Be Free

Mountains, Mishaps, and Miracles in Africa

By (author): Angela deJong
ISBN 9781771605175
Softcover | Publication Date: September 27, 2021
Book Dimensions: 5.5 in. x 8.5 in.
304 Pages

About the Book

A collection of personal travel essays that takes the reader on a roller-coaster ride across Africa as seen through the eyes of a solo female backpacker, Angela deJong.

When Angela stepped onto African soil for the first time, alone, she never imagined it would be just the beginning of a decade-long pursuit to hike all of the continent’s tallest peaks. It was the mountain trekking that drew her to Africa initially, but as the years went on it became clear that the mishaps and miracles that happened in between the summits were the real draw. With each uncomfortable circumstance, and every mistake, there was growth.

Follow along with Angela as she climbs Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, comes face to face with a silverback gorilla in Uganda, hikes an active volcano in the Congo, experiences her first hammam in Morocco, and eats questionable choices for survival, everywhere. With her carefree approach to travel (no cell phone, no local contacts, no concrete game plan in place) she relies heavily on gut instinct and the inherent goodness of humanity to navigate her way through each country. Some stories will make you cringe, others will make you laugh, and many will make you wonder why anyone would choose this vacation option over a comfy cruise!

Regardless of your travel preference, this book encourages you to Be Free. It’s how many Africans say “be yourself.”

About the Author(s)

Angela deJong is a certified personal trainer, author of Reality Fitness, and owner of Acacia Fitness. She graduated from the University of Alberta with a degree in kinesiology, having majored in sport performance and exercise therapy. She has been training clients since 2001, working with hundreds of people ranging from armchair sports aficionados to national and international high-performance athletes. Angela has travelled solo to every country in Africa that has mountains higher than 3000 metres, and she has summited all of them over the past ten years. She is also the co-author of Polepole: A Training Guide for Kilimanjaro and Other Long-Distance Mountain Treks. Angela lives in Edmonton, Alberta.


Praise for Be Free:

Be Free delivers on its promise, taking us through Africa with mountaineer author Angela deJong for a remarkable decade of summits, treks and adventure. Each well-crafted, personal story leaves me inspired, connected, amused, or simply shaking my head in wonder, and admiration.”
—Bill Arnott, bestselling author of Gone Viking: A Travel Saga and Gone Viking II: Beyond Boundaries

Be Free is a riveting collection of short stories from places most of us will never see. Angela deJong weaves together many tales from her travels in Africa with honesty and fallibility, offering a must read for any armchair adventurer or world traveller.”

—Heather Anderson
, author of Mud, Rocks, Blazes: Letting Go on the Appalachian Trail