Having experienced so many things in my life from domestic abuse, homelessness and grief to name a few, I know that all of my experiences have shaped me into the person I am today.
I feel no regret, no malice, just thankful for the lessons (honestly!)
As a result of these lessons, I have learnt how to overcome stress, anxiety, create coping strategies when things get really tough and how to use positive mindset to get through even the toughest or darkest of days.
Since my Mom died in 2000 of pancreatic cancer (aged 46) I have raised money every year in her memory . This year I chose Women's Aid (Birmingham & Solihull) In April I held our Annual Spring Spiritual & Holistic Event but then my Husband Eddie (Not Just Travel Ed) told me about a Trek to the Lost City of Columbia that his Travel Company were organising to raise funds for Charity. He then booked me a place without me really looking into the finer details.....(Had I have done, I'm not sure that I would have gone ahead)
That said, I am so glad that he did. What a journey it was. The trek was over 5 days, starting at Machete Pelao, over 30 milestone foot via the jungle, along with it's seeing heat, flash floods, thunder and lightening, this really wasn't a journey for the faint hearted....10 people pulled out after their first day and a couple more had to stop due to a twisted ankle an other aches/pains. Whatever you needed for the journey, you had to carry, the days began around 4am most mornings (before it got too hot) so we were tired before we began.
Each day we would set out early having had a hearty breakfast of eggs, toast and fruit, washed down with Columbian coffee, then make our way through the jungle to our next camp (with drink stops along the way) Having only met a couple of people before the trek, it was amazing how we all bonded so quickly during the 5 days. Mat and Ben helped carry bags for a couple of ladies struggling with the heat, bless them, they looked like a couple of mules when they got to camp (and smelled pretty similar!) Night time was hilarious, we would regress into teens on a school trip. Let's just say that due to the close proximity of our bunk beds, there was lots of trumpet noises and giggling going on.
During our trek, we got to learn about the Wiwa Tribe and their culture. What an amazing community. They live a clean, simple life out in the jungle, working together. Men and Women are treated equally and they have the upmost respect for each others strengths. We were even told how a girl's first menstrual cycle as well as menopause was something cause for celebration within their community...
The men would harvest a plant found in the area to create material which would then be handed over to the women for dying and making into bags and other items needed by the tribe. We saw a little girl aged about 3 walking a huge pig as it started to get dark. (we didn't take photo's as it was deemed disrespectful) she wore no shoes and didn't seem to have a care in the world as she ran over stones and wet sticky.
Day 3 we finally made it to the Lost City. Our Guide told us that we could not enter the Lost City site until we had completed a ritual to rid ourselves of negativity (it was right up my street) we gathered in a circle, were then handed some leaves and told to offload all of our problems/negativity from our lives (including the gruelling journey) to the leaves, we then stood and listened to the sounds of the jungle and just stood in the moment (very mindful) it was so peaceful and therapeutic. We then placed our leaves (negativity) on a rock in the centre of our circle, before making our way via even more steps to the lost City. It was such an amazing feeling when we got to the top. Leanne who's partner was unable to finish due to an ankle injury was raising funds for a dear friend who'd lost her life in a car crash, her Partner was badly injured and her 2 young children who were in the car at the time, escaped unscathed, however witnessed their Mom's death (can you imagine) we raised a toast of port in her memory and as you can imagine, we were all their for our own reasons, with our own thoughts and shared each others - to say it was rather emotional is a bit of an understatement. The 3 days had been the hardest thing most of us had ever done in our lives and here we were at the top platform of the Lost City of Columbia - We'd made it!
We all struggled in one way or another but the power of support from each other, whether that be singing, dancing in the rain or taking the mick out of each other when things got really tough, we overcame every obstacle that came our way. We didn't give up, we didn't want to let anyone down and for that reason, we did it and all lived to tell the tale.....
Thank you so so much to the amazing people that helped make this trip a memory for life. Thank you to G Adventures and Not Just Travel (and hubby Ed for booking it) for putting it together. Here's to the next amazing adventure! xx
What things have you overcome in your life that's made you who you are today?
If you would like to donate to my chosen Charity - Women's Aid (supporting Women and Children escaping Domestic abuse) then please click on the link below - Thank you xx
Just a snippet of the carry-on walking adventure we had........