Category Archives: blog

Be a Know-It-All: 7 Fun Facts About Colombia

6840053683_3dfe316e61_b

OneSeed is happy to announce our newest location, Colombia! With mountains, jungles, beaches, coffee farms, modern cities, and more, Colombia has it all. We wanted to give you a little background about this incredibly diverse and beautiful country. Here are 7 facts you may not know about this South American gem!

Vamos a la Playa

4140407471_41ba14ba7e_b

Tayrona National Park

1. Colombia is the only South American country with Atlantic and Pacific coastlines. With over 300 beaches in the country, you...

Tags Comments closed

Girl Power: 6 Reasons Why OneSeed Invests in Women

IMG_5779_zpsf1908b3c

Noting the importance of women in society, Mao Zedong once said “Women hold up half of the sky.”

International economists and experts agree: The UN and IMF endorse investment in women as ‘smart economics’ because even small investments can make a huge positive difference for economic and human development around the world. OneSeed is proud to support women entrepreneurs through microfinance in the countries we visit—here are six reasons why investing in women is a smart idea.

  1. Women constitute the majority of the world’s poor, and are...
Tags Comments closed

Mystery in the Mountains: Exploring Machu Picchu

DSC_4330_zpsbb01c4b8

Is Machu Picchu on your bucket list? Learn a bit about the the famous ruins below!

History of Machu Picchu:

  • Constructed in the 15th century, Machu Picchu is an ancient Inca city located in Peru that has been named one of the new seven wonders of the world.
  • Archaeologists guess that Machu Picchu was abandoned around the time of the Spanish defeat of the Incas in 1572, but there is no evidence that the Spanish conquistadors ever set foot on the site.
  • Machu Picchu remained the...
Tags Comments closed

TAKE A SIP: Peruvian Coffee Demystified

PeruCoffee

Love waking up to a fresh cup of coffee every morning? Before taking off for Peru, learn a few fun facts about coffee, one of the top exports!

  • The Arabica bean is the organically grown coffee bean that has quickly made Peru a huge global exporter of coffee.  In fact, 60% of Peru’s exports consist of the country’s coffee business alone!  The best part is that many of these coffee farms can all be found under the ownership of local farmers operating on small farms of their own,...
Tags Comments closed

Seeking Refuge: Lodging in Torres del Paine, Chile

DSC_2339

Sometimes backpacking means carrying a tent, digging a pit toilet, and struggling through days of dehydrated food-like substances. In Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park, the refugio system bringds a bit of class to the camping routine. While you’ll welcome the local wines, warm stoves, and beds, sharing a mountain shelter with others can have its own challenges.

A few tips to make your stay hassle-free:

1) That old golden rule.
Sharing a roof and a restroom with your fellow travllers means a bit of compromise. Accommodations...

Comments closed

So What Do Prayer Flags Actually Mean?

IMG_1034_zps76267bf1

You’ve seen them in photos, fluttering around in the background. They are attached to temples, houses, bridges, and mountains in Nepal, but what purpose do they serve? Read this quick synopsis to learn the history behind prayer flags and how they are used today.

Prayer flags contain Buddhist prayers or mantras that are printed directly onto the fabric. When the wind blows, the prayers are symbolically carried around the countryside, blessing the people they reach. Often, they are tied to the highest point in the area (i.e. on the...

Tags Comments closed

7 Tips to Prepare for Your Trek

11556123234_58a4a1fda2_b_zps96148da6

Always be prepared! The scout’s motto is simple, but true. Being well prepared for your trek will make your time much more enjoyable, and you can focus on the wonders around you rather than your blistered feet! Here are a few tips to help you prepare for your trek. Starting on them sooner rather than later and doing them in small steps will make them much more manageable and less intimidating.

1.  Buy appropriate footwear and break your boots in.

  • Visit an outdoor retailer and do research to buy the appropriate...
Tags Comments closed

Peruvian Food for the Adventurous Eater

AnimalEating

When I think of Peruvian food, I immediately think it must be similar to what you might find in a Mexican restaurant.  However, that guess is entirely misinformed.  In fact, the typical peruvian dish consists mainly of potatoes and meat.  Peruvian food has strong influences from the Incas, but also includes flavors from Europe, Africa, China and Japan.  In many dishes, you can find potatoes, a staple in the Andes, a wide variety of veggies, breads and sauces influenced by Europe, the vibrant stir fries influenced by the Chinese,...

Tags Comments closed

4 Tips to Survive Trail Food

DSC00542_zps6da1c3d4

When trekking in a remote area, there are certain expectations that will help you make the most of the meals on the trail. Here’s a quick list of things to know about trail food to help you prepare for your expedition.

