PUSHING BOUNDARIES ~ MOUNT KINABALU

MT. KINABALUHIGHEST MOUNTAIN CLIMBED TO DATE, MT.KINABALU (4095m).                                           BORNEO, MALAYSIA ~ JULY 2013

This trip has been about pushing my boundaries and taking myself out of my comfort zone. Today was one of those days. I climbed the highest mountain between the Himalayas and Papua New Guinea!

Mt. Kinabalu sits at 4095m with an elevation gain of 2229m within 8.7km, this is almost double of what I’ve been use to hiking in the Canadian Rockies. The first day I made it up to the hut for the night at km 6. Then an early start at 2:50 a.m to the summit to catch the sunrise, of which the last 2km is a heart pounding 822m in elevation gained. Some grades were so steep, ropes had to be used to ascend with.

Altitude sickness almost got the better of me at the last 200m. My headlight was running low on batteries and it was becoming difficult to see in front of me in the dark on the steep, slippery grade. I also became disorientated and began losing my balance due to altitude, my guide gave me his hand to keep me steady and we finally made it to summit at 5:20 a.m. Unfortunately it was raining and missed the sunrise but it was totally worth it the effort.

I fought fatigue, high altitude, cold wind and rain to prove to myself I could do this. Out of the 50 people attempting to reach summit, approximately 20 made it that day. I was the 8th person to make it! Considering I could barely even walk 9 years ago, this has been a huge accomplishment for me, definitely one for the books…

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KOJAK ~ FROM BODYBUILDING TO PALMREADING

LAOS ~ JUNE 2013

kojak      I met Ted at the airport heading to Vientiane. He was in his 50’s and looked like Kojak on steroids. Ted was a successful entrepreneur / doctor / author, who was on his way to meet the Governor of Laos for a new venture he’s pursuing in the country.

He invited me out for lunch and had an unexpected visit with this body builder from Tennessee…A one hour lunch ended up lasting the whole afternoon discussing everything from spirituality to the Periodic Time Table. The guy even read my palms! Never ceases to amaze me, the kind of people you run into on your travels…A very memorable day indeed…

Towards the end of our conversation, already inspired by this man, I asked him if he had any piece of advise to give me what would it be. He leaned in, looked me squarely in the eyes and without hesitation he asked:

Ted: Are you married or have a boyfriend?
Me: No.
Ted: Do you have kids?
Me: No. 
Ted: Mortgage or any debts tying you down?
Me: No. 
Ted: THEN SPEND EVERY SINGLE PENNY YOU’VE GOT TRAVELLING RIGHT NOW HONEY!!! 

Just. Awesome.

Ted really surprised me with this answer. From the outside, this guy exuded making money and measuring success by earning it (although I knew he had many different layers to him after picking his brain all afternoon.) It seemed like reckless advice but he lived many different lives throughout his years and I felt that his words came from his heart, after many years of his very own soul searching.

These words had stuck with me upon my brief return to Canada to meet my new nephew. I was trying to decide wether to go back to work or continue travelling…

Ted’s words were the deciding factor to continue this journey.

Thank you Ted.