In these days people and nations close down for the fear of coronavirus, walls are built and gates are locked. But this situation is temporary and i believe that we may use this chance to start breaking the lockdown from deep inside, going beyond our inner borders first. So let me tell you how that happened in my case. This #MileStoneExperience was a real game-changer for me.
Everything started one summer afternoon, when together with Marcin and Magdalena we were thinking what to do during next holiday. We had the atlas with us, so we just opened it on a random page. It showed Africa. "What can we do there? Let's stand on top of Kilimanjaro, one year from now!" That's how all the idea started. Soon Zbyszek and Katarzyna joined our team and we created a project called Beyond Borders. We wanted to go beyond geographical, cultural, but also very personal borders.
It was a difficult year. We needed a lot of money and it was during the economical crisis of 2008 so 9 out of 10 potential sponsors to whom we asked for collaboration didn't answered or said: well, nice idea, but we cannot help. Milion times I wanted to give up, kill my teammates and just come back to the everyday life. Doesn't matter, though, how tough was the day, the morning after I would wake up thinking what I can do today to be a bit closer to my dream. And every day I did something, even if it was just to send one email or read an article about Kilimanjaro.
Three weeks before our departure we still didn't have enough money. Out of despair we decided to invite people to buy from us meters of our Kilimanjaro. Each meter was 1 zl (0.25 euro) and Kilimanjaro is 5895 m. So, in theory our goal was to raise 5895 zloty, but we would have been very happy with just few hundreds. It was before crowdfunding became a thing so we were not expecting people to understand the concept.
We collected more than 7000 zl. People just loved the idea and started not only to support us but also to share it with friends, helping us to reach more and more audience. Although our budget was short and we still had to pay quite a lot from our own pocket money, we decided to try.
Three crazy weeks of extreme emotions. You can follow it step by step in the website of the journey (przekroczycgranice.zhpwidzew.pl). The moment we reached the top of Kilimanjaro was also the starting point of a new project called Dreamers, which had people supporting each other in making their dreams come true. We had the right standpoint to show that everything is possible.
And, most important, we proved it to ourselves. A crazy dream, a utmost far-fetched idea becomes reality thanks to persistence and patiently going through doubts, difficulties, anger, frustration. That was a huge lesson which influenced all my life hereafter. I understood that there are no impossible things. The only real borders are inside me.
PS. It took me few more years to realize that there are some limitation to this belief, related for example to our social and economical situation, but that's another topic worth to discuss separately.