Family’s unexpected three months in Nepal lockdown

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Smith family

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The family said they were in a beautiful setting and felt very lucky

An Aberdeen family on a round-the-world trip have now spent three months in lockdown in Nepal.

Kris and Julie Smith and children Erihn, nine, and four-year-old Jacob, left Aberdeen in June last year to fulfil a “big crazy dream” of travelling around the globe.

However, coronavirus lockdown measures came into force in March.

They have been in Lukla – a small town in the Solukhumbu region – thousands of miles from home – since then.

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Smith family

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The Smiths are making the most of their surroundings

The family expect to hear more about possible lockdown changes in the coming days.

Before reaching Nepal, they had been to countries including India, Jordan, Albania, Serbia and Hungary.

They are now staying in a hotel next to an airport runway, on the edge of a mountain.

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Smith family

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The airport is almost within touching distance

“We left Aberdeen 12 months ago to go travelling around the world with our kids,” Mr Smith, 41, told BBC Scotland’s The Nine.

“This is now country 19 and we arrived here three months ago. We just need to sit it out and see how things go.”

He described the amenities as “quite basic”, so it could be “a bit of a struggle”.

“We only have a stove in the living room to keep warm at night,” he said.

“But we’re in a safe place and there’s plenty of space for the kids to run about, so in the main we’re happy but we would like to get moving again shortly.”

Mr Smith added: “We miss our family and friends back home, but we are getting so many messages of support which is keeping us going.”

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Smith family

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Jacob celebrated his 4th birthday in Nepal

Among their lockdown experiences so far, Jacob celebrated his 4th birthday with his parents and sister in Nepal.

Mrs Smith, 46, said: “We had managed to get seven days trekking and then the lockdown appeared.

“We’re in a beautiful setting and we feel very lucky. We have a roof over our head and three meals a day, so we do feel very fortunate – and the kids are happy which keeps us happy too.”

She said the family spend their time mostly in the grounds of the hotel as they’re not allowed to leave the complex to walk into town due to restrictions.

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Smith family

“When we heard the news that lockdown was being implemented, we made the decision to stay in Nepal,” she said.

“We thought that was the right thing to do, because at the time Scotland’s cases were going up and we didn’t want to put the children on an aeroplane.

‘Miss their grandparents’

“Hopefully after lockdown is lifted, we do want to travel, but we have wait and see where we can travel to. We’re not ruling out coming back to Scotland, but we just have to make sure wherever we go next is going to be safe for the children.

“In terms of challenges, we’re a normal family of four and we’re in a very small space like many people around the world right now, so it can be tough at times.

“The children miss their grandparents and cousins, but we stay in contact with family at home.”

Vietnam and Sri Lanka are among locations the family still hope to reach. They also hope to climb to the Everest base camp, if possible.

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