If you have been reading my blog, you might have caught the fact that last summer (August 2015), I went on a crazy adventure to Tanzania. Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, camping out in the Serengeti and relaxing on the island paradise of Zanzibar are a combination that can create memories to last a lifetime.
I am not exaggerating when I say that this is one of the ultimate adventures that you can do. In two weeks, my entire worldview and beliefs about myself changed. I pushed myself to the limits and discovered what I am capable of, connected with nature and explored a set of whole new cultures up close and personal.
The most incredible part of this whole trip is that this is something that just a year before I would never have considered doing. I would never even have imagined myself being capable of doing this. Climbing a mountain was never something that I thought I would ever do, especially not one so tall.
On the surface, it seems like a daunting task. Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and rises up to 5,895 meters above sea level. It is located close to the equator, but due to its height, its top is constantly bathed in snow.
The peak of the mountain is covered by glaciers, although ones that are shrinking fast due to global warming. They have shrunk by 85% in the past 100 years and unfortunately most predictions say that they might disappear completely in a very short while.
Standing at the top is an amazing experience. Looking around, you see a desolate landscape and huge swathes of snow and ice. You are in Africa, but there is snow!
The rugged beauty that is in front of you has a special effect on all that experience it. It is as if you were suddenly transported to another world.
You are overwhelmed by the entire magic of it all. You have spent days circling this monster, getting closer and closer to its peak, to be foiled day after day. However on this final day, you have made it.
By standing on the top, you get a sense of something more powerful than yourself. It makes you reflect on the world and your place in it. What you are experiencing is awe and it can really change your entire world view, not only of yourself, but others. This has actually been proven by scientific studies:
“New research from UC Berkeley and UC Irvine suggests that experiencing awe can actually prompt us to act more benevolently toward others. In other words, awe can help make the world a better place.“
You literally come back a changed person. The top of Mt. Kilimanjaro is something only a select few get to experience and you are lucky to be one of them.