With July right around the corner and my winter contract ending in eight weeks (!!!), I’m beginning to feel slightly frantic about getting to my uncompleted/unstarted winter projects and activities, like playing the drums more, volunteering with the fuels department, and maybe practicing my new barista skills.
I also have to do some grown-up things, like documentation, preparing work for Dave, the man who will cover for me when I’m off the ice for 6-8 weeks this fall, and figuring out how to get health insurance before I arrive back in the States.
I currently have more affordable health care in Antarctica than in the United States. Maybe I should just stay here.
I’m looking forward to leaving in late August mainly because I’m starting to feel a bit stifled here. I like my job, I like my friends and co-workers, and I like having free food, shelter, and medical care, but eight months on the Ice is wearing on me. I’m beginning to pine for the activities I had originally planned on doing this spring and summer, like visiting Australia, going on long-distance bike adventures, and getting tower climber training and certification, amongst other professional development activities. I’m also pining for actual pines. And oaks. And maples. And wildflowers. And salads. And not being so pasty white that my veins show through my skin in places they’ve never been visible before.
I like living here and I’m glad I’m coming back for another four months in late October, but I’m also feeling myself pulled in new directions.
I’d like to get enough IT training that I can apply for well-paying IT and comms jobs at Pole and Palmer Station and actually get one of those jobs in the next five years.
I’d like to get some kind of training in renewable energy technology in the next year or two.
I’d like to go to Australia, Asia, and South America in the next year, and meet my “30 by 30” goal of visiting 30 countries by the time I’m 30. I’m 26.5 years old and have been to 18 countries, so it’s totally doable. Especially if I take the next few austral winters off to actually do all the aforementioned things.