I’m sitting at LAX waiting for my 11:30 flight to Brisbane, Australia. From Brisbane I will take a flight to Auckland, New Zealand and from there I will fly to Christchurch, New Zealand. Markus just informed me that we have something like 35 hours of travel total.
The past couple days has been a whirlwind of packing, last minute shopping, and seeing/calling friends and family. I’m starting to get excited, leaving my anxiety behind after checking my bags and jumping on the plane for the first leg of my journey.
I board the next plane in about half an hour, so I don’t have much time left, but before I do I wanted to leave you all with something.
This is a photo of my MEDAL. That’s right, you heard you correctly. I had completely forgotten about this little gem until I received it in the mail a month or so ago. Everyone that goes down to Antarctica and spends a certain number of days there receives an Antarctic Service Medal from Congress. I forgot to take a picture of a close up of the medal, but you can also look it up online. I was jumping up and down when I received the medal, it somehow makes what I have done and am doing more real. The thing about this experience is that it feels surreal; it’s a challenge to remember that your life is in fact based in reality and is not some amazing and bizarre dream. But, it is a dream come true and going twice is the best gift I have ever received. I cannot believe the good fortune that I have had and the amazing support of all the wonderful people in my life, I am beyond grateful. Thank you all for helping me get to where I am today and I’ll see you all in New Zealand (if I can get internet) and if not, then on the ice!