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Trek View on Nepal: Himalayan Studies Gap Year Semester with Where There Be Dragons

First Assignment!

Dear students,

We’ve been so happy to have gotten the chance to speak with some of you on the phone in the past week or two and are looking forward to speaking with the rest of you this week.

As we continue to prepare for your arrival in Nepal, we wanted to give you a small prompt to get you to start thinking about your upcoming semester. Although we hesitate to use the word “assignment”, we are going to use it anyway in the hopes of re-conditioning your relationship to the term. Your time in Nepal will be full of novel experiences and we will often ask you to engage with and reflect on your time in many different ways. Think of reading and writing as just one of many ways in which you will interact with Nepal.

With the above intention, we’d like to introduce you to your first assignment!

1. Please read “Why We Travel” by Pico Iyer. It’s a classic, stimulating read that covers our own travel motivations and philosophy pretty eloquently. Select 2 – 3 quotes that you find interesting, agree with, disagree with, or just resonate in some way with you and write these down in a notebook that you will bring with you to Nepal. During the first few days of orientation, we will discuss this article and your thoughts, so please come prepared!

2. After reading Iyer’s article, on a loose sheet of paper, we ask that you take some time to write a letter. This letter should be addressed to your future self–the self that you’ll meet, and become, after our time together in Nepal. What hopes do you have for that future self? What fears are you feeling that you want that future self, post-Nepal trip, to reflect on and learn from? What are your goals? Feel free to also share some love & gratitude and all your excitement with your future self. When you arrive at orientation, we will give you envelopes to seal these letters for future reading. To clarify–this letter is for your eyes only, so write whatever you need to!

We look forward to our discussion and to seeing you all so soon!

With care,
Kripa, Tsheten and Uttara