While having tea with my aunt a few weeks ago, she told me the story about how she climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro when she was in her 20s. I’d never heard this story before, and my jaw dropped numerous times as she shared the once-in-a-lifetime experience with me. She explained how she signed up for a “camp” that planned the adventure, the few but essential items she carried in her backpack, how she dressed, the training (which she admitted was useless), and her description of the cloudy view from the top.
When my aunt spoke, I had the recurrent thought: “How can this woman be related to me?” Heck, when I was in my 20s, the closest thing I did to climbing a Seven Summit was riding an elevator to the middle observation deck of the Eiffel Tower.
In addition to climbing mountains, my aunt has visited almost every country in the world. She has lived in places I’ve had to practice pronouncing, and once while in Asia she had to do an emergency evacuation off an airplane by way of an inflatable yellow slide.
My aunt has a house and a full-time job and a husband and two grown children. She’s not a travel writer and she doesn’t have a job in any way related to the travel industry, she’s simply a travel enthusiast. When her children were young, she and her husband took them along on all their adventures.
Seeing the world is at the top of her list of what matters most to her, and she has made it a real priority. She doesn’t let distractions (clutter) get in the way of the life she wants to lead. When she wanted to climb Kilimanjaro, she planned and made the trip a reality. She didn’t make excuses or let her fears keep her from achieving something that was important to her.
I’m not interested in climbing a mountain in Africa, but I am interested in pursuing adventures as lofty and out of my comfort zone. You probably have a similar desire for a life doing more than “just getting by.” So, what distractions are standing in your way? What is cluttering up your time and keeping you from your remarkable life? Now is the time to clear the clutter and get started on your way up your own Kilimanjaro.