Antarctica Changes You

I honestly don’t know where to start. I don’t know what photos to post. I don’t know what stories to tell. And after being immersed in the stunning beauty, vital fertility, and massive scale of Antarctica (aboard a private charter yacht with EYOS Expeditions and some of the best people I’ve ever met) I feel emotional, drained, energized, humbled, grateful, and overwhelmed all at the same time.

Have you ever been this close to a humpback whale in a small boat? We watched many, many whales from Zodiacs with knowledgable guides that got us close (but not so close as to bother) these amazing animals. Credit Bill Springer

My core literally hurts from laughing harder than I have in years. I feel a bit thicker around the middle after indulging in a week of “superyacht service.” And I have a server full of high rez photos and videos that only convey a small sliver of the natural beauty and the raw power of one of the last true wild places left on Earth.

Can you feel the peace and stillness as we traverse the ice-strewn Lamaire Channel in the early morning hours? Credit Bill Springer

But, since the scale, scope, and wonder-producing power of this trip has been even higher up the intensity scale than almost all of the trips I’ve been lucky enough to experience in the last 18 months, this one is going to take some time to process.

Now what’s cuter than a baby penguin with a fluffy mohawk?

So if you bear with me, I’m definitely going to lavish these pages (and other higher-profile publications) in the coming days and weeks with a virtual waterfall of words, photos, and video from this transformative trip that I hope will entertain, inspire, and most importantly, share the love of the adventure with you all.

But, as I sit under a bright sunny sky in Santiago, Chile, waiting for my flight back to the turbulence of the United States, you know what I’m most grateful for???????

Yes, this is real. Neko Harbor on a sunny afternoon is mind-bendingly beautiful. Credit Bill Springer

Simply for the ability to go beyond the reach of wifi. Of course, there’s way more to this story than being able to really, truly unplug from the toxic tableau of lies, fear, ignorance, and animosity (and other distractions too!) that ubiquitous internet makes possible. Way more.

In fact, this story is about embracing and paying attention to all that is good in the world. Not running away from all that’s not.

I’d come to really love these people way before we jumped on to the sea ice in the Wendell Sea for this selfie. Credit Bill Springer

So, please stay tuned. The images are amazing. The trip was transformative.

The personalities were off the hook! And I can’t wait to tell you all about it. But for right now, while I have a bit of a layover in a sunny lounge in the Santiago airport, all I’m capable of doing is putting my feet up and pondering how important it is to unplug from the mind-made clutter of modern American life and to plug into the raw power of the natural world. And just as importantly, how comforting, restorative, and maybe even “healing” it is to look up from our phones and actually get to know each other.

Way more to come.

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