Globetrotter Scott Rains is off to Nepal, where he will be doing what he loves best: experiencing all the world has to offer first hand while simultaneously inviting that world to become more accessible and inviting for people with disabilities.
“The goal is that I will train workers at every stop I make so that my host Pankaj Pradhananga of Four Season Travel & Tours in Kathmandu can better serve travelers with disabilities in the future,” he says. “Oh yes, and another goal is to have fun!”
Pradhananga’s group has four major packages showcased on its website: Experiential Nepal, for those most interested in learning about the culture and ethnic regions (this is the one I’d choose); Beginners Nepal, which introduce travelers to the three distinct and culturally important areas, Glimpse of Kathmandu Valley, which focuses on the capital city and surrounding area; and Kathmandu — a Short Break, for those who don’t have time to take a long vacation.
Rains has created a travelogue so we can tour vicariously along with him. And given his ability to meld the business of creating universal design — think wheelchair accessibility and beyond — with all the usual stuff you think of when you think of trips to exotic destinations like Kathmandu, his site will be bookmark-worthy.
I hope Rains takes lots and lots of photos. Nepal is a beautiful land that is home to eight of the world’s tallest 10 mountains, including Mount Everest. And yet it also boasts tropical savannas and Himalayan subtropical. Plus, as the birthplace of Buddha, it is home to majestic stupas and monasteries tucked into impossibly steep mountain passages.
One thing is sure — based on his past successes in places as far-flung as South Africa and Brazil, once Rains is back home in San Jose, Calif., he’ll have left behind a much more welcoming and accessible Nepal.