Alumni Spotlight: Margherita Rossolini


Margherita (28 years old, Italy) is enthusiastic and dynamic. She loves exploring and getting to know new cultures, she likes talking with people and discovering the world with new eyes, especially through the lens of her camera.

Why did you choose this program?

This program allowed me to do a great experience abroad while living and staying in contact with locals and their culture. I lived in a Nepali family for one week in Kathmandu and then travelled outside the capital city and throughout the country for another week. They accepted me as I was a member of their family. Living like a local was definitely the best way to discover this country.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

I had the support of Go Overseas in choosing a family to stay in Kathmandu and in the organization of the itinerary I wanted to do afterwards. They organized all transports and hostels. I just booked my flights on my own. I chose to do this experience in my time free at work, during my Christmas holidays in my home-country, Italy.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Travel to open your eyes and your heart while discovering new cultures and meeting new people, because each country all over the world is a new opportunity to learn something, especially if it is far away from home and much different from what you already know. Do not miss an opportunity to learn and see. Do not fear anything. Be yourself and be always curious. Be unstoppable.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

A week is a short period of time - my photojournalism project lasted just one week - but you can take the best of it by doing as much as possible and reaching many places by taxi at a very cheap price. It meant great motivation to me, to continue travelling and taking pictures, even in the rest of my journey in Nepal, and in all future travels I am planning to do.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

Living in the capital city Kathmandu and in other places in Nepal in general is always a challenge for any European. Except for the most luxurious hotels, which I decided to avoid, no house, or hostel, or medium hotel, even in the mountains where the temperature in December often goes under zero above 3.000 mt, has heating systems. Electricity can go and come. Hot water is a privilege. Therefore sleeping at night can be difficult at the very beginning.

Cities are crowded and the traffic is crazy. The streets are not cleaned, always dusty and polluted. But there is no obstacle stopping those people who are able to see the beauty. Because beauty is anywhere, also outside your "comfort-zone", in all those moments when you fell happiness in the smallest things: in the smiles of the women in Kathmandu and in the kindness of its citizens, in the jungle of Chitwan where you are a guest of the wild nature and when with great surprise you find yourself face to face with a one-horned rhino or so close to a crocodile. Where you can ride an elephant and listen to the sounds of the birds while crossing the river in a wooden canoe, in the sweet orange lights of a sunrise up to the snowy Annapurna mountains in Poon Hill warming up your body and mind in the early morning. And this is when you realize that going out of your "comfort-zone" has been a great choice and turns to be a marvelous discovery.

How did this program impact you?

Being in Nepal for two weeks changed my perception of poverty and richness. Coming from an European country and having the opportunity to travel made me think on how lucky I was to be there. People asked me questions and I had the chance to ask them about their culture and lived with and as locals. They treated me as one of them while I was their guest. It felt like home, even if far away.

Richness is not money or objects you own. Richness is experience and happiness. And I feel richer now that I have known this country and met its people, that I have learnt its culture and seen beautiful places, from the bustling capital city, down to the wild jungle and up to peaceful Annapurna Range of the Himalayan mountain chain.