Boudhanath Prayer Flags - On Halloween Night...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Families Inspiring Families

Yesterday we had to find the new obscure Immigration Office to extend Karen's visa... We stood in lines, filled out forms, stapled photos, etc. While milling about the lobby, we noticed an Australian family with 2 young girls also filling out forms... and they had a copy of LOTR "Fellowship of the Rings" on the table. "Hey are you girls reading that? It's one of our favorite books," we asked...

It turns out that they are reading LOTR as a family each night (just like we did 2 years ago), and they just finished hiking the Annapurna Circuit last week!!! "Wow, that's awesome!!! We hiked the AC last year with OUR girls!" "Really?,"asked John (their dad), "did your family have a blog?" Yes.... "And are your girls 2 blondes and a redhead?" YES???? "Oh right, your blog really helped us over the Pass! People thought we were crazy to bring the kids, but we read your blog a few times and felt much more confident and relaxed about doing this trek..."

What great coincidence to meet the fun and wonderful Vazey family, here in Kathmandu on a random Tuesday in the crowded Immigration office, and what a treat to hear that our adventure helped to inspire theirs. We, in turn, have been so inspired and encouraged by other families and friends over the years. It is fantastic to know their are tons of people out there, sharing this wonderful world with their kids! That's what the planet needs... more good stewards, respectful travelers, active adventurers, and curious cultural ambassadors. Teach the children well!


  1. Dear Amstutz Family,

    We enjoyed reading a few entries of your blog. Forgive the email but we're in desperate need of advice on whether or not we should consider visiting Nepal with our children. We are a family of 6 (4 children ages 11 to 3) living in the Middle East wanting to visit Nepal for Spring Break which is end of March, first of April. High on our list is Chitwan to see the animals for a few days but we would also like to get out and take some nice easy hikes around Pokhura. Our main concern is with our 3 year old. Too young for a trip like this? We have about 8 days, it's always been a dream of mine to visit Nepal but first and foremost I want to make sure I'm being a good parent and protecting our children. Any advice you can give us would be so appreciated! Thanks so much for your time.

    Quinton in Abu Dhabi.

  2. Namaste Paul & Karen,
    How fun to find you here, while flying around on Thorntree. I do believe last time i saw you (i won't think about the very last time, but the second to last time) was Dave Hershman, when we listened to your talk at REI Berkeley, about your bike trip to Australia!! Brooke and Hugh here and we are excited about our return to Nepal this coming December, with our three kids. This is a first hello to you but would love to get in real touch to catch up and of course pick your brains. Really wonderful to see your blog. i devoured it. Please contact me when you have a minute.
    Brooke (in Oakland)


    Sorry I didn't reply sooner, as I've just updated my blog settings.

    My advice is GO TO NEPAL!!!! Of course you need to take a few extra precautions for your 3 year old, but nothing you wouldn't do on most overseas trips... and you live overseas already!

    We brought our oldest on a trek (Langtang) when she was 1.5 yrs., carried much of the time in our Kelty kid-backpacker pack. We washed hands frequently, bought a hydration system with "sucky hose" for her to stay hydrated, and made sure she had quality layers for warmth , sunglasses, etc. We truly had the BEST trip of our well-traveled lives up to that point, because having a child with us made us SO different from the "average" tourist/trekker. We were a family... that is something the Nepalis in the hills identify with, and we were invited into homes constantly because of our little blond "baby" in the backpack.

    Some say, "oh they won't remember it... they're too young... I'll wait to travel until my kids are older."

    DON'T WAIT!!! When they're older, they'll have so many more committments; soccer, volleyball, violin, piano, deeper friendships, boyfriends & girlfriends, a more difficult academic load, etc. Take 'em when they're young... also, they can't really say "no" when they're little! You just take them! They may not truly 'remember' everything, but if you replay the photos and videos over and over, those images will become part of their treasured childhood memory of "the amazing trip Mom and Dad took me on when I was a kid."

  4. To: BROOKE!
    So great to hear from you again! Glad we finally got in touch by phone... If you need any other Nepal advice you know who to call...