  1. Carbs, Carbs, Carbs. In most of the areas where we travel, the diet is rich in carbs. When you spend 3-10 hours a day hiking, you need carbs for energy, so embrace it! Nepal is known for its dal bhat, Peru for its 3,800 types of potatoes,...
Tags Comments closed

SMOKING MOUNTAIN: Meet Mt. Fitz Roy

DSC_3580

On the Rugged Patagonia Expedition, you will have the chance to explore around the base of Mt. Fitz Roy.  Here are a few fun facts to think about before your trip!

  • Originally known by locals as Chaltén, or “smoking mountain,” this spectacular peak located on the border of Argentina and Chile, was renamed Fitz Roy in 1877 by Perito Moreno, an Argentinian explorer and scientist.
  • The mountain is normally accompanied by a cloud that surrounds its top peak.  This cloud is caused by a unique type of
Tags Comments closed

5 Tips on What to Wear When Trekking

When I get ready for a trip, the first question on my mind is what to wear.  Over the past 6 years I have coached snowboarding in just about every type of weather imaginable and have trekked all over the world in the heavy rain and in the hot summer sun.  I have been in plenty of situations where I made the wrong choice and wound up cold, wet and miserable.  I know I have missed out on some great moments due to simple blunders that I...

Tags Comments closed

The Air Up There: Weather in El Chaltén

Climate Overview

While the weather in El Chaltén can be unpredictable, it is a semi-arid environment with light precipitation common. It is essential to be prepared because the weather can change instantly from sunny to stormy.

The warmer temperatures are recorded in the summer from November to March. Highs are typically in the 60s during the day and 40s at night. It is not uncommon to experience frost in the summer so always bring warm layers! In the winter, temperatures stay in the 40s during the day and drop to below freezing at night.

average-temperature-chile-punta-arenas-fahrenheit

Tags Comments closed

Coca Leaves and Community: Understanding the Despacho Ceremony in Peru

IMG_2355

Want to learn a little about the culture of Peru before heading there yourself? Here is a brief description about one important ceremony that is called the “Despacho” and how it is conducted in Peru.

The purpose of the ceremony is to pay tribute to Mother Earth or Pachamama. Participants show gratitude for successes in the past in hopes of continuing with their good fortune. Preparing for the ceremony often involves playing music and cleansing the space by burning sage.

The ceremony leader begins by placing a large white paper...

Tags Comments closed

Extending the Expedition: Returning to Nepal after OneSeed

559248_492815770752958_1267194628_n

Meet Craig Page.

Craig joined OneSeed in 2012, fell in love with Nepal, and is returning in a few months to conduct research. He is from Athens, Georgia and works as a City Planner for the Athens Park County Planning Department. His research will be about Nepali agricultural infrastructure and he plans on getting his PhD in the coming years.

Last Minute Travel Plans

Shannon, a friend of Craig’s, called him in August 2011 and invited him to join her Annapurna Discovery Expedition. He had 36 hours to decide! Nepal was...

Tags Comments closed

Llama or Alpaca – What’s the Difference?

397345_482013501833185_723830305_n

Llamas and alpacas are both native South American animals and are often confused with one another. Here is a quick reference so you never make the mistake that so many travelers do.

They both come from the high plains of Peru, Chile, and Bolivia called the Altiplano. The first llama was brought to the United States in the 1920s as part of William Randolph Hearst’s personal zoo. Here is a break-down of the differences:

LLAMAS

2771620145_95d4dc36b0_z

  • Llamas are the bigger of...
Tags Comments closed

Just Touched Down: How to Navigate the Santiago Airport

625605_549657608402107_1834788150_n

Your bags are packed and you’re ready to go! Wondering what to expect upon arrival? Here is a quick guide to the Santiago Airport to make your travel a piece of cake! We’ll see you soon!

General Information

  • The official name is the Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport
  • About 13 million people travel through the doors each year!
  • It’s organized and signs are clearly marked in Spanish and English

Immigration

  • Upon arrival, you’ll receive immigration paperwork on your flight
  • Keep track of your Tourist Visa since you’ll need it to exit the country after your...
Tags Comments closed

What Should I Do If I Arrive Early to Cusco?

Peru-38_zps90750d93

Cusco is such a unique and beautiful city so we understand why you may want to arrive early to check it out before joining OneSeed. Here’s a guide to some of the things that are close by and easy to visit on your own.

About the City

  • Cusco still contains much of the ancient Incan architecture on the base of many buildings.
  • When the Spanish arrived, they built on top of existing architecture so you can see the history and timeframe by looking at the side of a building.
  • The main layout of...
Tags Comments closed

Be a Know-It-All: 4 Fun Facts About Peru

IMG_0911-1_zpsf43ddb63

Heading to Peru? Here are 4 things you may not know about the country and its culture.

  1. Peru is home to the potato. There are over 5,000 varieties preserved in Peru today. One way for Peruvians to express how proud they are is to say, “I am more Peruvian than a potato” (Soy mas Peruano que la papa).
  2. Peru is full of rain forest. About 60% of the country is covered by the Amazon Rain Forest. This ranks Peru as the 4th most rainforest-covered country in the world.
  3. Peru has great...
Tags Comments closed

Just Touched Down: How to Navigate the Kathmandu Airport

SONY DSC

The Tribhuvan International Airport is small but can be surprisingly confusing. Reading this before you arrive will eliminate the confusion and hassle while traveling.

