100 Years after Shackleton – What It’s Like To Be A Tourist in Antarctica, Subject to the Antarctic Treaty

“A continent dedicated to peace and science.”

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Cuverville Island, Antarctica

Sounds like something out of Science Fiction, doesn’t it? Amazingly, such a place exists. The entire continent of Antarctica is protected by a treaty signed by 53 countries. But Antarctica was not always this way. (Hint: If all you really want is cool photos, scroll past the history, onto the slideshow)
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Penguins in Antarctica – with hilarious captions.

So I actually wrote the vast majority of this post after my first close encounter with Penguins in Antarctica, over a week ago. But data was prohibitively expensive there, so today I finally get to post it! For your entertainment 🙂

Penguins with poolside realestate #ThetAntarcticLife
These penguins have it figured out and are living the high life – they’re hanging out on their floating glacier island which just so happens to have its own swimming pool. #ThatAntarcticLife

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A Yankee in Port Lockroy, Antarctica

Greetings from Antarctica!!!

Please forgive the formatting, this post was uploaded at Port Lockroy on Wienke Island in Antarctica. Yes, you read that correctly – Antarctica!

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While not technically a “selfie”, this is a pic of me at Half Moon Island, Antarctica, with some chinstrap penguins. That oh-so-stylish jacket I’m wearing is made of some magical wind-stopping warmth, and I saved $100 by getting it in pink rather than the super pretty blue/teal color. #Priorities.

Wait a second – how/why are you in Antarctica???

Now that I’ve posted my proof of life photo, allow me to explain myself: for the past week, I’ve had the privilege to cruise around Antarctica in the ship Le Lyrial with my family. Why Antarctica? Because my family and I are huge travel buffs, and by visiting Antarctica, we’d officially visited all 7 continents! (Or all 6, or all 5, depending on where you learned how many continents there are – not that anyone is “wrong” – we’ve discovered this is a highly cultural thing).
So… what is there to do in Antarctica…?
Before I left, people always asked “what are you going to do there?” I joked that I would check in on Facebook. Well, I did do that. But what I actually spent most of my time doing was honing my photography skills. I loaded up on massive amounts of entertainment on my computer before departing (no Netflix! The horror!!!), but I’ve actually watched very little of it (Ok, one evening I binge-watched the episodes of Younger that I’d previously downloaded – that show is incredibly entertaining). Plus, it turned out that the TVs in our staterooms have a bunch of movies and TV channels. There’s even Internet on our ship, though it’s very slow and out of courtesy I’ve created super low resolution versions of my photos to upload.
Ok, cool, now show us the photos!!!
Sure thing – except there’s very little bandwidth here and all I could manage was the one photo.

When I’m back somewhere that has unlimited bandwidth I’ll post these, and in high-res! For now, the captions will provide you with a glimpse into what I have in store for you!

Penguins – posing for their next album cover, #Obvi.

This seal was a total show off – that and I discovered the 60 frames per second mode on the Nikon AW1 I was using, so I held down that shutter button for dear life and just hoped the seal would do something worth photographing.

This spot is well-known as being one of the most photographed in Antarctica – you can see why, even at low-resolution.

#PenguinPhotobomb – yessssssss!

Thinking about visiting Antarctica? Do it! It is hands-down the most beautiful place I’ve ever been to, and it really doesn’t get any better than hanging out with penguins.

If you’re going to Antarctica, read this:
Before I sign off, a couple pieces of advice for folks travelling to Antarctica:

Don’t skim on digital memory – they make 2 Terabyte flash cards for your camera. Buy one. Or bring multiple back-up harddrives. I went to Antarctica with 1 TB completely free for backing up my photos too and I burned through it pretty quick.

Only buy a camera with a viewfinder and that is waterproof. I cannot stress this enough. If your camera isn’t waterproof, you won’t have it handy to use when penguins swim up alongside you on a Zodiak ride. And without a viewfinder, it’s really tough to take photos during excursions due to the serious strength of the sun.

Finally, bring LAYERS – we had multiple days in the 30’s. I think it even hit 40-something degrees farenheit during our time here. It was HOT, all things considered.

Traveling with Tech: Leave the Adapter at Home, Bring an HDMI cable instead

Charging Your Electronics Abroad: The Struggle Is Real

When you leave the U.S., there are a ridiculous number of things you’re supposed to remember to pack. Obviously, you must pack your passport. Realistically, you should probably take some ways of accessing your money while you’re abroad. You likely want to bring clothes.

But one item on the packing list is one that bugs me: for some ridiculous reason, we don’t all use the same outlets. Which means you need to bring an adapter if you are to have any hope of charging your electronics while you’re traveling. Or do you?
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