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Dear intrepid explorer,
In 2009, I staggered off a fully-loaded bus (chickens and all) into Jiri, the last village on the road from Kathmandu. My legs were still a bit numb, given that a Nepalese woman sat on my lap the last 2 hours. It was awkward, yet charming.
I'd been living abroad and traveling for 10 months. Jiri marked the start of my 3-week hike to Everest Base Camp, and my final month on the road. After settling in to a guest house, I took food in the small dining / living room. The only other guest - Ivica from Basque Country - made small talk. He showed me his map and detailed his itinerary. I quickly deduced that he was a capable mountaineer.
This is when I became extremely nervous. I didn't have a map. I didn't have an itinerary. In fact, I was utterly unprepared. I was young, naive, and had become accustomed to showing up somewhere and making it happen. In retrospect, I learned the Nepal Himalaya punishes people who aren't prepared.
Luckily, Ivica uttered six magic words.
"Do you want to hike together?"
I'd expected weeks of hiking alone, and honestly my introverted nature was craving it. But the Universe saved me from my self.
A few days later, Ivica and I bumped into Andy, a young german guy, at the end of a long day. Andy joined our motley crew.
And so, thanks to the kindness and community of strangers, I bathed in the magic of the Himalayas. For 3 weeks we hiked over mountain passes, swam in glacial lakes, and made it to the base of the tallest mountain on Earth.
I wouldn't have made it without Ivica and Andy. I wouldn't have been inspired to visit Gokyo Ri, a glimmering glacial lake. Or Thyangboche, the Tibetan monastery. And I most certainly wouldn't have had as much fun. (I might still be lost there!)
In this spirit, I've tried to live my life by gathering other amazing people. By surrounding myself with their inspiration, wisdom, and unique perspectives. As a result, I've become a more effective entrepreneur and a more compassionate person.
I've come to my see my role to connect and curate a community of change makers.
We've got a helluva job to do. I say we do it together.
. . .
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