Immigration

This process is fairly straightforward. You’ll obtain your visa upon arrival by filling out the paperwork given to you on your flight. Here are several essential items:

  1. A pen. Pens are few and far between in the airport. Come prepared and avoid having to track one down.
  2. 4 passport photos. These will be used to issue a tourist visa (2) and a trekking permit (2).
  3. Cash. At...
Tags Comments closed

How to Drink Mate Like a Chilean

mate

Mate (MAH-tay) is an important part of Chilean culture. It’s an infused loose tea that is drunk out of a gourd using a metal “bombilla” straw. Drinking mate is a way to connect and spend time with others. In Chile, people follow strict rules about how to enjoy this pick-me-up. Here’s a list of 4 tips to help you on your trip to Chile.

  1. Don’t mess with the server. There is always one server that is responsible for sweetening, refilling, and passing the gourd. When they pass it to you,...
Comments closed

5 Ways to Offend Someone in Nepal

dal bhat

To an outsider, customs can seem arbitrary and random. What if a foreigner gave someone the middle finger? They might not have any idea what the implications are. In Nepal, respect is very important and we want you to arrive as an educated traveler. Today, we are going to give you a list of 5 things to avoid doing while trekking in Nepal.

  1. Do not whistle inside. Whistling indoors is said to summon ghosts and cause bad luck. If you can’t live without a good whistle, save...
Tags Comments closed

Trivia Training: 4 Interesting Facts about Patagonia

3e089969

You may have heard about its beauty or just see the name everywhere on the logo of people’s fleeces, but here are some things you may not know.

  1. Patagonia has 31 national parks. These parks amass to an area larger than both Portugal and Spain combined!
  2. The Carmenere grape was saved in Chile. The french grape was wiped out by a phylloxera epidemic. Before this occurred several Chileans had brought home the grape and planted it in Chile. The epidemic affected France, the United States, and even Argentina, but Chile remain unaffected....
Tags Comments closed

Expect the Unexpected: 4 things you may not know about Nepal

SONY DSC

Heading to Nepal? Here are 4 fun facts about the culture and people of Nepal.

  1. Cows are sacred. Within Hinduism, cows are considered a sacred and inviolable animal. In Nepal, cows are not eaten and it is considered illegal to kill the animal. Due to this fact, it is not uncommon to see a cow wandering around the streets of Kathmandu. Because they are holy, all traffic yields to these animals and they can often cause quite a traffic jam when they have decided to slowly stroll down...
Tags Comments closed

Meet Bishnu and Tek!

298801_787318350554_1187100606_n-1

For this blog I was able to Skype with two of OneSeed’s co-founders. I was excited to ask them a few questions in order to better get to know who is behind the scenes on OneSeed’s operations in Nepal. Meet Bishnu and Tek!

How did you first get involved with OneSeed?

B: Since 2000, I’ve been a female trekking guide. After I completed my master’s degree, I met Chris in Nepal through my roommate, who was from New York. I wrote my masters about female trekking guides and the difficulties and...

Comments closed

OneStory (Part 2): BEYONDgear

profilepic_bigwall

We here at OneSeed are fortunate to meet some awesome people through our work. Through the OneStory blog series, we’re showcasing these amazing entrepreneurs and their work throughout the world.

Beyond Gear; The Beginnings from Dominic Gill on Vimeo.

BEYONDgear

BEYONDgear is redefining how climbing can reach out to a community, using adventure as a foundation in creating good. Asa Firestone created BEYONDgear in order to help fund the CEU Urban Climbing School in Brazil. This school provides outdoor education and climbing resource to at-risk youth of the favela...

Comments closed

7 Questions You May Have About Microfinance Answered

463827_4538283091863_1016325590_o_zpsbecdab84

OneSeed plays a small role in the big world of microfinance. In this post, we’ll give you a run-down of some of the most important questions and issues within microfinance.

1. So what exactly is microfinance?

Microfinance is the term used for the provision of financial services to the working poor. Currently, microfinance loans are aiding 160 million people around the globe. For all the visual learners: Check this video out!

2. What is the difference between microfinance and microcredit?

Getting a loan from a bank can...

Tags Comments closed

¿Cachai?: A Guide to Spanish and Chilean Slang

IMG_1629

Has it been years since your last Spanish class? Have you never taken a Spanish class? Not to fear! We are here to give you a quick refresher as well as introduce you to some Chilean slang so you have all the right things to say on your next trek.

Useful Spanish Phrases

With about 400 million native speakers, Spanish is the second most common native language in the world. Although Spanish is the national language of Chile, there are a handful of other indigenous languages...

