Since it is coming up on a year since I did this awesome Kilimanjaro trip, I am going to use some of my blogs to reflect on the trip and serve as a resource for people interested in knowing more about this trip. I will get into many aspects of the why and the how of the trip. Also, I want to share my experience for those who are considering doing a trip like this and also for the “armchair” travelers who enjoy looking at the pictures and experiencing the travel without the hassle of planes, trains, buses, etc.
So lets start at the beginning. I don’t remember how Kilimanjaro even got on my bucket list, but I did put it there. It could have been 5 or more years ago, but that is how I do things. I put it down on paper and let it percolate for a while. I think it must have been a few years ago that I started getting travel brochures from Tusker and Thomson Safaris. Now I was looking at the real thing. The next step was to set a meeting and go in and speak with a representative of Thompson Safaris in Watertown, MA. I think I did this in 2011 with the intention of doing the trip in 2012 or 2013.
With images in mind and some idea of what the cost of this endeavor, I introduced the idea to a couple of long time friends, but neither of them was able to make the commitment. So, in August of 2012, I put down an $800 deposit and booked the trip. Now it started to become real!
I still needed to raise a large portion of the money to do this trip. I had opened up an ebay store and frequented many of the local estate sales, garage sales, etc. I have been involved in ebay since 1999. Expanding my ebay business is what provided the funds for this trip and I anticipate it will work for future trips which I already have on the drawing board. I worked very hard to fund this trip and as a result it was more meaningful and satisfying because the reward was something I toiled for many months to “Make it Happen”
Being a goal driven person, I take a lot of pride in setting out on a long term goal, then working over an extended period of time to see my dream come true. This was an incredible trip with many aspects that made it wonderful, magical, and overall just fantastic!
I wanted to insure that I took care of all the variables that I could control. So, I lost weight, ate healthy, bicycled. hiked up to 12 miles with a backpack, got to where I could run 6 miles continuously, and did Crossfit! Crossfit is an incredible workout that builds your core and endurance unlike anything else I have ever done! I also got all the recommended shots, had dental work done that I needed, was fastidious about hand washing and sanitizing before the trip and during! So, I really made an effort to do everything I could to insure a successful trip to the summit.
I knew that I did not have any control over weather and how my body responded to altitude. I will discuss that in another blog.