My journey to the 7th continent began more than 6 months ago when I got a reply from Robert Swan to an email I had sent him. Despite it costing a fortune I knew I had to go! So the journey began – making my pitch video and raising the money! Convincing people was not an easy task but I learnt something very quickly – people will believe you if you believe in yourself and you wont need to “convince” them if you’re convinced about it yourself. My experience as a Teach For India fellow had taught me at least this – don’t be scared to go after something you really want!
It wasn’t long after that I collected the funds I needed. I decided to put in all my savings in the end to cover up whatever had been left out. Now it was time to start thinking about what I wanted out of the program. Why was I going? What was my plan of action before, during and after the expedition? How was this expedition going to be meaningful to more people? What was I going to give back? I had a billion questions popping up as the days grew closer.
Fortunately I was able to use some of my planning skills and cover most of these questions. When it comes to environmental concerns my area of interest includes waste, the crisis revolving around that and how that ties up with climate change as a whole. From my experience as a teacher and my understanding of children I decided that targeting children and making them the agents of change was the way forward. I decided to making a goal of going to 50 classrooms in Delhi to talk to them about climate change and waste related issues and made sure these were solution oriented discussions instead of just talking about problems. I managed to visit 35 classrooms in the months leading up to the expedition and I’m looking forward to doing follow up sessions with the same 35.
I also decided to apply for my masters in sustainability to 2 different universities in Australia and I’m super happy to write this – I got accepted to both! I decided to take university of Sydney and I start there this coming July (July 2017)
So what was I going to do during and after the expedition? After talking to over 1000 students I realized they need to know more! They could benefit so much If they knew more and what’s better than first hand experience? My aim during the expedition was to gather the knowledge and tools to deliver the information to as many kids across India as I could. And the second most important thing I wanted to do was for myself – I wanted to start building a network. If I’m going to be dedicating the rest of my life to this cause I need to know as many people in the same field as possible.
As day one arrived and the expedition team slowly started trickling in at the Emperardor hotel in Buenos Aires (where we were all meeting before leaving together)the excitement was building up more and more! 32 different nationalities coming together to talk about and help solve a problem that affects each and every living being on this planet in one way or the other. To be a part of something so big was nerve wracking as well exhilarating! I couldn’t wait to hear everyone’s stories, ideas and thoughts.
ANTARCTICA HERE WE COME!!!!!