About Andrea

Bio

My passion for traveling and adventure started since childhood. I was studying art and universal history in school. I dreamed of someday going to the places in which the world’s most important art flourished; places where history was changed forever.

I loved Indiana Jones; it made me imagine myself as an explorer. I would also look at the world map and dream of going to the places my finger would randomly land on.

I had the great fortune of having young and outgoing parents that loved to travel around Guatemala in search of adventure. Some of my favorite memories include hiking up the Pacaya volcano, where I had my first experience with lava. I also remember a trip to Semuc Champey, which was a real journey on a 4X4 Jeep. I remember the curiosity with which the K’ekchi kids observed us, the intense sounds of the Cahabon river next to our tents, the clarity of the moon at night, and the feeling of being completely away from civilization.

Change of Focus

 

This trip gave me the inspiration I needed. Traveling was giving me important life lessons, and I wanted to discover more. During this time I did my first trekking to the Everest base camp and this was how my passion for mountains began. I had the opportunity of finding a job as a tour guide which allowed me to meet more than 45 countries. My annual tours included the Everest base camp twice a year, and I never imagined I would ever climb it.

In 2007, when I went for the 7th time to the colossal base, I wondered how the world would look like from its highest point. At that time, I had never climbed a mountain. Later, after climbing Island Peak (6,200 mts) and Aconcagua (6,964 mts), I set myself the challenge of learning everything it took to achieve my new goal: to be the first Central American woman to get to the highest mountaintop in the world: the Everest.

At that moment, intense training began so I could be prepared for the challenge in March of 2010. It included the climbing of 13 different mountains and several trekkings. It also included sleeping on a tent around 200 nights per year. This base was the most important one; it taught me to be disciplined, perseverant, and focused despite the difficulties that may show up along the way. Without stepping out of my comfort zone I would have never known my potential to learn anything I put my mind to.

On May 10, 2010 I finally had the privilege and opportunity to conquer my dream: to see the world from its highest point. I learned that there isn’t any dream or goal too high to reach, it's all a matter of attitude and the using of tools like planning, perseverance and discipline, which can be applied to any dream.

All this was possible thanks to many people who supported me from the beginning. Thanks to my sponsors, and to the media that shared this experience with the world. Thanks to all the Guatemalans that inspired me with their love.

Today my goal is to share this experience, and to inspire others to find our unlimited potential to reach anything we choose to. “Let's stop imagining what we could do and start doing everything we imagine.”

Namasté

Andrea Cardona

Starting to see the World

When I turned 15 (in my country we celebrate turning 15 the way North Americans celebrate turning 16) I didn’t dream of a fancy party, I wanted to travel and see the world. Italy came to my attention because of its numerous cities filled with art, its romantic historic spots, and its food among other things. When I came back to Guatemala I was convinced that I wanted to study tourism there.

When I turned 18 I could finally take this project on. Living away from my country and my family was not easy. However, studying abroad gave me the opportunity to learn about another culture and language, and it gave me the understanding that if I wanted to go far in this life, it would be necessary to work hard and to make some sacrifices.

I got my first job doing marketing and sales at a hotel chain after finishing my studies in tourism economics. I worked in a luxurious office in the beautiful island of Sardinia. This was a new change of reality that refreshed my spirit. It was the start of a new phase in my life both as a professional and as an adult.

At the end of the summer in the island, I got a position for a job in New York in the same hotel chain. In a cosmopolitan city like New York I was able to have contact with different cultures in one same place. This whole experience marked my life. It revived my passion for traveling and adventure. I managed to save money to go to Asia on an inspirational and introspective six-month trip. Finally my dream was coming true.

Gallery

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