One night, at a Chinese restaurant, I got a fortune cookie.
In it, the fortune read, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Wow, those words spoke to me! And at perfect timing, too. School was tough, friendships were getting hard, and I simply felt stuck.
So I took that fortune and did what I needed to do.
Ate a dozen strawberry sprinkle donuts by myself? No. But close.
I signed up to travel abroad.
And this is my journey of a thousand miles – literally. Except you have to add a couple more thousand to that. But you know what I mean.
Related: 10 Places You Must Go in Your 20s
The first week of July, I’ll embark on an adventure to Tanzania, where I’ll stay in a Masaai village. I’ll share someone else’s home and someone else’s family alongside new friends I meet before leaving on July 15 to do the craziest thing I’ve ever done:
Hike Mt. Kilimanjaro.
(How cute is this print from Poppy & Pinecone?!)
Standing just over 20,000 ft., Kiliminjaro is the tallest free standing mountain in the world (Everest is the tallest ever at close to 30,000 ft., but not free standing – just to clarify). I’ll turn 20 years old at 20,000 ft. I’ll know what it’s like to be on top of the world – and know what it’s like to push my body to its limits and in ways I’ve never pushed before.
I’ve spent the last 6 months preparing for this trip: packing, shopping for supplies, reading blog posts, praying over our travel with my team mates, and looking for the best outdoor camera equipment (of course). Two weeks ago I submitted my final payment for the trip. So it’s officially official. It’s been almost a week since I’ve gotten my ID card for Yellow Fever and I just finished my typhoid vaccine. This weekend I wrapped up my shopping with a huge trip to North Face and went through my packing list 2 or 3 times.
Holy geez, I’m really doing this!!! This is real life!!! I’m so excited. And so happy. And so thankful. And SO nervous. I’m not really scared since our guides are very experienced, and I know I’ll be safe, but I can’t help but wonder what sitting on the plane to Tanzania will feel like. It’ll probably feel like a breath of fresh air. It’ll probably feel so, so good.
I’ll be traveling and hiking with Young Life. I’ve been part of Young Life for about 6 years now, and I can’t even begin to explain how happy it makes me.
Related: There You Are (Why I Love Young Life)
For the month of July, I’ll be hard to get in touch with, but I’ll try my very best to keep everyone updated as much as possible! For family members and friends, you are more than welcome to check out the Young Life blog for our trip that will be regularly updated while I am away from Always, S here and be sure to check out this webcam that live broadcasts from the top of Kilimanjaro! Look for me on the 19th and 20th :] I’ll definitely have some blog posts scheduled, so keep an eye out! As far as social media, I honestly have no idea how little or how much access I’ll have, so I’ll share as much as I can. As always, you can follow along with my adventures on Instagram by following me @thealwaysblog and looking at my travel hashtag, #alwaysblogadventures. My personal account is @swraex if you just can’t get enough ;]
If you have any questions about my trip, please don’t hesitate to ask below, ask on social media (Twitter @alwaysrw), or email me directly: email@example.com. You can follow me on snapchat @swraex to stay updated until I fly out!
Next time you hear from me, I’ll have been 20 at 20,000 feet. I would have lived and worked alongside members of a Masaai tribe in their village, their home. And my life will most definitely probably be changed for forever. And I can’t wait to tell you about it.
What’s been your biggest adventure? How did you prep for it? Talk to me!