Evaluating personal ROI

3 min readMar 11, 2023


Michelle Welsch hiking Everest Base Camp (2013)

I’m nearing my 10-year anniversary of first arriving in Nepal.

Thinking of who I am now vs. the young woman who left New York City in 2013 has me in the feels.

Michelle Welsch in Marpha, Mustang District

Sure, coming to Nepal alone is gutsy.

Staying to start A Dream Project from scratch and working day in and day out to build a sustainable, stable learning environment in a place that can be anything but that has led to more sacrifice and hardship than I could have ever possibly imagined.

Learning House’s Leadership Development Camp

I suppose when you start evaluating your life’s work, you must weigh benefits next to spent resources. (That’s ROI, for my business peeps.)

Inside a Learning House classroom

When I consider:

  • The students who have been inspired because of Learning House
  • Landscapes and cultures I might have only read about but got to experience
  • Friends who encouraged me and believed in me, particularly in moments I didn’t believe in much
One of many cakes shared at Learning House

Worth a decade of my life?

Quite possibly.

Michelle Welsch at one of Pokhara’s first Latte Art Barista Competitions, organized by Learning House

From installing a solar grid to helping students experience new ideas and places, getting my research published, organizing hundreds of workshops and events, growing an education center that has reached thousands of students, mentoring leaders in the community…

I am proud.

Learning House’s 5-year anniversary celebration

While I’m not exactly the same woman I was 10 years ago, I am thankful that I held onto the bravery and courage needed to listen to my heart’s call, even when the path ahead was covered in fog.

Art Club, one of Learning House’s free community initiatives

A friend recently reminded me that the greatest stones are often buried in the thickest of earth.

Learning House team outing

I pray my efforts to spread kindness and creativity in a small corner of the world yield gems yet to be uncovered.




After co-founding Learning House, an education center in Nepal, I coach and create. You may see my writing on the internet. www.michellewelsch.com