Tags Comments closed

नेपाली: A Guide to Nepali Language

884302_10103376465482921_668917222_o

Worried about the language barrier? Don’t sweat it! All our guides speak English and Nepali and can help you find anything you need. But if you’re ready to take on a challenge, here is a crash course on the languages of Nepal as well as a few phrases that you can put to use.

Nepal is one of the most linguistically diverse countries in the world. There are 126 languages spoken across Nepal, which is about the size of Arkansas. The official language...

Comments closed

OneStory (Part 1): Balyolu and the Honey Road

We here at OneSeed are fortunate to meet some awesome people through our work. Through the OneStory blog series, we’re showcasing these amazing entrepreneurs and their work throughout the world.

Balyolu and the Honey Road

The thousand year old tradition of collecting honey is getting a new experiential adventure from the holistic rural incubator, Balyolu. In the Northeastern region of Turkey, old traditional silk routes are coming back to life. Cat Jaffee, Founder and CEO of Balyolu, is changing the lives of rural women in...

Comments closed

What are the elevation changes on my trek?

So you’ve made the decision you want to go on a OneSeed trek. Awesome! That’s a decision well made. But now might come the tricky part. Which one will suite you best for your next adventure? Our team at OneSeed is here to help make your decision process less stressful.

With our newly developed elevation charts you are now able to visualize our trips beforehand! These charts will help prepare you both physically and mentally for the estimated time and distance each trek requires.

Everest Base Camp

Everest Base Camp

Total Trekking Time: 55...

Comments closed

What’s an appropriate guide to tipping?

Guides Cooking

The OneSeed blog addresses many issues to help you prepare for your expedition. Today, we’ll tackle the (sometimes confusing) topic of how, what and when to tip your OneSeed guide.

When you set off on your adventure, you’ll be joined by one or more of our incredible OneSeed Guides. Your guides will be your cultural liaison, mountaineering expert, gear fitter, environmental impact consultant, ornithologist, comedian, local historian, and and on particularly steep inclines, your resident motivational speaker.

4469ff4a

Protip: Guides love...

Tags Comments closed

Yoga For The Weary. 10 Poses for Tired Trekkers

Child's Pose

Now that you’re all pumped up and ready to get going on your alpine adventure it’s time we let you in on a little-known trail trekker’s secret: High Altitude Yoga! While the novelty of striking an expert pose on a big peak to show your physical prowess is certainly satisfying, the ancient spiritual exercise is actually an excellent way to bring relief to achy bodies and weary minds.

Whether you’re trying to get a stretch in during a water break, or ease some muscle tension...

Tags Comments closed

Readiness 101: Getting Your Rear Into Gear. Literally.

478219_4538101687328_226118337_o_zps3be9fe94


Alright all you aspiring OneSeedlings, it’s high time for some tough love. Now we’re not trying to scare you off, but the fact is that one of our most consistent topics for post-trip feedback is the physical demands of our expeditions. We plan our trips carefully to make sure that they are accessible to as many people as possible, but if you’ve called one of our expeditions a walk in the park, chances are you were talking about Rocky Mountain National. The fact is, you’ll be hiking at moderate to...

Tags Comments closed

After OneSeed: Adventure & Service in Nepal

63760_492813697419832_1825694904_n

 

If you’re using OneSeed to help you get to your adventure destination, chances are you are fully aware that planning any trip, much less one to South Asia, can be overwhelming. While we’re confident that we can make your travel experience as easy and pain free as possible, Nepal is still a long and often expensive flight from the US of A. To fully capitalize on the opportunity your OneSeed trip affords you, consider taking a little extra time to extend your trip and take advantage of the...

Tags Comments closed

What should I do if I arrive early to Santiago?

If you’ve pulled the trigger on joining us for one of our Chilean expeditions, the good news is that you’ve already got a lot to look forward too. The better news is that you’ll be flying into Santiago, Chile’s inspiring capital city.

While you’re sure to have an unforgettable journey with OneSeed, Chile and Santiago have a lot more to offer then we’ll have the chance to show you. Just in case you choose to visit the Santiaguinos a few days early, we’ve put together a brief list of sights and experiences to help you get into that travelling spirit!

Hot Tips,...

Tags Comments closed

Hiking in the Clouds: What Happens at Altitude

04a73bc3

We get a lot of questions about altitude here at OneSeed. We do play in the mountains a lot after all!

Altitude can effect people differently, but some we’ll cover some of the details here:

  • What altitudes each trip reaches
  • How altitude sickness can effect you
  • How to prevent altitude sickness and monitor for it
  • The signs of altitude sickness
  • How OneSeed handles altitude sickness preparation before hitting the trail
  • What happens on the trail if you are hit with a bout of altitude sickness.

Altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), can be very...

