Spotlight on Caroline D’Leon
I moved to Dubai 12 years ago and never really thought I would be a professional hiker. I always thought of hiking as a walk through the wilderness, something people did at retirement. Slowly but surely I joined adventure companies on expeditions across the globe, without thinking most of them ended up being hiking expeditions.
And low and behold I hiked Machu Pichu and summited Kilimanjaro.
The thrill and sometimes torture of summiting the Worlds Mountains was addictive and soon I found myself spending all my holiday time hiking mountains.
In 2015 just before my next adventure to Uganda to see the Gorillas I fell from an
outdoor rock-climbing wall in Dubai. I was immediately rushed to hospital with life-
threatening injuries that included two shattered feet, a displaced & fragmented pelvis that was no longer connected to the left side of my body & a bust fracture to my spine.
Initially Doctors told me that I might never walk again. After 14, surgeries, 23 blood
transfusions & two years of extensive rehabilitation I regained the ability to walk with the use of crutches.
After 4 years of healing, I returned to work and Co-founded the online fitness education platform A Life of Education. To mark the end of my recovery in which I was finally able to walk without crutches I wanted to put my hiking shoes on and do something extraordinary. Something that would mark a line across the sand and mean I was healed.
I finally settled on attempting to set a new Guinness World Record to be the first woman in the world to summit all the mountains in the Middle East and the Arabian peninsular, a feat that had never been attempted by a woman alone.
With the generous help of DHL I went to some of the worlds most dangerous countries and stood on their summits, proudly. My journey included Turkey, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and the UAE.
Hiking and adventure travel really set my soul on fire, it brought me back to life, and
although its strange to me now to think of myself as a mountaineer it also makes me
really proud. Because at the end of the day, that’s what life is all about, falling down and getting back up to make the next day better than all the days before that.
Co-Founder of A Life of Education