In December 2014, one of my best mate Simon and I travelled over 800km across Nepal from the capital Katmandu to a small district in the middle-west called Sanigaun. Our mission was brutally simple : we had to deliver winter hats, school supplies and medication to over 500 kids living in one of the poorest and highest area on earth.
But before going any further, let’s go back to where everything has started.
I was in Bangkok when I got this call from Simon. At this time I’ve only met him once in Montreal when he was about to take off to India a few months before. To be more specific we’ve initially met through Instagram as he first messaged me after landing onto that photo of mine explaining what I’ll be up to for the following year.
Few chats later we quickly realized we had a lot in common regarding our travel plans and goals and so we started to help and support each other. Leaving your comfort, routine, friends and family for a considerable period of time isn’t easy and knowing someone who also was going through this situation kind of secured me in a certain way I think and mostly as I was about to leave to the opposite side of the world and on my own. Yep. We were actually both about to throw off the bowlines and sail away from the safe harbor. But in two different directions. I was first heading to Europe before making my way to South-East Asia whereas he was already in India. However, we didn’t know at this point that our path would later cross each other’s again.
I knew I wanted to help and make a positive and sustainable impact in developed countries at one stage during my gap year but I’ve always had that shared feeling regarding volunteering for an organisation’s interest. I’ve always had that approach of creating myself opportunities and I felt like being independant once again and doing something different would be so much more rewarding in the end. The only issue was that I had no idea where to start and how to create such an opportunity whereas Simon did.
I was – and still am- a young and reckless guy with a nothing-to-lose mindset and big ambitions on a mission to inspire my future and create something that matters. Not even necessary to mention that I said yes please, see you soon when he rang me and proposed to go on that supposedly dangerous and life changing adventure into some of the poorest areas on earth.
That being said, the mission initially involved us going on an expedition in the mountains where not even a single tourist had set a foot before. With the help of a translator, we would be raising awareness concerning the living conditions, the lack of access to basic facilities and the limited opportunities offered to the Nepalese through photographies and films. These elements would lately support the start-up of something meaningful.
Anyways, a few hours after his call, my flight was already booked. I couldn’t believe that I was about to venture into one of the most remote part of the world. THE country commonly known for his marvellous scenic beauty, his world’s highest peaks and his rich and unique culture. Quicker than expected I soon found myself boarding a plane to Katmandu, the capital. At this stage, I couldn’t imagined how much this journey would change me.