Tags Comments closed

I arrived early in Kathmandu. Oh no, oh no, what will I do?

garden-of-dreams

Nepal is a great place, so if you forgot about those pesky time zones and arrive early or want more time to explore we’ve gathered some information that will be helpful to you.

While we are excited for you to join us, we are only able to pick you up from the airport and provide your accommodation on the arrival date of your expedition. If you have further questions beyond our recommendations below, don’t hesitate to call us.

Nepal is the land of Mt. Everest and the other ginormous Himalayan Mountains....

Tags Comments closed

“You don’t eat no meat? That’s ok. I make lamb.”

IMG_4572-1

Trying local food while traveling is one of my favorite things about being abroad, but as a vegetarian it can sometimes be difficult. I used to be a strict vegetarian so I know the hassle it can be, but I spent five months in China and survived!

Some countries are extremely vegetarian friendly, as they themselves don’t have a lot of meat in their diet (Nepal), but in others the term ‘vegetarian’ is as foreign to them as you are (Chile).  While vegetarian foods are easily found in Nepal, if...

Tags Comments closed

Guide Profile: Sabine Barrios

DSC_0124

One of our newest Chilean guides, Sabine is well traveled and has five years experience guiding treks in Patagonia. Born in Venezuela, she grew up in Santiago before traveling through Bolivia, Argentina, Venezuela, France and England where she really mastered her English. In addition to leading trekking trips through Patagonia, she has also led extended horseback riding trips through the region as well! Learn a bit more about what makes Sabine tick in our interview with her.

What inspires you/do you love about the outdoors and adventure?

It is what I...

Tags Comments closed

From the Whites to the Rockies: Why I Love the Mountains

IMG_0759

OneSeed loves the mountains! Hopefully you do too. OneSeed staffer Cat shares the reasons for her love of the mountains, how they have influenced her life, and why she feels at home among them.

The beach or the mountains? It’s a question that seems to be asked in nearly every awkward social situation, ice breakers at new jobs, school orientations, first dates, etc…, as if the answer tells you everything you need to know about a person. They can make you feel insignificantly small, they could be your life’s calling,...

Tags Comments closed

Water, Water Everywhere…

57a9a4b2

We are all cautious about what we consume while traveling (remember our chat from the Everybody Poops post!), and if you drink as much water as I do, you want to make sure it’s clean! I’m sure your first thought is bottled water, and you may have heard of iodine tablets and boiling water to sterilize it. While their can be benefits to these options, at OneSeed Expeditions, we take a different approach. We use SteriPEN.

What is SteriPEN and how does it work?

SteriPEN is water sanitization system that...

Tags Comments closed

The Flight to Nepal is Long, Bring a Book!

Gear check

Are you about to take a trip to Nepal? Curious about Nepal? Here are some reading recommendations from our staff that you may not have heard of. Grab a cup of cocoa, tea or coffee and settle into your favorite reading spot to delve into the wonders of Nepal!

Touching My Father’s Soul: A Sherpa’s Journey to the Top of Everest
Jamling T. Norgay

Click to read more

“In a story of Everest unlike...

Tags Comments closed

Staff Profile: Chris Baker, OneSeed Founder and Pizza Maker

308703_787318400454_4718111_n

Meet Chris, the founder of OneSeed Expeditions. Over the past seven years, Chris has split his time between Nepal and the US. While in Nepal, he conducted research in Kathmandu and throughout the Khumbu region surrounding Mt. Everest. As a Fellow with Kiva.org, Chris worked closely with local microfinance institutions. Chris founded OneSeed in 2010 with friends Bishnu Thapa and Tek Bahadur Dong. He loves milk and makes a delicious pizza.

What was your first adventure?

When I was 12 years old, I was going to the airport with my dad....

Tags Comments closed

Cat’s Criticals: Suggested Items for a More Efficient Trip

Cat's Criticals

As a follow up to my post Hiking Boots and Heels: A Woman’s Strategy to Packing for an Expedition, I’ve created a list of items that I find particularly useful while on the road. Make sure to check our packing lists (Nepal or Chile) for the items you will need on your trek (this blog is not inclusive of all items you need, but suggestions for items on the packing list). The numbers may seem sparse, but you will quickly learn that you...

Tags Comments closed

Staff Profile: Sergio Nuñez, Regional Director – Latin America

Sergio 3

Meet Sergio, OneSeed’s Country Director in Chile. Originally from Chile’s far south, Sergio grew up playing in the outdoors and exploring Patagonia. He studied business in school and has experience running his own trekking companies. He loves climbing and trekking with his daughter who is a budding adventurer herself. As an amateur photographer, he captures the beauty of Patagonia and his work has been published in National Geographic. This rugged outdoorsman owns a pink espresso maker which makes a darn good cup of coffee!

