An Evening With Wanda Vivequin

Saturday in office means facing very few people in a calm environment. A few cups of tea in the nearby teashop are must because guffs with colleagues like Deepak are enjoyable. No hustling and bustling in the newsroom. All calm and quiet. Okay, what did I do today? Nothing special in the afternoon but the evening was great as I spent hours with an amazing Canadian lady in Thamel. Wanda Vivequin is a travel guide and writer whom I found very much in love with Nepal.

Some people work for passion and fun not just money. Wanda is one of them. She is more worried about Nepal’s unorganized and mismanaged travel and tourism industry. She told me a few stories about how Nepal can benefit by opening up new places and controlling the number of trekkers in certain areas. It’s all about management. As she is a travel writer for websites, newspapers, famed Lonely Planet guide books, she was interested to know more about Nepali society. I tried to give her my perspective.

I always love talking to new people and especially those who are not arrogant and eager to learn something new. I myself find learning new things in each and every new encounter. Meeting new people and traveling to new places are same. You learn about people and places and societies. The best thing that I liked about her (well, there are many things still let me single out one) is her confidence over herself and her passion to adventure. She doesn’t like western media exaggerating security situation in Nepal and I agreed with her that recent reports in New York Times or National Geographic tell one-sided story of Nepali society.

Kathmandu is a city that is growing and growing. It is not unusual for it to have problems that other big cities also have. We both agreed upon that. Wanda added: “They (western media) don’t report about general crimes in big western cities but make big headlines about, for example, a foreigner missing in Kathmandu. That’s unfair to Kathmandu.”

It is really good to know people like Wanda who are bringing tourists in Nepal and contributing to our economy in many ways.