Travel

This 45-Year-Old Blind Man Climbed To Machu Picchu In Just 13 Hours

What an inspiration.

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Berlin hiked the trail with his adventure group Team See Possibilities, as well as their guide Ilyias from Intrepid Travel, the company that sponsored the team's Peruvian adventure.

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Team See Possibilities is a group of four athletes — Dan and his three amazing guides — who take on endurance challenges around the world that are connected to charitable causes. The idea, Berlin explains, is to inspire people everywhere to overcome their obstacles and go for what they want.

Here is a heartwarming video of the team's Machu Picchu experience:

View this video on YouTube

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"That's when I came to the realization that I couldn't live a normal life, so it's okay to take risks — I just let go of the expectations I had upon myself," he tells BuzzFeed Life.

Intrepid Travel

"I thought, 'OK, blindness is a disability — but it doesn't mean I can't live. I need to look at it as an inconvenience. It doesn't have to be a negative, life-changing event.' I try to live off that attitude," he continues.

And live he has. Aside from his Machu Picchu climb, he and the Team See Possibility crew have run nine marathons and completed two Half Ironman triathlons since he lost his vision.

They also ran across the Grand Canyon and back nonstop — making him the first blind athlete to do so.

Plus, Berlin is also the co-founder of Rodelle — a global company that makes and sells vanilla extract — so he travels a lot for his job, too.

"Have you ever walked up the steps in the dark, and you think there's one more step, yet it's not there? That's the feeling [I have], when you don't know what's in front of you," he explains.

So he relies on the power of teamwork to pull him through.

Intrepid Travel

"If I go through a run [or hike] with that stress, it's mentally demanding — so I just give in to the team and we physically connect with each other. I know that if I were to stumble, I have someone there to help me."

And aside from his amazing team, he's also quick to thank his wife and kids for encouraging him to persevere.

Dan Berlin

"Right after I lost my vision, we were on a family trip in Kauai, Hawaii, and my wife wanted to go for a hike with our kids. I was doubting myself, and she said, 'Come on, you can do it.' She held out a stick and had me hold onto it from behind her. Of course I tripped and stumbled, but I did it. She doesn't allow me to feel sorry for myself, which is one of the most awesome gifts she could give me," he says.

Many people have asked Berlin why he travels so much — for both his epic adventures and his job — if he can't see.

His response: "It's way more than just seeing sights and checking off boxes. It's about truly experiencing the culture of a place, and the food," he says. "Plus, people aren't used to seeing a highly-functioning blind or disabled individual traveling, so I'm able to challenge the perception of people in different countries."

"Try not to limit yourself or let others put their limits on you," he concludes. "Really go out there and try things — go out and live a fulfilling life."

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"We all have our issues that hold us back from doing the things we really want to do. For me, the issue is obvious: I'm blind. But for others, it could be confidence or finances or whatever else. So just try something. Get out there and experience life."

All of the proceeds from Team See Possibilities' Machu Picchu experience were donated to the Blind Institute of Technology and Unicef Peru.