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Travel & nomad lifestyle.
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Are You ready to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

By Octavia Drughi

Each year, around 25,000 people travel to Tanzania in the hope of reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. It is on top of many adventure seekers’ bucket-list. Is it on yours as well?

The symmetrical snow-capped volcanic cone is synonymous with Africa and is all about superlatives – the world’s largest freestanding mountain rises in perfect isolation above Tanzania’s open plains and savannas. You’d be surprised that Mount Kilimanjaro is not considered a technical climb. This is because you don’t need an oxygen tank, ropes or prior technical climbing experience. Especially when compared to the world’s tallest and deadliest mountains, it is fairly accessible for the average trekker. But it’s not exactly a walk in the park either! You might want to think twice before taking on the challenge, so here are some aspects to consider before deciding whether climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is an adventure you ought to pursue:

 

An introduction to Mount Kilimanjaro

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Photo by Kyle Taylor

In northern Tanzania, at the border with Kenya, the Kilimanjaro National Park is home to the largest freestanding volcanic mass in the world. Rising 19,341 ft (5,895 m), Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain on the African continent, which also makes it one of the Seven Summits (the highest mountains on each of the seven continents). It consists of three volcanic cones: Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira. The summit, Uhuru Peak, is found on Kibo, a dormant but not extinct volcano, its last volcanic activity having occurred some 200 years ago.

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Uhuru Peak, Mount Kilimanjaro

There are seven major routes to the summit, which take anywhere between four to eight days. However, the success rate depends on the number of days spent on the trek. The more days, the better you will be acclimatized. Five-day routes have a far lower success rate than eight-day routes.

The Marangu Route is the only route on the mountain with hut accommodation, which makes it one of the most popular. It is also the shortest and the most crowded. It can be completed in five days, but climbers are advised to take an extra day to acclimatize at Horombo Hut in order to increase their chances of reaching the summit.

According to statistics from the Kilimanjaro National Park, around 50 percent of climbers choose the Machame Route to get to Uhuru Peak. The route is indeed scenic, passing through varying landscapes. It is, however, more difficult than others, as climbers are faced with the Barranco Wall, which they must climb on day four of the trek. No climbing skills are required, as the wall is often described as climbing a staircase, but a good fitness level and mental preparation will help you feel much more at ease during the climb.

 

Preparation

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Foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro – Photo by Katie (alaskahokie)

As with most high mountains, training, planning and careful preparation are key. Before the 1990s, you could just head down to the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro with nothing but a good old pair of boots, a backpack and some crackers, and attempt the summit on your own. Since 1991, it is compulsory to sign up with an agency if you wish to climb Kili, as it is affectionately called. The agency will provide a guide, porters and a cook. Food is usually healthy and wholesome, and vegans/vegetarians can easily be catered for as long as they give the agency notice in advance. The national language is Swahili, but up on the mountain, you will hear Kichagga, spoken by the Chagga people. English is spoken among the guides and the more educated crewmembers.

Kilimanjaro5Porters on Mount Kilimanjaro – Photo by Mouser Williams

Kindly note that signing up with a company does not guarantee your success. The average time to complete the trek is six days, which is quite short for a mountain this tall, but the trails are steep and you should prepare yourself months in advance, both physically and mentally. Physical endurance is a must, but mental stamina is even more important. After all, you will be trekking 5 to 10 miles (8 to 16 km) each day.

You don’t have to be a marathoner, but you should be an active person. Short runs through the park, long walks, a little bit of mountaineering will help you get prepared for the challenge ahead. The idea is to increase lung capacity. Still, being fit does not mean you will not have trouble with altitude sickness. That’s a whole different story…

 

Acclimatization

Kilimanjaro6The Milky Way from Barranco Camp, 12,795 ft (3,900 m) – Photo by sama093

The altitude is not to be messed with. In fact, it is the thin air that often stands between mountaineers and the summit. Acute mountain sickness (AMS), also known as altitude sickness, is triggered when going too fast to high altitudes, not giving the body enough time to acclimatize and adapt. Symptoms include fatigue, nausea, dizziness, diarrhea and nasty headaches, all caused by the lack of oxygen. Walking slowly and spending more time in each camp helps prevent acute symptoms. Altitude sickness is nothing to joke about, as it can lead to pulmonary or cerebral edema, which can prove fatal.

