Why Now is the Time to Visit Nepal
Late last year, I traveled to Nepal to report on whether the country was ready to welcome travelers after a series of major earthquakes rattled it to its core in the spring of 2015.
I came home wondering how you could not go. If ever there were a time to visit Nepal, it’s now.
My stomach is a knot of nervous anticipation as I check my packing list, preparing to join a group of international journalists and tour operators on a 10-day survey of the South Asian nation. How bad would the tourism infrastructure be?
In the days and months following the earthquakes, the media had portrayed a country in ruin. But was Nepal unsafe now, nine months after the ground had stopped shaking?
Getting there is no easy task. In Dallas, I have to sprint to make my connection, skidding into my seat a sweaty mess. Fifteen hours later, I touch down in Qatar, with eight hours to kill in an airport hotel. By the time I land in Kathmandu, after a full 35 hours in transit, I’m not sure what day it is, or if it’s time to drink morning coffee or go to bed.
Suitcases trickle onto the conveyor belt like water dripping from a faucet. When the creaky carousel slows to a halt two hours later, leaving me empty handed, I shuffle over to the grievance desk. As I gape at the chaotic piles of misplaced luggage crowding the floor, the baggage representative offers me a handwritten triplicate claim form. “It’s not even in a computer system,” I think, my chest tightening.
I email my husband in a panic, begging for help. “I don’t have time to call the airline,” I type desperately. After all my careful preparation, I have nothing. No water purifier. No clothes. No DENTAL FLOSS. I (Read more...)