1. How did...

Tags Comments closed

Heels and Hiking Boots: A Woman’s Strategy to Packing for the Trail

Hiking Boots and Heels

As adventurous, traveling women, we can be finicky creatures, and we can go to extremes. Determined to not stand out as the woman that brought along a hairdryer, sometimes we may pack so little that we remove from our packs the ever important toilet paper or tampons we think we can find along the way only to regret it later. Or there is the other extreme of wanting every comfort of home while in a foreign and remote spot that...

Tags Comments closed

Staff Profile: Cat Wile – Operations Manager, World Traveler, Mayo Hater

156794_631636762883_5490263_n

One of OneSeed’s newest additions to the team, Cat Wile, is our operations guru.  Born and raised in a small town in chilly Massachusetts, she set her sights on migrating south, finding herself down in North Carolina.  Graduating from Elon University with an International Business degree, she then took up employment with a large firm in Charlotte.  Between her studies and demanding career, she still managed to explore the world, spending five months in China learning Mandarin and visiting Mexico, Peru, Turkey, Greece, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.  Most...

Tags Comments closed

Everybody Poops. Now Let’s Talk About It.

Set-Bathroom-Signs

The toilet, commode, W.C., throne room, head, latrine, loo. We’ve got a million names for the bathroom, but it isn’t exactly dinner conversation (unless you happen to be with a bunch of travelers or backcountry enthusiasts). Let’s face it though, when nature calls, it’s nice to know what to expect at the facilities. When you are sneak attacked by a bout of traveler’s diarrhea in a foreign country and are suddenly faced with a hole in the ground and a bucket of water, your uncomfortable experience can become suddenly...

Tags Comments closed

The Air Up There: Weather in Torres Del Paine

IMG_0818

Climate Overview

Although the park is located in an area that includes a “mild- cool climate, rainy, without dry season”, the weather conditions observed during the year are various, depending on location, altitude, topography, or proximity to glaciers, lagoons or lakes. The characteristic aspect of the area is its thermal homogeneity, which allows tourists to visit this place in every season.

The cooler temperatures are recorded in the Chilean winter. The month of January records the annual maximum, that fluctuates around the 15 º C, while in winter the minimum temperature...

Tags Comments closed

Packing 101: You’ve Booked the Trip. Now What to Bring?

Kathmandu Domestic Terminal

Packing for a hike in the Himalayas is more involved than throwing things in your carry-on for a getaway weekend, but it does not need to be overwhelming. OneSeed has provided you a packing list with the basics of what you will need for your trek. Some of you – especially those with outdoors experience – will take that list and run with it, needing no further guidance. For trekking novices, hyperplanners, and the rest of you, here are some tips on...

Tags Comments closed

Daal Bhat 101

Mmmmm...

No trip to a foreign land is truly complete without a sampling of the local fare. While this alone can be the most adventurous part of travel (haggis, anyone?), visitors to Nepal are greeted with a simple, vegetarian-friendly, and tasty national dish: dal bhat.

Behold: Dal Bhat.

The core of the meal consists of dal (lentil soup) and bhat (rice). In the farthest reaches of Nepal, this is as fancy as it gets. Basic dal bhat can serve as breakfast,...

Tags Comments closed

Picking the Right Expedition

IMG_1332

Expedition difficulty is determined by number of hours walking per day, elevation gain, trail quality, etc.

Intermediate

Intermediate adventures require that you are at the least at an average fitness level. Activities will be mandatory and occasionally physically demanding. Experience in this sport is not necessary.

These are great first treks and a perfect fit for people looking for a challenge without daily exhaustion. Most of our expeditions fall into this category. Typical days (depending on the particular itinerary) range from 3 to 7 hours of trekking. Elevation...

Tags Comments closed

3 Ways to Change the World Through Travel

IMG_1277

Racking up those stamp-covered passport pages is satisfying, but what if you could bank a little bit of good karma along the way?

OneSeed tries to keep it simple: you take an amazing trip; a local woman launches or expands her business. Through the OneSeed Fund, local microfinance institutions are able to tap into the revenue stream of adventure travel to fund the creativity of local entrepreneurs.

“Doing a little bit of good doesn’t necessarily have to be complicated,” says OneSeed’s founder, Chris Baker. “It just has to make sense.”

His advice...

Tags Comments closed

Bed, Breakfast, and Daal Bhat?: Teahouse Trekking in Nepal

teahouse11

What is a Teahouse Lodge?

Throughout the Himalaya, “teahouse” lodges are the standard traiside accommodation.  Somewhere between a bed and breakfast and a backcountry cabin, these teahouse lodges are among the more unique features of any Himalayan expedition.

Teahouse lodges are usually organized around a central room with a hearth and eating area.  These family-run operations serve up hot tea, tasty food, and even cold beer schlepped in several days from the trailhead.  While you’re  able to find burgers, “Tibetan pizza” (cheese and tomato sauce on flatbread), and even spaghetti on...