 

The weather

Kilimanjaro8Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro – Photo by Fredi Bach 

I’m sure we all associate Africa with sunny days and warm weather. Mount Kilimanjaro is here to tell you otherwise. It inspired Ernest Hemingway’s short story, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, written 1938 after having been on a safari in Tanzania, in which he questions morality and philosophy, even his own existence as a writer. Contrary to the title, it is not as snow-covered as one would expect. Nevertheless, the weather can be tricky.

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Changing weather on Mount Kilimanjaro – Photo by Fredi Bach

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro will take you from 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) to under 20 Fahrenheit (-7 Celsius) up on its alpine meadows, with strong winds making matters even worse. This will make you put on layers over layers of clothes. Still, you must make sure you don’t pack too many, as there is a limited weight and volume porters will carry.

Best months for trekking are January through mid-March and June to October. March, April and November are the wettest months. The cold season usually lasts between December and May, and snow levels are at their highest between November and May.

 

Why climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

Kilimanjaro9Sunset on Mount Kilimanjaro – Photo by Fredi Bach 

This is a matter of personal choice and you are the only one fit to answer this question. If you are a mountaineer, climber, or simply someone who has always dreamed of reaching the summit, then, by all means, go for it! Other things you might enjoy, or at least find interesting, are:

  • Encounteringstrange animals that are simply out of this world.
  • Experiencing four different seasons in one week.
  • Reaching a serious altitude.
  • Taking amazingphotographs while crossing farmlands, lush rainforests, alpine meadows and lunar landscapes.
  • Watching incrediblesunsets.

 

Should you think twice?

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Barafu Huts camp, 15,357 ft (4,681m) – Photo by Stig Nygaard

Yes! No matter your training and dreams, you should think twice. Adventure-addicts might think of it as a perfect getaway, but remember this is not your average holiday. If you’re looking to relax, forget about it! It might not be a difficult summit, but you will have to fight for it!

It is estimated that between three to seven people die each year on Mount Kilimanjaro, mainly due to acute mountain sickness, falls and hypothermia. Altitude sickness and poor physical and mental training cause hundreds to abandon the trails each year. Not to mention the air will get thinner as you go higher, it will be uncomfortable, even painful at times, and you may have second thoughts.

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Glacier on Mount Kilimanjaro – Photo by Mouser Williams

You might not reach the summit, and you have to be okay with that. Most people who do not make it to Uhuru claim they still enjoyed the trek. But disappointment can easily creep in, and you must be prepared to face it. Even if you do reach the summit, you might still experience nausea, dizziness, dehydration, diarrhea and other nasty symptoms that can make the experience pretty painful.

 

Reaching the summit of a baffling natural wonder, a snow-capped mountain at the Equator can become more than just a dream. As long as you do not underestimate the challenge and are ready to step out of your comfort zone, you too can place your foot on the roof of Africa.

 

About Octavia Drughi

Octavia is a travel writer for BookAllSafaris.com. She is a passionate mountaineer, tree hugger and adventure addict who believes every living creature deserves care and respect.

 

 

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How to increase your intuition?

10 tools to increase your intuition

Intuition is something that every one of us carries deep inside with us. There might be people who are talented in using his or her intuition, but in fact intuition is what you can train and learn to use as a high value skill. If we want to achieve something in life that makes us happy, we need the right vision.

To get a clear vision, we need to look in our hearts. Intuition is useful for decision-making, problem solving, creativity increasing, receive massages as warnings, foretelling future events, spiritual guidance and to stay focused on your real goals.

