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The Informed Adventurer

Welcome to the Above the Clouds blog page! Thanks for checking us out! We are passionate about adventure and sharing what we have learned in the 32 years that we have been putting together off-the-beaten path itineraries for people.  These posts are from our staff, friends, clients and many from our founder, Steve Conlon, so please read, comment, enjoy and contact us with any questions about our itineraries or trips!

A Flatlander's Journey to Nepal

A Flatlander's Journey to Nepal

Julie was a participant in the 6-credit University class to Mustang, Nepal that ATC runs in conjunction with the University of Vermont. Since her return stateside at the end of last summer, she's been interning for us here in the ATC office. She has the spirit of a true adventurer and has had so much to offer us since she came on board. Here she shares her experiences on the trail in Mustang and what the adventure has left with her. More... (Posted on Tuesday, April 1, 2014)

Kathy McNames: Yogini Extraordinaire & Yoga Vermont Owner

Kathy McNames: Yogini Extraordinaire & Yoga Vermont Owner

Kathy McNames, owner of Yoga Vermont and our partner for this fall's yoga & trekking trip to East Nepal, shares some her thoughts in this interview. She's been a long time friend of the community, taught Lisa her love for yoga and is going to be an amazing asset to all those who travel with her this fall. Check out her thoughts! More... (Posted on Thursday, February 6, 2014)

A Piece of Me in El Chalten

A Piece of Me in El Chalten

Our clients Ashley and Aimee headed off this season for a trip they dubbed "The Great South American Soul Search." We were so pleased that they allowed us to put together their Argentina itinerary and were blown away by their spirit, charisma and sense of adventure. They came back raving about Patagonia and their time hiking, exploring and adventuring. Here is what one of them had to say about falling in love with the area and leaving a piece of their heart forever behind. More... (Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014)

Jamling Tenzing Norgay: Legacy of the Tiger of the Snow

Jamling Tenzing Norgay: Legacy of the Tiger of the Snow

Jamling Tenzing is a unique mountaineer, one who's legacy and history perhaps set him up to follow his father's footsteps to the top of the world. Now he is creating his own legacy and keeping his heritage close to heart. In this blog, he shares the story of his time in the Khumbu and the Sherpa people that all feel like family to him. More... (Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013)

Nepal's Future: Who gets to decide?

Nepal's Future: Who gets to decide?

Growing up with one foot in Nepal and one in the US offered Lisa a unique view of both - but seeing Nepal through commonly held western beliefs offered her an even more surprising point of view! More... (Posted on Thursday, October 10, 2013; 1 comment)

Along The Peace Corps Trail In Nepal

Along The Peace Corps Trail In Nepal

Ron Ranson, a long time friend of ATC and a serious Nepal veteran has spent much of the last year working on his Prayer Flag project with his son Tim, trekking through Nepal. Ron has a long history in Nepal, starting in the early 60's and it continues on today. This is how he describes his story in Nepal, how he got there and why he stayed. More... (Posted on Wednesday, August 7, 2013)

Namaste Blog

Namaste Blog

Stacia Betley signed up for a 6-credit UVM class that traveled to Nepal, she didn't know then what it was going to entail - or how deeply the experience would change her! More... (Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012)

A Summer 2012 Recap from ATC

A Summer 2012 Recap from ATC

As summer 2012 winds down and the fall season begins Lisa reviews the highlights of the summer and looks forward to many of the upcoming adventures! More... (Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012; 2 comments)

Trekking with Jamling Tenzing Norgay

Trekking with Jamling Tenzing Norgay

With over 40 years of trekking in the Himalaya under his belt, Steve Conlon has a lot to compare treks and trek leaders to; however, he says few can compare to trekking with Jamling Tenzing in his own backyard in Sikkim. More... (Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2012; 1 comment)

Why Do I Do It?

Why Do I Do It?

