This year I am going to do it. This is something that I have been wanting to do for so long. It has been one of my secret goals, one I hadn’t told many people for such a long time until last year. I am going to forgo some of my desired carnivals and climb Mount Killimanjaro in Africa. And I’d love to say I am doing it for a charity or such. But I am not.
Here’s the thing. I am one for personal challenges. For me there always has to be a goal; big or small, physical or mental, for me to push myself that bit more. I climbed Gros Piton in St. Lucia over ten years ago. And this has nothing to do with arrogance but it was easy. Gaining my doctorate was a massive academic challenge. Huge. I did that. Because of annual carnivals, I always have the goal of being carnival body ready. That one is ongoing (and not always successful in my opinion). There are others. But I always feel the need to push my personal boundaries. It might feel scary initially but I do it. Some goals I fail at, others I succeed. But I need the goal. And once that’s done, I get restless. I feel the need to move on to something else.
After Gros Piton, I wanted to do more climbing, take on something else. I thought about Killimanjaro and thought ‘why not?’ I have never been to Africa. I wanted to do something that will really push me. But you know how it goes. The mundane details of life get in the way and dreams sometimes get put on hold. But this year… maybe the planets are in alignment or something but I am going to climb mount killimanjaro. And the more I say it, the more real it becomes. I am going to climb mount killimanjaro.
I started the ground work November last year. Research. I asked a colleague at work who had a friend who climbed Killi recently. I spoke to another friend who had climbed it. I went to a meeting in November 2014 organised by one of a myriad of companies who specialise in climbing Killimanjaro to get more information and a sense of what I am letting myself in for. And that I did. Information on routes to climb up the mountain, guides, dates, gear, price, training required, medical assistance, toilets (toilets are a biggie, trust me on this one). I have looked at other companies, been making comparisons. Do I do get an all inclusive package or do I consider booking some stuff here and other bits and pieces when I get to Tanzania? Will I get a better deal? Decisions decisions. The first decision was easy. There were only two options really. Either I am going or I am not. I am going. Done. The next decision… a bit more challenging. Sometimes when you have too many options it is worse than having none at all.