One piece of advice I would give is to bring more pictures from home because homesickness is a real thing and can get pretty intense some times. Also, my host family was very interested in my life in America, so I wish I had more pictures to show them.
Another piece of advice is to go in with a positive mindset always and remind yourself of the opportunity the universe has given you to experience something as epic as traveling.
The average day is eating breakfast with the group, waking up early and ready to start the day, incredible views (always), learning, trying something new, hiking, playing soccer, talking to the guides, leaders, locals, group members, learning the language, trying new food, feeling tried, climbing stairs. That is usually all in one day.
A week consists of everything stated above, along with bridges, monkeys, temples, tea houses and leaches!
My biggest fear was getting some type of disease or getting sick from food or water. How I overcame my fear was telling myself that, if it happens, it happens, and there’s nothing I can do about it other then to keep moving forward. Everyone gets sick; it’s only natural and normal, especially for being a new traveler. And my fear of disease faded because I was so distracted by everything else going on around me during the trip.
Eventually, I wasn’t afraid of much by the end. It was more so, in the beginning, I felt more anxious because I did not know what to expect. I think the only thing that actually bothered me was my homesickness because, by the end of the trip, sickness never came across my mind.
On the physical preparation part, stair climbing and going up as many steps as possible is a great way to start. During the trek, we climbed thousands of very steep steps and I was not prepared for the amount of stair climbing. Running and stair climbing will help a lot.
On the mental behalf, going into the trip with a positive mindset and finding the joy in the little things. For example, the way the clouds paint the skies in the morning makes the trees look so green and the peaks look so beautiful. Finding the good in every situation and the fact that some things happen for a reason and to the ride the wave of the emotion you feel.
One of my favorite memories from the trip is when I was eating dinner (dal bhat) with my host family and I was watching the sun go down and all the houses in the valley light up. There were very few houses, but the feeling was amazing and I felt so content - just sitting on the porch with my Nepali family enjoying a sunset and being in the moment.