I believe a picture is worth a thousand words, and if I could only use one to describe who I am, it would be the one above of me sitting on the edge of the 600 meter tall Pulpit Rock in Norway.
Rain fell thickly the whole way up. The ascent - while short - felt intense, steep, and at times, insurmountable. The few times I was passed on the trail by other human beings (it was the shoulder season), it was by local Norwegians who were running, unfazed by the incline, the rocks, the wet. They were clearly going somewhere, and they were going FAST.
I had no clue how long the hike would take. I had an inkling about the destination, thanks to google. I had my camelbak filled with water and my camping stove and a container of thawing homemade chicken soup in my backpack.
Without a reference point, I moved at my own speed, sure that my arrival would be sweet sweet victory, even if it took me all day to get there. Dripping with sweat, I held faith that my heavy breathing and buckling thighs would eventually pay off.
Just as the sun came bursting out I rounded the final bend, and I saw what I still refer to as the most beautiful view I've ever seen in my life. The Norwegians who passed me on the way up were now on their way down, and they paused to enjoy my exhilaration and awe with me. A sort of mutual pride and admiration for getting to share that unique moment.
The moment itself was pure delight, It was enlivening and deeply nourishing.
At the time this feeling, this experience of ecstatic delight, was something I knew to exist exclusively through interactions with nature. Nature: a thing that requires no intervention. A thing that is, mighty and magnificent.
It took me a couple more years to recognize that this moment was not exclusively available in nature: that delightful, mighty, and magnificent thing I felt was also in me.
I heated up my chicken soup on that ledge jutting out over the Lysefjord. I stood eating it, staring out into the vast expanse, breathing it all in. I sat on the edge looking down, knowing viscerally that the only thing between me and falling, failing, plummeting, was my choice to live, right as my friend snapped this picture.
I made a vow in that moment to bring this experience of embodied vastness, expansion, wonder, and awe with me everywhere I go. This is everything for me. I want to share that with every single person I come into contact with, with no other agenda than to let them know it's possible.
In moments of struggle and equally in moments of sheer brilliance, I'm still that girl on the ledge who knows not to fuck with nature. Who comes prepared, resilient, surrendered to the present moment, and full of faith. Who is constantly making a choice to live magnificently.
Antesa Jensen is the founder and visionary leading Adventure Awake. She recently left a 12 year career working in the investment banking industry to scale and expand both Adventure Awake and herself as a full time entrepreneur. Skilled in financial/money management, process and mindset disruption, talent recognition, communication & language, idea development, thought leadership, and coaching, she brings her vast and instinctive understanding of human behavior and relating, and her architectural mindset with a sharp attention to detail everywhere she goes.
Whether it's on the road with a backpack and small groups of clients seeking tailor-made transformational travel experiences, through one-on-one coaching and mentorship programs with individual clients, or on the front lines in corporate environments where she is best known for using her sight to swiftly dissect entropy - from financial and HR processes to corporate culture - she is committed to tapping into the underlying value available in all circumstances.
Antesa has been traveling the far reaches of the world for 18 years and feels most at peace sitting on edges of cliffs and scaling steep mountain ridges.