I joined GVN in 2012 for their Everest Base Camp trek to support VSN in Nepal who are helping disabled, orphaned, and disadvantaged kids. I had no idea what I was getting myself into but my volunteer coordinators, Fiona & Eliza, have made the paperwork and planning very smooth. I had gotten a program planning guide and a look at the day-to-day itinerary. I was also given a report on my fundraising efforts every Monday so I knew exactly how much more I needed to meet my goal. New to backpacking? No problem! They give you a list of the items you need to get and some of the old timers will give you pointers on your group Facebook page. It was very nice to know the people you were trekking with beforehand through Facebook. It was also a place to share ideas and inspirational quotes. I posted a quote by Sir Edmund Hillary, who along with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, were the first to ever summit Mt. Everest in 1953 on this very day---May 29. Sir Edmund Hillary said, "It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." This trek is as much as helping others and also stepping out of your comfort zone---where the magic happens. You will meet extraordinary group of people who have real goodness in their hearts. You will be led by guides who are expert in what they do and who will make you laugh and sing Resham Firiri (a Nepalese folksong). You will eat a lot of potatoes, you will see a lot of yaks, you will see a lot of children along the way that will warm your heart and keep you going and remind you why you're doing this to begin with.
You will get sick from the altitude (but they will take good care of you). You will smell because showers will become a thing of the past especially once you're up in the higher towns like Gorakshep. You will have your breath taken away not only by the steep trails but also by the majestic mountains that will soar all around you. The Nepalese flying flags will reflect how you feel inside. Free like the wind. And make sure you wake up for the climb to Kala Pattar. DO NOT miss this climb. For there you will witness the most beautiful sunrise.... The sun rising over Mt. Everest and the roof of the world.
If you want to be happy for the rest of your life.... help others. I know I am. =)