“Chasing angels or fleeing demons, go to the mountains.” – Jeffrey Rasley.
In 1998 John Wood was an upcoming executive at Microsoft. In the frantic pace of his corporate life, he finally managed to get a break for a much awaited holiday after years. He simply chose to get closer to nature in the Himalayas.
As he was all set to enjoy Annapurna Trekking, his love for kids and passion for experiential travel drove him to visit a local school en route. He was amazed by the warmth and enthusiasm of the students and teachers, but his heart sank when he failed to see books for the kids in the school. He was disheartened by the fact that the children did not have access to storybooks to support their learning and even though the headmaster wanted the children to read; they simply did not have enough resources.
At the end of his trekking holiday in Nepal, he could not resist emailing to all in his network asking to donate books. After a few months, he was back to the very same village in Nepal but this time his backpack was filled with books for the local kids. The experience of bringing smiles in the faces of young kids was so profound that John found a new sense of purpose in life. He knew that he could not make his boss any richer as Bill Gates was already the richest man on the planet, but John was confident that he could turn the world richer by sharing quality education to every child regardless of where they were born.
His trekking trip to Nepal paved the way for John to quit his senior executive position with Microsoft and built a global team to start Room to Read. Room to Read has brought about profound change with a gift of education to over 18 million children in 16 countries and counting.
This is one of my favorite stories that I never get tired of sharing with the travelers to Nepal. My objective of sharing this story with the travelers is simply to make everyone understand that one can do more than just travelling to a destination.
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away – David Viscott.
Needless to say, John Wood turned his trip to Nepal as an opportunity to find his gift and give it away to millions. However, John is not the only one who has discovered the meaning and purpose of life. Maggie Doyne, Olga Murray, Col. Jimmy Roberts and Edmund Hillary are a few eminent names in the list.
After an unprecedented recess in the tourism industry because of pandemics, Nepal opened its door for a special expedition to scale Mt. Lobuche and Mt. Manaslu led by Prince of Bahrain, Mohamed Al Khalifa in September 2020. Nepal is opening up the destination for the world and it is expected that further relaxation for International travellers will take place from the 17tth October. Nepal is ideal for post pandemic travel with wide-open outdoor spaces offering natural, cultural & spiritual experiences. The world encourages sustainable tourism with a message to do more than just travel. To be respectful to nature and locals alike, of course promoting safe and responsible tourism for all.
What started as a trekking holiday in Nepal for John Wood became a spiritual journey and a mission to establish Room to Read. Who knows you might find the purpose of your life in your next holiday giving birth to a new initiative that will change the world for the better!