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Climbing Kilimanjaro


Six months after bestselling author and travel journalist Jo Piazza got married she learned she had a rare form of muscular dystrophy, one that could begin to erode her muscles and make it difficult to walk in about five years. She was just 35.

Image courtesy of Jo Piazza

Her new husband Nick suggested they climb a mountain while she was still strong. They decided to make it a big one.

The following is an adapted excerpt from Piazza’s witty, charming and sometimes heartbreaking new memoir, How To Be Married, where she traveled the world (20 countries on five continents) during the first year of her marriage to crowdsource advice about what truly creates a better happily ever after.

We made a pact. If one of us couldn’t make it up the moun­tain for any reason, the other would keep going.

“Seriously,” I said to Nick. “If I get tired or hurt or sick or if I see a kitten or a small monkey that I think I need to rescue, you keep going.” I knew if anyone was going to fail to make it to the top of the mountain, it would be me.