Last updated on June 3rd, 2022 at 11:54 pm
Jane Svinicki | President, Svinicki Association Management Inc.
Located in South Asia with a population of nearly 30 million, is the landlocked country of Nepal. Tethered mainly to the Himalayas, Nepal is known for its natural beauty moreso than its standard tourist spots.
Jane Svinicki, president and owner of Svinicki Association Management Inc. in Milwaukee, experienced a three-week trip in Nepal, which included seven days of low-altitude hiking in the Annapurna mountains. For several other days, she rafted the Seti River and stayed at a rustic camp. Her trip ended with a stay in Chitwan National Park for animal viewings and personal encounters.
Svinicki began her trip in the capital city of Kathmandu. It boasts a population of about 1 million and is the largest city in the Himalayan hill region. Kathmandu is known for its fantastic temples, such as the Swayambhunath, Boudhanath, and the Pashupatinath Temple. Svinicki also visited the historic city of Bhaktapur, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then she flew to Pokhara, which is the starting point for hiking the Annapurna circuit. During the hike, she stayed in guest lodges in very small villages such as Ghandruk. She ended her trip with a flight over Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world.
Svinicki’s trip was organized by a company that specialized in trips for small groups of women. The trip consisted of 14 women with a focus on activity and learning, particularly about the lives of women in the country.
“Learning about the lives of women and going to remote areas really appealed to me,” Svinicki said. “I visited small craft enterprises such as weaving and papermaking, and we were able to speak with women about their lives.”
Due to the remote nature of the lodges, meat storage can be challenging, so the food Svinicki ate in Nepal was mostly vegetarian. She recommends trying momos, a dumpling filled with meat (pork, chicken or goat) or vegetables. Wine is also not made in Nepal; however, Svinicki praised the Everest beer.
The accommodations in Nepal include Western-style hotels. Svinicki enjoyed the mountain lodges she stayed in, despite there being no heat. Heavy quilts, parkas, gloves and hats were provided. As for transportation, main airlines fly to Kathmandu and Yeti Airlines flies small planes to other cities within Nepal.
For those planning a trip to Nepal, Svinicki recommends hiring an outfitter or local guide to ensure a valuable and authentic experience. She also suggests traveling light, with comfortable shoes, due to difficult and rough hiking trails.
“Take lots of photos, but also put the phone down and be in the moment,” Svinicki said. “Wander the side streets, talk to the people, even if it is just hand gestures. The Nepalese people are kind and generous, with a spirit of hospitality.”
Matthew Buerosse | Core Consulting LLC
Resting just southeast of Australia in the Pacific Ocean is New Zealand, a country that comprises two main islands. Both islands are famously discernable by their volcanoes and glaciation. Matthew Buerosse, the chief executive officer of Thiensville-based CORE Consulting LLC, in March 2018 took a three-week vacation to New Zealand, sightseeing across the incredible landscapes with his wife, Nicole, and their four children.
New Zealand is famously known for standing in for the mythical Middle Earth in Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” films, an expedition Buerosse toured. The capital city, Wellington, is at the foot of Mount Victoria, which offers a view of the area.
By Buerosse’s recommendation, any bakery good is exceptional in New Zealand. From rolls and croissants to sandwiches and scones, Buerosse suggests trying it all. As for traveling to New Zealand, he says to plan accordingly and pack light. This includes sunscreen and a hat, because the sun is more powerful in the southern hemisphere.
But it wasn’t Buerosse and his family’s first trip to New Zealand. In 2014, they visited friends for a month. Since on the first trip they remained on the northern island, Buerosse made sure on the second trip that they would hit as many sites as possible by driving. The excursions are so expansive that in the three weeks of his vacation, the family racked up more than 4,000 miles on their rented car.
“That’s what I like to do with my family, even here in the states,” Buerosse said. “We basically drive everywhere. You miss so much when you fly. It’s moreso about the journey than it is about the destination.”
New Zealand is a country known for its colorful and endangered birds. The country is working to eradicate rats and other ground predators to bring back the number of endangered birds. The country’s national bird, the kiwi, is a flightless bird that was recently endangered. Buerosse and his family visited one of the many bird sanctuaries the country has to offer, on an island they traveled to by ferry. Buerosse hiked mountains that overlooked the ocean while exotic birds landed on his shoulders.
The family also drove to different coasts and stumbled upon a seal colony. They found baby seals hidden in rocks and stood two feet away from them. Penguins and 200-pound seals sunned themselves as the family explored what the country had to offer. They also took a boat tour on the southern tip of Queenstown and saw numerous mountain ranges and hidden valleys.
As for the nightlife, Buerosse caught a show by Jim Gaffigan, a comedian whose wife is from Milwaukee. But above all, Buerosse notes New Zealand for its phenomenal natural beauty.
“You feel like you’re one with God in God’s creation,” Buerosse said. “It is a very spiritual type of feeling you get from being there. There is so much greenery, hiking and beauty.”