Recently, our Community Counselor Sonia reached out to share an amazing story about Micayla, a young woman from South Africa, and her journey as an au pair on a mission to climb all peaks in New Hampshire more than 4,000 feet—that’s 48 mountains!! We are delighted to share this story of adventure and determination with you.
I want to share a true success story of one of our au pairs in New Hampshire. Micayla was part of the Au Pair in America program for 2 years. I remember when I first began as a Community Counselor I wanted to meet all the au pairs so that I could put faces to names and vice versa. When Micayla spoke, it was like speaking to a sage old woman—not a 19-year-old girl. She spoke of her experiences in the program and her dreams when she headed home to South Africa. She shared that her goal before she left was to climb all 48 peaks over 4,000 feet in New Hampshire. Not many accomplish this feat, but she did!
As an au pair, Micayla was caring for 3 children (ages 6, 4 and 3), and on the weekends she climbed and explored the U.S. An interesting part of this is that she did not begin doing this do so until Year 2. She says she spent her first year not interested in going out of her comfort zone, but then in Year 2 she asked herself, why not?
In addition to this achievement, Micayla traveled over 4,000 miles (mostly by car), touring the U.S. in 6 months. She has returned home to South Africa and will leave behind an indelible mark on all those she has connected with, from her host family, their children and everyone else in between. Her sense of adventure and spirit will be something we can carry into our own lives.
Micayla’s story is an amazing one and worth sharing. Please enjoy her entry below about accomplishing an impressive goal:
On a day with 150 feet of visibility once we reached alpine zone, 60 mph winds, 28-degree wind chill and 47 mountains behind me—I accomplished not only my goal of hiking the 48 official mountains over 4,000 feet in New Hampshire, but the deliverance on my part of a promise I made to myself a little over a year ago. I believed that if just once I could make a promise so unimaginable, and obtain it, it might be the first step in creating a life for myself where any goal, dream and ambition could be seen as something within my reach. I can’t imagine that anyone could understand the discipline, patience, motivation and determination it takes to hike the mountains I have. It wasn’t always easy. 4am wake up calls on a Saturday morning are not fun, but God, that last view made it so worth it.
Hiking Mt. Washington, the tallest mountain with the highest winds ever observed by man, it is a hikers dream to summit on a day with good visibility, as those days are so far and few between. We had been within a no visibility zone for about 2 hours (an hour up past alpine zone and an hour at the summit) before departing from the observatory at the summit. I began my trek down with tears in my eyes from being overcome by emotion for all this adventure has been. And within few feet into the trail, for just a brief moment the skies cleared up enough for me to see the world I’ll be leaving behind. A few seconds later the clouds closed in on us again and visibility ceased. I swear the affirmation that moment left me with will stick with me forever—especially because of the fact that there had been a forecast for no chance of visibility at the summit that entire day, but more importantly because at the moment, Rob and I had been the only hikers within sight to observe it. (The last picture in this post was captured in this moment).
This experience has been empowering beyond a point to which I could use words to describe. If you’ve gotten to this part of my post, I want to challenge you to challenge yourself. Dream, believe and succeed. Nothing is holding you back from being anything you want to be, all you have to do is begin today. Begin right now. Be extraordinary.
Congratulations, Micayla! Your accomplishment and encouraging challenge to others are sure to inspire everyone that reads this post.