your future is waiting for you.
Mt. Kilimanjaro - September 21st - October 3rd, 2018
If you are the woman who...
...knows she is meant for bigger things in her life,
...is ready to release the energetic and physical weight from years of stress,
...feels a burning fire in her gut and soul that her life needs radical change,
...is ready to put herself first for once,
...conquer her fears,
...live the life of her dreams,
...and find her dirty freedom,
then you need to join us on
KILI CLIMB 2018: DESTINATION TRANSFORMATION
+Eight (plus) days of self-discovery, deepening your relationship with your creative center and life transformation.
This trek is both a retreat for the soul and a space to return to your infinite power, so that you can return home ready to make the shifts necessary to get closer to the life you've always wanted to lead.
What makes this trip different from any other climb you will find up Mt. Kilimanjaro is the teaching and application of wellness tools, sacred arts practices and creative exercises to help guide you in the process of soul healing and spiritual transformation.
I'll be co-hosting this trip with Stephanie Mtui, aka "Badger," owner and lead cheerlady of Dirty Freedom Adventures Limited, and her husband, Larick Mtui, aka "RG3," lead professional climber and mountain guide. We will be with you every step of the way on your trek to transformation.
You are NEVER TOO OLD and it is NEVER TOO LATE to live a life of dirty freedom!
Below you will find the dates and details of the trip. Registration will be made through our partner for this climb, Dirty Freedom Adventures.
When: September 21st - 29th, 2018
It is suggested that you arrive on the 20th-21st in order to acclimate your body. The trek will begin on the 22nd of September.
We will be climbing the Lemosho Route, a Kilimanjaro favorite, because of its longer acclimation time (eight days) and gentler slope.
Cost per person: $3995
(based on double occupancy / single accommodations (hotel + tent) are an additional $400)
Optional (but highly recommended! + now being offered as a separate trip if you cannot join the climb)
safari: September 30th - October 3, 2018
Cost per person: $2800 (if registering just for the safari) $2300 (if registering for the climb + safari)
All prices are for a double occupancy. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate single tents or rooms on the safari.
All prices given in USD
Where: Check-in is during the evening of September 21st. (Note: You can make prior arrangements with Dirty Freedom Adventures for an additional night for an extra cost of $99 per person.)
Airlines from the US that fly into KIA: Delta/KLM (usually shortest), Emirates, Turkish, or Ethiopian. We will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.
Depart on the evening of October 3rd with a night flight from Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA), or continue your trip with a flight to Zanzibar! Check with Dirty Freedom Adventures if you want to add a Zanzibar excursion.
Food + Lodging: Tent Style!
Meals are delicious, nutritious, and appropriate for the activity. A typical breakfast could be toast and eggs in the morning, followed by a mid-day break for lunch. Dinner consists of starchy carbohydrates (rice, pasta, etc.) with meat sauce for added endurance and a protein.
*Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free meal options are available and can be specified in your registration form.
For Who: We welcome anyone from all walks of life who is interested in outdoor adventure, creative inspiration, and travel. You don't need to be a professional creative (photographer, painter, illustrator or writer) OR climber to come, but part of our time together will be devoted to studying the landscape and capturing it's beauty in the medium of your choice.
Included: (full details of what is included in your climbing package can be found here.)
- all meals and water during the climb. You must bring your own snacks and electrolyte powder.
- transportation during retreat and optional safari
- your tents (gear lists will be provided; you will have the option of renting certain items)
- lodging the night before we head to the mountain and on the night we return
- activities + lessons on the mountain (daily meditations, creative + Kiswahili language practicums and local tribal dance instruction (all optional)
- gift bag of mountain essentials
- one on one creative consultation with Jacquelyn to discuss personal or professional artistic goals
Not Included: Airfare or transportation to and from the retreat. Full details on what's included in your package can be found here.
Cancellation Policy: Please know you can make it before booking! We do not accept cancellations & your purchase is non-refundable unless you can find someone to take your place!
Additional Details: Registration for this trek closes July 15, 2018.
We will be providing information about insurance, visas, immunizations, and other useful stuff in the near future after you register and pay.
IMPORTANT: As noted above, we cannot accept cancellations. In order to be considered a registered participant, you must complete the online form and pay your deposit payment ($1,500 for climb only, $2,650 for climb and safari combined).
*For those who register before March 31st, 2018, your have until April 1st, 2018 to send in your deposit. After April 1st, 2018 your deposit must be submitted within 24 hours of your online registration.
