Alexandra is a passionate traveler and explorer. Born in Austria and currently living in Switzerland, Tanbai is her pseudonym as a hobby writer. It is Mandarin Chinese and derived from the combination of the first character for Tanzania (坦, pronounced tăn) as well as her Chinese surname (白, pronounced bái). Incidentally, the two characters in combination (坦白, pronounced tănbái) have the meaning of being frank and honest, perhaps to the degree of confessing. And that’s what Alexandra also hopes to reflect in her writing, an authentic account of her experience including innermost feelings and emotions, positive and negative, strong and vulnerable alike. Via her writing, she hopes to foster transparency and mutual understanding, and thereby provide her tiny little contribution to making this world a better place.

Kilimanjaro Uncovered is Alexandra’s first publication. It started with a simple idea – to provide a review of a little known hiking route, the Northern Circuit. It ended with an extraordinary story of a truly life-changing experience – written in real time while the author was unconscious of being the subject of transformation. On Kilimanjaro, Alexandra found what no book could have prepared her for: herself. One year down the path, Alexandra’s life changes couldn’t be more profound – from a career in corporate finance into founding a social enterprise; from being a hopeless city chick scared of a week in the wild into a hopeful adventurer scared of a life in the city; from being intimidated by her first travel to Africa into planning to cycle all the way from Cairo to Cape Town. All because of Kilimanjaro, a simple idea and the courage to follow her intuition.

There’s only one constant, and that’s change. But there will be many more stories, and they remain to be written. Follow @AlexandraTanbai on Twitter to stay tuned.

Alexandra Tanbai at Kilimanjaro School Hut base camp