Inspiration Monday: Hiking to Freedom

Posted by Tina on December 7, 2015

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I’m sharing this incredible story on behalf of my colleague, Maria, based in our Vancouver, BC office. From Maria:

Hiking to Freedom

As an avid hiker, the Matt Gunn Scrambles book is the defacto guide to our local BC mountains. Scrambling is more than hiking, it requires a bit of climbing too. For the last several years I’ve had the goal of hiking every hike in the book. Some I’ve managed, others I’ve had to re-treat on due to weather, conditions, etc. Each hike is a massive epic sometimes hiking 14hr days, doing over 6,000ft of vertical elevation, waking up at 4am, and other forms of physical torture 🙂

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But the journeys I make pale in comparison to the journeys some have to make. My ultimate goal is a personal one. Having once fled a communist country with nothing but the clothes on our backs, I have a deep sympathy for those struggling to escape from North Korea.

Imagine a 3,000 mile journey to escape one of the world’s most oppressive regimes. The human rights violations are too numerous to count, the country runs the longest concentration camps on the planet – 70 years.

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It costs $3,000 to rescue a refugee (basic needs, transportation, accommodations, fines, fees, bribes, contingency funds, and resettlement assistance). My goal for this year is to help one through www.libertyinnorthkorea.org.

I will hike till my legs drop. I will endure every discomfort. And if you think it worthy, please consider donating a nominal fee for each mountain summit achieved. 

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Over the last year, Maria has delivered messages to mountaintops in exchange for a $50 donation to her cause. She has climbed more than 166,818 feet, and has succeed in her goal of rescuing one refugee. We’re truly humbled by her efforts, and honored to call her a friend and co-worker!

Read more from Maria’s personal blog here.