Last year, I sailed to Antarctica for the first time in my life and I fell in love. In love with the mysterious black mountains; the electric blue ice; the thundering glaciers; the goofy penguins; the formidable leopard seals; the elegant humpback whales; the captivating orcas; the long hours of sunlight; the vast silence; the soaring albatross; the elegant terns.
The moment I said goodbye to Antarctica in February, I knew I had to go back.
That turned out to be easier said than done.
Last season I sailed as crew with the beautiful Bark Europa, a three-masted sailing ship that will be celebrating her 105th birthday this year. It was an incredible way to experience the White Continent, but because I am interested in pursuing a different style of guiding, I had to look for other job opportunities. So the search began, asking every connection I had about the companies they work for, sending a LOT of emails, and trying to find a company that was hiring expedition guides.
For months, I got the same answer. Every company I reached out to had enough returning staff that they didn’t need to hire anyone new. They said they would call me if they had an opening.
For months, I had no idea what would come next for me. As everyone I worked with in Alaska made their winter plans and accepted jobs, I felt increasingly uncertain of what was around the corner after my Alaska season ended. I looked at other jobs but nothing compared to how badly I wanted to go back to Antarctica. And so I held out. I kept e-mailing and calling and trying to find an opportunity.
And then it happened! I was so excited I cried when I got the job offer. In less than 10 days I will be departing for the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia, Argentina. That is where I will meet my next ship, a large Russian icebreaker with an exciting expedition program that offers kayaking, camping, hiking, zodiac tours, and more.
The cherry on top is this: last year I was deeply disappointed when my expedition to the remote Antarctic island of South Georgia was cancelled…. And my first trip this year is to South Georgia!
During the past months, I had moments of anxiety and uncertainty, wondering if waiting and stubbornly pursuing my dream was a smart thing to do. Now I’ve been reminded that dreams don’t happen unless we make them– hard work and persistence pay off. We have to believe in ourselves to push through those moments of uncertainty. Thanks to all of you who supported me and helped me through this process!
Whatever you are dreaming of in your life, I hope you will find a way to make it happen.
Here’s to never giving up!
p.s. If you missed it, I redesigned and relaunched The Vagabondist. For now I will post on the new site & keep posting here, but you can subscribe to the new blog or the Facebook page to keep following after I phase out of this WordPress platform. Thanks everyone!!