The 7 Mantras of Travel

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One of the things we review as a group before setting off on a journey together are the 7 mantras of travel. Some may call these mantras “rules” or “expectations,” but they are offered more as an opportunity for personal reflection. The goal is to have each person enjoy the journey, experience something new and meaningful, while finding out something about themselves along the way.

Yet these 7 mantras aren’t just for the days when we set foot on Earth that is new. Each step we take through our daily routines is also an opportunity to see and experience something new. We travel each day to work, to run errands, or have a family meal together.

If we approach each journey in life, whether to a summit or just down the street, these mantras can help every one of us find the perfect moments of life that are just waiting for us right now. [Read more…]

6 Things You Must Know if You Are a First Time Trekker In Nepal

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Nepal.

One might consider themselves a trekker and accomplished many great things, but paying pilgrimage with a trek to Nepal changes everything. Many think of Mount Everest when they think of Nepal, but it is home to 8 of the tallest peaks in the world. There are numerous summits in the world that can provide you with an awesome view, but the Himalayas inspire awe on their own.

Since that is something which is virtually impossible to put into words, I thought I’d put together a list of the lessons I learned from my recent trek pilgrimage to Nepal. That way, when you plan your first-time trek in Nepal, you’ll be ready for some of the experiences you may encounter. [Read more…]

6 Lessons We Learnt from the Annapurna Base Camp Trek

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One of the most popular treks in the Himalayas is the Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) trek. Very few journeys offer such a wide variety of challenges and landscapes. You’ll find high altitudes, rhododendron forests, and rice paddies along the way. It is unique, spectacular, and something that changes your perspective about life itself.

Our group put together some of the personal lessons learnt while trekking ABC. Although we all had our own reasons for embarking on this adventure, ABC brought us together.  [Read more…]

The Trek of Hope – Philippines 2016

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This is the third year I have visited the Philippines representing Trek For Hope, and in many ways it still feels like every step I take is a first footstep. Every year I feel like we get closer to the goal of providing a hand up to all those who need it, yet so many find themselves in circumstances which many would consider to be unfathomable.

We do this not to bring glory to ourselves, but to give glory for the hopes, efforts, and daily striving of the people we were so privileged to serve. As with every trip like this, my heart has been changed in numerous ways.

Here is our 2016 journey.  Come join us. [Read more…]

Trek For Hope, Philippines 2016 – sharing by the Kwok sisters

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By Samatha Kwok, 12

To be honest, this climbing mountains trip was pretty fun; I made new friends like Aunt Bew, aunt Lay Hoon, brother Peter and sister Lydia, Even the 笨笨 trio who made jokes and uncle Mike sim who taught us to improve our brains took extremely good care of my sister and me.

The climbing part taught me to persevere and to work hard in order to achieve our dreams and………. most importantly, believing in ourselves.

After at that, if there was one thing I will have to learnt which meant the most to me, it was ‘ gratefulness ‘. I am 12 and I don’t really fully understand the true meaning behind this word. I learnt it after our trip to smoky mountains, it’s not just a word in fact it’s the actions we do, thee feelings we feel and the thoughts we think.

Their thoughts every day is to worry what they are going to eat? How they are going to bathe and how do we get water to drink. Most of the people in Singapore take things for granted as we have money, but can money buy everything? Happiness?  love? [Read more…]

Hiking at Doi Luang Chiang Dao – A Pictorial Journey

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One of the oldest and most important of the protective spirits in Chiang Mai is a being known as Phor Luang Kam Daeng. It is widely believed that he dwells in the Chiang Dao Mountain, along with his spirit-wife, Nang In Lao. Largely by virtue of the marriage to his indigenous partner, the Lanna people believe him to be Lord of the Spirits of the region. His name always invoked first in local ceremonies.

Stories about his human existence, when he was a prince of Payao, are found in the famous local chronicles: the dumnarn and pongsawadan. According to these written and oral sources, the young ruler made the pledge to capture an elusive deer, but was exiled because he failed to do so. Having continued to follow the deer, he eventually reached Chiang Dao, where it turned into a bewitching beauty with whom he fell in love. Not realising how he had been beguiled, Phor Luang Kam Daeng later continued on the trail of the deer down to where Chiang Mai now stands, following the advice of a reusi, or hermit, there that this was a particularly auspicious location for settlement. [Read more…]

Trek For Hope: The Little Trees of Light in Chiang Mai

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Christmas is a time of joy today, but it did not start that way. The story of Christmas is birthed out of a tale of desperation. A journey which began over 2,000 years ago is one we are still struggling to apply in our own unique way to this day. Even those who attempt to change the world for the better face the issue of criticism.

It is simply impossible to please everyone in this world all of the time. Even when you give your utmost to the cause, there will be a voice from the crowd who demands you to give even more. This can cause one to doubt themselves, doubt their actions, and even doubt their personal faith.

The holiday season has meaning for all. It is one of the few moments in time when humanity truly becomes one even though we each celebrate the holidays in our own unique way.

This was my goal for Trek For Hope this year: to extend this holiday oneness beyond just a few weeks out of the year. [Read more…]

Light Up a Smile at Light For Kids Foundation, Chiang Mai

386950_426754754038003_911334530_nNipon Chaocharernpon spent some of his childhood in an orphanage and always felt called to help children in a similar situation as he grew up and eventually had a family of his own. The four different orphanages he previously helped started, have provided education to children whom society might leave behind otherwise. Sometimes there wasn’t any financial support to begin a program, but that didn’t stop Chaocharernpon.

Light For Kids does more than just providing children with shelter from the elements. Every aspect of their well-being is addressed at this facility so that every child has the chance to grow up and choose to make a difference. This includes spiritual education where children can begin to embrace who they are on the inside as they develop the life skills they will need to make an impact in their adult years. [Read more…]

Through the Valley – Nikki’s Place, Agape Home for HIV/AIDS Children in Chiang Mai

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A Heart Full of Love for Children in Chang Mai

Compassion comes in different shapes and sizes. Some people are able to donate money to a good cause. Others feel led to provide helping hands. Some choose to make a one-time donation and others dedicate their entire life to the cause. At Nikki’s Place, everyone comes together to help mothers and their children who have been diagnosed with HIV be able to find a new life.

Our recent visit gave us a glimpse of how Nikki’s Place serves Chang Mai. The organization was founded in 1996 to help meet the needs of local children who were impacted by the devastating AIDS virus. Many of the children who are served have already been orphaned because of this virus and have nowhere else to go. [Read more…]

Broga Hill with the Family by Nicolas Chan

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By Nicolas Chan, 11

It was a Saturday afternoon. I was in the study room, solving Math problem sums with my mum. However, my mind was not focused on solving those sums. Instead, it was focused on the adventure that awaits me later in the evening.

I was going to Broga Hill with 30 other fellow mates. My father was the host of this trip. After what seemed like an eternity, everyone finally gathered at Causeway Point,  waiting for the coach to arrive. We took a group photo and hopped onto the coach. [Read more…]