Inside a Mother-Son Duo’s Dream Trip to Antarctica
How Nate Fluellen Surprised His Mother With a Trip of a Lifetime
The worldwide traveler and film personality Nathan Fluellen (@worldwidenate) and his mother, Diane Artis, have been traveling the world together for the last 10 years. What began as a celebration of her 70th birthday has now become a collection of bucket-list experiences, from Australia and New Zealand to South Korea and France.
“I try to think outside the box with each trip and consider what destinations my mother would only dream of visiting,” says Nate. “Before we went to Antarctica, she had been to all six continents. It made perfect sense for us to visit our seventh continent together.” As such, Nate decided to surprise Diane with a dream trip to Antarctica. Needless to say, she was shocked and overjoyed to be visiting the Last Continent with her son.
Nate chose Antarctica21 for many reasons, with one of the biggest factors being the opportunity to visit the continent in less than 10 days by selecting the Classic Antarctica Air-Cruise itinerary aboard Ocean Nova.
“This was a huge advantage,” says Nate. “My mother also gets seasick very quickly, so crossing Drake’s Passage was not an option. The fly-and-sail component was the best-case scenario for us.”
Through their travels, Nate and Diane hope to encourage other parents and children to spend more time together. “Time is precious,” says Nate. “It’s valuable to cherish the time we have with our parents.”
In an interview with Diane, we discover more about her journey to Antarctica, including her most treasured wildlife encounters and what it meant to her to travel to the end of the Earth with her son.
What was your initial feeling when Nate surprised you with a trip to Antarctica?
“Initially, I was so shocked that I froze. I searched for a mental point of reference, an image of what Antarctica looks like. My focus became clearer as my brain thawed, and I remembered seeing the snow-covered mountain peaks of Antarctica in National Geographic magazines as a child. I remembered the penguins and seals with the vast landscape, which, as a child, looked more like another planet. Quickly, my quandary threw me into a frenzy of excitement to have such an adventurous experience. At the same time, I questioned if I could physically handle the challenge. Quickly, I settled my doubt and decided, with the help of God, I could do it.”
What were you most excited to experience?
“In preparation for walking through the snow, I walked 12 miles a day, three times per week. I also found the Citizen Science program extremely rewarding. I helped test the waters for quality and volume of plankton to determine changes in ocean patterns.”
How did you pack for your big adventure?
“My son and I packed the best outerwear from Canada Goose’s Arctic Program, which kept us both warm and comfortable. However, I overpacked my regular winter clothes for ship wear. Hindsight is clear that I would need fewer lounge outfits next time.”
What surprised you most during your journey?
“The down-to-earth friendliness of the Antarctica21 staff and crew surprised me the most. They were engaging, and their group discussion sessions and lectures were always informative and educational. I also really enjoyed the Port Lockroy inlet, which was a historic research station that turned into a tourist museum and souvenir shop. Shopping in Antarctica — who would have thought? And last but not least, I can’t forget the memorable Texas-style barbecue we had on the deck of Ocean Nova. It may have been cold outside, but it was so exciting to have this unexpected treat. The food was fantastic!”
What was your favorite part about traveling with your son?
“I felt like I was traveling with a rockstar or a famous actor. World Wide Nate, my son, Nathan Fluellen, is a gregarious person. When he shares his professional career in the film industry, along with his world travels and international influencer associations, people are drawn to him and engage with their stories of travel. So, let the amazing conversations begin! We enjoyed meeting people from all over the world and chatting with them during meals. Nate is adventurous and encourages me to make reasonable attempts to do the same, and because he is impromptu, you always expect the unexpected. I love it. Onto the next adventure we go!”
Curious about Nate and Diane’s next big adventure? Follow along on Instagram, @worldwidenate and watch a summary of their air-cruise experience on YouTube!