No Barriers Pioneers – Explore Nepal
An Expedition Unlike Any Other
At No Barriers Youth we recognize that we all face challenges. But it is our reaction to those challenges and our ability to overcome those preconceived notions rather than the obstacles themselves that define us.
On this two-week expedition to Nepal, in the remote Mustang region high on the Tibetan plateau, students with diverse abilities and physical challenges, as well as youth struggling to excel beyond their various perceived barriers, will explore and grow together as a team.
Our time in Nepal will be filled with challenging but manageable day hikes within the most magnificent mountain range in the world, visits to stunning cultural sites, meaningful connection with Nepali youth, lessons about the vital work of several local NGOs and, most important, daily opportunities for facilitated reflection about barriers and strategies for harnessing adversity to give our best back to the world.
We will be traveling with a diverse group of students who are curious about exploring the world around them, who are willing to examine their barriers, and who are interested in using this unique educational adventure as a platform for social change.
All No Barriers expeditions include three essential parts: Thoughtful Preparation, Transformative Expeditions, and Meaningful Return. Thoughtful preparation occurs before the trip and is the foundation on which the transformative expedition stands. It gives students vital context, allowing them to experience the expedition more fully and come prepared to travel. Pre-program conference calls are important to prepare for the amazing program that is to follow.
During the Transformative Expedition to Nepal, the preparatory learning comes to life! Here students will explore, discover, learn and grow, all while honing their interests and passions so that they can give their best back to the world. This is the phase of the program where they get pushed out of their comfort zone, persevere through challenges, and see the No Barriers Life Elements in action in themselves and the world around them.
It is the unique combination of people, activities and “magic” that makes an expedition truly transformative. Though it is not a science, we believe there are a few key components.
On the expedition youth will:
- • Explore what it means to be a leader among their peers
- • Develop a sense of purpose and confidence
- • Grow and innovate through challenges and personal barriers
During the last part of the program, Meaningful Return, we ask students to take what impacted them on the expedition and translate it into meaningful action at home. During the expedition, they will think about and plan for the change they would like to make in their own communities.
In many regards, this final phase can be the most important of the No Barriers program. Participants return home and are faced with the questions, “So now what?” “How did this experience impact me and what am I going to do about it?” In this final part of the program, we ask everyone to reflect on their experience and engage with their local and global community to help create positive and sustainable change.
Participants willing to expand their comfort zones and break through barriers will be guided by four truly inspirational No Barriers Ambassadors:
Erik Weihenmayer – The first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest, Erik has climbed all Seven Summits, kayaked the Grand Canyon, and received a double major from Boston College. Through these inspirational expeditions and personal exploits he helped co-found not merely an organization, but a movement called No Barriers. Erik is also a co-founder and current board member of No Barriers USA.
Bill Barkeley – An inspirational adventurer, Bill was the first deaf-blind individual to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. He’s completed the Boston Marathon, twice, and hiked the Camino de Santiago from France to the tip of Spain. Bill is a motivational speaker who focuses on building a life without limits and is also a current board member of No Barriers USA.
Mandy Harvey – Mandy is an award winning singer, songwriter and has three albums to her name despite the fact that she’s deaf. Recently she inspired millions with her rise to stardom on America’s Got Talent. As a motivational speaker Mandy shares her challenges while living the No Barriers spirit and demonstrating the courage to achieve the impossible.
Gretchen Evans – Gretchen Evans served 27 years in the US Army earning a bronze star and rising to the rank of Command Sergeant Major. During her service, Gretchen survived a rocket blast which left her with hearing loss and a traumatic brain injury. Despite her injuries, Gretchen serves others as a passionate volunteer. She also achieved her No Barriers goal by finishing her book, “Leading from the Front.”
Expedition Details & Highlights
- Expedition dates are June 3 – 17, 2018
- Expedition open to youth ages 15-19 at the time of the expedition
- Students with physical barriers and students with invisible or non-physical barriers are strongly encouraged to participate
- The journey begins in the thriving city of Kathmandu
- Travel to the trekking capital of Pokhara and onto the remote region of Mustang
- Experience all types of travel from fixed wing aircrafts to jeeps to horseback and more!
- Participate in cultural exchange activities
- Be immersed in local communities and learn about sustainable development
- Soak up the art, history, and culture of this fascinating destination
- Much, much more!