Nepal: One Year Later

Grandmother and young girl in Nepal with GeoEx

One year after the devastating 7.8 earthquake hit Nepal, the people of this small country have finally returned to the normal rhythms of life. Throughout the country, most of the ancient temples have been restored, roads and trails have been repaired, and tourists are now able to visit. Nepalese families, however, are still struggling to rebuild their homes and communities. Local communities have not received all the help they need due to a slow bureaucratic process. The government established the National Reconstruction Authority, but it has only recently been staffed and although it has agreed to provide grants and loans to eligible victims of the earthquake, funds have not been distributed. People have mainly been relying on NGOs for aid in their recovery. GeoEx believes that one of the benefits of tourism is supporting local economies, and sending travelers to Nepal puts money into the economy through the payment of local guides, restaurants, hotels, etcetera....

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Into the Fjord

National Flag of Norway with GeoEx

Note: Lonely Planet’s new anthology Better Than Fiction 2 is a compelling collection of true travel stories written by acclaimed fiction writers. We are pleased to excerpt the story below, by Rebecca Dinerstein, about the serendipities that sometimes grace our journeys. Dinerstein studied English at Yale, and upon graduating received the Frederick Mortimer Clapp Fellowship, a yearlong poetry grant. She spent the year in the Norwegian Arctic, writing and learning Norwegian. In 2012 her first collection of poems, Lofoten, was published by Aschehoug in a bilingual English-Norwegian edition. Her debut novel, The Sunlit Night, was published in 2015 to praise from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Booklist, Library Journal, the Huffington Post, The Forward, Bustle, ELLE, and others. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from NYU and lives in Brooklyn. I showed up in Oslo with a suitcase and the name of one man. Arnulf Egeland, I’d been told,...

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Italian Education

Italian Education in Perugia Italy with GeoEx

Note: Lonely Planet’s new anthology Better Than Fiction 2 is a compelling collection of true travel stories written by acclaimed fiction writers. We are pleased to excerpt the story below, by Karen Joy Fowler, recalling an especially memorable youthful adventure abroad—an adventure that captures travel’s unexpected detours and delights. Fowler has written literary, historical, and science fiction books. She’s published three collections of short stories, most recently What I Didn’t See. Her novels include Sarah Canary and The Jane Austen Book Club. Her most recent novel, We Are Completely Beside Ourselves, won the 2013 PEN/Faulkner Award and the California Book Award, and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. She lives in Santa Cruz, California. In 1966, when I was sixteen years old, I went on a trip to Italy. This was my first trip to much of anywhere without my parents. It was billed as...

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33 Years of Trekking Around Everest

View of Mount Everest from inside a tent with GeoEx

As he gears up to lead another expedition to Mount Everest, our longtime leader and veteran trekking guide Vassi Koutsaftis—who has led adventurous folks to all three Everest Base Camps and, as far as we know, is the only Westerner to have been to the Kangshung Face of Everest (the east face from Tibet) ten times—to reflect on his trekking experiences around the fabled mountain. I remember the first time I saw Everest. It was February of 1983. I was trekking to the Nepalese Base Camp, seeing some of the world’s most impressive peaks, when suddenly the whole of Mount Everest appeared. The other peaks seemed like midgets in comparison. I couldn’t believe the size of...

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Into the Canyon

View of the Grand Canyon with GeoEx

Note: Lonely Planet’s new anthology Better Than Fiction 2 is a compelling collection of true travel stories written by acclaimed fiction writers. We are pleased to excerpt the story below, by Sophie Cunningham, about the power of nature to surprise and transform us.  Cunningham has been on the publishing scene in Australia for thirty years. She is a former publisher and editor as well as the author of two novels, Geography and Bird, and two books of non-fiction, Melbourne and Warning: The Story of Cyclone Tracy. She has traveled widely and her writing about those travels has been published in a range of anthologies, magazines, and newspapers. Her hometown is Melbourne, Australia, but she currently lives in San Francisco, California. When I was nineteen, a backpacker, and in Paris, many years ago, I looked out a train window and saw the Eiffel Tower. I’d forgotten about the tower’s...

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Don George, Editor

Don George is Editor in Chief of Wanderlust: Literary Journeys for the Discerning Traveler. He has been Travel Editor for Salon.com and the San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle, as well as Global Travel Editor for Lonely Planet Publications. Don is the author of "The Way of Wanderlust: The Best Travel Writing of Don George" and of "Lonely Planet's Guide to Travel Writing." He has also edited eleven anthologies, including A Moveable Feast, The Kindness of Strangers, and An Innocent Abroad. E-mail him at [email protected].

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