Nepal. Beloved Nepal. Geographically, Nepal finds itself sandwiched between two major world powers, with China to the north and India to the south. Long crippled by extreme poverty (ranking just 145th of 188 countries on the Human Development Index in 2015), political corruption and instability, and the brutal realities of natural disaster, Nepal is a nation familiar with widespread sociocultural and socioeconomic marginalization.
It is however, also, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful places on the planet, credit both to its immense natural beauty (hellllo Himalayas!) as well as the deep kindness and compassionate resilience of its people. It's hard to describe the warmth and chaos and stillness and frenzy that overlap on the busy streets of Kathmandu as well as in the high-altitude mountain villages. It's even harder to adequately describe how massive and powerful and wild the Himalayas are in person. It's a country that's had a particular hold on my heart since I was very young and it was sheer joy to finally (in May 2017) visit and explore - including a trek to EBC and Kala Patthar. I already can't wait to go back. //