I actually conquered Mount Kilimanjaro!! I DID IT!! I cannot believe I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro!!

They say there’s no such thing as magic, but I beg to differ. There is magic here in Africa and certainly up on that mountain. The magic was all around me. It was my personal porter who would look me in the eye and say, “You can do this”; it was my Mother’s voice in my head encouraging me; it was my friends’ voices in my head saying, “You got this”; it was my Dad’s chain around my neck and the knowledge that he was with me every step of the way; it was my BFF cheering me on from home; it was how the other hikers believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself.

Other days the magic was subtle: the assistant guide would stay behind with me when I needed to climb the rocks slower than the group; it was the medical porter who was never more than a few feet away so he could monitor my condition; it was a fellow hiker telling me I would make it to the top even if he had to carry me there himself. The magic on the mountain was incredibly powerful.

The morning of the summit attempt, we were up very early. I was scared yet excited, nervous yet focused. Hours of uphill hiking later, I reached the summit! I started to sob and hugged all the guys who helped me up the mountain: my personal porter Henry, assistant guide Francis, and medical porter Dr. G. I was the last in the group to summit, but’s that ok because I did it!

Thank you all for your amazing support and love during this journey. It has meant so much to me! A few years ago I decided to start “living my life on purpose” and what an incredible experience it has been. With hard work and a little bit of magic, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!! And this picture says it all: this is what it feels like to reach the roof of Africa!!!