‘Why the hell would you want to go there?’
A question I heard over and over when I mentioned I was planning to visit Antarctica! It got me thinking, why do I want to go? To be honest, in the beginning, I was not entirely sure, but as I thought about it more, I narrowed it down.
Being Australian we are used to heat, sand, sun and the ocean (just check out the photos above). Don’t get me wrong I love the heat, sand, sun and the ocean as much as the next Aussie but it is something so common to us. I saw snow for the first time when I was 16 in Australia. The majority of it was fake created by snow machines because it was a bad season but I loved it. However, I never did see it snowing. Switzerland was where I witnessed that phenomenon. To this day I will never forget the realisation that when it is snowing lightly with no wind, you can’t hear it. Something I never expected or had never experienced until that moment. I can still close my eyes and picture it as I stood silently watching the snow fall lightly. It was magical!
On a whim, I went to New Zealand. Zero expectations and zero knowledge. Driving around in a campervan through Fiordland, experiencing the likes of Milford Sound and enjoying the Southern Alps along the South Island is something I will also never forget. Honestly, it is one of my favourite places in the world and if you haven’t experienced it yet get on your horse and go. But why did I love it? Well, again it was the realisation that there is such beauty outside of Australia. The sheer cliffs, the deep water, the snow-capped mountains, the temperate rainforest and glaciers, all were WOW! Aspects of scenery I had never experienced in Australia, and yet I loved. And hence, I continually plan to head back to New Zealand whenever the opportunity arises.
With a new found love for snow and incredible scenery I knew I was on the hunt for more. Hey, us travellers are selfish. Once we see something amazing, we are forever on the hunt for something more. It is almost drug-like, don’t you think? And so I needed to know how to get to Antarctica.
One weekend on the couch dreaming of my next travels I saw a segment on Getaway, an Australian travel show, which barely exists now. They went to Antarctica. They showed snow. They showed mountains. They showed glaciers bigger than Franz Josef and Fox Glacier in New Zealand. They showed wildlife. They explained the best time to visit Antarctica. They showed humans stepping foot onto the continent after they navigated their way to shore on zodiacs weaving their way between icebergs and ice. My addiction kicked in! Antarctica was bigger, better and colder and I knew I had to go. It was at this point Antarctica became the number one on my bucket list destinations and the saving begun. Oh, and saving I did.