Coming into this trip I felt I had a firm grasp on what I was going to experience - scenic nature, rewarding volunteer work, and many hours of personal reflection. Although I did experience these things (and many more), the true depth of these experiences far out weighted my expectations and any photo/video that Give Volunteers could post on their website.
I consider myself ambitious, but I was still quite nervous as this trip was going to be my first introduction to international travel. Of course, the great logistical work of the team in Nepal was relieving, but what truly made me feel comfortable halfway around the world was the people. Our lead guide Amy was the perfect leader to stimulate friendships among 17 strangers, yet her touch was slight as our relationships formed naturally. Not to spoil the ending, but these 17 strangers became some of my best friends following the trip and we have already planned some trips for the future.
If there was one thing I would urge you to do if you are nervous about taking the leap and signing up for a Give trip is to simply talk to a past volunteer or team member. The people affiliated with Give, myself included, are addicted to the organization and cannot stop talking and posting about how awesome their experiences have been with Give. As we concluded our Nepal trip and discussed the trip, there was one quote that consistently was spoken by my fellow volunteers: "this was my first trip, but definitely not my last".
But there are a ton of Give trips, WHY NEPAL you may ask, so let's dive into it. First off, Nepal was recently (2015) devastated by an earthquake, and you are first-hand bringing the community you are working in out of the depths of despair from this horrifying earthquake. To make matters worse, the Nepali government threatens to blacklist citizens who do not meet the deadline for rebuilding their home. Thus, you are essentially racing against the clock to save Nepali citizens from this horrifying notion of a blacklist. It's quite easy to see your progress physically, but what was much more impactful was when the chief of the village gave a speech thanking us volunteers and concluded with tears in his eyes. You are truly making a difference on this trip. Paired with rewarding volunteer work, the fun activities outside of the volunteering are amazing too. From exploring one of the largest caves in Asia to white water rafting, the activities are perfectly planned to not only showcase the beauty of Nepal but to also build the already strong friendships between the volunteers.
What I am trying to say is Nepal is so awesome!! I cannot recommend it enough for anyone who wants to make a difference, travel abroad, or find a new family in Give. I am confident in saying it is going to change your life in every way possible.