Nancy Royden is a native of Ashland, Kentucky, and a resident of Frankfort, Kentucky. She is a former newspaper photographer and writer who has traveled to more than 20 countries. She lived in Germany for five years and resided in Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee, Maryland and Texas. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communication arts and a minor in Spanish from Georgetown College in Kentucky.
Of all the places she has traveled, her trip to Kathmandu, Nepal in March 2016 provided her not only with new friends and a love for the country, but also an education of things that really matter in life.
“Although my formal education gave me much book knowledge and wonderful memories, the trip to Nepal was an important part of my education as well. I was deeply touched by this place and would encourage others to go there themselves,” she said.
The exhibition of these photographs illustrates that even though devastating earthquakes in 2015 crushed or damaged centuries-old temples and other structures, there is still so much to see.
Originally drawn to the country after collecting Nepali handicrafts and viewing hundreds of photos of the country, Royden decided to book a stay at Hotel Yak & Yeti and fly to the far-flung Kathmandu airport.
“Some people seem shocked to learn I went to Nepal by myself. I also went to Bali alone. I didn’t attempt either trip without extensive reading of books and online articles beforehand. I read many accounts of women who travel by themselves, and that was beneficial,” Royden said. “It’s very important to me that my 21-year-old son visit Nepal as soon as he is able to do so.”
The images Royden captured of Nepal showcase the bright colors that are everywhere in the Kathmandu Valley. They bring to life the welcoming people, world-famous religious sites and depict how volunteers, monks and paid workers are laboring to rebuild the Boudhanath Buddhist temple.
With more than 20 years of experience in the newspaper business and online media, her photos have been published by The Baltimore Sun, NBC4 in Washington, D.C. and The Huffington Post. Her writing has been featured by The Associated Press, Texas Highway Patrol Magazine and Nu Magazine of Austin, Texas. She most recently worked for the Georgetown News-Graphic in Kentucky. She has been a volunteer photographer for Latinitas Austin, the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and the Ward Hall Foundation in Georgetown, Kentucky.