*Your remaining balance for the climb and safari is fully due on or before July 15th, 2018. Official Registration closes July 15th, 2018, and later bookings may be denied. Because Dirty Freedom is required to book resources in Tanzania early, it is imperative that we have your registration and payments ON TIME. You will also be required to sign Dirty Freedom's contract for services. If you do not meet these requirements or pay by the specified dates above, we reserve the right to dismiss you from the journey.
Hey there love!
I'm Jacquelyn, born and raised in NJ, but have been blessed to call New York, Colorado, Italy and Australia my "homes." Traveling and being on the move and in the outdoors are #nonnegotiables for me. I have been to 28 countries and 34 states and counting. My current home base is in North Carolina and wherever my car takes me.
I've been an artist all my life with an academic background in printmaking and decorative arts history. My camera has saved me more than once through life's twists and turns, and it's helped carry me to places beyond my dreams. Since 2010, I've trained in a wide breadth of sacred arts and energetic healing practices -- that I'll be serving up on the mountain to help you make the bigger shifts in your life happen! Super stoked for this trek and to meet you, my fellow adventurer!
+ Read more of my story here
Sometimes, this life of freedom I am living right now… it feels surreal. Everyday, I thank my stars for the blessing and opportunity I have to be self-sovereign, to make choices on how I get to live and want to live and choices on how I can be of service to the world. For many years, I let fear hold me back from living an empowered life. I was afraid of being alone. I was afraid no one would want me. I was afraid of letting go of false securities. I was afraid of using my voice. I was afraid of saying yes -- really saying yes - to my dreams and the person I always knew I could be -- because, not knowing the “HOW” to get to where we want to go, can feel massively overwhelming and paralyzing.
I was also in a domestic abuse relationship from ages 22-32. And while this relationship and the environment I was living in contributed to the erosion of my self-esteem, I also knew that I was the one truly responsible for my self-love and self-care. I knew deep in my heart that the day would come when I would have to stop outsourcing my personal power and start validating myself from the inside. I would have to make some big life changes no matter how scary they felt. I had to, or I would die inside.
My path to Dirty Freedom really started to take root in 2014/2015 when I saw that a photographer, whose worked moved my heart, was hosting a workshop in Japan. And even though I wasn’t shooting photography at the time, my gut, my soul, my internal compass pointed me to that workshop and that place on earth where it was being held. I had to go there. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend the workshop the first time around, but I was more than ready for the registration of the following year. So, in the spring of 2016, I flew off to Japan. That trip would change the direction of my life. Not only was it the first time I had traveled abroad alone in the past ten years (whew, was I anxious), but, I went at a time in my life when a soul-sistership -- and the work and community we were a part of, suddenly shut down for me. I was at a critical juncture where significant doors were closing and others were opening. I asked the heavens above to help me come home from this trip seeing differently -- as an artist, woman, spirit -- however that wanted to take form. And I did. That trip was the catalyst for even bigger life changes I would make in a little over one year’s time.
Fast-forward to August 1st of 2017, when I would decide to leave the life I knew for a decade, in one afternoon. The only things I took with me were my passport, my cat, the little cash I had, my jewelry and my backpacker’s backpack. I said goodbye to my relationship, my home, and everything else I owned. I left it all to be free. To love myself without limits, to be open to love from others, and to live a life that would allow me to say more “yes’” to my happiness and dreams.
2018 has been a year of moving forward step by step in my heart-healing and building the life I have always seen for myself. It’s been a slow and steady climb. It hasn’t always been easy, I always keep going. Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and summiting the top is symbolic of my reaching the summit of my life’s Dirty Freedom. Our trek will be just after the one year anniversary of my taking the big leap into the unknown of my life. Not only will I have reached the highest elevation I have ever climbed, but, I will be checking off the boxes of some big dreams that I never would have thought possible in my old life.
Sometimes, I wonder how many other amazing adventures I could have gone on if I had said yes to my freedom earlier. While I can’t go back in time, I do know this: everyday, every hour, every minute is a new moment to say yes to what can end up being more wild than my wildest dreams. Here’s to some Dirty Freedom.
stephanie mtui (aka Badger)
Habari yako (How are you in Kiswahili)?
