This time of year is always a bit nostalgic for me. It's been 3 years since I climbed up to the top of the world on May 21st, 2013. I have been following friends climbing in Nepal on various 8000m peaks over the past couple of months, reflecting also on the beautiful memories from my two expeditions there that will stay with me a lifetime. I can't wait to go back and climb in Nepal!
While that moment of reaching a goal that took me 6 years to accomplish is special, the journey to get there more so and the new journey that has followed even more so. Everything to that point was a series of "choose adventure" moments and everything since that point has been a new series of "choose adventure' moments. I often say adventure changed my life because it has. Choosing adventure has led me to see parts of the world I did not know existed, given me a voice to serve as an advocate for women, given me the courage to move to new cities on a whim, inspired me to start a business, gave me enough awareness to leave a relationship that no longer served me, and enabled me to stare fear in the face and say hello and walk past it.
Choosing adventure has also made me more comfortable in my uncomfort zone. Today the thought of routine and the "known" is more terrifying than not knowing exactly how my life will play out. Just like training and exercise will help you prepare for physical feats, so can testing your levels of comfort and strengthening those muscles of confidence to help you thrive in any situation that might present itself.
My life would be very different if curiosity around adventure had not sparked. I am so grateful for it, I only wish it has popped up in my life sooner. I often think it was there all along, but I was not self aware enough to listen to it, or to believe I could do something "adventurous." Today there are no real limits, those tend to be self imposed. Limits and success are two different things. You may try something and not succeed, but being held back to at least give something a go due to self limitations is another story. Don't hold yourself back-choose adventure.
When you think of the word "adventure" what comes to mind? What do you define as "possible" for yourself? I know when I decided to embark on the journey of learning how to climb my first mountain in 2007 I was nervous. I was more afraid of failing than of the mountain itself. The self doubt started quickly, "Georgina, you can't even run a mile!" Yet, after each climb, I would surprise myself, and that muscle of confidence and knowledge strengthened me to go a try another mountain, a higher mountain, a more technical one. The journey of self discovery and learning when it comes to mountaineering can take up a lifetime. I think that is why I love it as much as I do. You can build confidence in such pursuits, but the mountains also embed humility, as let's face it, mother nature calls the shots.
I've climbed a series of mountains since Everest, both in the literal and figurative sense. My current one includes growing my company, Altitude Seven, dedicated to women that choose adventure as a way of life, we help them find the best stories, products, experiences, community, and purpose all in one place. Together we are changing the face of adventure! Next, is to complete what I started in 2007 with a dream and mission in mind to raise awareness and support around gender-based violence while completing the Explorer's Grand Slam within the year. It's so close now, just 2 mountains (Mt. Vinson and Carstensz Pyramid) and 2 poles away. More to come and you can follow me on my website for the latest.
Both of these adventures of entrepreneurship and exploration, are not about being the first or the fastest, they are about honoring my dreams, defying self imposed limitations, and spreading a broader message to women and girls that we can do whatever we set our hearts and minds to. The journey might be harder, longer, and include some failures along the way, but the key is just not to give up, believe, and keep going.
I've come to realize that choosing adventure often leads to new paths we had not considered and roads less travelled. This special word "adventure" can mean something completely different to everyone-part of why I love it so much. Adventure has the power to transform lives and bring something to life within us that nothing else can. "Adventurous" can come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and skill levels. Adventure is our ability to break into new frontiers.
As I look back on this special moment in my life, I am thankful for the women that inspired me to climb, the organizations that climb mountains everyday to make the lives of others better, and the women all around the world that are breaking into new frontiers and redefining what is possible-women that are choosing adventure as a way of life in whatever form that means to them. They all inspire me.
#ChooseAdventure, I know you won't regret it.