Destinations

Antarctica

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.

Why I love Antarctica

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.

There is no bad weather, sir. Only bad clothing.

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.

I am currently planning an Antarctica expedition, together with a Torres del Paine or Fitz Roy hike in 2021.