A SWEDISH model who has built up a big following on Instagram has revealed she almost missed out on social media stardom when she nearly died while training to become a mountain guide.
Adventurer, mountain guide and model, Melissa Miller, 31, from Brolange, Sweden, says she grew up with “nature as her playground.”
After travelling the world, from Bali and Thailand to Iceland, Melissa went to Norway to become a mountain guide.
To earn her stripes, she attended a tough winter expedition in the Norwegian mountains, which led to her contracting hypothermia.
She said: “At the time, I was studying to become a mountain guide and it was the first winter I had experienced in seven years. Well, you can say that I learned my lesson.
“The group I was with were travelling by touring skis with skins and sleds, going uphill a lot, and a few days into the expedition we got caught in a white out, where we could hardly see our hand in front of us.”
She continued: “The wind was hard and the temperate dropped quickly. This forced us to stop and orientate a lot, checking the map and compass to make sure we didn’t go in circles.
“At the time, I wasn’t used to the cold and rough weather conditions, as I had spent seven years abroad in warm countries.
“This resulted in me doing my first mistake. I didn’t temperate adjust – I became sweaty when we skied uphill with our heavy sleds, and when we stopped to navigate I became cold due to the wet clothes.
“Then I made mistake number two, I didn’t change my sweaty clothes to dry ones.”
She continued: “Eventually we had to stop and dig emergency pits to wait out the storm in,but as I was sitting in the pit with my friend, with the red tarpaulin shaking from the wind over us, my body started to shut down.
“I remember how scared I was. I couldn’t get warm.”
Then suddenly Melissa’s shivering and shaking stopped, which is a late sign of hypothermia.
She said: “I thought about my mum, my dad and strangely I started to feel better, almost warm.
“I started to open my jacket, leaning back. My friend told me that my last words before losing consciousness were that I was getting hot and that I was going to sleep a little.
“Luckily my friend reacted to this and immediately took action – he shook me, dragged me out of the pit, dressed me with all the clothes he could find and the whole group started the rescue.”
Melissa now works in an abandoned mine, as well as a model and a blogger while studying fitness and health.
She has also lived in 11 different countries, she’s taken part in a range of adventurous activities, including river rafting, sea kayaking, diving with sharks, snorkelling, bungee jumping and has even driven a quad bike on a volcano.
She added: “I feel rich in the way money can’t compete with and I’m so grateful for my family and my amazing friends.
“I want to inspire people to live their life fully and completely, the way they want to, whatever that may be.”