May 5th 2008 was a birthday I will never forget as I turned 19 by summiting the highest mountain in Africa, Kilimanjaro, standing at 5895 m.

My trip to Tanzania was a last minute decision but after a successful attempt it was a great choice. The physical challenges in no way matched that of Aconcagua but in terms of mountain experience it was of huge importance.

I travelled alone and attempted it as a solo venture with my guide. Climbing a mountain by oneself requires a different mindset than climbing within a group and doing so provided me with more experience and knowledge of my own capabilities. Determining my own pace allowed me to understand how the decrease in oxygen levels affected my body, an invaluable lesson to learn with higher peaks in my sight.

Climbing Kilimanjaro was an amazing experience as well as giving me a fascinating insight into another culture both of which are long lasting memories.