Tears Falling from the Top of Africa | Jake’s Transformational Travel Journey originally posted here
Every year, my best pals and I go backpacking into the wilderness together, sharing in the awe and wonder of our planet, contemplating life, and having conversations that matter. One year, we decided to ascend Mt. Kilimanjaro and it ended up being life-changing, truly transformational.
Prior to the trip, I was going through a dark night of the soul and seeking answers to life’s biggest questions. By that time, I was beginning to learn how to travel from the inside out. On this trip, I played around with uncovering my why, challenging my travel companions to do the same. The night before we started to climb, we formed a circle, shared our intentions, and brought awareness to the inner journey we were embarking upon.
After days of walking ‘pole pole,’ we arrived at the summit and something shifted inside of us. The sunrise glistened on the freshly fallen snow, the most majestic views sat on the horizon, the goal had been realized and the power of the moment became more than we could hold within. Starting with one, each of us was overcome with raw emotion and tears began to flow down our icy, sunkissed cheeks.
For many of us, the release of emotion quickly swelled, and before we knew it, we were visibly shaking, heads laying on each other’s shoulders. While the climb was challenging, it wasn’t the physical challenge that released the dam of pent-up emotions, it was that the mountain had taken on an entirely new meaning for us that morning.
That day, on the roof of Africa, we found ourselves, we had tapped newfound wisdom, perspective and zest, and appreciation for life and all its beauty. For me, it was clear, I was now on a mission to help others to transform themselves and society through travel.