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Rock climber sees the world by chasing excellence in her sport

Melissa Donich in Pays Basque Spain

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In this summer series, we ask female travel bloggers and Instagrammers to share their favourite destinations and advice.

Melissa Donich

Rock climbing opened up the world for Melissa Donich, 26, and gave her a different perspective, literally.

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"I was introduced to climbing in Quebec at age 6, while on summer vacation with my mom and grandmother. It would become an incredibly important part of my fitness and social life.

"Climbing has been the best way for me to explore new places, meet people and see different parts of the world while pursuing excellence in my sport," she says. "Outdoor climbing and bouldering in Spain, France, Panama, Colombia and throughout Canada has connected me with climbing communities in each of the places I've travelled.

"Contact climbing gyms in the areas you wish to visit for guidance. Now I travel with a purpose: to climb."

More than 140 countries have climbing walls. There are now 35 million climbers worldwide, with an average age of 23.

Sport climbing is set to make its debut next year at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, two years ahead of its inclusion in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

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