I wanted to write a quick update about where I am right now and what my preparations look like so far. As many of you may know I am living and working on Mackinac Island in Michigan as a horse carriage driver for Grand Hotel. My family would bring me to the island a lot as a kid and I never thought that I would end up driving for the Grand, especially since I had never even touched a horse until just a year ago. The season here only lasts about 6 months so all the businesses here work double time to make enough money for the year which means I get to work 65 hours a week. I start my day at 5am, early enough to wake up, shower, and get to the barns to start feeding and grooming the horses and my day ends at about 6pm when the last boats get to the island.
Taken from the top of the Grand Boulevard on the morning of Tuesday May 21, 2013. It was 50 degrees, windy and it rained all day.
Now a neat thing about the island is there are no cars allowed so all transportation is by horse carriages, bikes or walking which makes a perfect place to start training for my hike because I’m basically forced to walk miles everyday just to get to work and meals. *Insert walking 5 miles in the rain “back in my day” joke here*. When I went in for a physical evaluation for this hike the doctor said I needed to lose at least 15 pounds before the hike and since mid April I have already lost almost 7 pounds, yay! I am going to start taking regular jogs and bike rides through the many trails that the island has to offer once the weather starts looking a little better and not look like the picture to the right. I have some really neat ideas in mind for videos on the bike trails around the island so be on the look out for those once I get a GoPro. For right now I actually have to walk up about a mile and a half up a 200 ft. hill to get back to my room and so far it has only kicked my butt a little, I call it my “pre-training” training.
On another note the fundraising is going well, so far there is $1,015 raised of my $2,759 goal with 6 days to go. Thank you so much to those of you who have donated so far, it means an incredible amount to me. I am doing as much as I can to hopefully reach the goal but I don’t think it will happen in the next 6 days. I am extending my fundraiser through the blog and we will hopefully be able to reach they goal through the little orange ‘Donate’ buttons within the next month. I am currently writing over 60 letters to friends and family to find sponsors of each mile of my hike and those will be sent out soon. I mentioned before that I was hesitant about fundraising but after sending so many messages to my friends and catching up on their lives it has been really incredible just realizing that friends and family are here to love you and sometimes they just need the invitation for an opportunity to help you out.
On the carriage with my boys Rolls and Royce.
Explore the world for yourself because dreams are the stuff reality is made from.
A part of this blog will be used to show the things that inspire me to pursue the journey that I am on. I came across this article when a few of my friends posted it on Facebook. If you ever get the chance to meet someone who has traveled a lot they are very often incredibly humble, have lots of stories to tell and are generally people you want to learn from. This is the type of person I hope to become. So many great quotes in this article, check it out.
There is also one written for girls at
I have enrolled in a 35 day Himalaya backpacking course with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), and most importantly right now I need some help covering the cost of the tuition.
I know that I have asked for money in the past, previously raising money for Invisible Children’s Schools for Schools program in 2011, and when I became a full-time volunteer with Invisible Children in 2012; and I am incredibly grateful to the many people who have given funds in the past. I was very cautious about asking for funds for my next adventure, and honestly feel very awkward doing so because of all the amazing support I have received; but I am only doing so because without your help this won’t be possible.
When I enrolled into this program I knew that I would be able to make enough money over the course of the summer to fund the tuition but I didn’t know that the tuition is due 75 days in advance and now I’ve hit a bump in the road. This course will be challenging but the backpacking and mountaineering training that I receive will be vital to film projects that I plan to do in the future. Now I was almost about to ditch the idea and give up on this trip until next year but after talking to a few friends I have decided to open an invitation to friends and family who would like to support me.
I realize that not everybody will get the chance to backpack through the incredible Himalaya Mountains in India, so I decided to put this up because I want to share this experience with as many people as possible. I have set up a reward system on my fundraising page so that you can be involved in my adventure with more than just a blog. I also added a sponsorship feature so that you can sponsor a mile of my hike. I wanted to make it very wallet friendly so the first 50 miles can be sponsored for $10 or less.
If you are interested in donating you can visit my fundraising page here. http://igg.me/p/369068/x/2567085
This is my first time running a blog but I will have more content up soon, thanks for reading!