Thame Amongst Kids and Yaks

In Thame, Helping With the Library, Photo © Liesl Clark

I came of age in Nepal somewhere in my early twenties. The tiny Himalayan nation, home to many of the world’s highest mountains was my proving ground, where a people who live close to the Earth taught me a better way of life, where conservation and exploration became fodder for my storytelling dreams.

When 10 people died on Mount Everest on a single day in 1996, the events that led to Jon Krakauer’s best-selling Into Thin Air, I was reporting live daily on the web with a satellite phone, a camera, laptop, and microphone, for NOVA Online. Our genre,at the time, was called, “Webumentaries,”  or “Online Expeditions.” The world had to get their news about the events as they transpired, through me. It was baptism by fire, online reporting well before blogs even existed.

I carved out my niche as a filmmaker able to work in the world’s most remote places, making 15 films, now, for NOVA and National Geographic, including one about our team’s discovery of George Leigh Mallory high on the north face of Everest 3 years after the tragic deaths on the south side. That project, too, involved live blogging, as did films I directed in places as far-flung as Antarctica, Easter Island, and Alaska. I’ve been writing, filming, and photographing ever since, as well as developing new platforms for reaching out to people willing to take on new social experiments about sharing, community, and connection.

The Buy Nothing Project, with 6 million+ members and 7000 groups on Facebook in 44 nations, and 400,000 downloads on our independent BuyNothing platform that was launched 6 months ago, was born out of this yearning for a back-to-basics, stop buying new, use and reuse what you have, ethic that we keep returning to in Nepal. The lessons learned, about living simply and mindfully, like the Nepalese and Tibetan people I have come to love and live and work with year after year, punctuate every creative product I work to produce.

We are a family who resides each year in both the USA and Nepal, living an experiment to return to a life more simple: Free of plastic, everyday toxics, and commercialism. We’re far from reaching that goal of purity, but are enjoying the journey immensely, tiptoeing down that long path, sometimes barefoot, inching closer to how our pioneering great great grandparents once lived, ever closer to the land and the rhythms of the Earth.

Pioneering The Simple Life is our family’s creative space, our little publishing house, where we can interface with the world to share what we’ve learned. We’re thankful that you’re on this journey with us and look forward to hearing your feedback as we continue through life’s joyfully-earned lessons.

Jackson Hole Hugs

Jackson Hole Hugs

13 thoughts on “About

  1. Liesl. If I were raising kids, my choice would be to raise them as you and Pete do: Away from the influences of the big box TV and interacting with real life and people. I’m a obstetric-newborn-gynecology nurse and will pass on your blog to my new moms. Thanks for this! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Liesl,
    Wow, so excited by all the work you’re doing! I was first at the Trash Backwards app blog and then followed you here. I really loved reading your posts about Mustang. I lived in Nepal for a semester as an undergrad and also did some nonprofit work there so it has a really special place in my heart. I have never been to Mustang, but after seeing your pictures and reading your posts, I know I must visit! Thanks for your inspiring work. Sending you a virtual high five….and my heartfelt support to say keep going for it Didi.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Hello Liesl, I studied Tibetan at Paris University for five years and have many friends from Mustang.
        I studied the Kalachakra for 45 years and would be very happy to share that with you and your followers.

        Kind regards.

        Geir Smith.

        Tibetan name: Jamyang Khedrup



    • Hi Liesl:
      Wow, I’m floored! I’ve only met one other Liesl and certainly not a Liesl Clark with a son named Finn. Thank you so much for getting in touch. I’m impressed with your endeavors at 5 Lakes (I saw your email address) and your passion to change public policy in support of renewable energy. My father owns a company (http://www.swiftriverhydro.com/) that renovates century-old dams to produce green power again for New England. And my latest passion, in somewhat a similar “green” vein, has been to create an international web app for aiding individuals and communities to reach zero waste (Trashbackwards.com). We’re about to launch the app (app.trashbackwards.com) which we hope to take to municipalities all over the country for hyper-local easy-to-access information about reducing, reusing, fixing, gifting, and rethinking the stuff of our everyday lives. So happy to know there’s another Liesl Clark out there doing what she can to put our planet back on course again.
      Kindest regards,

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Liesl,

        Thanks for sharing your father’s link and your work on Trashbackwards. Both are very interesting endeavors. I completely agree with Rachel on pumpkin roasting, Finn is begging me to roast another this weekend from our CSA so he can have more seeds and pumpkin bread! I will share Trashbackwards with my networks here in Michigan. There are many people who will be intrigued and supportive.

        I noticed your work (and name!) years ago watching mountaineering movies. I’ve always been fascinated by mountain climbing, and my husband and I love to travel. Maybe two years ago my boys and I were watching a PBS special on caves in Petra and I realized we now had more in common when I heard Finn’s name.

        Thanks for your interest. I am very proud of what we have built (my partners are amazing) with 5 Lakes. We are coming off a loss in the election this week; we were pushing a renewable energy standard constitutional amendment and lost. Now is the time to refocus and re-energize our work, however. I’m turning my attention inward to reflect and learn from the experience.

        Your blog is really beautiful. My mom has been blogging for a few years now, it is a diary of sorts for my Grandpa. If you are interested, she would love another visitor: http://fromunderthewillow.blogspot.com/2012/11/howell-halloween.html

        Thanks for the reply! All the best to you, your family, and your Finn!


  3. liesl~
    wow! thank you for chronicling your life with your amazing family! i just found your blog when I googled “homeschooling in nepal”… and got caught up in your photography and beautiful story.

    my husband, two children, and i are moving to kathmandu in september and i am going to homeschool. however, i’m having a hard time finding information abt international homeschooling, and wondered if you have any suggestions. we are the first family who is working within our missions organization in nepal, so we are kind of like the guinea pigs when it comes to things like homeschooling and having children in kathmandu.

    would so appreciate any insight you might have! thanks for your time!

    autumn watt


  4. The FIRST thing we need to do for the planet is to slow world population increase. Everyone does not NEED to have children! There are more than enough needy, adoptable children on this poor earth that we don’t need to have more. Fewer people, less burden on the earth…and yes, less garbage.


  5. Liesl, you have a beautiful family and I respect your upcycling, recycling aims. Re. The other post about why women don’t say… my apologies, I’m exhausted (I live with chronic pain), for not extending my compassion to you, too. I’m sorry you have suffered this way. It should never happen.
    Faith 🐻 💜 🌻

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Local Buy Nothing groups raising kids kindness – The Local Good

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