Lex Limbu: Truth, Travel and Tracing Nepal
-   2017-09-17 | nepaltraveller.com
A 25-year old blogger from the UK raised the stakes for all bloggers in Nepal when he started sharing his opinions online. After a journey of nearly ten years, he shares with Shuvekshya Limbu of www.Nepaltraveller.com what he aims to do with Tracing Nepal and his own experience while travelling to the most rural parts of Nepal.
A 25-year old blogger from the UK raised the stakes for all bloggers in Nepal when he started sharing his opinions online and while doing so, followed what he always wanted to do. Lex Limbu is not just a blogger but a trendsetter in the areas of travel to lifestyle to journalism.
Now with Tracing Nepal, an innovative idea to introduce Nepal to NRN’s he aims to do much more. But beneath that, he is a genuine person who loves travelling and is passionate about making a difference. Here below, is just a peek into the amazing experiences, plans, and thoughts that he has:
1. What is Tracing Nepal?
Tracing Nepal is a 2-week travel program which came from the joined idea of Chandrika Gurung and me that started from 2014. The whole idea is to get a group of Nepali living outside Nepal and to take them on a journeyacross different parts of Nepal where they get to see amazing things whether that is extraordinary works done by NGO’s, the teeming wildlife and resorts of Chitwan or the nightlife of Thamel. It is about reintroducing Nepal to young people.
2. What gave you the idea to start it and where has it taken you so far?
The idea stemmed from my own experience because I left Nepal when I was two and started living in Brunei and the UK. I’ve always felt a longing for Nepal and every time I came here with my parents I wanted to explore and satisfy a deep need for travel. I felt sad that so many young people have not explored and known Nepal for what it is. They merely assume that returning to Nepal is just about meeting relatives but I wanted to show them that Nepal can be fun and they can use travel and tourism as a tool for development. We have travelled to places like Chitwan, Damauli to Illam for the Red Panda Network Eco Trip to see the endangered Red Pandas in the hills and worked with organisations like Maya Universe Academy.
3. What are the criteria to entering Tracing Nepal?
Tracing Nepal is a very selective program. Normally the program happens in September, so at the start of the year, we open applications online. Out of all the applicants, we only take about a dozen. But at the moment we would love to take in all who's interested but we don’t have the capacity. All the group leaders live outside Nepal so we have to come just for Tracing Nepal and don’t have time to cater to everybody. We look at applicants who have not travelled or stayed in Nepal for a long time, those who are eager in volunteering and searching for their identity as a Nepali. But one day, I would love to open Tracing Nepal for people living in Nepal as well.
4. What can the government do to reintroduce Nepal to NRNs?
There are so many young Nepalese growing up outside, very distant to their country, language, culture and the problems people face here especially outside and in the cities. The government can prioritize a volunteering as well as travelling program not only for people living outside of Nepal but also for people living in Nepal. There are so many people living in the cities who do not know about the rural life. In the UK the government has programs like the National Citizen Service which is a summer camp for young people that provides them a chance to create social projects, go on trips and see their country in a different perspective. At the end of the day, it helps them in fostering their skills to be a better leader, communicator and gather experiences. This is something I’m passionate about, it need not be a charity but in later life, they might develop a desire to return and do something for their country. The government can subsidise for these kinds of travel organizers and agents that genuinely helps the tourism as well as NGOs and also promotes Eco Tourism.
5. How would you describe the current state of tourism in Nepal? What can be done to make it better?
I am very hopeful regarding the tourism industry because there is so much yet to happen.By saying this I also realize the government has so much to do. We’re much focused on numbers and bringing more tourists in but we aren’t really thinking about the quality of experience they are going to have. The last thing we’d want is more tourists coming and many of them returning dissatisfied. I always get stressed when the situation of airports and our working culture is concerned. We need to be more quality and service oriented, not just in five-star hotels and facilities that are catering to wealthy travellers but also across the range. The government needs to improve public transportations, roads, and infrastructure. Safety is a priority especially as Nepal is a risk hazard country. If something happens the government needs to be active in disaster management and recovery plans as well as minimizing negative stories that can spread like wildfire.
6. What has been your most memorable trip to Nepal? Why?
The most memorable one would be the one to Rara National Park. It was amazing because now, I see a lot of people going to Rara but it’s a place that still does not receive a lot of visitors. To get there it was lot more exciting than going somewhere which is just a few hours away from Kathmandu. It was memorable in a sense even though it is beautiful, so many things can go wrong, sometimes you don’t get a flight back. We were stuck in the airport for three days, just waiting for our plane to arrive. It is memorable in a challenging way but it is also equally beautiful and magical.When I say this part of me does not want many people going there and making it crowded and dirty but it just reminds us how as travellers we need be respectful and make memories but not to ruin it in the process. We need to be mindful about how the place is being used by us.
7. What was your most difficult moment while travelling to the rural areas of Nepal? What did you learn from that experience?
My most challenging trip was the trip to Everest Base Camp. Sometimes when you go travelling the pictures can lie but the truth is you go through so much mental and physical challenges. That trip was difficult because I went in December and the weather was extreme so much so that the locals were closing down businesses. The altitude sickness can make it difficult, you want to walk more but you have to respect your body.Other than that I also went to Far Western districts. Merely hearing about people’s stories and problems is challenging.You hear, write and report but at the end of the day, you cannot turn people’s lives around. That trip was emotionally challenging for me.
|Now that you've read a little bit about Lex and Tracing Nepal, you can find more on his amazing up-to-date blog at http://lexlimbu.com/ or like his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/lexlimbuofficial/photos/?ref=page_internal|