search for meaning in the nepal himalaya

Update: Less than a week after we returned from Nepal, the 7.9 earthquake struck… what a disaster! We’re all lucky, but also really saddened by the news of this tragedy that is still unfolding in Nepal. Even the news that my post will be featured by WordPress is bittersweet, the upside of which is that more people will see the beauty of this place. In support of the people there, my friends and I have decided to organize a photo exhibit (check out my travel buddy’s great post on the kids of Nepal), the proceeds of which we’ll donate somehow to a charity there. We’re still working out the details, but I’ll keep you posted.

I urge you to donate as well. If you don’t know how to help, please consider purchasing a full resolution image from me and I will donate on your behalf. Get in touch if interested.

“To see the world,
things dangerous to come to,
to see behind walls, draw closer,
to find each other, and to feel.
That is the purpose of life.”

Couldn’t think of a more appropriate way to start this post, though clichéd probably, as for me it perfectly sums up our trip east. Whatever reasons a person has for going to Nepal and the mighty Himalaya, it is doubtful they won’t find a piece of themselves somewhere high up. Walking amongst the towering snow giants at the top of the world or spending time with the Nepali people, you might catch yourself contemplating life a bit more often than expected. Music like the tune above from Bon Iver also helps, make sure you play it 😉

Albeit being a very personal experience that is hard to translate through photos, here’s some highlights from the 2.5 weeks we spent in Nepal. Hopefully they inspire you to jump on that plane and explore for yourself. You really should, you never know what you might find.

The first view you see when you touch down in Lukla, Nupla peak standing at 5,885m. Not a bad way to start your trek 😉


The incredibly (and surprisingly) peaceful Garden of Dreams in Kathmandu, an oasis of serenity in the heart of the otherwise frantic Kathmandu.


Lukla airport, regarded as one of the most dangerous in the world. It was a cool flight with an… exciting landing 🙂


Alone at 5.40am at the top of Gokyo Ri (5,360m) and I was literally standing in the shadow of Everest, what a moment!


Kids having fun 🙂


Prayer flags and bridges go hand in hand and there’s plenty of both.


A moment of tranquility.


I found myself spinning every prayer wheel I came across.


The almighty dal bhat! Trust me, you will get to know this dish very well if you ever make it to Nepal 😉


Caught in the wind… love this image.


Well that’s reassuring 🙂


A typical sight, sadly — a porter carrying an excess of 70-80kg probably on his back… one of the reasons I wanted to carry all my stuff myself.


Himalaya villages, Thame on the left and above Namche Bazaar on the right.


The busy streets of Kathmandu.


You learn to love bakeries, believe me 😉


Nothing like playing football at 3,500m… I was SO tempted!


The Bulgaria – US relations were strengthened that day at the top of Gokyo Ri 😉 One of the most fun moments in recent years 🙂


The incredibly beautiful Ama Dablam (6,812m) to the right with Lhotse (8,516m) in the center and Everest (8,848m) to the left. A view that is hard to forget!


Morning over the Namche / Monjo / Lukla valley.


Some people search for meaning, others for reception 😉


Cute local grandma with a nose ring to envy!


Looking back from Machermo down the valley with 6,000m+ peaks all around.


Yaks and stairs, plenty of both to go around 😉


Where gods dwell.


Tea talks with Gami and our guide Kami (on the right).


Best toilet we found!


The frozen Taboche Tsho sacred lake at 4,740m.


Tibetan snowcocks can be such posers 😉


A spectacular view of Cho Oyo (means “Turquoise Goddess” in Tibetan) in the clouds, world’s 6th highest mountain standing at 8,201m. What a spot that was.


Not many of those around, but always welcome 🙂


Stupas and headstands, tough to tell which is more stable 😉 Yoga seems to be paying off and it was fun to see the top of the world upside down.


Crossing a glacier at 4am with Kami.


Snow trails at 5,400m.


The incredible view you see when you go over the Cho La pass — Arakam Tse at 6,423m to the right and the completely different Ama Dablam with its north-west face in the center.


A snow storm somewhere high up and with a yak traffic jam.


