Although not a fan of the limelight, Hind Al-Awadi finally conceded to let us publish her story, her inspirational feat of conquering Mount Kilimanjaro. As far as we’re concerned, we weren’t going to take no for an answer, as we are avid believers that accomplishment should always be merited with acknowledgement.
An art director and filmmaker by day, Hind loves being behind the camera, putting her wealth of experience in production to good use. From television commercials to documentary films, she nourishes this creative career by scheduling trips to far fletched destinations. She explains, “I love doing new things, traveling, exploring. This year alone, besides the Kilimanjaro climb; I managed to fit in Vietnam, India, China, Hong Kong. I can’t get enough, and I even have a trip to the United States and South America on the agenda.” However, the question begs itself. How does anyone simply decide to climb Mount Kilimanjaro?
A naturally active person, Hind has always been an outdoors person, yet never a gym buff. When she first thought about doing the climb, she had to make the gym a part of her routine. Although she might nonchalantly state that she gathered a bunch of her friends and decided ‘to go for’ Kilimanjaro, Hind realized that she had to make an effort to train beforehand. “After living abroad for so long in the ‘walking’ cities of London and New York, one becomes accustomed to always being on the move, and exploring. I don’t have to make an effort to do anything, yet here, in Kuwait, I realized I’ve become so immobile!” She also carried around her huge pack for a few hours each day to accustom herself to how she would spend eight days trekking the ‘rooftop of Africa’.
Being the only girl amongst four guys, Hind was even further challenged to make it to the summit. Choosing the Lemosho route, which gave the team a total of 8 days to get to the summit and back, Hind recounted that the time allowed her team to bond closely with their guides. She adds, “We chose Lemosho because we wanted to give ourselves time to acclimatize to the high altitudes we were going to experience. Even though it was slightly longer, it was a great time. We even surprised our guide with the fact that we covered more ground in a shorter amount of time than we had planned.”
Despite the long journey, and even the altitude sickness Hind experienced, it was all worth it when they finally reached the summit.
Her eyes light up as she recounts that experience, “The summit was absolutely breathtaking and I suddenly had a burst of energy that came with the realization that ‘this was happening’. Waking up every morning and not having to think of anything back home is a cathartic experience. I just have to get from point a to point b, follow a guide’s advice, and take in every moment of it all.”
Today, Hind is currently working with one of the Kilimanjaro guides on a documentary about the whole experience, which she would repeat in a heartbeat. After the successful journey, Hind and her teammates headed down to Zanzibar for some well-deserved R&R. Upon her return, she decided that she wanted to further her knowledge in mountaineering and is considering a specialized course in the US that would prepare her to pursue climbing the seven summits.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A dry aged Peter Luger medium rare porterhouse steak.
What is your greatest fear?
Public speaking and cockroaches. They bite you know.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I am a food bully. Do not go to dinner with me if you do not intend to finish your plate.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Bad driving. THE EMERGENCY LANE IS FOR EMERGENCIES!
Which living person do you most admire?
My parents and husband. Though they were discussing placing a man3 safar on me during our last family lunch.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Travel and decadent meals. Also kitsch pet clothing.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“I think I ate too much.”
When were you happiest?
See answer to first question.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I’d love to be a hyperpolyglot, wouldn’t mind playing the guitar either.
What would you consider your greatest achievement?
Taking a chance on myself. Conquering the roof of Africa is also pretty high up there.
Where would you most like to live?
Besides the obvious beautiful island somewhere, I’d have to say NYC. My inner hipster can’t get enough of it.
Hind Al-Awadi is also one of the founders of the highly addictive blog, the dusty co. To follow her posts, please visit dustyco.com.