Treat yourself to the real Nepal is the personal analysis and experience of Gary Wornell. He is a Canadian but loves to travel. He has visited many countries, such as Nepal. Please look at his words about Nepal, their lifestyle, and the situation during coronavirus lockdown.
Undeveloped countries like Nepal have a more resilient population simply because life here is tough, and I mean hard. The number of 5-star hotels that have sprung up in the last few years is proof (am I naive?) because tourists from developed countries – aside from needing their luxuries – would not risk most Nepalis’ conditions. At the grassroots level, people eat incredibly healthy food because that is all they have, and processed foods are expensive, which they can’t afford. Thank goodness for that. They spend a lot of their days outside – remember as kids how much time we spent playing outside? They work hard in unforgiving landscapes, live, have strong communities and have little disposable income. In short, they are hardy.
So, thousands of Chinese tourists were flocking to Nepal in January and February. They were there every day at Boudhanath Stupa, and we rubbed shoulders close several times a day. Nepal has identified only 14 cases to date and no deaths. No deaths – this country is rife with gossip and rumours, and if anyone admitted to the hospital with fever and respiratory problems, that information would have leaked out by now.
For many years in Finland, I suffered from stress, depression and anxiety caused by the inability to cope with a challenging relationship- which effectively lowered my immunity. I got lichen planus- a breakdown of the mucus membrane in my mouth, which caused it to bleed continuously. It was painful. The biopsy was painful. The doctor prescribed hydrocortisone which I never took because I believed the problem lay somewhere else. ‘There is no cure for this, and my doctor said, ‘You better make friends with it. I’m not making friends with this. When I first came to Nepal, I also got sick, but never from the food. Just careless with the water. Touchwood, those days are long gone, and the lifestyle here has eradicated my lichen planus. I changed the way I live, and I owe it to my wonderful Nepali friends for showing me how to live.
When this virus crap ends, I invite you to come to Nepal. Forget the 5-star marble hauled cocoons and opulent bedrooms. You don’t need it. My wonderful mother said, ‘Never confuse comfort with culture’. Stay in a small local place in Kathmandu like #boudharesidency and treat yourself to the real Nepal before you head out into the hills. And stay until they throw you out! After all, you can now work from home, and home is where the heart is.
Text and photo Credit: Gary Wornell