For many career breakers, extended travel is also an opportunity to reach out-of-the-way “bucket list” destinations. Though there are many extraordinary places to take a career break, Antarctica stands apart from the pack. How many destinations truly offer a once-in-a-lifetime adventure like stepping through the cover of a National Geographic Magazine?
Reaching a Travel Goal Together
Three years ago, Meet, Plan, Go! co-founder Sherry Ott and her 76-year-old father could be found hiking Nepal’s Annapurna Circuit. Her father had once traveled halfway around the world on a freighter, so adventure travel was in their DNA. Inspired after crossing the high altitude Thorung La Pass together, it was only natural for both to start thinking about where they would travel next. Sherry’s father had his eyes set on the next great adventure —Antarctica— and of course, Sherry said, “let’s do it!”
This December, Sherry and her dad will reach their dream destination —the great White Continent! This has been a bucket list item for both of them and they are excited to set foot on their 7th continent together. They’ll embark on the 126-passenger Expedition for 13 days, departing from Ushuaia, Argentina on December 10, 2012 and sailing to the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula.
Antarctica Sooner Rather Than Later
A wonderland for the eyes, Antarctica is the most pristine, awe-inspiring, wildlife-rich destination on our planet. Visitors are swept off their feet by serendipitous whale encounters, thousands of penguins bustling about, and towering blue icebergs rising hundreds of feet out of the water. At times, Antarctica can feel like an out-of-this world dreamy experience, where a bleached white skyline can stretch for miles.
December is optimal for visiting Antarctica since penguins arrive ashore in November to build their nests, so chicks can hatch in December. This is also when the sea ice breaks up, providing visitors greater access to fluffy penguin chicks, narrow fjords and inlets, and iceberg-strewn beaches.
Like our ever-changing planet, Antarctica is not immune to the effects of climate change. In fact the ozone hole was first discovered by scientists working on the Antarctic Peninsula and in the last few years, there have been marked changes in the climate and animal behavior. Antarctica is a destination we recommend visiting sooner rather than later. Antarctica is not the easiest location to travel to, which is why small ship cruises are the best way to explore the continent. These intimate expeditions are often guided by experts who are seasoned naturalists, lecturers, and National Geographic photographers.
Put Antarctica on Your Career Break Itinerary
An expedition to Antarctica requires a significant time commitment, which may be a challenge to many North Americans with limited vacation days. While a trip to the Antarctic Peninsula may be done in two weeks, expeditions including the Falkland Islands and South Georgia range from 17-24 days. Without time constraints, career break travelers can also experience some of the highlights of South America before and/or after an Antarctic expedition, such as a week in Buenos Aires, a tour of Iguazu Falls, or trekking through Patagonia.
Taking a travel break before retirement can actually propel the direction of one’s career. There are always adventures to be had, insights to be gained, and lessons to be learned. Most seasoned travelers would agree that the best education is the world’s cultures. We certainly do.
Career break travel changed Sherry’s life. Including an expedition to Antarctica on your career break itinerary just might change yours, too.
ExpeditionTrips specializes in trips of a lifetime to extraordinary destinations, including Antarctica, the Galapagos Islands, Alaska, Africa, the Arctic and beyond. The world’s leading specialist in expedition travel, we offer a one-stop resource for expert advice, trip planning and outstanding service. Founded in 1999 by former expedition leaders, naturalists, and guides, ExpeditionTrips’ mission is to help our clients experience the trip of a lifetime. Our award-winning website, offering more than 350 trips, has been voted ‘Best of the Web’ by Forbes annually since 2000, and we have been featured in publications such as The New York Times, Newsweek, Coastal Living and Men’s Journal, and highlighted as ‘The Antarctica Travel Planners’ by Travel + Leisure magazine. For more information, visit www.expeditiontrips.com.