I'm Stephanie, more commonly known as "Badger" or the "Honey Badger." I come from a small orchard town in Eastern Washington called Selah, but I spent a significant time living and working in the Seattle area. I am a trial lawyer, a musician, and a lover of all things simple and joyous. I am learning about the art of self-care and living life fully.
My life was fairly ordinary until April 2016. On a rainy morning, I received an email asking for women to apply to climb Mount Kilimanjaro with Heather Thomson (for more info, see my September 3, 2016 blog post on my site badgerblogspot.com). While climbing with our incredible team, I forgot that I was a lawyer for a little while and immersed myself in nature and teamwork: two things I love.
For me, the story didn't end after reaching Uhuru Peak. I had the good fortune of pairing up with professional Chief Guide "RG3", a Kilimanjaro native and Kilimanjaro expert extraordinaire. RG3 and I became good friends, and I owe my life to him for safely getting me to the summit. RG3 and I have been a happy couple since our trek in 2016, and we want to share the Kilimanjaro experience and Tanzania with others. We are now newlyweds, married February 14, 2018, in Zanzibar!
In case you’re wondering, no, my parents did not name their child “Badger.” One of my law colleagues gave me that nickname over 10 years ago, and it stuck. My goal is to impart a little bit of badger in everyone who comes to climb Kilimanjaro with Dirty Freedom Adventures. Karibuni! Welcome!
+ Read more of my story here
The name "Dirty Freedom" is not a new concept, but it was new to me as I prepared for and climbed Kilimanjaro in September 2016. Before we tell you about us and our company, I want to send a holla! out to Heather Thomson of Real Housewives of New York fame (and much more!) for giving me the inspiration about the name of this company--and for the opportunity to climb with her! Heather used #dirtyfreedom on Instagram as we trained and during the climb. If you see her, tell her "mambo" from Badger and RG3!
Now back to us. In early 2014, long before coming to Kilimanjaro in September of 2016, I was a busy litigator in Seattle, spending entirely too much time (including most nights and weekends) “driving a desk,” steeped in high levels of stress. I managed multi-million dollar complex litigation against insurance companies for commercial property and casualty claims. The nature of the work required almost constant mental attention and agility—often at 3:00 in the morning. I love my work and have the best clients in the world, but it is all-consuming and not always so good for one’s health. A few decades of hard work had left me pretty much mentally and physically exhausted. I needed a serious break.
I was just a tad bit stressed out. Well, actually, a lot stressed out! In fact, in early 2014, I worked my longest stretch ever--36 hours at one time. It was awful. I was drafting and responding to summary judgment motions in a very big case, and I had no alternative but to burn the midnight oil and git 'er done. When I started to break out in hives and hallucinate after around the 35-hour mark, I decided it was time to go home.
I was also much heavier than I wanted to be weight-wise, but no matter what I did, I couldn't lose it. It didn't make sense that I was overweight, either, as I was a vigorous distance cyclist, and I didn't eat much (rarely over 1,500 calories per day). As it turned out, I wasn't eating enough, and my body was fighting what it perceived to be starvation. It learned to live on few calories in the wake of massive bike rides, sometimes over 100 miles a day on longer "century" rides. Moreover, I didn't feel content with my life. Something was missing, but I couldn't put my finger on it.
I started to surf the internet looking for weight loss retreats, women's spas, and "fat camps" (I hate that expression, by the way!), and I found a place in Vermont called Green Mountain at Fox Run. It was expensive, but it looked like a good way for me to get away from my hectic life for a few weeks and just commune with nature and other women with similar issues. I booked two weeks for April.
Holy smokes! I had no idea that my act of booking that retreat was the catalyst for a most incredible life transformation that would "peak" (pardon the pun) in September 2016 when I summited Mount Kilimanjaro. But first let me talk about what happened at Green Mountain. Green Mountain was just the beginning of this beautiful transformation. While there, I learned to really enjoy the taste of food and the pleasure of eating again, all while receiving training on the very thing that had been missing in my life: SELF-CARE!!! It seems so simple in retrospect, but when you are working hard and putting your nose to the grindstone, whether at work, school, or home, it's easy to miss the obvious. At Green Mountain, I learned about mindfulness, meditation, journaling, yoga, deep breathing, and affirmations, just to name a few. I also learned that I had a potent sniffer and that essential oils were very useful in altering my moods. I still use lavender essential oil to this day on my pillow at night to help summon restful, abundant sleep. I also like citrus and geranium oils as mood boosters. For me, the effects are powerful.
