Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Pole to Pole!

Jacqueline Deely @ Salisbury Plain, South Georgia Island 2013
Salisbury Plain, South Georgia Island

A couple of years ago I visited Antarctica as a passenger with Cheeseman's Ecology Safaris.  The month long journey out of Ushuaia, Argentina included The Falklands, South Georgia Island and the Antarctic continent, followed by a week long tour of Patagonia.  This was by no means cheap and I had saved up for quite some time to cover the cost of such an adventure. I had such an incredible experience and the thought of never returning was something I just could not imagine.  I had to get back somehow knowing it would have to be through a far less costly means.  I was still working for a high tech company in Silicon Valley at the time, but it my goal was to eventually leave the corporate world for good.  In October 2014 I was conveniently laid off and it was at this point in time I decided to finally pursue my dream of a career in wildlife photography.

MS Expedition maneuvers through ice pack

So here I am back home after an incredible month in the Arctic on board the MS Expedition as "photographer in residence" with G Adventures, an adventure tour company based in Toronto, Canada. I began my adventure in Edinburgh, Scotland, visiting Shetland, the coast of Norway, crossing the Arctic circle all the way up to the archipelago of Svalbard and beyond as far as 82 degrees north!

Longyearbyen, Svalbard
I loved my life on board the ship, the amazing people I met and worked with and the incredible places I visited, not to mention the wildlife!  It was probably one of the most challenging things I have done in addition to being one of the most rewarding and I can't wait to do it all over again and guess what?  I will be returning to Antarctica and the Arctic in 2017!

My mother worked as a "stewardess" on cruise ships back in the 50's traveling to exotic locations and I can only think that it is something I was also destined to do.  Travel and the need to explore and experience as much as I can are somehow deeply rooted in my bones and I intend to exploit that need for as long as I physically can.

Stay tuned for stories from the arctic...