Antarctica has always been a mythical place. Hard to reach, cold, distant … and therefore a magnet for my imagination. It has been on my bucketlist of places to visit for a long time now, and I am eyeing to visit it after hiking the Torres del Paine trail in Chile.If, on one of the many days that I would be struggling through wind, rain or snow on my way to school, someone would have told me that one day I would appreciate the cold, remoteness and wind, I would probably hit that person in the face. I would have the cold, dark snowy mornings on my bike on my way to school. Or during my running trainings in the woods near my hometown of Tilburg when our trainer would make us do push-ups and sit-ups in the snow, rain or mud – on purpose.
But I know the exact moment when it changed.It was on the first day of my Laugavegur trail hike in Iceland. We had arrive by bus in the Landmannalaugar basecamp. There, we got the message that the authorities advised against hiking the trail. A snowstorm had covered the trail and several hikers got in severe problems (I got my fait share of challenges later as well). We would be stuck for at least a night in the wind, snow and rain in the middle of nowhere. A Viking-sized Icelandic guy answered questions from the tourist hikers. One of the hikers asked how bad the weather was, to which the guy replied the epic words “there is no bad weather, sir, only bad clothing”.
It was exactly the words I needed. After that, I embraced the suck, switched my mind and enjoyed the remoteness of it all.
I experienced it later on the first few days of my Kilimanjaro summit via the Lemosho route. Winds, rain, snow. Complaining guides, porters and chefs. And I loved it. There is no bad weather. Embrace the suck.
Since then, I have gone on to plan more cold, windy, snowy, rainy remote areas like Greenland and the Kungsleden in Sweden. And exactly that is why I love Antarctica. And I am soooo looking forward to a future visit.
Summiting Mount Kilimanjaro.
My Lemosho route hike to Uhuru peak.
I spent a week in the souks of Marrakech.
My first visit to Africa was one to remember, including armed guards in my hotel room.
It’s all fun and games until somebody dies.
About the dark side of overtourism on Mount Kilimanjaro.Feel free to browse through all the posts or use the button to see the category view.