I decided to visit Nepal because I felt the desire to be pushed out of my comfort zone and surrounded by a new environment. I happened to find a volunteering position teaching English to monks at a Buddhist monastery, and instead of just spending an extra three weeks of my winter break at home, I decided to take the position. Not at all knowing what to expect, I traveled 32 hours in total to get to Nepal and immediately got sick.
I spent my first several days and an eight-hour bus ride to my volunteer site feeling very ill and overwhelmed, wondering why I decided to sacrifice time with friends and family to be alone in a country which was further away from home than I had ever been. Then, a few days passed, my medicine started to work, and suddenly I was paragliding over Lake Phewa and riding a motorcycle through Nepal.
Back at the monastery, I held an English class for the younger monks and we finished the day with the standard rice and vegetable dish meal. It was about at that point in my trip that things turned around. I remembered why I wanted to travel over the break in the first place: with travel comes many unfamiliar and unexpected moments which you can never forget. It is the quickest way to expand your horizons and to test how well you can handle whatever life throws at you.
There are many exhilarating and phenomenal moments (such as riding on the back of a stranger’s motorcycle or holding hands with a monkey), and many difficult and scary moments (such as getting sick from dust and pollution and not being able to afford a doctor or having to use a drop toilet in the dark and almost falling in!!!!). But, all in all, you love all of them equally after the fact and never regret a single moment.