Just prior to crossing into Asia from Europe, I decided I wanted to drink a cold beer on all 7 continents. This was going to be something I would do, not something fantasized about, but something that became attainable. Pretty sure it was decided OVER cold beers. Regardless, Bert and I crossed into Asia and that was continent number 5. That was 2005 and I’ve been stuck on 5 ever since. I’ve managed to live in North America, Europe and Australia. I’ve been amazingly fortunate to go on six climbing trips in South America. Eastern Russia and China happened. I was on course.
I moved back to the US. Landed in Portland, OR. Got a job. Got an amazing job actually. Mountain Rescue and urban 911. Helicopters, lights and sirens, news stories and saving a few lives. I was proud of what I was doing, which meant it wasn’t something to walk away from lightly. So I certainly wouldn’t be moving abroad again anytime soon. The paycheck was less than ideal, but I was able to keep traveling. Climbing trips to South America satisfied my traveling bug. Climbing was the focus, not shits and giggles. Climbing in Antarctica was well out of my budget. Africa just wasn’t on the radar. Years passed. I went back to school. I got a responsible job after school. More climbing trips to South America. I should’ve gone to Africa, but it always seemed to fall through. I was in a comfortable routine. My journey to 7 stalled. But I always knew….
It’s why I haven’t bought a dog yet. I knew I was headed to Antarctica at some point. And it became increasingly clear that that some point was sooner rather than later. I haven’t bought nice furniture. It would just have to go into storage. In some senses, life has been on hold for this, but I wouldn’t trade the route here for anything. Prague. Russia. China. Peru. Argentina. PA school. Mountain rescues. Ice climbing in Ouray. Seeing the Jersey shore live and up close (please do it. holy shit). Brewery tour of Vermont. Chicago for a rugby game. Amazing adventures, but no closer to getting to all 7.
People used to tell me I was so “lucky” because I was always on an adventure. I responded the same way every time. Luck has nothing to do with it. Adventures happen when you MAKE them happen. Since starting my “responsible” job, I’ve tried to say “no” to an adventure as seldom as possible. Of course, I can’t go on them all. But I’m damn well gonna try.
This blog is primarily to share my adventures wintering over in Antarctica. It’s my first blog, so be kind. But I think it’s also going to be sprinkled with my musings on saying “yes,” reflections on the adventures along the way to this point. Thoughts on taking a giant step towards completion of a project 15 years in the making. If we’ve ever had this conversation:
Me: “hey, do you want to go”
Me:”let me finish”
You: “Meh. Whatever. I’m in”
Then this is also a high five to you.