Simon Carriere is a Canadian born global citizen working online as a designer and full stack developer. After graduating high school, Simon decided he wanted a taste of the world and spend the last 5 years living from Melbourne Australia, Budapest Hungary, and New York City before calling Nepal home. From working with TOMS Shoes to designing and building a blockchain-powered app to protect marine wildlife in Indonesia, he spends his days thinking of new ways to utilize technology to impact struggling communities. Apart from his digital work, Simon is a nature lover who loves hiking and riding bikes. He believes that one should help others without expecting anything in return.
As of today, people of Nepal have accepted the harsh reality of Nepali youths tending to leave the country citing a lack of facilities and opportunities as a matter of fact. No one denies this being a very serious problem. Meanwhile, it can come as a surprise to many knowing that there are people coming in from different parts of the world and living a good life here. Maybe that's the reason why I found it quite fascinating, so I went for an interview with Simon.
1. Why are you here in Nepal? I mean it’s kind of strange that you left your country where you obviously had so many opportunities than here.
I left New York City before coming to Nepal. Although New York is a really exciting city and a very competitive one, I found the so-called ‘hustle’ to be redundant and felt disconnected from the life I wanted to lead. Here in Nepal, everything is at the forefront, constantly in transition with everything being questioned and challenged. The energy of the new generation coming of age is exciting and I’m sure will be transformative. And that, for me, is something I believe to be worth being part of.
2. How do you see Nepal from your eyes?
Being Canadian and having traveled significantly, I tend to want to focus on the similarities we all share. You know, we’re not all that different, apart from our spice tolerance. But to be honest, although the environment may have been different, what matters to each of us is at the core the same. Earlier you mentioned opportunity, and although geography often dictates the scope of opportunities, we often overlook what’s in our own backyard. Here in Nepal, there are so many talented youths studying and working in technology, far more experienced, talented and passionate than myself. What I’d love to see, is a better landscape of support to help young individuals identify, prototype and launch various solutions.
Regarding Kathmandu specifically, I definitely romanticize the gullies of patan and have developed an affinity for all food Nepali. To fight my personal battle with pollution, we try to get away every weekend, often picnics in Shivapuri or Nagarjun. But it’s sad, for a city of more than a million people, the trails are often empty. I feel sorry for people as they are really missing something.
3. What do you like about Nepali?
I have visited almost 40 districts here in Nepal. That’s the advantage of having a bike, I can go literally anywhere. I have seen all kinds of Nepali, from rich to poor, successful to failures and the one who is struggling. But in each and every Nepali, I’ve seen determination and their pride in being a Nepali.
4. What special messages or anything you would like to give our readers?
Most of you reading this are probably students or maybe working professionals. You’re all either learning, practicing or actively working on developing your skills (or should be). Currently, besides building my own digital products and working with clients, I’m actively involved in three different charities and trust me I am not getting a penny. But you know what? I am happy and it’s going to open doors for me too. I say, dedicate a few hours every week towards a project you believe in or design your own solution for your community. You don’t have to look far, but utilize what you know or work on a project that will push you to learn new skills and help you develop yourself professionally and personally. I believe we all have a responsibly not just as citizens or community members but as individuals to make our shared world a better and fairer place. Just do good without expecting anything in return and good things will come to you. Plus helps to build your portfolio. (laughs)
5.Anything you would like to share, not a message particularly but something you want to share with us: your experience or anything you would like everyone to know?
Ha, well, there’s is something on my mind. I live in Patan, near Krishna Mandir. I’ve been coming to Nepal for 5 years now, staying 6 months at a time. But still, after all these years, I can’t walk across the square without being chased after for not paying the 1000 NPR entry fee. It’s kind of hurting, you know, the life of a ‘foreigner’. I am not saying charging some money is a bad thing. Tourism itself provides a great economy and of course you should charge it. But come on, I am living here accepting this place like my home but things like this really hurt me. Oh! And in the evening, I often finish my day sharing chia in the square and pick up the trash left by others before going back home.
Don’t take me wrong, I’m thrilled to be here, feels like home, just thought it might be worth sharing with you guys. Yeah, that’s it!! (laughs)