support system and comforts we had when living in the United States, and finding a social network of like-minded people has become an important pillar to maintaining our sanity.

 

Paragliding Pokhara Nepal The OBriens Abroad Family Travel
Whit, 6, paraglides in Pokhara, Nepal

 

We’ve found most of these friends through church. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is found all over the world, so, as members, we can find a meetinghouse and participate in familiar church services no matter where we are. While the buildings, people, and languages differ from place to place, the welcome and comfort we receive is always the same.

I don’t think we would be a successful traveling family without that outlet!

 

Time to Settle Down

As far as work goes, we are starting to get a little antsy after spending almost two weeks away from our daily work schedule. I’ve been making notes on about a dozen articles that need to be written and submitted for publication, and Ben recently released four new Reflectoes safety athletic products to be sold on Amazon. Managing the promotion and shipment of new items is always a challenge, and it’s been hard for Ben not to be in easy communication with our customers and staff. It takes a lot of time for him to research the ads and marketing for new products, so taking this much time away has been quite the sacrifice.

I, at least, can work offline on my phone or notepad, but Ben’s work really struggles when we’re on top of a mountain.

 

Father and Son at Poonhill Trail Peak Nepal The OBriens Abroad Family Travel
Ben and Whit reach the peak of Poonhill Trail at 5:30 a.m.

 

It’s also coming up on crunch time to prepare our warehouses and website for Christmas sales. Between managing new products and trying to prepare for the Christmas rush we have jointly decided that it’s best for Ben to settle into a new temporary home and schedule than try to push this adventure much further. We initially planned to head to Bhutan from Nepal after this excursion, but will now head straight to Chiang Mai, a digital nomad super city, instead. I’ve already contacted real estate offices and community schools to settle in to a home and school as quickly as possible so we can have some normalcy.

These two weeks have been pretty busy, and I’m excited to unpack our bags for longer than three days at a time. Plus, our new friends from Chiang Mai have me really excited about the delicious food and cheap massages to be found there!

So if you have any tips on the best places to go, stay, and eat in Chiang Mai let me know in a comment!

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