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VIDEO: Croatian conquers Mount Kilimanjaro

Patrick at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro (Instagram)

Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is the highest mountain in Africa and the world’s highest free-standing mountain.

Croatian content creator and GQ Insider, Patrick Van Negri, has recently returned from successfully summiting the 19,341 feet Uhuru Peak of Mount Kilimanjaro. He now hopes his achievement will help others to get out of their comfort zones and achieve something they would never dream of achieving.

“It was one of the most fulfilling experiences ever. I would never think that climbing a mountain would make me feel that way. Even when I think about it now, I remember it with such a spectacular and rewarding feeling, and funny enough, all those moments of misery and discomfort are completely gone. That is something that is very hard to explain or even process in my head. Also, I have to note that those feelings are not just because summiting the top of Africa, it was also because of the amazing team that was spectacular in any sense and were a great foundation of achieving this goal of mine,” Patrick explains.

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WE MADE IT! 🏔🧗🏽‍♂️❄️🏆🌋📍🔝🚩 Summit of Mount Kilimanjaro! Top of Africa! Top of the world for me! Whoa… That had to be one of the most epic and life-changing experience I ever did! Thank you blu’s @PledgeWorld for making my pledge happen 💙 This 11-day journey has been something I never experienced in my entire life. I never hiked and camped in my life, so this pledge was really life-changing for me. 🤯 I never felt such misery and pain. I was learning something new not every day, but every hour. I learned so much about myself, but also pushed myself to a completely new level of discomfort which will be the foundation of my every future endeavors.⚒🧱 I hate complaining and try to completely eradicate it, but if you want to make me super miserable, just put me in a cold and dirty environment with no shower and no warm bed. That is exactly what happened on this trip, but I am grateful for my misery and being completely out of my comfort zone. 😬 Thank you to all of the people who made this trip easier for me, who taught me so much about camping and hiking, and just being genuinely nice and kind people. 🙏🏾The African culture inspired me!!! Such selfless, kind, happy, and positive human beings. They definitely inspire me to be a better human being and will be my role model in doing so. Asante sana! 👏🏾😍 Guys, you can pledge anything you want to. Submit your dream by clicking the link in bio and YOU might be the next one. ☝🏾😉I will definitely share much more of this trip in the next couple of months. Thank you, everyone, who believed in me, prayed for me and supported me. I love you 💙 #PoweredByBlu #ad #OwnIt #PledgWorld

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Born and raised in Pula, Croatia, Patrick moved to the United States in 2011 and resides now in Miami. His decision to tackle Africa’s highest mountain came from being motivated to challenge himself and get out of his comfort zone.

“First of all, being in Africa sounds pretty epic to me and this is an unusual trip, plus I had never been to Africa before. Most importantly, camping isn’t my thing at all. I actually like quite the opposite; the finest comfort and luxuries of life, but putting myself into those conditions (no bed, no warm water, no shower, etc for at least 9 days), especially hitting the cold weather (which I cannot stand – that is why I live in Miami) and snow, was something I knew it would make me miserable but at the same time be beneficial in the long-run and eye-opening. I knew I would come out of it as a better person, a more grateful person, and just more “wealthy” inside,” Patrick says, before explaining that prior to the climb he had no hiking experience whatsoever.

“Before tackling Kilimanjaro I had not climbed even the Učka mountain in Croatia. I always loved being in nature, walking, sports, fitness, swimming & diving, but I never actually hiked a mountain properly. My friend from Zagreb laughed at me when I told him I was going to climb Kilimanjaro. He actually said, “pa ti se nisi ni na Sljeme popel” (You have not even climbed Sljeme). To be honest, those words were stuck in my head when it was the hardest for me getting to the summit of Kilimanjaro. Even when feeling like quitting, I had to prove him wrong,” Patrick says.

Five days before the flight to Kilimanjaro, Patrick flew to Chicago to one of the very few altitude training centers in the USA. There, he and his team were educated about everything there was to know about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and took part in altitude training for a day. 

“I am working out 6 times a week, and even though that helped, in the end, it did not matter much. It was a battle in your mind and how good or bad your body tolerates altitude and lack of oxygen.”

Patrick says one of the worst parts of the entire trip was the descend back down, which was the last 36 hours of the trip. 

“There is where I got the most muscle soreness and inflammation in some of my previous knee injuries so that inflammation took a week to go down. However, you recover by every meter you go down since you have access to more oxygen, so you feel like superman once you are going down, which makes sense why so many professional athletes do training on high altitudes.”

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👇🏾TAG a friend that you would take to get to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro 😁

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Patrick has resided now for over eight years in the US but he spends a lot of time in Croatia. 

“I visit at least once a year. This year I have been home 4 times, and I stayed at least a month each time, so I’ve spent a third of this year in Croatia. It is magical and I wish I can stay longer. I am most passionate about food, traveling, nature, discovering, so I am always talking about Croatia to my followers and USA friends. I am actually going to share and post more about it on my social channels and website about it. All my USA friends thought I am hyping Croatia because that is where I am from, but once I brought them to Istria they were even more impressed. We have everything, so I am excited to promote it and make all of my followers fall in love in Croatia, because it is, in my opinion, the center of the universe. It is hard to choose the best place or food, but if I had to pick it would be my home state Istria and typical Istrian cuisine. I love Dalmatia and Dalmatian food as well.”

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As my email newsletter subscribers know already, right after Africa 🇹🇿 I have flown to Croatia 🇭🇷 to prank/surprise my parents because they thought I was going back to Miami, and I hope you liked their reaction in the email you received from me. 😁 If not, click the link in bio to get the next one! ☝🏾 I have not been home since 2011 around this time. I get here only for Summer, but Croatia has its different faces, character, and beauty all-year-round. ✨ Every season and every month has its charm, and you can experience unique activities and food accordingly. April and May are no different. Both are so close yet very different, and they are right next to each other. 🌊🐐☀️⛰ Many people when I talk about Croatia do not believe we have a Roman amphitheater, and the funny thing is that it is in my hometown Pula, which is the exact location of this photo. 🏛 More to come… 😉

A post shared by PATRICK VAN NEGRI (@patrickvannegri) on

Below is a short video of Patrick’s climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.

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