Tags Comments closed

The Air Up There: Weather in the Langtang Region

Climate Overview

Temperatures in the Langtang region vary greatly due to the extreme difference in altitude in the region. Most of the annual precipitation occurs from June to September. In fall (October – November) and spring (April – May), days are warm and sunny, and nights cool. In spring, rain at 3000m elevation often turns to snow at higher elevations. In winter from December to March, days are clear and mild but nights cold.

source: http://www.personal.kent.edu/~mnorconk/sayers_ken.pdf


Weather in the Langtang Region

As in all mountain regions, weather is most impacted by changes in elevation and topography.  Expeditions throughout...

Tags Comments closed

The Air Up There: Weather in the Annapurna Region

Begining and wrapping up the trip

As in all mountain regions, weather is most impacted by changes in elevation and topography. As you begin your expedition in Pokhara, you consistently gain elevation and the temperatures gradually drop with each gain in altitude and warms up each day as you come back down to Pokhara. The days are warmed by the mountain sun and nights get chilly.

Current weather in Pokhara.

 

Weather in the Annapurna Region

The Weather on the trail will vary at different altitudes, but in the town of Ghorepani,...

Tags Comments closed

The Air Up There: Weather in the Khumbu Region

IMG_1332

Climate Overview

July is warmest with an average temperature of 58.82 °F at noon. January is coldest with an average temperature of 17.78 °F at night. Temperatures at night are significantly cooler than during daytime. Winter can have some frostdays, with the coldest month most often being January. November is on average the month with most sunshine. The wet season has a rainfall peak around July, and a dry season around November.

source: http://www.chinci.com/travel/pax/w/1283199/Khumbu/NP/Nepal/0/

Weather in the Khumbu Region

As in all mountain regions, weather is most impacted...

Tags Comments closed

The Air Up There: Weather in Nepal

We get lots of questions about weather.

This makes sense.  Our clients fly halfway around the world and they want to know what to expect.  In a country with the geographic diversity of Nepal, this isn’t always the easiest question to answer.  We decided to break it down by region…

We’ll start with the easy stuff:  Kathmandu.

Weather in the capital city is pretty mild with predictably clear fall and spring seasons and a light monsoon season that stretches from May to September.  Winters are cool, but snow is extremely rare in...

Tags Comments closed

One–Er, Three–Months Down

Chris Baker is the founder of OneSeed Expeditions.


When I first started this draft (on June 27th), I began by reflecting on just how much had happened in only a month since our launch in May.

Time got away from me.

Now, three full months since our launch, I can’t believe how much has come together in such a short time:

1) Redesign and launch of our website. While I’ll always have a soft spot for our iWeb-designed layout with flashing graphics, the new site looks great.  Kudos to our 99Designs...

Tags Comments closed

Microfinance in Nepal

The study of microfinance is truly a study in adaptation and innovation.

Its the micro part of this field that makes it so particular.  Financial services implemented on a grand scale–think of your own bank–find their success in replication and consistency.  Visiting a bank teller in New York is not that fundamentally different than visiting a bank teller in San Diego.  The services, terms, and basic principles remain constant.  This makes sense.

But what happens when you’re on the other end of the scale spectrum?  What happens when your model is...

Tags Comments closed

Summits and Reflections

Summits and Reflections

Emily Cunningham is one of OneSeed’s amazing summer interns. This is her final guest blog.

Emily is a sophomore studying economics at Harvard University. She is interested in microfinance and social enterprise, and is currently in the process of starting a fair trade jewelry network in Gujarat, India. In her spare time, she enjoys playing guitar and saxophone, surfing, Frisbee, and being outdoors.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Much to my dismay, my time here in Colorado is drawing to an end, and climbing a fourteener...

Comments closed

Doing Good by Doing Business

Emily Cunningham is one of OneSeed’s amazing summer interns. This is her fifth guest blog.

Emily is a sophomore studying economics at Harvard University. She is interested in microfinance and social enterprise, and is currently in the process of starting a fair trade jewelry network in Gujarat, India. In her spare time, she enjoys playing guitar and saxophone, surfing, Frisbee, and being outdoors.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Among the many important decisions a social entrepreneur must grapple with when establishing a new business is whether to incorporate as a for-profit or a non-profit; a seemingly unobtrusive choice between one giant stack of red tape or another.

It’s...

Tags Comments closed

Debunking the Silver Bullet Solution

P1000191

Emily Cunningham is one of OneSeed’s amazing summer interns. This is her fourth guest blog.

Emily is a sophomore studying economics at Harvard University. She is interested in microfinance and social enterprise, and is currently in the process of starting a fair trade jewelry network in Gujarat, India. In her spare time, she enjoys playing guitar and saxophone, surfing, Frisbee, and being outdoors.

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Human ingenuity is a puzzling thing. We have the capacity to create vaccines for many of the major diseases that plague the developing world, but we often fail...

Comments closed

Meaningful Travel

no camera

Emily Cunningham is one of OneSeed’s amazing summer interns. This is her third guest blog.