Steve Conlon turned 65 this week and ATC turned 30, looking back on the many adventures and many clients he reflects on why he loves his job as much today as the day he started. More... (Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2012; 1 comment)

Bhutan's Gross National Happiness

Bhutan's Gross National Happiness

As the Western World is facing financial crunch times, where a nation's success and improvement are tied to fiscal outcomes - the small Kingdom of Bhutan offers a much different yardstick to measure by: Happiness. The small Himalayan Kingdom has for years decided to forgo the international pressure to rate themselves in terms of national Gross Domestic Product and has instead replaced that with measuring the quality of life of their people, they measure Gross National Happiness. More... (Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2011; 1 comment)

Cell Phone Central: Himalaya

Cell Phone Central: Himalaya

Steve has been traveling to the Himalayas for almost forty years, he's seen first hand many of the changes that have been happening through the area; however, the most recent changes have been some of the most surprising. The last few years the advent of cell phones and their wide spread proliferation has been a changing force in the area. More... (Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011)

On Dinner with His Majesty, the King of Mustang…

On Dinner with His Majesty, the King of Mustang…

After almost 40 years of traveling, living and exploring Nepal, Steve Conlon still finds adventures that have him falling in love all over again. Here he revisits the trek through the Forbidden Kingdom of Mustang in Nepal and his favorite meeting with the King of Mustang and how he got there. More... (Posted on Tuesday, November 15, 2011)

Everest in a Week!

Everest in a Week!

Steve has always felt like he was a purist, in terms of travel and the mindset behind it - so the new itinerary he proposed - Everest in a Week - shocked everyone, most of all him! He had done this trip, while in Nepal, in the attempt to visit the new lodges in the Khumbu Valley and explore some of the area - but what he found was so much more. A new trip, a new way to experience the area and a way to do it all in one week! More... (Posted on Monday, October 10, 2011)

Magical Sikkim

Magical Sikkim

After over 40 years of traveling through the Himalaya, Steve Conlon headed out to Sikkim thinking it would be more of the same and that his experience could give him a good idea of what to expect. Boy was he wrong! The magic of Sikkim captured him and and since expanded the annual offerings of ATC to include a special trek to Sikkim co-led by Steve and Everest Sumiteer, Jamling Tenzing. More... (Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011)

The Trekker, The Bride, and Serendipity

The Trekker, The Bride, and Serendipity

With 30 years of experience of arranging travel, we've learned that there is only so much you can plan before hand. Like life, travel has a certain amount of serendipity that it needs to be graced with for it to be all that it can be. Trips that follow only an itinerary, miss out on so much more that is just off the page and out there, ready and waiting to be explored. All you have to do is keep your eyes, and heart, open and ready to explore. More... (Posted on Thursday, August 11, 2011)

Choosing the Right Tour Operator For You

Choosing the Right Tour Operator For You

Making plans to travel across the world is an overwhelming process, one full of questions with hard-to-find answers! Adena, from Tripwolf interviewed Lisa from ATC with questions on how to choose a tour operator and how to know which trip and operator is the best fit for you. More... (Posted on Monday, July 25, 2011)

Jetting or Jetlagging?

Jetting or Jetlagging?

Here are a few tips from travel insiders on how to avoid the perils of jetlag and keep on jetting! More... (Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011)

What's In A Name?

What's In A Name?

You can't know where you're going until you know where you've come from. This is the story of our origins here at Above the Clouds, and where our name came from. More... (Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011)

Dream, Desire, Go

Dream, Desire, Go

After reading Eat, Pray, Love and seeing the movie Lisa felt like she hadn't seen or read the same book/movie as everyone else! It all seemed like people were focusing on replication rather than adventure - she felt as though everyone was missing the point. More... (Posted on Monday, August 30, 2010; 1 comment)

More than Just the Destination

More than Just the Destination

In a world where we are all on a deadline, and under pressure and stressed, it gets very easy to focus only on the end result and forget that life isn't about the destination - but the journey. More... (Posted on Tuesday, July 20, 2010; 1 comment)

Bored Lagyo

Bored Lagyo

The modern world comes to Nepal....well not exactly. More... (Posted on Tuesday, July 6, 2010)

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times

Some of our alums share their stories, this one in particular really touched us. Jane spent a month traveling through Nepal and Bhutan earlier this year, this is the story of how and why she went - and what she brought home with her. More... (Posted on Wednesday, June 23, 2010; 1 comment)

