Archive for April, 2011

Trek to Nepal – this is my last week before I go

Posted on April 26, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Wow, it is now a handful of sleeps until I will be in Nepal. Six sleeps until getting on the plane, stopover in Thailand and then to Kathmandu. It is really hard to believe that it is all now so close.

Had a chance meeting with two advertising execs from a local TV station last week that resulted in me being interviewed today. Hopefully it will come up OK – I plugged Plan International, the Because I’m A Girl Fund, and my gofundraise page. And tried to avoid getting drawn into the “it’s discrimination” line of discussion.

Bags are packed – last minute toiletries aside – and I’m ready to go. It’s important to not take too much stuff – because I won’t need it, and because of weight restrictions on the plane and with the porters. Someone has to carry what I take, and so I’m keeping it light. I am also hoping that there are not too many pics taken of me wearing the same gear for a fortnight!

And if that is the worst of my worries, then that will be a troublefree trip!

I guess in this last week it is a time to reflect on the preparation:

Physical- training (cardio, endurance, core strength, clothing and footwear), vaccination and immunisation

Mental – meditation and relacation

Emotional- bits of the above I guess, packing and first aid kit

And now this is it. There is nothing more that can be done. A week of tapering. Doing the final administrative things – the final rabies shot, picking up the malaria medication, meeting the ladies I will be travelling with (well the Melbourne based ones anyway), doing the last currency exchange.

I have packed my bag for the days I will need just after I return. And my Nepal bags are packed. I suspect they will be re-packed as I feel I am taking too much. I’ve got heaps of socks and undies – and am not going to skimp on the socks for the trekking days. Everyone says you need to be conscious of those.

It’s tricky leaving in winter and arriving in summer (30 degrees I have heard) as that will be a bit of a shock to the system.

So it’s checking the batteries for the camera, removing any unneeded pics so the memory card is free as a bird for all the pics I am bound to take.

My journal and pencil are packed. I’m using pencil as I don;t know how ink will go at altitude. And I am taking a clutch pencil so it does not need sharpening.

The chamois is in – ideal for drying me and any washing that I do. I think my hiking gear is going to get sweaty really quickly. Hope it does not smell. I have a feeling it might though. Then let’s hope for a breeze to blow the smell away from our group.

Let’s remember why I am doing this.

To make a difference.

To raise money for Plan International and the great projects they run.

To do something I have always wanted to do – reaching the dream to trek in Nepal. When I first came to Bendigo I went to a photographic exhibition at the Capital Theatre. There I was transfixed by a photo of Everest taken by a local climber. That framed pic has hung on my bedroom wall for 10 years. Even though I am not trekking that route or that high, in a week I will be there. Nepal.

I doubt I will be able to blog while away as I doubt that there are internet cafes where I will be going – although you never know. (I seriously hope not)

My journal and my photos will be the props for my story when I return. Please donate here – even $20 will make a huge difference. If everyone I know on LinkedIn and Facebook donated $10 I’d have over $5000. Some of you already have donated – and I, on behalf of Plan and Inspired Adventures, thank you.

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Trek to Nepal – two weeks to go

Posted on April 19, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Time has certainly flown as we are well into the final countdown for the journey of a lifetime. In two Sunday’s time I will be at the airport ready to go on a truly inspired and inspiring adventure.

There will be new people to meet – even though the group going have been exchanging emails, this will be the first time that most of us have met in person. And of course the final “administration pieces”- the final jabs and anti malaria tablets are still to come. Packing and final currency exchange. Goodbyes and organising bills that need to be paid while I’m away.

I am not ready to start counting sleeps yet as there are too many other things going on in life for me to do that and be excited rather than overextended. Lucky there was a plan put in place early to get things done otherwise I can imagine how things can be left until the last minute – and then it may be too late. No jabs for me this week – the final one is next week, yet the travel doctor was telling me that he often sees people only a few days before they go asking if they need any vaccinations. And of course there is the vias question – Nepal is one of the countries that you need a visa for and there are not too many Nepalese embassies around. Some people say you can organise the vias when you arrive – sounds a bit too last minute for me! Yes, that is the organised person in me coming out again)

The one thing that did get away from me was the fundraising – so I ended up going for sponsorship. I think the group have all hit our fundraising target – and it is open for donations while we are away and after we come back too, which is great.

It is funny how things tend to come together when you are concentrating on something. What I mean is how funny it is when you buy say a blue Toyota and suddenly the roads seem to be filled with blue Toyotas. Or red Fords. And so it is with Nepal – there seem to be so many places I go and people I meet who have been or are going. For instance the closing keynote at the Australian Institute of Training and Development conference that I attended last week was Jo Brennan of Habitat and she was speaking about a trip she did with a group to build houses (obviously, as that is what Habitat for Humanity is all about). Her stories were powerful yet even stronger for me as I will be there in two weeks. In fact 14 days from now as I type I will be in Nepal. Wow.

I am yet to organise international roaming – although as I have travelled with this mobile before I suspect roaming will still be switched on. Internet access may be the tricky piece and I am going to be sure NOT to use the smartphone for that as I have heard that international charges for data downloads are astronomical. And I don’t want to come back seeking sponsorship for my phone bill! Although that would be a good story wouldn’t it?

One thing I am wondering is just how much of the real Nepal we are going to see given that we are on a trekking tour with a charity. Things will be controlled and organised and we will be a group – and I have never travelled like this before. It could be interesting! At least I am going to Nepal. At last.

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Trek to Nepal – 4 weeks and counting

Posted on April 5, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Well we are seriously in the final countdown.  This time next month I will be in Nepal – a lifelong dream come true. It is truly amazing to think that I will be there soon. And so much ahs been done yet so much more remains to be done: packing, phone roaming and deciding if I do internet roaming on the phone. Final physical preparation is key too – the vaccination process is lengthy and expensive. Probably about $600 all up just for jabs! Better than risking typhoid or rabies I guess.

The group have been exchanging emails and we are getting to know each other a little before we fly – although I am sure that the trek itself will be an awesome get to know you experience. I am not sure I would be brave enough to go with a friend as this kind of experience can be the make or break kind.

One thing I have done after some email exchanges is buy more hiking socks and jocks – deciding that comfort cannot be compromised, even if the wallet is! Who would have thought that merion undies – so they smell less- would be over $30 a pair. And socks are dear too. I am sure it will be worth it when I am not too sweaty and smelly – and that is only my opinion.

A friend has advised that it is worth pushing hard during the day to get to the destination before the hot water runs out so you can buy a shower and do some washing too. Great advice – thank you Anne. What woman would not push a bit harder on a hike in order to get to a hot (or even lukewarm) shower!

Physically I think I am ready – did more stairs and sprints on Saturday and did not even pull up tight on Sunday. I still want to do more walking over the next couple of weeks and am using time in Sydney at a conference to do that – I am staying in the CBD for a conference in North Sydney and will walk over the bridge each day to get some good exercise and also to keep up the fitness. That will include some stairs and climbs too. When busy one must make the most of whatever opportunity exists.

I also plan to send some pleading emails this week as my fundraising has come to a complete halt and I am well short of the target. Yes I am prepared to make up the shortfall yet this is also an opportunity to have colleagues and friends support me and Plan. I will see how it goes.

As I keep ticking things off the countdown list it begins to feel closer and closer. I cannot wait to meet the women I am trekking with – many of whom have done awesome jobs with their fundraising – and to go to Nepal.

What a year this one is going to be.

If you want to donate, here is my page

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