Why? To see if I had it in me.

A little over 3 years ago, I packed a 45L backpack and went on my way to visit Mt. Everest. I flew to Nepal by myself with a Lonely Planet guidebook and some notes from travel blogs. My trekking boots had barely been broken in and I had just discovered down, but I was committed to making it to Base Camp without a group, guide, or porter. Why? To see if I had it in me. I did. The scariest part of the 21 days I spent in the Khumbu region was learning that Everest Base Camp wasn’t my limit. I can go higher in the Himalayas, and I will one day. In the meantime, I’m learning new skills and pushing myself physically, mentally, and emotionally for when that day comes. I still do it all for the same reason— to see if I have it in me.

I have been nervous to share this goal because up until recently, I was afraid that I wasn’t up to it. I was afraid that I wouldn’t belong because I am a brown woman and very few mountaineers look like me. Overcoming mental obstacles are part of the journey, though. I’m increasingly proud of the progress I’ve made in becoming a stronger person, all with the support of my family and friends. I’m also excited for the journey ahead.

I was inspired to share my story because I saw that @conrad_anker is up in the Khumbu region right now. I want people to see that you don’t need to be a climbing icon to explore the mountains. Anybody with enough motivation can experience the Freedom of the Hills. Some of us have an adventure gap to cross first, but we help close it every time we do. That alone will make summiting worth it.

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