With following tools you can increase your intuition in just a few weeks:

  1. Meditate regularly. Try to mediate daily for at least 10-15 minutes. A clear and empty mind, helps you to get to the point, who you really are and what you really want.
  2. Practice silence. Listen and observe more. Talk and think less.
  3. Be present. Try always to be in the moment. Be aware of your situations, actions and feelings.
  4. Dream interpretation. In dreams we process a lot of unconscious thoughts and actions. To learn about your dreams and their meanings, can help to increase our intuition.
  5. Checking with your feelings. Learn more about your self and train your consciousness of your unconsciousness. Check minimum twice a day how do you feel right now. Inside of you, on your close or around your. Write it down brackets or bullet points.
  6. Consume less TV, radio, entertainment internet content or music
  7. Have a regular morning and night ritual. Try to keep some rituals right after you wake up and right before bedtime. That keeps your thoughts and actions clear and open for bigger inspirations.
  8. Be playful, silly and creative. Whenever you need it, dance, laugh, smile, make jokes, doodle or do any other things that break your serious rational mind.
  9. Create a unity between your voice and what you’re talking, your thoughts and what your thinking and your actions, what you finally do with it.
  10. Practice and exercise yoga, dancing and stretching to balance your body, mind and soul.

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that donors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” (Albert Einstein)
supi-life_intuition

How to become a nomad?

Nomad lifestyle InterviewI’ve been in Barcelona in July and met Sean from Nomadlifestyle.com.

He interviewed me for his blog about my nomad lifestyle.
We had a warm and inspiring conversation and I gave also lots of tips and tricks, how you can live a similar lifestyle and become a nomad.

We were talking about how to become a nomad, how to balance your life and many deep going insights about a nomadic life and general lifestyle tips and ideas.

Check out video on nomadlifestyle.com or here:

#barcelona #spain#shareyourlove #nomadlifestyle#nomadiclife #interview #ready#coworking #followyourpassion#digitalnomads #workfromeverywhere

 

 

How to become a nomad and live a independend lifestyle

I get often the questions, how to become a nomad? How can you afford that lifestyle? How can you earn money? With what kind of job can you live a nomad lifestyle? Where to find those jobs?

So I thought, it could be helpful to have a list with different infos all around nomad lifestyle, tips, locations, jobs and so on.

Blogs:
Tools and software:
  • Evernote  – notes, writing, creating lists, share it on your other decives
  • Wunderlist – Takslist, easy and simple, but good connected to all your devices and you can share and deligate tasks.
Events:
  • DNX – Didital nomad conference
  • Nomadcruise – Cruise with more than 100 other Digital Nomads
Groups:
Accommodation portals:
Portals for search for jobs as freelancer or remote worker or to offer work:
Links:

I try to update this list regularly and continue adding more links to it.

Every new year is a new chance to live every single moment

It’s been a long time ago, I have been writing something here on this blog.
Honestly I am struggling with the idea what to do and where to go.
Actually it is like always. Haha!
But I want to continue. One of my goals for next year

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Everyday is a sunday in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

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This year has been amazing. I met wonderful places, like on Bali or Santa Teresa and Nosara in Costa Rica. But also Tarifa in South Spain was amazing. And I met a lot of beautiful people, who entered my heart, and from whom I learnt a lot about life, business and about myself.
Every single person was my teacher on my path through life.

I made big steps in my personal growth and could broaden up my mind even beyond my horizon, where I though there must be the horizon. But learning and experiencing is endless.

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My barrio in Santa Marta, local lifestyle

I am writing you right now from my little apartment in Santa Marta in Colombia, sitting in my hammock, with the view over the city.

I was here primarily to volunteer for an organization, which is called Mariposa Amarilla,  supporting street kids in this area. I decided to use the time, while everyone is celebrating Christmas with there beloved ones, to share my love with those who need it the most.

 

On Christmas Eve I spent time

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Christmas decoration in Santa Marta Beach, Colombia

with the local family where I stay. Its a small apartment i booked via Airbnb.I live in a barrio (district) where just locals live. No tourists here. This is the best way to learn and understand the culture and people, who are living here.

