Earlier this month I visited Antarctica with 80 people from 32 different countries. The expedition was lead by Robert Swan and his foundation called the 2041 foundation. Before I go forward I would like to clear a common misconception about my expedition – We went to the Antarctic Peninsula and not to the South Pole.
I consider myself extremely lucky to have had the chance to go to the 7th continent! It is the continent with the harshest climate and most hostile conditions and yet I felt like we got welcomed with open arms!
Despite this violent and dangerous nature that we associate it with, it holds beauty that no other place on Earth can replicate. It silently supports all forms of life on Earth. Without it you and I would find it extremely difficult to survive. There’s a chance of that actually happening. Future generations may not know Antarctica as we do today. Currently the continent is protected by the Antarctic treaty. The treaty was signed in 1959 and was enforced in the year 1961. It was originally signed by 12 countires but now has 52 signatories (India being one of them). According to the treaty the continent is a natural reserve, devoted to peace and science. In the year 2048 this treaty will be re looked at and there is a chance that the continent will stop receiving the help and protection it gets today. The goal of the 2041 foundation is to raise enough awareness by the year 2041 (the 50 year anniversary of the signing) so that we are able to renew this 50 year agreement and leave the last wilderness left on Earth as it is.
The trip began in Buenos Aires where the entire expedition team met for the first time. I could feel the excitement making its way around the room where everyone was registering. Everyone seemed determined and had a lot of expectations from the next 12 days! The most exciting part about the beginning for me was meeting my roommate Maggie! She works for an environmental non profit called The environment investigation agency based in Washington DC, she plays football and it was her birthday on the day one of the expedition!! It felt as if we had known each other for years and when you feel that level of familiarity with someone you should never take it for granted!
We spent the evening getting to know the other participants! Tomorrow would be the start of a life changing experience and it made sense to know the others who would be going through that with us!
We packed our bags and decided to call it a night! We set our alarms but little did we know our alarms would not go off in the morning and Maggie and I would almost miss our flight to Ushuaia from where our ship would be leaving.
So what finally happened?! Read the next blog to find out more!!