In this weeks blog, Co-Founder Amber Friederichs shares her latest personal achievement. Amber's adventurous spirit and daring travel has given her fierce determination with an open mind, the perfect combination for her career as an entrepreneur and investor. The ultimate #girlboss.
Breaking THE Boundaries
I enjoy giving myself challenges in life, setting personal goals on both a mental and physical level which push me to break my previous boundaries, overcome fear and reach a new level of achievement, confidence and appreciation for our vast planet that has so many corners to explore. On my latest adventure I decided to throw myself into the deep end and climb to Uhuru Peak, the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, also known as the Roof of Africa.
Standing majestically at 5,895m above sea level, the highest freestanding mountain on earth does not have a particularly steep ascend that requires advanced mountaineering skills - but is rather challenging because of its high altitude which decreases oxygen levels by 50% as you reach the top. How one will respond to this environment is difficult to predict without having been exposed to it, so I decided together with 6 other thrill-seekers to ‘take a leap of faith’.
THE WEIGHT OF ADVENTURE
I thoroughly enjoyed two previous adventure holidays with the Canadian company G Adventures so decided to travel with them once again - I was absolutely thrilled I did as the entire experience was impeccable.
For our tiny team of 7 adventurers, they employed 21 local porters(!!) to haul our baggage, tents, mattresses, chairs, food and even a portable toilet up that entire mountain. In case you thought you were putting in a serious amount of effort each day to reach the top, one look at them made you think again. Try doing it on slippers, at least 20kg on your back and possibly for the 200th time (like our expedition leader). Now that’s another level of achievement!
That said, it should certainly not take away, or diminish the personal sense of achievement. As with any challenge overcome or achieved goal, it’s about your own boundaries that you cross and you should feel proud of those. It’s near impossible to describe the emotions you go through in those 4 days climbing to the top, the connection you feel with the ever-changing environment, the bond you create with your fellow companions and the physical limits you push yourself through.
REACHING THE TOP
The last night, the night of the ascend, you get woken up at 11 pm, served a small ‘breakfast’ and told to wear at least 4 layers on the bottom, 7 on top. It’s not only the -23 degrees temperature you will be exposed to on the mountain for that final 8-hour climb, you are also faced with the wind, slow movement, darkness and no shelter the entire way to the top. I was certainly fortunate enough to not experience any signs of altitude sickness although I was the minority. Other group members went through vomiting, extreme fatigue and even hypothermia - but through our communal support and own perseverance, we all made it.
Reaching the top of Mount Kilimanjaro was the start of an even greater climbing and hiking bug for me. I don’t have the desire to tick the Seven Summits of my list but the desire to explore the endless hiking trails across the world has become even greater. And for this we don’t always have to look far from home - the UK has some gorgeous (and challenging!) cross country paths and for these, I can take my favourite travel companion, Bailey the dog, as well.
Let us know what kind of travelling you enjoy the most in the comments below. Are you a luxury hotel or hiking excursion kind of person?
Don’t forget to follow Amber on Instagram @amberfleurlouise to keep up with her travelling!