Emily is a sophomore studying economics at Harvard University. She is interested in microfinance and social enterprise, and is currently in the process of starting a fair trade jewelry network in Gujarat, India. In her spare time, she enjoys playing guitar and saxophone, surfing, Frisbee, and being outdoors.

———————————————————————————————————
As a resident of Cambridge, I can safely say that, contrary to popular belief, the best thing about my city is not the Duck...

Comments closed

Challenges and Joys of a Start-Up

Suniti is one of OneSeed’s amazing summer interns.  This is her final guest blog.

Suniti is an Economics concentrator at Harvard University. She has spent her summers working in a micro-finance organization in Northern India and researching the impact of Maoist Civil War on social and economic well-being of Nepali women. Her experiences have strengthened her passion for economic empowerment through enterprise development. Suniti is also working as the Director of Outreach and Partnership (Nepal) with Udhyami Nepali, a non-profit that helps Nepali social entrepreneurs get off the ground. She...

Comments closed

Investing in Individuals

Emily Cunningham is one of OneSeed’s amazing summer interns. This is her second guest blog.

Emily is a sophomore studying economics at Harvard University. She is interested in microfinance and social enterprise, and is currently in the process of starting a fair trade jewelry network in Gujarat, India. In her spare time, she enjoys playing guitar and saxophone, surfing, Frisbee, and being outdoors.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I’ve been trying to make the most of my time as an intern here in Colorado, hitting up all of the sites from Denver (which seems...

Comments closed

No Longer Black and White

Microfinance - No Longer Black and White

Suniti is one of OneSeed’s amazing summer interns.  This is her third guest blog.

Suniti is an Economics concentrator at Harvard University. She has spent her summers working in a micro-finance organization in Northern India and researching the impact of Maoist Civil War on social and economic well-being of Nepali women. Her experiences have strengthened her passion for economic empowerment through enterprise development. Suniti is also...

Comments closed

Re-Branding Capitalism

Emily Cunningham is one of OneSeed’s amazing summer interns.  This is her first guest blog.

Emily is a sophomore studying economics at Harvard University. She is interested in microfinance and social enterprise, and is currently in the process of starting a fair trade jewelry network in Gujarat, India. In her spare time, she enjoys playing guitar and saxophone, surfing, Frisbee, and being outdoors.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Summer means reading for pleasure, an all too elusive experience during the past semester. A few friends and I had decided...

Comments closed

Identity, Tourism, and Sustainability

Suniti Thapa is OneSeed’s amazing summer intern.  This is her second guest blog.

Suniti is an Economics concentrator at Harvard University. She has spent her summers working in a micro-finance organization in Northern India and researching the impact of Maoist Civil War on social and economic well-being of Nepali women. Her experiences have strengthened her passion for economic empowerment through enterprise development. Suniti is also working as the Director of Outreach and Partnership (Nepal) with Udhyami Nepali, a non-profit that helps Nepali social...

Comments closed

Women’s Empowerment – Why?

Suniti Thapa is OneSeed’s amazing summer intern.  This is her first guest blog.

Suniti is an Economics concentrator at Harvard University. She has spent her summers working in a micro-finance organization in Northern India and researching the impact of Maoist Civil War on social and economic well-being of Nepali women. Her experiences have strengthened her passion for economic empowerment through enterprise development. Suniti is also working as the Director of Outreach and Partnership (Nepal) with Udhyami Nepali, a non-profit that helps Nepali social...

Comments closed

Why OneSeed?

It’s easy to feel like microfinance has lost a bit of its shine.

From the recent travails of Muhummad Yunnus and the Grameen Bank to the “no pay” movements in northern India and Latin America, it hasn’t been a great year for the idea that microfinance can overcome poverty.

And that’s exactly the point.

Microfinance doesn’t break the grip of poverty–people do.  People like Ms. Rita, a Kiva borrower I met and interviewed during my time as a Kiva Fellow in...

Comments closed

Cutting Out the (Middle) Man

re blogged from: fellowsblog.kiva.org (07.07.10)

 

Much has been written about the value of investing in women.  The Girl Effect theory says that women are simply better investments when compared to their male counterparts.

With access to capital, women are empowered.  They buy the things their families need.  They educate their sons and daughters.  The investment of initial capital is magnified and extended, right?

But what does the Girl Effect look like on the ground?

What else happens when you invest in women?

Meet Laxmi*.  Laxmi makes intricate metal statuettes representing Buddhist and...

Comments closed

Website Goes Live!

Website Goes Live!

It’s official.  OneSeed Expeditions is up and running.

After more than three years of planning and legwork, OneSeed Expeditions is a reality.

With our first trips to Nepal beginning in February 2012, we have a lot to get done in the next twelve months.  Our short term goals:

  1. Launch our first capital drive to secure start-up funding that will take us from seed stage to fully operational.  Look for our ProFounder.com raise campaign. (Learn more about ProFounder and the amazing work being...
Comments closed