How long were you in Nepal? Was it too long? Too short? We were there for just over 2 weeks, trekking the first week and sightseeing the second. It felt just about right for that sort of trip, though I would have been happy to go back out and trek more. The route we did was one of the shorter ones, only took 4.5 days, so I'd be happy to try some of the base camp treks that can take two weeks or longer. Our guide is an international mountain guide, and said he would be happy to take my fiance and I climbing in the future for trips a month or longer (usual on the larger mountains). Honestly I could flat out move to Nepal, so I think any length of time will feel too short for me ;)
Was having a friend from the area necessary, or could you have gone without? I'd say knowing a local or having a local guide is pretty necessary unless you know Nepali, the culture, and either know the cities you're heading to or are good at asking directions in Nepali. There are almost no street signs, and many dont have names, so getting around can be tricky since people tend to just use landmarks to navigate. Most young people learn English in school, but many people we met barely spoke English (and we barely speak Nepali) so having our friend to translate for us was crucial once we left Kathmandu. Nepalis are super nice though, so it's not that people wouldnt try to help you out, it's just that it would be quite a headache. They dont even use arabic numbers half the time on things like signs and license plates, so there's an added layer of confusion. For example the Nepali 1 looks like a 9, 4 looks like an 8, and 7 looks like a 6. I kept trying to pay the wrong amount the first couple days because I'd pull out the end of the bill that has the Nepali number and misread it ha.
Did you have everything you took in a backpack, or did you leave things places (hotel, friend's home)? We both carried everything in our 60L backpacking packs. Conveniently, they were both under the weight limit (10kg) for our airline for carryons despite their size, so we didnt even have to check them! But yeah, everything we had fit on our backs. We got laundry done halfway through the trip since our trekking clothes were stinking everything up, but that was cheap ($1/kg).
I'll be sure to link the post(s)! Working on getting stuff written down right now, next step will be sorting through lots and lots of pictures. =)