“I found out I was going to leave for Fiji March 22 and come back May 7,” she says.
Kay admits she was a bit nervous to go on the show, as she describes herself as a “pretty private person. I was worried reality TV wasn’t necessarily going to put me in the right direction for my own life. And of course, I was nervous about getting voted off early.” she says.
“I wanted to go on ‘Survivor’ and challenge myself,” says Kay. “One of my biggest beliefs is that I grow when I am outside of my comfort zone. So being on TV, being outside 24/7, and being around people that I didn’t know or trust, I knew it was going to be a growing experience.”
Before leaving for Fiji, Kay prepared as best she could to get ready for the mental and physical obstacles. She started listening to Wim Hoff’s podcasts to gain advice and perspective on the power of the human body and inner strength to adapt to extreme conditions.
While filming in Fiji, Kay faced the obvious and expected challenges of the gameshow, as well as the unexpected.
“This is going to sound so weird but the hardest part wasn’t not eating,” Kara says. Living off rice and coconuts, other “food wasn’t available so that wasn’t even an option. The hardest part was physically dealing with the elements and just how cold it was. We were always dealing with either extreme cold or extreme heat,” she says.
The challenges were also physically and mentally demanding, forcing the contestants to compete against one another in puzzles, obstacle courses, and daunting tasks like standing on a perch for 6-plus hours, in hopes to win a reward (like a fried chicken meal paired with beer), or immunity from elimination.
“It’s difficult because you obviously want to win the challenges, but at the same time, you don’t want to win or else you’re considered a threat and will get voted off,” Kay says.
After losing to one contestant in a fire-making challenge, Kay says she is still proud of the game she played. “I learned just how important real relationships are in life. Never take those for granted,” she says.
Kay has adopted a “live simply” motto after her experience on the show as well. She says she tries to live off essentials now, rather than get distracted by the luxuries around her.
“It is just crazy how simply humans need to live. Nothing is that complicated. I learned how simple life is supposed to be, and now I ask myself twice ‘do I I really need this?’”
Kay resides in Crown Point and works as a realtor at Compass La Jolla.