When we visit Antarctica we are mesmerized by its beauty. We want to learn more about it and understand it better. The more we learn, the more we appreciate what we see and end up feeling this urge to protect it. Most people who visit Antarctica return home converted into Antarctica ambassadors, who further conservation projects and, in my opinion, that is exactly what Antarctica needs.
I am originally from Turkey but have lived and worked in many wildernesses around the world. Since I moved to Chilean Patagonia seven years ago, Antarctica has been “the place” I dreamed to visit. Perhaps, it was that I was physically close to the continent (as close as one can get without being there) or the fact that I work as a wilderness guide in Torres del Paine National Park (if you haven’t been you should go there too) and remote, wild places have always fascinated me. In December of 2019, I was finally able to go.
The truth is there are so few places that can match the untamed beauty of the Patagonian wilderness. However, I am not sure that Patagonia or any other place I have been would be comparable to my experience in Antarctica. Its very uniqueness makes it such a special place. On one hand it is a land vast, empty with a terrifying mass of infinite whiteness only interrupted with the dark rocks of its mountains, but at the same time it is the most otherworldly setting where a variety of incredible wildlife not only live, but thrive. My second morning on board the Ocean Nova ship, I woke up around 5 am to the most surreal scene of my life; we were heading toward the Lemaire Channel surrounded by thousands of ice floes on the sea, majestic peaks on the horizon and the brightest sunshine. This is when I truly felt I was in Antarctica.
In my language a word that helps describe my time in Antarctica is “Payidar” – it refers to the thing that lasts forever, lasting, permanent. Those are the memories I made in Antarctica, ones that will never fade. As I wrote this blog post though, after being asked by Antarctica21, I realized travel to Antarctica right now is only something we can dream about. To keep inspiring your wanderlust, I thought you could take a bit of Antarctica home. Below you will find two of my favorite photos from my Antarctica trip, for your enjoyment. Download them, print them and hang them wherever you please. Enjoy!
When asked, will I ever be back? I quote one the early Antarctic explorers, Charcoat, “we feel this strange attraction, a feeling so powerful and lasting that when we return home, we want nothing more than to be back in Antarctica. I hope to see you there.
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|Post by: Pelin Asfuroglu, a seasoned wilderness guide in Patagonia and photographer. Pelin traveled with Antarctica21 in December 2019 onboard the Ocean Nova.|
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