Stone prayers.


Namche Bazaar with Thamserku (6,608m) poking through the clouds.


At Swayambhunath or Monkey temple above rainy Kathmandu on our last night in Nepal. Not a bad way to end the trip 😉


Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks 😉


169 thoughts

  1. Man, I really need to make time and get out into the world more. Beautiful pictures. Beautiful people. Yet, here I am…staring at my computer. As time goes by, I feel more and more compelled to get outside and meet some people and see some places I’ve never seen. Keep up the beautiful work. I look forward to keeping up with your adventures! Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Christian, thank you so much for the kind words! I appreciate you taking the time to comment and wish you many adventures of your own. Sometimes all you need is that gentle nudge that hopefully posts like this give you 🙂

  2. Fantastic photo essay of your trip! Seriously jealous. I did the Annapurna Circuit years ago–back when small light cameras were crap. Too bad for me. Looks like you had a truly life altering experience. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Pingback: Children of Nepal |

  4. Reblogged this on barefootbuddhayoga and commented:
    love this blog on Nepal! i have always dreamed of visiting and now the inspiration to go is stronger than ever 🙂 thoughts and prayers go out to all the people of Nepal in this challenging time ❤

  5. This is beautiful place to visit and have worlds third highest peek in the world which i mention in my post the top of the world, A dreamer. I must say great job.
    Thank you for sharing

  6. Hey this was a really nice and eye catching article. I have written a short nine chapter story and I’m still posting it. Please feel free to visit my account and check it out, it would mean a lot to me. Also leave feedback so i may know how you feel about the story. Have a lovely day. I hope to being friend with you. Follow me to get new chapters. Keep up the goodwork! Practice makes perfect. Thank you in advance!

  7. Amazing photos! One day I hope to travel here, especially now so I can help. It has been a dream for a very long time 🙂

  8. thanks to share your wonderful experience and i really feel sad for the disaster which occurred recently. May those who souls rest in peace who deciesed in the unfortunate tragedy. i will pray for them

  9. Hi..Your pictures are simply mindblowing..I can understand the mix emotion that may be running through you at this moment..seeing the things doomed is not an easy picture to erase from memories, where once joy holded a place.

    I read you are in process of finding NGO to donate working for Nepal. I work with Pragya India, we have our offices and men at work in Nepal at the moment..below is our address you may consult for any help..especially your picture from the field..

    Pragya Nepal
    Office address:Thododhunga – 3
    Kathmandu, Nepal.
    Ph. No: +977 1 5521211

    I invite you to check updates from Nepal as generated from reports by field officers at ground zero

    May us all stand by to lend help, be through in prayers, towards Nepal for the distress caused by natural calamity.

  10. Beautiful pictures! May Lord bless all the people in Nepal who suffered a huge disaster. Having homes, but still can’t get in. May the souls of people who died, rest in peace! I just pray that, there shouldn’t be such a disaster like this in future!

  11. Thank you for sharing your gorgeous photos! It looks as though you had a journey full of culture and beauty.

    I really enjoyed your blog. I created a new page, Real Life Natural Wife. I hope you’ll come by and leave me a comment with your thoughts on the blog.

    Keep up the good work! Congrats on being freshly pressed.

    Have a great weekend!

  12. Wow these photos are AMAZING!! I can’t get enough.
    I happen to nominate you for the Versatile Blogger Award–here is my post regarding the award–
    I absolutely love following your feed! Continue the great work!!
    Erika |

  13. Awesome pictures. I was compelled to see them all at once. It is our humanatarian duty to help those , who have suffered havoc of earthquake. Nice gesture from u.

  14. Holy cow these pictures are beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

    Hi! I am just waking up in this life! I want to connect with you! I want to learn about you! I want to create cool and exciting things with you! I want tons of money! I want to travel! I want lots of toys! I want to be a good and nice person! I want to be a good Buddhist and stop wanting to stop wanting things! I want to help the Earth be pure again! I want to live in excitement every single moment! I want the BOOM BOOM CLASH LIFE. I want to be a model! I want to be an actor! I want to have a million views on my wordpress site! I want to meet superheros! I want to ride a zipline from the top of Mt. Everest! Sooooo! Come say hi! Check out my site! YAAAAY:):):)

  15. The pictures are stunning, loved all of them would love to taste the baked goods, the grandmother reminds me of my own (minus the nose ring) and I would love to visit Nepal

  16. My mom searched for meaning in the himalayas and she came up short. She came back and was as much of a melt as before.

