7 reasons WHY Indians or any Travel Freaks should set sail for Antarctica
We are currently anchored in Useful Island at 64° 43 S – 62° 53 W in Antarctica on a Poseidon Expedition ship. The beauty of this place is very hard to explain in words (will try my best in my next blog post) but in this post I will try to convince my Indian friends to take a leap of faith and set sail for Antarctica.
What makes me write about this topic?
• We observed that we are the only Indians on the boat, which made us proud but also made us think, how crazy it is for Indians to make this trip?
• Lot of my Indian friends were curious on how to do this trip? How much is the expense? What kind of risks are involved in going to Antarctica?
• To showcase and inspire fellow travel junkies that with some planning(we planned and booked this 2 years in advance) you can witness true magic.
Spoiler Alert: This post is overloaded by cuteness of Penguins
1. It is accessible: People have the perception that only research scientist and explorers go to Antarctica, but since 1999 Antarctica tourism has seen a steep incline helping the commoners to see the continent. Various vessels (expedition ship) takes you on the Peninsula (continent of Antarctica) and are mostly operated by multiple operators from Argentina and Chile. You can contact me to obtain a list of all the operators for Antarctica from Argentina and Chile. There are some operators in New Zealand and Chile (giving you flying option) but that route is very expensive. See below the lovely town of Ushuaia, Argentina – Gateway to Beagle Channel and Antarctica.
2. Do it for Wildlife: Antarctica is a land of extremes and people think it will be only snow and ice but it is much more than the white wonderland. The wildlife is beyond imagination, (for instance, this majestic Petrel with it’s chick and the super cute Adelie penguin on Deception island). You will witness some very unique creatures like elephant seals, humpback whales, orca whales and various species of penguins, krills and birds. Every day and night we were blessed by tons of Albatross, skua and Arctic / Antarctic turns. following our vessel and posing for pictures. Watching these animals in their natural habitat is a scene, which your eyes will never forget.
Travel Tip - Just do it for Penguins and baby Penguins
3. It is affordable: People reading this article will think that I am either super rich or crazy to say that a trip like this is affordable but it really is.
Either you plan in advance or book last minute, both of them have their advantages and disadvantages but as a single traveler you will pay anywhere between 5500 $ - 6500 $ for the boat (last minute will be generally 1000 $ cheaper which helps you buy your flight tickets to Buenos Aires) and another 1000 $ to reach and spend in Ushuaia, which overall will bring it to 6500$ - 7500 $. It will include your stay in triple or Quad suite, all food, zodiac cruise rides and hike on the peninsula.
Travel Tip: Last minute bookings will not include any excursions like kayaking (add another 750 $ - 1000 $) or camping on Antarctica peninsula (250 $ - 400 $)
4. Makes you disciplined towards your goal: It will teach you to be disciplined and focused on your travel goal. Saving 20 % of your pay - check, gifts and cash bonuses will inspire you to save for something which very few people will ever do in their lifetime. There are some travel agents who will allow you to create an account for 5 years / 3 years and deposit 100 $ a month for this goal.
Travel Tip: Poseidon expeditions (https://poseidonexpeditions.com) is highly recommended for a travel account and will keep your money secure for 2-3 years (you can just tell them month and a year and they will help you to make it happen)
5. Orients your mind to re-define your assets: Millennial’s need change in pace of life and taking a break from work for a month (at least) to see Argentina and Antarctica is life changing. It will inspire you to be alone in a foreign country (where English is not widely spoken or accepted) and a continent where you are disconnected from phones, Internet/ news. The pace of life is very slow (slower than remote villages in India) which allows you to relish some of the best landscapes in the world.
Travel Tip: Your vehicles, gold, watches or real estate cannot buy anything like this. It will surely be life changing in many ways, most of them are hard to explain in words
6. Do it for People/ Network: You will meet some people in this world who share the same goal as you i.e. witnessing the majesty of Antarctica. You will share this experience with like-minded people in many ways (from sharing meals, sharing pictures with your fellow travelers every night, partying at the bar, telling travel stories etc.). This bunch of people will become some of your very good friends and fellow travel buddies. The network, which you will build will range from travel journalists, famous expedition experts, wildlife professors and teachers, bloggers and backpackers/Starbucks baristas or couch surfers :)
Travel Tip: Do it to for bragging rights – partying and chilling with research scientists, explorers and adventure junkies will be your new set of friends (your network will span all over the world).
7. Adventure/ Inspiration / Motivational: It is related to inner satisfaction of life and re-defining what is important and what is normal? A place of extremes, a place which is magical and yet remote in its own realm , a place where the sun shines on you almost 24 hours, a place where you don’t know what to anticipate and how life really will be? Motivate yourself to step out of your comfort zone, get out and explore the unknown, face the challenges (camping on the continent, kayaking in harsh waters, taking the polar plunge) and every night partying until wee hours of the morning will stay with you for entire life...
So friends, just stop thinking a lot and take the plunge (plan for next year or year after but make this trip happen, I promise you will not regret a single second or a single minute. Please follow our instagram feed for more updates on our adventure travel (https://www.instagram.com/empty_wallets/)