And So I Go – An Antarctic Adventure

Well it’s here – the day I jet off for an adventure that may just be my biggest one yet: to the Antarctic, my 7th and final content!

Wonder what goes through my head before such a big trip? You might be surprised it’s usually not excitement and most often a bit of fear and nerves.

I find the last few days before a trip when I am gone long term (and on my own) quite stressful. There are some big “to-do” items to check off when I leave for months at a time. I spend the time catching up or getting ahead on work projects and meeting up with friends one last time. I am also scared of the unknown adventures and challenges ahead of me, traveling on my own in a country that doesn’t speak my native language. But the hardest of all things is packing.

This trip I’ll be going from the scorching Atacama desert in Northern Chile to the windy and rainy mountains of Patagonia to the freezing desert of Antarctica over a two month period. Figuring out the combination of clothing to pack for every environment is challenging at best (while still being stylish). I usually agonize over what goes in my backpack. More often than not I run on the “overpacked” side of things as I tend to throw in a few last minute extras I was on the fence about. This time I’m fairly pleased my backpack has weighed in at 14 kilograms with most space being taken up by down and fleece cold-weather gear. Not bad.

ashlynairport
The leaving part is always hard. I will miss family, friends and the comfort of home. Home is easy and comfortable.

But then there’s a moment where I get to the airport, drop off my bag and the stress, nerves and pressure of leaving melt away. I walk through security and that’s it – I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.

Lemony Snicket termed it well when he said “If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.”

I couldn’t have it any other way.

I’m drawn to adventure and travel as innately as I need to breathe. Leaving is always hard (and being on the road alone has its challenges as well), but I know the adventures and stories that will come from this once-in-a-lifetime trip are worth so much more.

And I cannot wait to share those stories with you!

11 thoughts on “And So I Go – An Antarctic Adventure

  1. Disregard some of my last comment… I actually did some proper scrolling through your blog and found some ideas. Need to do my research.

  2. I am going to Chile for 2-3 weeks in April. I know ONE person there and will have some local guidance for a few days/ week. The rest of the time, I’ll be on my own. Any thoughts/ advice on affordable flights to Santiago? Safety for solo female travelers? Are you OK on the language front or did you study Spanish ahead of time? Is Chile pricey? I am not afraid to rough it a bit. So many questions… perhaps some answers are in a future blog post. Or a prior one. Whatever the case, enjoy the rest of your trip! Looking forward to future posts.
    -Rachel in Sask

    1. Hey Rachel! Thanks for the message. And yay for 3 weeks in Chile – you’re going to love it! Flights are tricky as they usually run 1000-1200 return. Book sooner rather than later if you can. I alwasy search through Google Flights then book through the airline provider for best price.

      Safety – be careful in Santiago. As it’s a big city there is more likely a chance of something happening. Watch out for a the scam where they spray your back with mayonnaise or paint (it happened to me) and then someone approaches you to help you clean yourself off and an accomplice runs away with your bags (though they didn’t get me on the scam, I realized what it was).

      I know enough Spanish to get around so it’s pretty easy for me. Learn how to ask if people can speak English and learning your numbers will really help.

      Chile is pricey – one of the most expensive in South America in fact so I’d recommend staying in hostels where possible. Often flights through Sky Airline can be cheaper (and waaaay faster) than local buses so consider flying over busing. Also note that you might have a hard time booking buses online with a foreign credit card. Either you need to book at the bus station or have a local pay for you and you pay them. It can be complicated.

      Please let me know if you have anymore questions! And happy travels 🙂
      Ashlyn

      1. Thanks for this! All useful info. If I think of any more questions I’ll shoot them your way, but try not to overwhelm you as you’re adventuring. Have fun at the bottom of the world!
        -Rachel
        P.S. I have messaged you before when you were the Saskatchewanderer. I work at Sask’s Fish Culture Station.

        1. My pleasure Rachel! If you have any more questions, feel free to e-mail me as well. Chile is definitely one of my favourite countries in South America – just gorgeous to travel. The Antarctica trip was extraordinary and I can’t wait to share more content on it! Travel safely 🙂

    1. That is such a great question! I agonized over what to take! I broke it down into considerations for what I’d be doing and what I needed. Brief outline:
      1 pair of runners, 1 flip flops, 1 nicer sandal
      Warm Gear: fleece sweater, down vest, jacket, rain jacket, toque, mitts, 2 scarves and a buff, merino wool sleep wear top and bottom
      Hiking Gear: three pairs yoga pants (2 full length, 1 capri), 3 tank tops, 3 lighter half-zip shirts to pull over and layer
      Casual: 2 blouses, 1 light & thin sweater, a few tank tops, 1 jumper (not the sweater, the onesie), black jeans, 2x thin leggings
      5 pairs socks – range from athletic socks to woolen hiking socks

      I skipped out on any actual camping gear as it was just too hard to carry it with me unless I was doing much more camping (will be doing 5 weeks cruise/car rental and only 3 weeks camping. Not enough to warrant the extra load of gear). I did pack a multi-tool, headlamp, small first-aid kit, tiny can opener, lighter and sleep sheet as a few things I like to have when camping.

      Hopefully this is helpful 🙂

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