  17. Reblogged this on sabuseif and commented:
    This is absolutely beautiful. I love the photos are stunning. I hope the people of Nepal are able to bounce back from this tragedy . They are very strong people from what I know.

  18. A fantastic series of photos and story of your time in Nepal. An amazing place/people and you do it justice with this post and introduction. It is very heartbreaking to see such destruction in the area, and agree that we all can help via charities from afar (Save the Children in HK (as well as Oxfam) have been very quick in their response to this tragedy). You have some great shots here, very much enjoyed the crossing a glacier at 4am with Kami shot. Take care.

  19. You did a superb work with your photo narration. The photos are superb and they narrate their story on their own. Good work :-). Keep it up. Hope to make trip with you some day.

  20. Wow, your pictures are simply amazing. I love the way your story came alive through the pictures. Thank you so much for sharing! Your adventure took me back to our Inca Trail Trek, which looks like walk in the park in comparison to this trek 🙂 Maybe I have missed it or apparently live under a rock, but what is the name of this trek?

    • Not sure if there’s a name for it — it’s the trek from Lukla through Namche Bazaar up the Gokyo valley (climbing Gokyo Ri), then the Cho La pass, off to Gorek Shep / Everest Base Camp and then down this valley back to Namche / Lukla.

      Btw, I’ve done the Inca Trail (well, technically the SalKantay Trek which is a bit more challenging) and it’s still a great and fun experience 🙂

      • Thanks for the info! Sounds like an incredible adventure Yes, the Inca Trail was amazing, especially because you can almost transport yourself back in time! The Inca Trail definitely solidified a love for backpacking, and we have been trying to do it as much as we can since. I’ve found it to be a crucial part of self-development and self-improvement…the effect it can have on you if you allow it and embrace it is really remarkable.

  21. Beautiful photographs. I have been to the Chinese side and the images of prayer flags with their wind-horses brought back some happy memories.

  22. I can see why this one was FP’d. Congrats again. I always am filled with joy coming here to enjoy the music, photos, and narrative, even though the current tragedy hovered like mist on a mountain today. Thank you for sharing Nepal’s beauty.

      • I know. I did too. I thought that everyone could get along if we all found happiness in different things. It doesn’t work. I’m not trying to impose anything on you, but the path to truth always rests with Christ. “I am the way the truth and the life.” Have you ever read the Bible?

          • Maybe the place you need to look for balance is the Bible? I’m not one of those people who walks around casting judgement on people. 🙂 I’ve come to realize how dirty my own heart is. Why don’t you check out my blog:

            After all… I did read and appreciate yours. 😛

  23. Its beautiful and its exactly been a year since i did EBC, same circuit i think. Wanted to go back this year to do the passes and Gokyo Ri but well yeah. Its a shame, the earthquake and its massively heartbreaking.

  24. What a beautiful experience you had! Without seeing this post, I wrote about what we could do for the Nepalese people and the country today. It seems very synchronistic to come across your enlightening experience on the same day. With all this inspiration, my husband I have started brainstorming on how we can get to Nepal this year. We look forward to your upcoming posts! Here ours from today!

  25. Reblogged this on ROBERT CULLEN'S 3S BLOG and commented:
    This writer’s 2.5 week trip to Nepal ended just before the recent earthquake that hit Nepal. The lovely experiences recorded in this post should encourage potential travelers want to visit Nepal.

  26. Thank you for sharing your experience and the great photos in this post. I reblogged it at

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  29. Amazing to think people wake up to such different lives everyday! Thank you for bringing the world to those of us in wait of our own adventures…all of your posts are lovely, breathtaking and full of mystery – a reminder of what life is really about.

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