Green Mountain also marked a difficult time as well. A few days after I arrived, I received the awful news that my beloved aunt had been diagnosed with a very aggressive, non-curable cancer. She was fading fast and was not expected to live much longer--maybe even only a few days to a week. I debated coming home, but given my own tenuous emotional state, I didn't see how I could help her situation, and I knew that if I were there, I would fall farther down the crevasse I was already situated in. I decided to send family members in my stead, communicated with my aunt, mother, and uncle by phone, and came home as scheduled. Dear Young Nan fought hard and beat the doctor's estimates, but we still lost her on October 14, 2014. It was a devastating time for me and my family. I miss her terribly.
I also made some very special, life-long friends at Green Mountain. You know who you are.
I finished my time at Green Mountain, and it turned out in retrospect to have been a good call. I was able to learn all the mindfulness techniques and be ready to take them home with me to implement there, every day for the rest of my life. I knew that my experience to go there had been pre-ordained by something in the universe when I arrived back at my office after my trip to find a copy of the American Bar Association Journal, with the tagline, "Mindfulness and the Law" sitting right smack in the middle of my desk !!!!!! Wow! I had never even HEARD the word "mindfulness" until I went to Green Mountain, and here it is, staring at me from my desk when I got back to work. Let's just say I got the message . . . .
I continued to use the techniques I used at Green Mountain to help ease the stress that accosted me every day as I battled in my law practice, and in my personal life as well. It helped much. That Green Mountain connection was the genesis of my life transformation. Why? Because I visited there, I was on their email list for marketing . . . . Keep reading. . . .
In April 2016, I received an email asking for women to apply to climb Mount Kilimanjaro with Heather Thomson (for more info, see my September 3, 2016 blog post on my site badgerblogspot.com). I had been included on this email because of my experience with Green Mountain. It was just what the doctor ordered. It had been a while since my last really epic challenge (riding my bicycle from Seattle to San Francisco in 2008), and it was time to distance myself from work for a bit and concentrate on ME, While climbing with our incredible team, I forgot that I was a lawyer for a little while and immersed myself in nature and teamwork: two things I love. I think I brought a good sense of humor and lots of support to the other climbers while getting myself to the summit. Ultimately almost all of us made it, proving to the world that women of all sizes, shapes, and ages can conquer seemingly insurmountable challenges. I want to remind people that they shouldn’t judge a proverbial book by its cover. My desire to do my Kilimanjaro journey can really be summed up in a simple quote ostensibly made by Jack Kerouac: “Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. CLIMB THAT GODDAMN MOUNTAIN.” And that’s exactly what we did in September 2016.
And you can, too. AND YOU SHOULD! It will change your life for the better. Again, though every participant's experience will be different, just be aware that you could be in for a hell of a ride not just in the act of climbing Kilimanjaro, but also for the rest of your life. I had already done two epic bicycle rides: one from Seattle to San Francisco, and the other the Oregon Coast. But I was not a climber.
I had no idea what awaited me! After I received the invitation from Heather Thomson asking for women to climb Kilimanjaro in September (and got accepted, thank goodness), I had a goal again. Although I have always been an "exerciser," I had to shift a bit away from my distance cycling activities to training geared to climbing. For me, it was terrifying, because I do not consider myself a climber. Yet I trained hard, climbing local mountains whenever I could, strength training, and simply walking and HIIT training as often as my personal trainer advised. By time September arrived, I was ready to go but was terrified. I have a very healthy fear of heights, and being a not-climber, I was worried that I couldn't make it. Oh, and then there's the extreme high altitude: good Lord -- 19,341' at summit? Nope. Nope nope nope.
Does any of this sound familiar? Is this YOU?!? As it turned out, I can climb Kilimanjaro, 'cause I did. And so can you. On the morning of September 25, 2016, our team reached the summit at Uhuru Peak. I was in agony from the thin air but happy to know that the mission was accomplished. We started our way down and a day later eventually reached the gate and CELEBRATION!
What struck me most post-climb is that although there was plenty of advice about how to physically prepare, there was no instruction that I can remember about how to mentally prepare. Yeah, people always reassured me "you can do it," but there weren't any specifics. That is where Dirty Freedom shines.
We will not only provide information about training you physically. We will provide information about how to train mentally so you can get the most out of your journey. I am uniquely qualified to help you with this process, as I have participated in many endurance athletic events in the last decade. The truth is that for marathons, bicycle rides, and other endurance events, it isn't so much what shape you're in, although that's clearly important. It's your mental strength that will make you or break you.
