“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Remember that you’re in a third world country where people still die of hunger and lack of proper medication. Certainly, you have come here to get rid of all your worries, but being able to contribute to someone’s life is the key to the most peaceful state of mind.
Please don’t misunderstand! Giving here refers to using their services in return or giving them opportunity to earn. But you may also do some charity if you wish to!
Devote this trek not just for yourself but also for the local people out there. This is my blog on ‘what ways you can help the local people while trekking!’
Hire local porters and guides:
Don’t feel bad about hiring porters to carry your stuffs because it is their job and this will help them earn. Even the agencies will hire the locals for you. It will cost you just around $20 per day for porters and $25 per day for guides depending on where you trek. And, why not tip them in the end of your trek! Even as little as NRs. 2000-5000(around $20-$50) would mean a lot for them and their families.
Use the tea houses and home stays:
Staying in tea houses and home stays would be a new experience for you. You will get to know the people, how they live their lives and their culture. Most of the people are very friendly and service oriented. They may not have much but they will try to provide you the best with whatever they have. Paying $25 per night with dinner and breakfast is not much if you ask me.
Purchase local products:
You can take home-made souvenirs to your loved ones from the local shops. It will help the locals to earn some extra money. You can get souvenirs like khukuri (a Nepali knife/weapon), poster, thanka (a painting on silk with embroidery), jewelry, gems and yak cheese (you won’t get it anywhere in the world). Try to get the things that are popular in the respective area.
Gift the people:
Gifting doesn’t always have to be first-hand. You can give your gears, equipments or jackets to the guides, porters or teahouse shopkeepers if you are planning to upgrade. They will be very grateful and will always have something to remember you by. Take some candies and sweets to treat the children.
Help the local community:
Many communities have now established development committees. You can help them by volunteering or even donating some money. But make sure your money is utilized properly and that it does not go to a single person’s pocket. Don’t hesitate giving them your useful ideas and suggestions.
This year, take back some stories! Not just about scaling a mountain or finishing a trek. But about making a difference in someone’s life.
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