|Photo by the talented Kuntal Joisher|
I was going to write something else today and I worked on a new post for quite a while, but then something so awesome happened that I have postponed my post "5 things no one tells you about Airlie Beach, Whitsundays" to the next few days and I can't say Mondays suck anymore! Today I am going to write about a competition I entered a few weeks ago when browsing through photos on Instagram and found something quite intriguing. Travelloapp was giving away $1500 travel prize with their prize partner Student Flights Australia.
To participate, I had to download their app called Travello, which is essentially a social network for travellers and helps you find other travellers around you. Why haven't I ever thought of that? I am hoping to find a few mountainclimbing and trekking buddies from there before my adventure to the Himalayas begins in the end of March/start of April, to practise hikes and climbs. I thought, even if I don't win, I have found a great social network for people like me!
After signing up, I had to upload a photo to my Instagram with #Travelfrenzy tag and give a little explanation why the destination I'm headed gives me a frenzy. I noticed many were posting awesome photos taken during their travels to many exotic places, but all I could ever think was wanting to see Everest up close. I haven't been there and I didn't have a personal photo to upload so I was doubting if I should even enter. I went back to the competition announcing photo to read the rules and nobody said anything about it having it to be your photo.
I follow hundreds of hiking, climbing, trekking and travelling related accounts, most of them taking amazing photos from around the world. After going through some of them, I stumbled on a photo by Kuntal Joisher that really made me feel like "This could be you! This WILL be YOU posing amongst the most beautiful mountains in the world!" I have been training for a month and have plenty of time ahead of me to get in top shape to attempt the trek solo with just my partner Michael and a local mountain guide. No porters, no one to carry my load, but me. I can do this!
I submitted the photo and gave thanks to what I'm grateful for and sent a little wish on the way hoping to win to ease my workload and stop stressing about how expensive the gear is. I bought $360 hiking boots and that was with a $100 discount. Add all the rest of it and it and it can set you back quite quickly. I would like to put the word out that if any outdoor company wants to sponsor my adventures, I will be putting together a media kit and a sponsorship proposal shortly. Happy to hear about any offers you might have!
I was actually nervous about telling everybody about my plans as I don't want to jinx things before I haven't booked my flights or done anything solid enough to make my dreams into reality. I never used to be like that, but once plans fell through, I became more careful about what I was saying to who. Travello, however, made me put myself out there and I am glad I did! Even without winning the prize that will change this experience massively for me, I would have still gained a new travellers community from Travello.
I want you to know, I have been dreaming about Everest since March this year, when I first heard about the youngest Australian-Alyssa Azar touching the top of the world and have been reading every piece of literature, articles and blogs I can find on this topic. At one point, I finished a book a day! And a few weeks ago I had the honour to meet the girl who inspired me to go outside and look up in the mountains face to face! Alyssa and her dad Glenn came to Sydney for a book signing and Q&A session and suddenly I was so starstruck, I couldn't force a single word out of my dry mouth. I felt like a boy who has to speak to a girl she likes for the first time and everybody is listening in!
I have also found an outdoor company that values their customers and I would not hesitate sending all my friends to shop in Mountain Designs. I have been in the Bondi Junction branch three times and the people working there are so professional, always giving you great advice and what blew me out of the water was that they remembered every single visit I have ever taken in their shop! You don't see that in a big city like Sydney!
I feel like things are finally coming together. There is still a long way to go, but if you don't take the first step towards your dreams, you will never get there! To finish it all off, I have a great quote from Keith Fennel "Warrior Training" I found from the book Sue Williams wrote about Alyssa Azar-"The girl who climbed Everest."
"Then there are the people who call others lucky: 'She's lucky, he's lucky, they're lucky, I'm so unlucky,' I believe people generally create their own luck-it's called hard work."
I want to thank Travello for choosing me! I am utterly humbled and forever grateful. I also want to thank StudentFlights Australia for putting out the prize and I want to send love to everyone who has helped me by believing in me or the opposite-motivating me by not believing in me! Shout out to Manuela and Michael, thank you for being there! The journey is always as important as the destination and my journey has just begun!
Has any one of you heard of Travello and have you got accounts? Leave me your account names so I can add you to my friends list in the comments! I would also love to hear from people who have done Everest Base Camp trek for some tips and advice. Lets talk in the comments!
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|Photo by Matthew Brodeur|