I was on the 1987 10D expedition to Malaysia and spent all 3 months on Borneo. The first at Lambir National Park, then Mt. Kinabalu and finally in Danum Valley. Looking back 30 years later I can truly say that this experience set me on the path I am still on today.
Being a part of an international team, with so many different life experiences and perspectives really reset my view of the world and opened my eyes to other cultures and people. I like to hope I’ve kept that awareness of others and other ways of life and I continue to use that perspective in my day to day work with a multi-national non-profit organization.
Raleigh pushed my limits, but also helped me to understand that those boundaries might be further out than I think. I started rock climbing on expedition and continue to climb to this day. Climbing has brought so much richness, discovery and adventure to my life and I can trace it back to the plateaus and summit pinnacles of Gunug Kinabalu, where we waited out the often torrential rains in small tents with high spirits. I still remember my birthday ‘cake’ – matches stuck in a Mars bar and it’s one of the best I have ever had. How could it not be at 4,000 m with a group of amazing people?
Trekking through the forest of Danum Valley, coming up with unique ways to remove the leeches, repairing the stairs the elephants would damage and spotting a clouded leopard slipping off into the forest are all experiences I would not trade.
30 years later I still have clear and fond memories of the places and the people from Borneo and I’m so happy to see that the opportunity for others lives on in Raleigh International.