Sustaining Goals: Top 10 Reasons to Climb Kilimanjaro

Cathy climbs Kilimanjaro

Some people have lofty goals. Like, mountainous ones…

Whether you desire to do your part to support the planet, people or community; to sustain the slow food movement, creativity or personal choices; you must first figure out what the need is and then reflect on how you can best achieve fulfillment. Every sustainability plan starts with goal-setting. And just like sustainability isn’t one size fits all, goal-setting isn’t one size fits all either. Goals come in all shapes and sizes. Size doesn’t matter.  

With summer right around the corner, we find ourselves looking forward to our favorite season for some much-needed reflection. The slower pace along with the longer, lazy days make it the perfect time to contemplate goals that can help make a positive holistic impact in creating your life, sustaining your soul and writing your own story throughout the rest of the year.   

Every summer both Cathy and Christina revisit and revise their ongoing lists of dreams they wish to fulfill and challenges they want to take on in the upcoming months. But, it’s no secret that one half of ethical muse has a running bucket list of more physical-type challenges set for herself. (We will give you a hint about which one of us it is…her name begins with a “C”…but it definitely doesn’t end with an “A”.)

A couple of years ago, Cathy  set a goal to climb a mountain. Not just any mountain, but Kilimanjaro; Africa’s highest peak. While such a lofty goal is not for everyone, if you give this half of ethical muse a challenge, she rises to it. And rise she did, straight to the top of Kili!  It took a tremendous amount of physical stamina for sure. But even more than that, it took a lot of visualizing and a positive mental attitude. Believing that you can succeed, and that you will succeed.

The 7-day climb took her through four ecological zones, together with subzero temperatures at night and blistering sun during the day. Time and again during that week, she had to call on her inner warrior to get her through. And that inner warrior showed up…the second time… 

Did we mention that she has done this climb two times? The first time she wasn’t successful in reaching the summit, but the second time she was. The biggest changes she made in order to succeed were shifts in her mental perspective.

To make a true impact in your own life, or in someone else’s, isn’t always easy. Sometimes it takes a few tries and a different perspective of  the challenge. What worked for someone else may not work for you. Cathy not summiting the first time lead her to some bitter and heavy self-doubt afterwards, but that also made the success of her second attempt that much sweeter. There are no failures, only lessons to be learned for next time. 

Read on for Cathy’s top ten, quirky, tongue-in-cheek reasons to climb Kilimanjaro…these reasons are almost enough to make Christina want to give it a go….

goal setting

1 It’s a weight loss program with a difference, and you’re guaranteed to lose a minimum of 4kg. If you’re lucky you may even shed up to 10kg in just one week.


2 Every morning you will be woken and offered a choice of coffee, tea or hot chocolate in the comfort of your sleeping bag or tent. I don’t have this luxury at home.

3 Your husband may groan when you ask him 
to carry your lipstick. Climb Mount Kilimanjaro and you’ll have 28 men to carry whatever you 
need – your tent, mattress, pillow, romantic novels and entire make-up kit (if you feel you need it 
at 5,895 metres). *thank you Rahhalah for a sustainable luxury experience


Does your iPod really have a battery life of up to 30 hours? Now is the time to test it as you climb, climb, and climb uninterrupted.

5 You’ll be able to impress your friends with your new interest in astronomy having seen the Milky Way and Southern Cross.

You’ll come back learning a new language – Swahili! Jambo! Poli Poli!


7 It will be like putting yourself on an email detox – 192 hours without Wi-Fi. This could be more challenging than the climb itself.

8 Obsidian, a naturally occurring volcanic glass, enhances attraction. Pick up your own piece on the mountain, make it into a necklace and attract admirers and win friends.

Interested in the flora and fauna of different climatic zones? Experience four on your way to the summit – rainforest, heather and moorland, alpine desert, and the arctic zone.




10 What woman travels with only two pairs of shoes? Prove to yourself that you are a real woman and can survive in a pair of hiking boots during the day and Crocs at night.