Word count: 50,385. Goal: 50,000
WOO HOO! I DID IT! I submitted my novel at 8:30pm and met my word count deadline! Time to celebrate with a lovely seasonal coffee from Starbucks. I’ll write a full update soon, but YAY FOR ME!
The adventurer within me sought excitement and the value received after accomplishing a great feat. Who else did I know could say they scaled the tallest mountain in West Africa? The guidebooks said the trek up Ghana’s Mount Afadjato would last two hours – one hour to climb, and one hour to descend. That was nothing too terrible, as far as I knew. Only last year, I’d climbed to the top of Edinburgh’s Arthur’s Seat peak, taking about the same amount of time.
I’m not a physically fit person, and, combined with inappropriate footwear (whoever said Crocs made for good hiking shoes!?), I lagged behind the group. Our local guide, thin as a rail, never stopped to breathe or have a drink water. He also completed the climb in flip-flops alone. I on the other hand, stopped every ten minutes to prevent impeding asthma attacks, and gulp down water from plastic sacks.
“Across the way,” our guide tells the four of us. “Is Togo. That other peak, is a different country.”
Borders have always fascinated me – how are they so definite when, like the mountain-range between Ghana and Togo, the world “gets in the way.” If I hike down one side of this mountain, I’ll be in a completely new country. Was it really that simple? No border police? No visa applications? I won’t get my passport stamped, but at least I’d be there.
There’s not much room at the top of Mount Afadjato. Any grand movements can result in a deadly fall. The peak is best suited for sitting quietly anyway. A bit of meditation, and some light reflection after a difficult climb, is cleansing.
I faced the challenge. I faced another country, mere miles away.
Word count: 44,253 Goal: 50,000
One more day to reach 50k! Although NaNoWriMo has definitely been harder than I thought, I think I’ll finish on time. Writing the content is the easy part, it’s finding the time to write that is the issue. After all the personal challenges I’ve faced lately I am proud that I’ve gotten this far, and created something very special.
I’m just pissed though, because I only discovered the NaNoWriMo website the other day. I could have been tracking my progress, connected with like-minded WriMos, participated in local write-ins and more. Oh well – now I’m registered and I can be more proactive next year.
So now that NaNoWriMo is over, I can concentrate on bigger things – like my new website! Be on the lookout for katkatravels.com, where you’ll find a more personalized version of this blog, along with some more professional information and links to other sources. Yay!
Did you reach your NaNoWriMo goal? Are you a part of the NaNoWriMo community online? Let me know your user name and we’ll become buddies!
‘Tis the season, ya’ll. In lieu of physical gifts, I’ve opted to make donations in the name of people close to me. There are tons of charities out there but if you don’t know where to start, let me recommend Passports with Purpose.
According to their website, “Passports With Purpose was founded in 2008 by Debbie Dubrow, Pam Mandel, Beth Whitman and Michelle Duffy as a way to build community among travel bloggers and to give back to the places we, as travelers, visit…Each year the Passports With Purpose founders select a charity based on several criteria along with our sense of what would inspire us and the Travel Bloggers community.”
This year, Passports with Purpose is donating the collected funds to Water.org. This organization works to provide clean sources of water around the world. Super sponsors of this project include Expeida, Tripit, TBEX; a full list is found here. This year, Passports with Purpose hopes to raise at least $100,000 that will go towards building wells in Haiti. $5,000 worth of donations was met on the first day and they are so close to reaching their goal, it’s SICK.
So how can you help out? By making a donation to win some awesome prizes! It’s sort of “Silent Auction” style, but better. By donating in increments of $10, your name enters into a raffle drawing for that prize. You don’t have to worry about out-bidding someone, everyone who donates has a shot of being chosen.
Look at the prizes. All have been donated by various travel bloggers; the list can be found here (go ahead and follow your faves!). Even if you don’t win a prize, you have donated to a wonderful, unique cause and can reap the benefits of feeling warm and fuzzy inside.
But act fast! The last day to donate is December 11, 2013.
What’s your take on Passports with Purpose? What prizes did you make a donation for? Will your travel blog donate a prize next year?
Travel is awesome! Duh. Let’s talk about how awesome it is to travel and the awesome things travelers do!
Awesome is defined as such: