Feed on

We’re now about a month away from our trip to South America and Antarctica.

I have mixed feelings about this journey.

I really don’t expect it to be the ‘best trip ever’ or even anything closely approximating such an outcome. I’d call it ‘wildly successful’ if we 1) make it to all of the scheduled ports, 2) nobody gets deathly seasick, and 3) the roundtrip, overnight 9+ hour flights with a baby are basically uneventful and peaceful. I’d call it ‘successful’ if we just 1) make it to Antarctica, and 2) nobody is permanently injured (either physically or psychologically) by the journey.

See what I mean? Low expectations.

As for Antarctica itself, I’m not terribly certain it will be a much different experience than looking at glaciers in Alaska a couple of summers ago. Let’s be honest: we’re not granola-eating, tree-hugging, outdoorsy types who weep at the sight of mountain majesties (or fruited plains for that matter). I’m not judging the ecologically-oriented. I’m just saying: we’re city folk. I can’t really identify different species of penguins (and don’t especially care to learn). And, I’m unlikely to play the part of Captain Ahab standing out on deck for hours looking for marine mammals in some sort of gleeful reimagining of Moby-Dick with a buffet line.

For us, the primary allure of Antarctica is the exoticism of it all: a new corner of the earth explored, albeit very briefly and from the comfort of a cruise ship. If I’m completely candid, it’s mostly just a critical tick mark (and a pretty damn expensive / difficult one at that) on our travel quest for 7 continents, 100 countries, and all 50 states. As such, a large part of this journey will be the journey: sailing for days in some of the world’s roughest seas in order to earn our Antarctica badge.

Bad attitude? Perhaps.

I realize it’s less than noble to view a trip to Antarctica as the travel equivalent of eating my vegetables, doing my homework, and visiting the dentist for a routine check-up.

I am grateful for the opportunity to go to Antarctica.

And, if I’m luckier than I deserve, who knows? I might find it exceeds my expectations or even becomes a transcendent experience.

In the meantime, “call me Ishmael.”

Leave a Reply