“I am drawn again towards the new challenge,” she wrote in her striking blog before she left her home town in search of something which nobody knew except her inner conscience that was goading her from inside.
Her hidden burning desire to rock the world with extra deed or feat was brewing in her mind and consciousness. To do something extra-ordinary she dared to venture and explore into the unseen trail of The Great Himalaya about which she had just heard from the people and media reports only. But look at the indomitable guts of this gorgeous lady from a beautiful city Interlaken, Switzerland.
She paddled 10,330 kilometers all alone following an ancient Silk Road to Himalayan country Nepal in 2014. This time Maria paddled 15000 km to adventure trekking across the 1700 km The Great Himalaya Trail inside Nepal. Now, she has nearly achieved her goal in nearly 89 days trekking from west to east Nepal.
Maria Theresia Zwyssig from a developed country Switzerland witnessed and experienced the least developed area of the least developed country Nepal. But, she is happy with the happiness, harmony, and integrity of the people of the areas she visited. She said, “We should learn from the people of Nepal about living in peace with social harmony among the Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, and various cultures and languages.” She arrived in Nepal in 330 days. She has visited Nepal four-time which includes two times travel by paddling.
Why Biking to Nepal?
Five years ago when Maria lived with a Tibetan Family in Pokhara for three months, she learned many things about life, culture, and people. So she decided to visit Nepal again but on a bike from Switzerland. So, this was the beginning of Maria’s journey via The Great Himalaya Trail. In this long journey, she has met with people in 20 countries through Russia to Asia.
Life Teaching Experience with the Great Himalaya Trail
Maria in an exclusive interview with highlights tourism said, “The Great Himalaya Trail has been a life teaching experience for me. Once I was reading about The Great Himalaya Trails’ that seemed quite challenging for me and instantly I took it as my prime goal to pursue once in her lifetime.”
This is the second time that Maria has arrived in Nepal using a bicycle. Although she alone funds for her cycle journey, she admitted that for some portion of her expenses few donors have sponsored her journey to reach Nepal.
Maria’s First Visit to Nepal
At first, she did not know anything about Nepal. But when someone told her to go to Nepal to learn something special about life, she took the journey from her home to Nepal (home door to a door in Nepal) to meet a Tibetan family living in a refugee camp in Pokhara for the first time.
How much luggage does she carry with her?
She can carry luggage weighing about 14 kgs in the mountains when she is trekking, but when she is traveling with her bicycle, her luggage weight suddenly surges to 60 kgs.
Similarities and Differences between Nepal and Switzerland
Commenting about the differences between Nepal and Swiss, she narrated an incident of Jumla, how she was told to go to the jungle for the toilet as the house where she stayed did not have any toilet due to poverty. She said, “People in Switzerland are not hungry. They can work for the fulfillment of their dreams, but the people of Nepal may not find easy to fulfill whatever dreams they have due to limited resources.”
Maria for Nepal Visit Year 2020
Maria on the way to GHT, in Langtang
When asked how Nepal should promote its tourism sector in 2020 visit year, she said, “since most of the tourists come to Nepal to see the mountains, mystical cultures and people from the Himalayas, things will improve as we spread the message that Nepal is doing something in the visit year 2020.”
She indicated that when she will return to Switzerland, she would ask her people to visit Nepal in 2020, as Nepal is doing something on that occasion. Maria also opined that through her Great Himalaya trail trekking she is inspiring many more young people from across the region to come to Nepal and see mountains and people here. While responding to one of the queries, she said that since Nepal has beautiful mountains. It can progress and prosper in the future.
Maria’s welcome in Thailand
She has been welcomed and felicitated in Thailand by her Thai-Swiss society during her cycle journey. And her Swiss national TV channel is going to broadcast her documentary about The Great Himalaya Trails. She has previously gone on long trekking to Khumbu regions, Langtang and Manaslu while being in Nepal.
Who is Maria Theresia Zwyssia personally?
Maria Theresia Zwyssia is a radio presenter, medical assistant, floriculturist, and gardener at home besides being a great hiker and trekker across the globe. She expresses her gratefulness towards her indispensable guide Sanjib Gurung.
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