Antarctica - my life long love affair...
When I was a little girl my Mummy used to tell me all sorts of stories about Adventure, Imagination, People, Places and Life. Some stories were real, others were fantasy. I found them thrilling and inspiring, I still do. My mother was an amazing woman and I am very lucky and always incredibly grateful that this incredible, fierce woman shared all her knowledge with me and taught me so much, inspiring me and giving me a sense of awe and wonder about people, the world in which we live and most especially life.
These gifts gave me everything I needed to empower myself with knowledge and skills that have allowed me to survive and thrive in this world, to live the life I choose, against all the odds. Most especially as a single woman embedded in the oldest Boy’s Clubs in the World as a minority and often as a stand-alone figure ‘playing in the ‘Pit’’ (this is my expression referring to this challenging and unique experience) with the Alpha Males as a Peer.
Explorers and Adventures have always intrigued and fascinated me. I wanted to grow up to be an Explorer. I wanted to undertake Commissions for Exploration and Adventure by the Royal Geographical Society. As a woman and living in our modern age, this would be highly unlikely to accomplish. The Royal Geographical Society enabled men like David Livingstone, Charles Darwin, Henry Morton Stanley, Robert Falcon Scott, Ernest Shackleton, John Hunt, Baron Hunt and Edmund Hilary to name a few, to cross the seas and discover and explore the World. Isabella Byrd was the first woman inducted into the Society.
The few women explorers and those brave, fearless, curious, intelligent marvellous men who opened up the world before them, to prove that there was land and life beyond the visible horizons, captivated me. Men like Christopher Columbus, Vasco de Gama, Ferdinand Magellan, Captain James Cook, Amerigo Vespucci and Sir Frances Drake. I learned about them all. The Seafarers and the Land Explorers who had opened up the world, helping shape the world in which we live today.
Captivation with harsh, remote, pristine and unbelievably beautiful places and the people who lived there also resulted from these stories. I have visited as many as I have been able, to date. My Scientific Expedition to Antarctica was booked in May 2019 for travels in October 2019. Covid-19 changed the schedule.
After losing everything to the Morton Bushfire on 5th January 2020 and spending over a year fighting for my life to beat a rare, smoke-induced double pneumonia, malnutrition and emaciation, the rarest type of the very rare Vasculitis which is ANCA Vasculitis which was triggered by the Pneumonia and all the compounded, consecutive traumas which I faced, each worse than the one before, it was fortunate that my trip was rescheduled twice, so far. In June 2020 after losing my twin soul I became completely disabled by the Vasculitis. I was literally crippled by heartache and it was killing me.
Against all odds I have survived and regained my independence once again. I will be completing my trip of a lifetime, my journey to Antarctica via Buenos Aires and Tierra del Fuego, following in the footsteps of some of these magnificent Adventurers and Explorers.
At University, I undertook and completed a Bachelor Applied Science (Applied Physics). I have numerous interests and qualifications. In my first year of studies I took Geology which I loved. My Lecturer was brilliant, eccentric, passionate and inspiring. Just the type of person I liked most. I almost swapped my Degree to study Geology at another University. Ultimately I did not as there was too much Chemistry for my liking in the Geology Degree. I can do Chemistry, which women normally love, but it bored me and as such, I struggled with the courses.
Geology I excelled at as I was inspired. My Lecturer was a world renowned
Vulcanologist which I found fascinating. My tutor was a tall, good looking, interesting, inspiring, intelligent and educated man, a Geologist,
who had travelled to Antarctica many times, sharing his Adventures with us and
I became more captivated with Antarctica, falling in love at the deepest level.
My longing to see Penguins in their natural environment, especially the Emperor Penguin and the King Penguin, Krill which sustains all the wildlife, Orca the Killer Whale, Leopard Seals, Fur Seals, Elephant Seals, the majestic Wandering Albatross and other rare bird life, will be satiated. I cannot wait to see this magical land, to kayak in the pristine Antarctic Waters, Camp upon the ice and explore as much as possible this wonderous paradise.
Since recovering from everything that has happened to me, which is an ongoing journey, I am not as fit or as strong as before and I am working to be as strong as possible for my trip.
If I happen to fall out of my kayak and die, there will be no sorrow or lament for a life not lived but a serenade to a life fully lived and to joy and fulfilment for realised dreams. It will be worthwhile, painless as hypothermia will be quick and I will go happy to my next life.
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