When I reflect the last year, I can just see beautiful moments and experiences. Of course, there have been also negative moments, but this is a part of life. And hounestly, most of the time they just kicking you even deeper in the reality, and you will feel that you are alive.

My worst problems the last months have been the electronic problems. 2 laptops crashed and my phone is since days locked by a Colombian mobile provider, so that I can’t use it. That sucks, but it’s just a material problem.

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Tanganga Beach, Colombia

But since I decided, to live a nomad lifestyle, reduced my guts to a minimum and nowadays have less things and responsibilities – I feel richer than ever before. Because once you have nothing, you can do everything.
You can’t loose a lot and you can act spontaneous.

What I learned this year, is that you can open the door to another world, that welcome you with open arms, a world that’s so diverse and intensive, IF you allow yourself to le go, let go from believes, habits and too many expectations. The world is constantly moving and changing. So stop to collect things, save, live secure, and build up a future, which you wont able to keep it. Live right now. In this and every single moment, expect changes and be even open to new things that come along. This is part of the game. If you can handle it, you can reach the next levels.

And they are so much fun!

I am already looking forward. Just the next 2 month will be amazing for me, with many new experiences.

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Goal for next year: see more sunsets at the ocean

I am going to have my first tattoo. On my ankle. Finally my roommate and host in Bogota inspired me to do it now.

I will join a sacred medicine retreat with the elders and Sharman’s. One part will be of course Ayahuasca. I am a little bit scared to take this medicine, what it’s called here in this area. But I am going to prepare myself and think I am ready now – especially from a spiritual perspective.

Than I will do an excursion to the Amazon and fly to Brazil to celebrate Carnival in Rio. Raised in the Carnival city Cologne, participating on the biggest Carnival parties in the world, has been always a dream for me since I am a young girl.2015-11-19 16.39.23

Afterwards surfing again in Pipa! 🙂 I never thought that you could get so addictive with surfing.
But it’s true.

I will keep you updated about all my experiences.

I wish everyone a good start of a new year, and a new chapter to change or improve yourself. Open your eyes, ears, heart and mind and live every moment…wherever you are!

PuraVida

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My favouite place in the world: the beach!

Join Our Unicorn Superhero Camp in Costa Rica, November 2015

We believe that each one of us has a unique super power.
And now it`s time to find and use it.

I am happy to announce my yoga and coaching retreat in Costa Rica this fall.

Together with a beautiful and very talented life coach, Elizabeth Webb from New York, we offer a 6 nights/7 days powerful retreat in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.

What can you expect from your experience at camp?
Unicorn Super Hero Camp began with the idea of ceasing and maximizing the pleasure in life and awakening personal power in each person who attends through powerful play in a breathtaking environment.

You can expect replenishment, relaxation, inspiration, renewed creativity, beach, connection with the ocean, your toes in the sand, yoga and meditation, self discovery sessions and opportunies to refocus and listen to the wisdom of your own soul without any of the noise or distractions of everyday life. You can also expect unapologetic dance parties, and opportunites to let guard down. You will discover super powers you didn’t even know existed in a supportive, nurturing, inspirational environment.

Also, healthy delicious food will be prepared for you daily.

What we guarantee you:

An exquisite pause from your everyday “busy-ness” to reconnect with and rediscover who you really are at your core – a powerful, playful, active and loving being. It’s time to find your inner power. We want to bring your inner fire to burn and help you to redefine strengthen and enjoy your life more to the fullest.

Join today! It’s time to start your new journey!

I would love to meet you there personally.

http://unicornsuperherocamp.com

“Willpower” or the psychological science of self-control

Willpower is one of the most important attitudes and characteristics you need to have, to be successful in what you are doing or want to do.Super power
Probably you know some of those people, who get done everything. If they have an idea in there mind, they realize it.
They tell you, that they want to quit there job, open there own business, move to another city and so on…
And a few months later, you talk again and they inform you that they did it – and of course with success!
And you feel like a small idiot, still doing the same stuff each day, event though you had the idea before, to quit your job. To open a business, to travel more, to move somewhere else.

Continue reading “Willpower” or the psychological science of self-control