Expedition training: the first glacier hike!

Thalia, an Associate Consultant from Mexico City, shares a bit about the days of training in Argentina with the rest of the expedition participants – before the ship set sail.

It is said that happiness is a way of travel not a destination. I can say that our travel to Antarctica has been quite an adventure so far and we have not even set foot on the boat!

Close-up

From the very day we were informed we had been selected to be this year’s IAE members, we have come together as a group and learned so much, despite living in three different countries. These past six months of intense preparation, on top of normal day to day responsibilities at work, have only reassured me that when you put your heart into it, anything is possible.

It has been two days now since we’ve joined the rest of the IAE participants, all amazing people! More than 20 countries represented and great diversity, from a 12 year old student to scientists, journalists, teachers and more. What is the key characteristic that brings us all together? Sustainability. Every participant, with their own interests and initiatives, came here to learn more and share their projects, and I cannot think of a better opportunity and more enriching environment there could be than here, now.

We have had our first lectures and group activities including an introduction to leadership, Antarctica, storytelling, climate change and carbon capture storage technologies.  Yes, sometimes it feels like I am hearing a completely different language (especially if it is 8am in the morning), but then again, every second here has been a great learning opportunity surrounded by so many experts.

Hike

Other than the lectures, yesterday’s program also included a glacier hike! First physical challenge so far, but we all survived even though we got hail and intense wind right at the top – some would say great training for our landing on the continent. The sightseeing was amazing and having the chance to witness someone seeing snow for the first time was very inspiring. When you are able to take the time, you realize how many beautiful things there are in our world to see.

Today will be our last day on land. Once we set sail we will have limited connection with the rest of the world, but as Robert Swan said this morning, these two weeks will give us the perfect chance to “disconnect to reconnect”. The way I see it now, Antarctica is then not just a destination, but one stop in our journey of a lifetime commitment to sustainability.

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