I never imagined I would be taking months off from work to travel. Yet in a few days I board a flight to Tanzania, so I wanted to share How I planned my Mt. Kilimanjaro trip.
I did not think it was possible. I was working a 9-5 job with 2 weeks of paid time off and 6 unpaid time off for holidays. I was excited that my current job offered 6 sick days as opposed to the 3 sick days I was offered at my previous jobs. I struggled to allocate my limited time off between friends, family, and personal interests.
Yet right now, as I write, I am currently “funemployed”. I have spent the last month traveling to see family, going to lakes, hiking mountains, sleeping in, etc. I have also been working on my continuing education courses for my physical therapy license and working on getting my license in more states to work in. In 1 week, I will go to Tanzania, where my boyfriend and I will climb Mount Meru as our 4-day “warm up” and then do a 6-day trek up Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain on the continent of Africa. After that, we are going on a week-long safari and then hitting the beaches of Zanzibar.
So, how did I get from these 2 very different scenarios?
It all started with a seed of desire for more adventure and its counterpart aversion to where I was.
Early in the “courting” phase, or what I like to call the “talking” phase of my relationship with my boyfriend. We talked for hours on the phone, getting to know each other. He mentioned how he and his friends wanted to climb Kilimanjaro and shared his ideas of mountain trekking, safari-ing, and beach snorkeling adventures that could be had. I was enamored with this possibility (and him, too!), I wanted to explore and go on this epic hypothetical trip. Without him directly inviting me to this trip, I told him I would love to come if he and his friends went in the next few years.
That was the seed that started my desire.
I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I would bring it up and ask questions. I was very forward in telling him I wanted to do it.
I remember telling him something along the lines of “We just gotta make it happen. We just have to plan it”.
It was decided that it was a done deal, a priority for 2023; all I had to do was just “figure it out”.
I laugh at that because, in full disclosure, it was stressful planning. It involved having 2-3 months’ worth of money to live on, continuing to pay my student loans, paying for trekking company, plane tickets, lodging, strategizing an appropriate date for the best weather/season, etc. (I will get in those details in part 2.)
Yet, it all started with the decision to tell people, “We are going to climb Kilimanjaro next year”, as if it had already been completed.
The foundation of it all was an idea being spoken, it triggering a desire in my being, and my growing distaste for my 9-5 job and feeling burnout.
I also want to share that 2022 was filled with heartache and loss of loved ones. I watched as my grandparents, their siblings and spouses, and my last great-grandparent all passed within months of each other for various things. I think spending time with death made me realise my deep values: relationships, fun/humor, overcoming obstacles, and adventures, specifically outside! Life was too short not to dream big!
So it came back to that decision:
We are going to hike Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2023. Now, all we have to do is figure out how.
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