Sampling mountain views has helped some Border children see their own world more clearly.
Killara couple Mel and Anthony Nicholson have returned from a month-long trip to Nepal with their children Liam, 11, Mali, 9, and Isla, 6, and nephew Brendan, 16.
The expedition included 17 days completing the Gokyo Ri Trek at an altitude of about 5336 metres.
“We trekked anywhere from five to seven hours a day, including on Christmas day,” Mrs Nicholson said.
An expedition leader with World Challenge, Mrs Nicholson is not new to adventure and her family have always hiked but Brendan was out of his comfort zone.
“Completely, there’s nothing you can really compare it to,” he said. “The sky was blue but it got to minus 20 at points.”
As well as the Nicholsons, the party of 18 included another family of relatives, a guide, porters and people to carry the youngest children – not just Isla, but cousins aged three and seven – in baskets as needed.
“We all tried to get in on that,” Mr Nicholson laughed.
But he said overall morale remained quite high, even during the long day coming down from the summit.
“We still had three hours’ walking to our camp site and by the time we got in it was dark and we were singing and playing games,” he said.
Mali wrote in her journal that day about the value of trekking slowly but surely.
Brendan said he struggled at times but knew he had to keep pushing.
“Even when you’re down, you got to help other people out, make sure they keep going,” he said.
The children went without technology during their month away and, as Liam said, “I just realised how much we don’t need it”.
“A trip like that sort of teaches you to live in the moment really, rather than worrying about what the outside world’s doing,” Brendan added.
“Seeing people over there living so simply, like, just a roof over their heads and warmth is all they really care about, it just puts into perspective how, I don’t know, wasteful, I guess, we are.”