Tuesday, February 26, 2008
The Last Continent
Well, this is it. In an hour or so I'll be on my way to the airport on my way to Buenos Aires, and then on the King George Island and the Antarctica Marathon and Half Marathon. This is my fifth time down, and I can tell you it gets better and better.
We're going on a different ship this year, the Sarpik. It's a bit smaller and a bit slower than the other ships that I've been on. What was a 44 hour crossing of the Drake Passage last year will take at least 58 hours this year. That's a LOT longer to be out there on the high seas.
The big lesson that I've learned from these Antarctica trips, and a column that you'll see later in the year, is that it's all about preparation. Preparation. Not planning. In Antarctica you can't have a plan. The island makes the decisions, not you. No matter what your plan is, the continent doesn't care.
I've tried to apply that lesson to the rest of my life. I'm focusing more on being prepared and less and less on having a plan. Whatever life plan I had when I was younger, it certainly hasn't turned out the way I planned. Even the more recent years of my life haven't gone as planned.
So, the next two weeks are the planet's chance to give me a graduate course in how little I really matter in the giant scheme of things. I will be in the presence of a power much greater than me. It will humble me and inspire me.
What could be better than that??