First Impressions of Nepal

First Impressions of Nepal

My hotel room goes black as the loud rumbling from a backup generator outside my window suddenly stops. Still not acquainted with this new room as of one hour ago, I stumble around looking for my laptop, my only source of light besides the unlit candle in the bathroom on the other side of the room. I should have packed my headlamp. It is evident how unprepared I am for this country.

I open my laptop to finish getting ready for bed while trying not to wake my sleeping roommate.


First Impressions of Nepal


First Impressions of Nepal


The first few hours I’ve spent in Nepal have been eventful. As soon as we arrive from the airport, my roommate suggests I take a shower tonight rather than wait till morning when it’s likely we will have no running water.

After 36 plus hours of traveling from San Diego to Nepal, a shower should be pretty relaxing, right?

Wrong. My aching muscles suddenly begin to hate me even more as I step into the curtain-less shower and get my first taste of what the next 5 minutes of my life will entail.

As soon as the ice cold water hits my body, I do my best to keep from letting out a scream. I no longer care about using the correct bottles of soap I brought. Shampoo becomes body wash and face wash in addition to hair wash.

As I dry off my shivering body, somehow the flicker of the candle lighting the bathroom calms me and I remind myself that the people of Nepal live like this every day. I will only have to endure lack of electricity and running water for two weeks, but others have become accustomed to it.

First Impressions of Nepal


Traveling always has a way of making me thankful for everything I have. Besides the comforts of home, I’m thankful for the bed I will be sleeping in tonight after a long journey of planes and layovers. I’m also thankful the loud generator outside my window has stopped running since I can’t seem to find my earplugs.

“Good night, Nepal. I’m sure you will be full of many more surprises.”



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  1. I loved this post. I totally get what you’re saying. Damn the water is cold and I have no light, but hey – a solid reminder of all we take for granted. Can’t wait to read what else Nepal had in store for you!

    I’m sure by the next day, you had a light and earplugs placed somewhere you could find immediately, right?

  2. Christy @ Ordinary Traveler says:

    @Randy – I was soooo looking forward to a hot shower, but at least I got clean. That’s all that matters, right? 🙂

    @Anita – Thank you, Anita! I did find my ear plugs the next day, but I managed to completely forget my headlamp! I was a horrible packer this trip!

  3. Oh no, a first night like this really makes you worried about what’s in store for you. Looking forward to hearing more about your adventures.

  4. Quite an interesting experience. I am sure there will be many more surprises in Nepal other than a cold shower. Hopefully, those will be more pleasant ones! 🙂

  5. adventureswithben says:

    I’ve heard that Nepal is working on making it’s mark in tourism. Sounds like they have some more work to do.

  6. Michael Figueiredo says:

    I love your narrative style with this post….I can’t wait to see what happens next! Nepal will be amazing!

  7. sheril benedict says:

    Nepal is an emerging tourists destination but they have lots of adventure spots,Wildlife safaris

  8. Raymond @ Man On The Lam says:

    I have ALWAYS wanted to visit Nepal! Very jealous. (Not of the cold water though…)

  9. David @ Malaysia Asia says:

    Very nice intro to your experience in Nepal. About the cold shower… welcome to Asia. I love hitting the cold showers first thing in the morning. Wakes me up good. Seems like you’re in for an exciting time there!

  10. Nothing quite like a good cold shower is there? Wonderful! Character building!!

    Seriously, be careful the next time your roommate has a “helpful” suggestion…

  11. Scott - Ordinary Traveler says:

    @robin – what Christy didn’t know is that our hot water heater broke while she was away. Our landlord temporarily fixed it while she was away, but a couple of days after she returned she was taking cold showers all over again. LOL!

  12. Every time I run into “no hot water” it’s a huge reminder of how lucky we are in the West. Even here in Korea I’ve lived in places where having hot water a couple of hours a day was a luxury.

    Looking forward to hearing more about Nepal.
    Welcome back.

  13. Love the way you write in this post, and at least you got a shower then no shower. ; ) Great post.

  14. Christy @ Ordinary Traveler says:

    @Laurel – Haha. You have no idea. 😉

    @Jeremy – This was definitely not the end of the surprises. Only a strong beginning.

    @AdventuresWithBen – I think you are right!

    @Raymond – I hope you make it there soon! It was also a huge dream of mine.

    @Michael – Thank you!

    @Robin – Haha! Seriously, huh!?

    @David – I wish I could enjoy cold showers. I’m such a wussy.

    @Nancie – Thanks, Nancie. It’s good to be home. 🙂

    @Sarah – Thank you for your kind words!

  15. The Dropout says:

    Oh, I just love Nepal. The cold showers, squat toilets and dodgy roads make it even more wonderful!
    I am looking forward to hearing more about your visit. I hope to make it back there soon.

  16. VEry exciting! I’m with you on the showers- cold one make my bones shake! Have fun, can’t wait to hear all about it!

  17. Really great story telling here. I could picture the whole scene and almost feel like shivering picturing that shower. It is funny how much we forget to appreciate such simple things like hot showers until we travel and we don’t always have those constants in our lives.

  18. Christy @ Ordinary Traveler says:

    Suzy Ayngelina – Thanks! I’m glad you could get a sense of what I was feeling at the moment.

  19. Lauren Fritsky says:

    I felt the cold water as I read the part about the shower. Vivid post.

  20. Annie @ Wayward Traveller says:

    Wow what a great post! I feel like many people wouldn’t have turned this into a lesson like you did but instead would be bitter about the conditions for the rest of the trip and possibly even come away never wanting to go back!

    As much as they can be hard to deal with for someone accustomed to things like warm water and electricity, they are small things to deal with in the scheme of things!

  21. travelingted says:

    Sounds like an exciting beginning. Cold showers are better than no shower, but after 36 hours on the road a warm shower would have been nice to say the least.

  22. Christy @ Ordinary Traveler says:

    @Nepali – I’m glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂

  23. santafetraveler says:

    Great piece. Buy a flashlight!

  24. Christy @ Ordinary Traveler says:

    @Santa Fe Travelers – I ended up borrowing one, so it was all good.

  25. Viveck Trivedi says:

    i do india  nepal tours and if you go to good hotels you wont face the same problems yes if you are in budget hotels there are some in thamil area you will get everything to travel in nepal search good hotels in advance and then stay in good shape with hot water, or ask me i will sugest you if you go without asking any one experienced person in india and nepal you will have many problems

    1. Thanks Viveck! We’ll have to ask your advice next time.

  26. This line “I remind myself that the people of Nepal live like this every day. I will only have to endure lack of electricity and running water for two weeks, but others have become accustomed to it.” quite touched me.

    Being a Nepali and now living abroad- I can clearly feel the difference in the way of life. I am afraid how I could accustom myself to that chaos again! 🙁

    But again, being a student of Development Economics, I have a strong urge to do something for the country. Have been thinking a lot about it rather than just making wishes.

    Thanks for taking me back to reality 🙂

  27. Ayngelina says:

    Great story Christy, I can just imagine how cold that shower was.

  28. How exciting! Yeah, a hot shower would have been really nice. Can’t wait to read and see more of your trip!