We made it! My dear friend Chasi is joining us as Photographer in Residence, and she’s psyched! There’s the Expedition pulling in to port behind her. We’ll board tomorrow morning. Tonight it’s a night out in Ushuaia and lots of sleep.
Didn’t have any wine at home so took myself on a solo dinner date. Other than a wet face, so lovely to see my neighborhood like this.
Q: Do you ever wake up on the ship and think, "This is not my beautiful house"?
Hah well let’s call it what it is, a beautiful apartment. Not a house! And yes, I am often disoriented about where I am.
I sleep terribly on the ship. Even though I find the gentle rocking quite calming, I wake up all through the night unsure of where I am. We use a heavy curtain to block the constant light coming through our porthole, so it’s pitch black and near impossible to get your bearings in the middle of the night.
Also, our days start very early and end really late with little down time, so being awake and alert is important for everyone’s safety. I’m hoping to find a way to sleep better this time around.
Back to your question, I’m happy to trade in Brooklyn Heights for icebergs the size of buildings for a while…
Q: How does some much time in Antarctica change your perspective on New York City?
That’s a great question, because you could not find two places more different from one another. I’m amazed how quickly and effortlessly I am able to disconnect down there. If I can bear to struggle with the Internet connection, I check my personal email once a day, or once every 2 days. I’ll send an email to my family to let them know I’m okay, but everything else takes a backseat to jumping offline and enjoying the day. It’s hard to articulate how it feels to be there, but this Guardian article from last week near nailed it. “You have this intoxicating mix of adventure and, in different people, it drives different sorts of emotions.” Nothing else matters except being present where you are. I had never felt anything like it before and it is addictive!
I am also surprised/horrified at how quickly I am able to jump back into life in New York City, and into a job that has me online all day, every day. I love being plugged in, I love the ambition and the energy of the people around me. I love technology and being “in the know.” So how to reconcile that? I don’t bother. Must just be two very different but equally important sides of who I am.
The more I’m away, the more New York feels like home. But I still look forward to getting away.
Q: Hi Lauren How does one book an excursion with the team, I would love to do that Love to you and yours Garth
There are a number of passenger vessels like ours that travel to both the Arctic and Antarctic. Prices vary upon ship size, “luxury” offerings and itineraries. Our ship, the M/S Expedition, is owned by adventure travel company G Adventures and is one of the more economical options.
Our Arctic season is the end of May through the middle of September, the Northern summer, and we’re in the Antarctic middle of October through the end of March, the Southern summer.
If you have any questions about times of the season to go or trip specifics, happy to help as much as I can!
This time next week I’ll be heading back down South for another 7 weeks in Antarctica on board the M/S Expedition, finishing up the remainder of the Antarctic season. At the end of March, our ship will head to Cape Town and up the coast of West Africa to dry dock in the Canary Islands, then North to Edinburgh where I will meet it again to start the Arctic season at the end of May.
My two prior stints as Expedition Staff were as Photographer in Residence, giving lectures and workshops, helping our guests to take home better photos of their time in Antarctica. I’ve had a blast, but now it’s time for me to jump into another exciting role, Assistant Expedition Leader. Crazy! I have so much to learn, and so little time to do it, but I am incredibly psyched for the adventure. I’ll be working with my Expedition Leader to coordinate all of our expedition logistics, from landing site guidelines to bio security checks to polar plunge certificates to embarkation and disembarkation of our guests. And now that I’m a certified Zodiac driver, I hope to be spending lots of time in the boats, generally being as bad ass as possible.
It’s been awesome to share all of this with you. How did I get so lucky? Let’s hope it continues just a little bit longer! Or a lot longer.
Don’t worry, I’ll still be shooting. Just a little less and will be focusing more on video and cool stuff with GoPro’s.
Have any questions at all about Antarctica? Polar expeditions? Ship life? ASK.
GIRLS screening & party last night at Tumblr HQ with my GLOW team.
Central Park this morning.