Friday, September 5, 2014

Two Truths and a Lie

I have a travel blog.

I was on the show Survivor.

I killed a bear chicken with my hands.

Two truths and a lie is a game I love to play with strangers. It's a great icebreaker. When I play with friends, I have to get creative, as they usually know what actually happened and what's a figment of my imagination. But with strangers, it is easy to pull from the archives.

A year ago, to this day, I found myself in the company of four other strangers, who quickly became fast friends on our eight-day trek to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa. We had reconvened in the tent after hours of hiking thru the picturesque Tanzanian terrain. Oddly, I must have given a different impression to the group, as the immediate and general consensus was "No, you don't have a travel blog."

My adventure travel companion and best friend, Jackie, sat in the tent tight lipped trying her best not to reveal any clues. I clarified to the group that I meant to say that I killed a chicken with my bare hands and not a bear chicken but they were still adamant that I didn't have a travel blog and swore they recognized me from the great American television show. (Unfortunately, this was the lie as I have yet to be on Survivor).

Shortly after the trek, I returned home to my bright (and teary) eyed family and friends to answer numerous questions about this oh so challenging but ever so rewarding experience. After a few questions about the loss of oxygen (and my mind) with increasing altitude, summiting Kili and you know, not showering for eight days straight, I found myself stuck with the same question.

“So, what’s next?”

It’s a year later and the question still lingers, as it should. I’m not going to sign up to conquer the remaining seven summits. Not yet. Nor am I going to spend the rest of my vacation days climbing Mount Everest. Every morning, I’ll take to the city streets of Manhattan just as I took to Mount Kilimanjaro with the New York state motto, Excelsior (Ever Upward) in mind.

While I’m nostalgic for the past and find myself digging up a good throwback Thursday pic, I remind myself to always move forward, one foot in front of the other at my own pace. It’s not about the mountain or where the path will go - it’s the steps I take to get there. Maybe today’s the day that I… call up an old friend I lost touch with. Say yes to a blind date. Dump a bucket of water and donate to ALS. Take on a freelance project. Or study a new language.

My advice to you is to make that step too. Take that leap, in life, in love, in work, whatever it may be. Just jump into something you feel passionate about and continue to challenge yourself, learn something new, and inspire. And travel, often. Embrace and engage with the people you meet along the way. It’s the best way we can learn from each other.

Listserve friends, I’ll leave you with a quote from the ever-inspiring Nelson Mandela:
“After climbing one great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”

Feel free to check out travelbugbites dot com.
Ever Upward. Stay bitten ;)


Lauren K
lauren[AT]travelbugbites.com
New York, NY

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