There is a saying about people who go to Antarctica. Quite simply people go the first time for the adventure. The second time for the money and the third time because they don't belong anywhere else.
There is a line in a song by the Juanita Family that says, "There are two different kinds of people in this world and I am neither one of them."
The Juanita Family makes sense to me.
The first time I went to Antarctica was for the adventure. True. For me, the second time was also for the Adventure and the third time was an Adventure.
Now, faced with my fourth season, the only reason I could come up with for wanting to go back to McMurdo for the Winter was because of money. What can I say, I'm a cliched procrastinator. It would have taken me four seasons to accomplish what some people do in two.
Money is great. But money can't by warmth. It takes global warming for that.
After traveling around the New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Germany, Poland and France I found out I do belong somewhere and, for now, this place is the place where they say, "This is the Place" and that place is Salt Lake City, Utah.
On Monday I turned down the job offer to return to McMurdo for another season. I have a number of friends who I will miss down there, but I have sunshine, summer, golf, family and friends I'll get to spend this next year with.
I'll be spending my time working on freelance writing projects and personal writing projects I have put off ever since 2002 when I first stepped foot in Antarctica. Hopefully, these will prove to be successful--at the very least, I have things that need to be finished that don't include living in the dark, going crazy and working, living and breathing with same 124 people for nine months.
I figure it's better to retire from Antarctica before I turn sour on a place I love. And, since I recently sent an email to one of the incompetent workers in the United States Antarctic Program which said, "In the future try being less dramatic and more professional" it is quite possible my tolerance level has reached its expiration date.
If what you crave are stories about Antarctica, this girl has a link to just about anyone down south with a computer and a blog: http://www.icewishes.motime.com/
Follow your dreams and I'll keep you posted on mine.