When alumnus Chris Bostain (’02) set a goal of climbing to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, he wanted to bring along a special token to ensure his climb to the top was unique.
That’s why he decided to embark on his six day, 37 mile climb to an elevation of 19,341 feet above sea level with a Georgia Southern flag in tow.
“We had discussed an American flag and the state of Georgia flag, but I felt like these things had all been done before, and I wanted to do something that represented Georgia Southern,” Bostain said. “I’m very proud to have had the opportunity to attend the University, but also the chance to be the first person to ever make the Kilimanjaro summit with a Georgia Southern flag. Although I wasn’t sure if I was the first, after many Google searches I have not found another person yet that has done it. I also wanted something very fun to show all of my GSU friends when I got back as a surprise. No one knew I was taking this flag with me, it made for some very fun reactions.”
Bostain traveled to Africa with fellow Georgia Southern alumnus Trey Yearwood (’00), both wanted to take an adventure trip that was on a “bucket list level and very challenging,” Bostain said. And although highly difficult, the climb was rewarding and humbling, he said.
“After completing the climb, I felt very humbled, lucky, drained. I felt lucky I was not as affected as so many others who had gotten altitude sickness, so that I could make this journey and reach the summit,” he said. “It also made me realize that there are so many more things I want to accomplish. Honestly it sort of humbled my life and what I thought I had accomplished to this point, and made me think about how many more things out there would be truly meaningful outside of my daily life that I want to do.”
Bostain braved below freezing temperatures, nausea, 25-mph winds and other adversities to make it to the top, where he was amazed by the scenery.
“It was some of the most breathtaking scenery I have ever seen in my life,” he said. “Seeing the world from so far above the clouds is something not many people get to do outside of an airplane. When I was at the summit, I was actually high enough to see the curve of the earth as the sun came up, which is something I will never forget.”
Bostain isn’t sure he will try to climb Mount Kilimanjaro again, or any other mountain, although it’s crossed his mind. But there is one thing he would like to do, which is challenge fellow Eagles to represent the University at the summit, or any other place no Eagle has been before.
“Don’t wait—if you have somewhere you want to go or something you want to do, make it happen. Life is so short, if you wait for the right time it may never come,” Bostain said. “If you do decide to make this journey, which I highly recommend, do your research and know what you’re getting into. Share this trip with your friends or people important in your life. Oh, and don’t forget your flag, I want to see another one up there soon. Go Eagles!”