Not All Guides are Created Equal

Not All Guides are Created Equal

With 30 years experience in the industry, Steve Conlon knows what makes for a good experience and what makes for a great one. According to him, and his long history of exploring the globe - the one most important factor that makes a good trip great - is who is there: your guide! More... (Posted on Monday, May 24, 2010; 1 comment)

Italy’s Undiscovered Toe

Italy’s Undiscovered Toe

Steve Conlon has been traveling through Europe for almost 40 years and yet he still manages to find unknown corners. This past April he traveled through the widely undiscovered southern toe of Italy and found himself in some wonderful new surroundings. From the languages to the food and landscape, he fell in love with Italy all over again! More... (Posted on Thursday, May 20, 2010; 1 comment)

The Kindness of Strangers….and Lufthansa

The Kindness of Strangers….and Lufthansa

Even the most well traveled of us run into problems while abroad. Even though Steve Conlon has spent years crisscrossing the globe and has been exposed to all different kinds of travel, he has experienced many a snafu! Here he shares one of his most embarrassing travel-gone-wrong stories and how just like life - often times with travel you just have to cross your fingers, hope for the best and believe in the kindness of strangers. More... (Posted on Monday, May 3, 2010; 1 comment)

Group vs. Private Departure: A Personal Decision

Group vs. Private Departure: A Personal Decision

When Richard & Dorothy's group departure was canceled they weren't sure if they would get a chance to visit India at all; however, they decided to go ahead and have Above the Clouds put together a private departure just for the two of them. They found themselves to be happily surprised with the adventure they had booked - a more personal journey than expected. More... (Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2010)

My First Trek: The Interplay of Culture and Cuisine

My First Trek: The Interplay of Culture and Cuisine

Steve Conlon has been traveling to Nepal from almost 40 years, some of that has been his own exploration, some with groups and some with friends and family. This is the story of this first trip to Nepal and the beginning of the next 40 years of his life. More... (Posted on Friday, April 16, 2010)

It’s Called “Mountain”

It’s Called “Mountain”

Often times people travel with a very strong idea of the reasons they are going - and many times they return home with a very different perspective. Steve Conlon found that out first hand many years ago, this is his story. More... (Posted on Thursday, April 8, 2010; 1 comment)

Ghara, Magical Ghara

Ghara, Magical Ghara

There are certain travel experiences that change one's perspective on life, this is one of those events. More... (Posted on Wednesday, April 7, 2010)

How to Let a Boy Carry Your Luggage: Confessions of a Self-Sufficient Traveler

Confessions of a Self-Sufficient Traveler

A long time, well traveled and incredibly smart friend of ours took her first trek with us this summer. Her pithy wit and great attitude was both entertaining and enlightening throughout trek, so when we returned we asked her to share her thoughts on the trek through the Forbidden Kingdom of Mustang - they ended up being the hilarious confessions of a first time Above the Clouds trekker. More... (Posted on Tuesday, April 6, 2010; 1 comment)

The Changing Face of Trekking in Nepal

The Changing Face of Trekking in Nepal

Many claim that Nepal was the birthplace of adventure travel, and now - about 60 years later the country, industry and trekking itself has totally changed. Steve Conlon has been in trekking in Nepal for 40 years and has been apart of the evolution that has taken place throughout the country. More... (Posted on Monday, April 5, 2010)

The Legend of Patibhara

Nepal Treks and Traditions: The Legend of Patibhara

Some trek itineraries are facilitated by mountains and views, while others are motivated by the idea of a new untouched trail; however, our East Nepal trek itinerary was precipitated much more by legend than anything else. This Nepali folk story is the tale of a young girl turned goddess, and the sacred hill that she still protectively graces with her presence: Patibhara. More... (Posted on Sunday, April 4, 2010)

Lions, tigers and TIGERS! Oh My!

Lions, Bears and TIGERS! Oh My!

In the modern world there are few things that exemplify the grace, agility and power of the tiger; however, even with all of these traits it seems that the tiger is having a more and more difficult time finding its place here in the modern world of poachers and sprawling development. More... (Posted on Thursday, April 1, 2010)