Exactly 12 months ago today, I stepped foot out of my hotel room and into the sun in a scorching Tanzania and looked up at the biggest challenge of my life so far.

The first day on Kilimanjaro was my first step into a new life and a new me. That first day stirred something inside me that needed to break out from routine, it ignited a passion for mountains that I had squashed for several years to follow the path I thought I should be taking, it showed me that there’s more to life than living for the weekend and that I should follow the wanderlust that takes over my conscientiousness.

Looking back at those eight days on Kilimanjaro now is emotional – it makes me grin, it makes me tearful, but mostly it makes me grateful that I found the courage to leave the office life behind. If it weren’t for that trip and those amazing people who made me laugh and kept me going, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

A great adventure like that shakes you to the core and puts life in perspective. It rattles your heart and stirs your passions. It makes you stronger and it makes you forever wander and always searching for the next challenge.

So one year later, I’m just saying a big thank you to everyone who made Kilimanjaro what it was and what it still is. You are all amazing, wonderful human beings!