There are unimaginable amounts of extremely educated people all around the base. The main reason I got interested in coming down into Antarctica was the research being done in so many different fields of work. The one’s I’ve had the most exposure to are marine biology, astrology, geology, and studies on atmospheric changes. I made a good friend down here over the last month named Chris Chan. He helps develop lasers that are shot into the atmosphere to study different compositional layers of it. Unfortunately, he just left to go back to the states so he can study his findings a couple days ago. His replacement has said he’ll give me a tour of the facility they use to conduct these experiments and the lasers they develop. I also have been trying to do as many tours of the Crary Lab on the base. Crary Lab is where all the scientists stage their experiments while on base, making it their home base area for most experiments going onto the field. Every Sunday afternoon they give tours and depending on who gives the tour, you can meet different scientists studying various things.
My favorite experiments that I’ve heard about are the divers going under the ice to study organisms that live on the bottom of the stable sea ice. They said that since they’ve found organisms that live their entire lives completely on the bottom of the ice, it’s the most promising way that organisms could live on one of the moons that are completely covered in ice in our solar systems. They’re hoping that some day in the future, they can send something to one of these moons to study this exact thing. That’s one of the most intriguing studies in the ocean I’ve ever heard of and fills me with an unbelievable amount of hope that humans keep exploring and progressing our knowledge of this universe.
It even solidifies one of my fundamental philosophies that I try to live my life by, saying “It doesn’t matter what you choose to spend your life doing, as long as you do it.” The whole premise behind it is that you shouldn’t lose hope in humanity or your purpose in life just because you’re not the president, a super-star athlete, or even a ground-breaking scientist. As long as you find something you’re passionate about and always strive to better your knowledge of it, you can live a fulfilling, happy life that helped progress the society you’re in. Just do it. If you’re unhappy in your life, figure out what you don’t love about it and do your best to change it.
I met an incredibly inspiring woman who I became good friends with in Alaska that did this exact thing. She worked at a prominent company in a big city. She made a large amount of money doing the same exact thing over and over again every day of her life and she eventually couldn’t handle that anymore. She had the house, the cars, friends, any personal belonging she could want but her life goals weren’t being met. As time went on, she ended up moving to Alaska to be a guide for a considerable amount less money. She loved every second of it. She had virtually no bills, no food costs, and her living costs were completely paid for through this company. It’s a much more simple life. Eventually she plans on getting more schooling in the industry that she’s passionate about in a place she can thrive in. That’s the ultimate goal.
Just one more thought. Remember kids, love is all you need. Some people I’ve talked to recently seem to have lost all hope in love. Even if you’ve been hurt in the past, remember that those life experiences are what help you grow as a person. They help you decide who you want to be as a person and what people you value in life. Even as I’m traveling, I try to remember the people I love and who I can rely on the most. My favorite poem is “Into My Own” by Robert Frost. It says:
“One of my wishes is that those dark trees,
So old and firm they scarcely show the breeze,
Were not, as ’twere, the merest mask of gloom,
But stretched away unto the edge of doom.
I should not be withheld but that some day
Into their vastness I should steal away,
Fearless of ever finding open land,
Or highway where the slow wheel pours the sand.
I do not see why I should e’er turn back,
Or those should not set forth upon my track
To overtake me, who should miss me here
And long to know if still I held them dear.
They would not find me changed from him they knew—
Only more sure of all I thought was true.”
This poem is significant to me and everyone I hold dear because it explains perfectly of how I feel about traveling. People come and go out of my life and I weave through peoples lives every day. Just because I may never see some people ever again, it doesn’t mean I need to be cynical towards anyone or lose hope in love since I’ll never see them again. I still hold out hope that some day, somewhere I’ll cross paths with them again. I also make it a point to set up my travels with the opportunity of love and friendship, solidifying my roll in some way in their life. For instance, I’m planning on traveling through the US to visit a bunch of friends I’ve met through the years. I’m excited to be able to see the beautiful country that I call my home and the people that live in it.
With that said, that’s it for this post (or should I say rant). As always, send me stuff. I’m finally getting around to sending my post cards to everyone within the next day or two. Also, if you’d like a post card from the bottom of the world, message me your address. I’d love to send you one. Have a good day!
Shout out to Duncan May for taking some pretty awesome shots of me with Erebus and a lot of other pictures I’m in. Awesome photographer, that guy.