Friday, November 15, 2013

The Places I Call Home

This peninsula has been my home for the last 14 months.  McMurdo is tucked in out of sight and the end of the land.
I am usually able to pretty quickly feel at home in most places.  I've developed this ability over a few years of traveling and guiding in places all over North and South America and never staying more than a month or so in one place and am pretty happy with this skill.  While I am always longing a real home I am usually pretty content with wherever I am.

Mount Erebus on a particularly active day.
Sometimes this home is a tent in a backyard in Anchorage, Alaska, a hostel in Puerto Montt, Chile, wherever my old van was parked or in a tent at 19,000 feet on a mountain.  Lately my home has been a dorm room at McMurdo Station in Antarctica.

Mount Erebus framed in a pressure ridge on the west side of McMurdo Sound.

Antarctica is a strange place to call home, but for the last 14 months this has been my home.  The people and the landscape have drawn me in for much longer than I could have ever imagined when I arrived here.  I've been reflecting on this as I enter my last week on this continent.  I'm not sure how much I have changed in the last year since the place around me hasn't changed.  I think I'm usually pretty aware of changes within myself since I am the only thing that is slowly changing while everything else around me seems to be on a faster pace.  I know I'm not the same person I was when I arrived here over a year ago, but I'm not yet sure what is different.  Months of constant sunlight and darkness and no living things certainly takes a toll on a person, but I won't know that toll until I get back to something different than this.

The Erebus Glacier Tongue and the Dellbridge Island from Ross Island.
I will miss the people and this little "town." But it is time to leave.  It is time to close the longest chapter and see what the next pages have to hold.  It is time to go swim in the ocean for the first time ever.

Chunks of ice and the Wilson Piedmont Glacier at Marble Point across McMurdo Sound from McMurdo Station.

1 comment:

  1. You rock, Ben. Thanks for writing this and PLEASE keep writing as you re-enter and have more time to assimilate it all. I really appreciate your perspective (as you know). Have a great time post-ice... I know you will. And hopefully we'll get you back for next mainbody. -Suz

    ReplyDelete