Antarctica calls

She allows no one to touch her. No, she touches them. Her whisper snares their ears from thousands of miles away and she beckons them. Hooked, they wriggle, but she does not reel them in. They search for the connection, the invisible line. For years they drift, roving and exploring, feeding and preying on other beauties. So many delectable feasts for the eyes to undress, the tongue to taste, the body to take in panting thrusts to their peaks. They tick them off, put notches in their belts as she lets them wander, and just when they think they’re free, she’ll pull the line.

Harder. Closer. Her whisper now a loud blow to the eardrum, they can hear nothing but her call. They stumble in the direction of the drag as far as they can go. Skins dry and cut and bruised in quest, they cry out for her as she gives a final heave. She leaves nothing but her silence and a scar as they stare now knowing her direction. She is impossible to have, they say, and then slowly slink away to seek a salty substitute that will never quench their thirst. 

And from the ice, Antarctica glares. They should have had her first.

Right now I’m in the top 56 percent of the current 437 contest entries to win the trip of a lifetime—a 30-day expedition to Antarctica’s Ross Sea embarking from New Zealand and disembarking in Patagonia.

I need your help (vote! Share!) to bump that number up!

According to Oceanwide Expeditions’ website, five final contestants will be chosen who will have an equal 20% chance of winning the 1st prize. The voters will choose three entries based on vote count; one entry will be chosen by Oceanwide Expeditions based on creativity of the entry submitted; and one entry will be drawn from all entries with at least 20 votes. The winner will be drawn from the five final contestants early to mid-March 2016 and will be notified by e-mail and Facebook.

That little ditty at the top of this blog entry—that’s my contest entry. With it, I’m aiming to capture the creativity nomination and would love to also stand a chance for the most votes to better my chances.

The space on my profile was limited so I couldn’t explain fully why I feel people should vote for me. It’s a weird thing to say that I deserve, above anyone else, a shot at this one-in-a-lifetime trip.

Antarctica is at the top spot of my travel list. Like, THE number one position. I’ve dreamed about it (no, literally! I’ve had recurring nocturnal dreams) since childhood.

I won’t claim I want to go on the expedition for the noble cause of witnessing or documenting the effects of climate change, or because politically it is the only place on Earth where so many countries are getting along so well. My motive is not about that—it’s purely personal in the way that I want to experience this rarely seen beauty, and I want to share that experience with my (hopefully grown) readership. I want to capture the place with words, with images, with sounds.

Watching the 2013 documentary Antarctica: A Year On Ice I was only further captivated by the idea of working in this isolated place that so few have the opportunity to see. I’ve been considering applying for work there and I’ve considered the possibility of wintering over.

Looking at what the allure is, I think it is the fact that I am a woman who loves to push myself to certain limits. I like to be a little out of my comfort zone. The idea that I could experience months and months without any sunlight whatsoever, and the reverse of that as well, is fascinating and seems like one of the ultimate human experiences to have—to learn what we can tolerate not only as individuals but as humans.

They say working on the continent, unless you’re one of the lucky ones who has the type of position that gets you outdoors, you don’t get to see as much as you might arrive to the continent hoping to take in. That’s why winning this trip would be amazing. It would allow me the opportunity to see this amazing continent and then decide if I indeed wanted to work on it.

Does it possess all the magic I imagine it to? Can I handle the cold as well as I think I could? Could I tolerate repetitive work or would it drive me nuts to know that there’s so much to see on the continent and I wouldn’t be able to explore at my leisure?

I pause to daydream.

The first time on a ship for more than a few hours. First helicopter ride. First time breathing Antarctic air. The first time crossing the date line. First time on a continent where its language is not one I speak (disembarking in South America). First time traveling out of the country solo. First trip after graduation. The first contest I have ever won!

How lovely it would be to blog about them all thanks to this expedition.

I may not be as well traveled as other travel bloggers or even just everyday peers, but that will only lend to the vibrancy and clarity of the experience. In my contest entry my creative piece ends, “And from the ice, Antarctica glares. They should have had her first.”

That’s precisely what I intend to do with your help! Thank you in advance for your support!


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