Recently I was asked what advice I would give to others that wanted to go on their own adventures.
Believe in yourself and don’t wait! I know it’s so easy to say but just taking that first step is huge.
I’m very impulsive and if I want to do something, I will generally find a way! Sometimes there will be obstacles but then I will work around then. I’ll squeeze it in if I have to. I’m also very stubborn..
I decided I wanted to join the Army when I was 19, I didn’t actually tell anyone because I didn’t want anyone to stop me. It’s still one of the best decisions I made.
I decided I want to do an expedition in Antarctica. Why? I want to inspire people to believe they can do anything. It’s not that common as an Indian female and I do believe that representation matters. I want my 8 yr old niece to believe she can achieve anything. Imagine, if you grow up thinking like that. The possibilities are endless.
Being tent bound for 6 days due to storms was tough.
The relief of getting back into the tent out of the wind after shovelling snow for hours. I would take a few seconds before attempting to delayer.
My goggles would freeze up in a few minutes so there was no point in wearing them. My buff has ridden up from covering my nose. My zip was generally frozen so I couldn’t take the jacket off as soon as we got in.
When we got back into the tent, it was always my toes that took the longest to warm up. We had to get the stove running straight away. My fingers would lose their dexterity quickly so lighting a match wasn’t always that easy.
When water was boiled, it would go straight into our Nalgene bottles and into my sleeping bag to warm up my toes. Everything was damp, I made a few attempts to try and dry my down jacket with the hot nalgene water bottle but it didn’t actually dry until we were off the ice.
We stayed in the tent for a few hours, warming up before heading back out again. Back to shovelling the snow so the tent wouldn’t get buried in the storm. Definitely one was to build resilience!
My journey back was not smooth at all. I was frustrated that nothing seemed to be going my way. I remember looking up and just thinking wow. At first it looked like a faint grey light and then would turn into this beautiful aurora. It’s at times like this, I remembered that I’m in such an incredible place.
I saw them a few times, once on the icecap when we were building a wall for the storm at 0200, on the East and West Coast. This photo was taken by the hostel manager on the east coast on his iPhone.
The journey back was still challenging, especially when I was feeling physically and mentally tired. When we finally got off the Greenland Icecap, I wanted to get home as soon as possible.
I spent a few days on the phone to Air Greenland trying to get 2 of us on a flight that had 1 space, I managed to get us on the flight. We took a pretty rough 1hr boat ride (open boat, no life jackets). I held my breath every-time I saw a big wave coming toward us! 2hrs before the flight, we were told it was delayed and had to wait in Kulusuk for 3 days, a small town on the East Coast with approx 240 inhabitants.
I was frustrated at this point, I just wanted to get back. None of the return journey went smoothly. Our hotel booking was messed up on the West coast so we were waiting outside at 2200 for the hostel owner to find us different accommodation.
Our luggage (which we sent at the start of the expedition to the west) with our clean clothes in had been sent back to the east a few days before we arrived. So I was still in my expedition clothes.
Sometimes you just have to laugh (or cry!). It was so nice to get home and get into clean clothes. I still don’t have my luggage (with the clean clothes) but hoping I’ll get it back in the next few weeks).
Every part of this trip was an adventure, even the times that I was not on the ice cap. I just have to remember that wherever I am, just to take a minute, appreciate how I got there and take it all in!