When I rode from Seattle to San Francisco in Big Ride Pacific Coast 2008, me and 25 other cyclists endured 1,000 miles of hilly terrain and 70,000 feet of climbing to reach the Golden Gate Bridge after 15 days of riding anywhere from 70-90 miles per day. It cannot adequately describe how painful it was. Each morning I would crawl out of my tent, exhausted from the previous day, but somehow I and my compatriots would all climb back in the saddle and do it again. And again. And again! One morning in particular is very memorable, because it was the day we almost lost my fellow rider, Motel, whom I enjoyed riding with very much.
Motel was in a LOT of pain on about Day 10 or 11. We had just left one of our camps in California, and it was a beautiful day. About 10 minutes in, Motel suddenly jumped off his bike and exclaimed, "I QUIT!!!" This development was very demoralizing for me, because I wanted everyone to make it to the end. And I liked Motel--he was quiet, friendly, and always had an encouraging word, despite the tremendous amount of pain he was enduring. We called the ride leader, and Motel told him he wanted to be driven in the sag wagon to the nearest airport so he could fly home. But his fellow riders weren't about to let that happen.
For about an hour, I and several other riders gave Motel a pep talk and explained that completing this adventure wasn't about the pain and exhaustion he was feeling in his body. If it were up to our bodies, we would have all quit long ago. Rather, it's the mental stamina and determination that get you there. I remember another two riders, a husband and wife team from Washington State, telling Mark about their adventure riding their bikes clear across the United States a few years earlier. They said, "Completing these events is 10 percent physical and 90 percent mental." I'm not sure I'm remembering their numbers quite correctly, but you get the idea. And believe me: they were absolutely correct! By time I started that ride, I had ridden my bike over 2,000 miles in hilly Washington State training, and I was as ready as I could possibly be. But like Motel, I hurt. My butt hurt. My crotch burned. My shoulders ached. My knees were KILLING ME. Actually, pretty much everything hurt like a you-know-what. And I had the misfortune of developing cyclist's palsy in my hands and wrists. They had gone completely numb, and no amount of shaking my hands made it stop. Yet sheer badger tenacity kept me going when my body was screaming for me to stop.
Fortunately for us, Motel got that message loud and clear, and he hopped back on that bike and rode like the devil for the rest of the trip. He never looked back, and in fact, it became hard to keep up with him! When we got into camp that night, I commented that Motel was a complete animal, and everyone laughed. It was a special moment I won't forget.
Before you arrive in Tanzania, we want to help you do the same. We will help prepare you to manage your fears so you can be completely open to your trek and enjoy it to the fullest. For me, my fear was extreme, and it was completely unnecessary. It had a negative impact on my experience, yet even with that fear, I came off the mountain a completely new person. We will also help you to mentally prepare for the upcoming challenge so you can use that energy to your advantage instead of to your detriment. Like Motel, we want you to channel all your energy into clearing your mind for the trip--not worrying about what's coming. Trust me: Your guides and mountain staff will assure as much safety and comfort as is possible considering you are climbing the highest mountain in Africa. So leave your cares behind, and transform your life by immersing yourself in Africa's mysterious and beautiful nature.
For me, the story didn't end after reaching Uhuru Peak on September 25, 2016. I had the good fortune of pairing up with professional Chief Guide "RG3", a Kilimanjaro native and Kilimanjaro expert extraordinaire. RG3 and I became good friends, and I owe my life to him for safely getting me to the summit. He believed in me even when I didn't, and his excellent intuition allowed him to always know how far to push me, and how fast. RG3 and I have been a happy couple since our trek in 2016, and we want to share the Kilimanjaro experience and Tanzania with others. Most notably, we were married on February 14, 2018 in Zanzibar. It was quiet, beautiful, and special:
In case you’re wondering, no, my parents did not name their child “Badger.” One of my law colleagues gave me that nickname over 10 years ago, and it stuck. My goal is to impart a little bit of badger in everyone who comes to climb Kilimanjaro with Dirty Freedom Adventures. And no--it is not necessary for you to find a spouse on Kilimanjaro! This just happens to be MY Dirty Freedom experience. Yours will look the way yours is supposed to look. Now--join us. Get your dirty on. FIND FREEDOM.