With 2020 drawing to a close, we’re looking ahead to 2021 and know you probably are too. 2021 holds so much potential for much needed adventure, fun memories and new goals.
You can even combine the adventure, memories, and goals…with a Kilimanjaro Trek!
Here’s why Kilimanjaro is the adventurous escape you need in 2021.
Leave behind those same four walls
Plain and simple – it’s probably time for a change of scenery. Leaving behind the house or apartment will be refreshing in itself. But leaving it behind to return to nature will be rejuvenating! Imagine visiting a place where the scenery changes every day, you can observe things that can be found nowhere else, and you can have an entirely new perspective on the world.
All of that can be found on the slopes of Kilimanjaro. You’ll trek through five different climate zones, with the landscapes changing daily from the lush rainforest to the snow covered arctic. You’ll pass by trees and flowers that can only be found in Kili’s forests. And you’ll stand at the top of Africa, looking down over the clouds – that’s about as much of a different perspective as one can get.
Put your phone in airplane mode
This year has been an information overload. A break from the blue light of the screens, the constant scrolling, the buzzing and dinging of notifications, and the daily barrage of new information could do us all some good.
When you arrive to Tanzania, you can let the folks at home know you landed safely, but after that we recommend switching on Airplane Mode. You can still take plenty of photos and videos and jot down notes of your favorite memories – just wait until you’re off the mountain to share them. Kilimanjaro doesn’t exactly have WiFi anyway!
Exercise your body and mind
Maybe you’ve been able to get creative this year, joining virtual yoga classes in the living room or daily rides on the stationary bike in the bedroom. But after several months, your muscles are probably craving more – and so is your mind.
In addition to pushing your body farther than it’s been and calling on muscles to move in new ways, Kilimanjaro also presents a mental challenge like none other. This isn’t the living room or the bedroom; this is a dormant volcano, bringing you face to face with Mother Nature. And She demands a lot more than killer leg strength – you’ll have to motivate yourself, push aside negativity, trust your instincts, believe in your abilities, and want this more than anything else. Those are the muscles your mind wants to flex!
Stretch out and breathe deep
Kilimanjaro isn’t like the world we’ve gotten used to. It’s a place where social distancing happens naturally and there’s no shortness of space and fresh air.
On Kilimanjaro, you find yourself in a vast openness, stretching for miles and miles in every direction. The Western Approach and Grand Traverse routes in particular are some of the least-traveled on the mountain. Meaning no crowds or lines – only you and your team, looking deep into the rainforest, or staring at the fog on the Shira Plateau, or gazing over the clouds below you at the summit.
You can finally take a deep breath and stretch your arms out. Feel the wind at your back, the mist on your face, and the sun on your skin, unhindered by crowds or lines. Allow yourself to feel small and refreshed in the wide expanse of Kilimanjaro’s sanctuary.
Connect with someone new
One of the most exciting parts of traveling to new areas of the world is the people you meet in each destination. With travel on hold in 2020, those relationships have been replaced by Brady-Bunch style faces on a screen, week after week. It’s time for some new friends and conversations.
Talking with the team of guides and porters on Kilimanjaro will teach you a lot more than how to say ‘good morning’ and ‘good night’ in Swahili. You’ll hear stories of hundreds of trips to Uhuru Peak; family legacies of guiding; careers that started at the very bottom and ended at the very top; humble beginnings and selfless attitudes; a yearning for education and a desire to grow. You’ll see leadership paired with compassion, strength paired with grace, and skill paired with humility. These conversations with your team will not only keep your spirits up and keep you motivated with each foot you gain in altitude, but will set your soul on fire, keeping you inspired, grateful and ambitious long after you’ve descended.
Accomplish a goal
New Year’s Resolutions fell by the wayside early this year. But next year can be the comeback. Next year can see things checked off to-do lists, dream lists and bucket lists. Next year can be your year.
Kilimanjaro can be whatever you need it to be. Your first trip to Africa? Sure! Your longest multi-day trek? Why not! Your altitude-personal-best? Yup! First solo adventure? Let’s do it! Life-long dream fulfilled? Amazing! First of the seven summits? Go for it! Last of the seven summits? Incredible! First time out of the country? Outstanding! Something totally out of your comfort zone? Good for you! Something you’ve been working towards for years? Go get it! Something you never knew you needed? Absolutely impressive!
It doesn’t matter what this goal is to you or how long you’ve been thinking about it. What matters is having something to work towards and something to look forward to. What matters is knowing you’ve challenged yourself and done something worth doing.
If your soul feels stifled and your conscience cluttered; if your space is smothering and your routine overrun, the vastness of Kilimanjaro is the respite you need.