The view from here
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"And now, ticket to the icy tundra in hand, my sixth sense is tingling. I’ve been extra aware of my surroundings and imagining ceilings caving in on my head."
For the last two weeks I’ve been paranoid that I would get hit by a bus or choke on my food. I’ve imagined myself dying in several different ways.
When I was hiking in Argentina alone in a remote area on a mountain, I had a daydream where I was suddenly attacked and mauled by a puma. I thought about how ironic my family and friends would say my death was - spending my whole life worshipping cats only to be taken out by one.
All of these scenarios involved a twist of cruel irony. I think it would be so utterly annoying to have an ironic death of any kind. Seriously, please don’t do me like that, God.
I truly hate irony - I dislike it as a form of storytelling because of its utter hopeless feeling. The song ‘Isn’t it ironic?’ The worst. Why sing about that? Just like a hundred annoying things in one song.
Why have I been thinking about this? Because I’ve been afraid that just before I complete a life-long dream some sort of twisted disaster would happen and strike me down.
In two days, I will be on my way to Antarctica. Two days. I have dreamed of stepping foot on all seven continents for as long as I can remember.
I knocked six off the list by the time I was 25, and I really wanted to make it all seven before I turned 30. The years went by and although it was always at the back of my mind, I couldn’t justify the expense or find a creative way to get there. It turns out my experience of “really likes penguins” and “willing to swim in cold water” doesn’t exactly qualify me as a scientific researcher.
The big THREE OH came and went and I felt like I had failed.
But I didn’t forget about it or let it go. With just 0.00004% of the global population able to cross that icy threshold, I knew what sort of challenge I was up against but I also knew in my bones that it was going to happen it was just a matter of when.
I’m now 33 and it’s finally happening. And 33 is totally the new 29 right? Right, guys?
A few months ago, I left my full time job and started traveling. It was a difficult decision to leave behind the certainty that comes with a steady source of income, but I had paid off my student loans once and for all and for the first time in my life had some savings in the bank.
My motivation to leave at the time was about creating something for myself, but looking back on it now, I think a big part of it was about achieving this goal. I had a subconscious driving force pushing me to get exactly where I am right now.
I kept pretty quiet about my plans for this trip, but inside I wanted it so badly.
And now, ticket to the frozen tundra in hand, my sixth sense is tingling. I’ve been extra aware of my surroundings and imagining ceilings caving in on my head.
Does anyone else suffer these foreboding omens before a major life event? Is that fucking weird?
It might be I guess. But the hyper awareness of my own mortality is part of the reason I am here about to make a dream come true. I listen to people when they say things like “appreciate your health” and “tomorrow is not guaranteed”. People get sick and accidents happen - people do get mauled by pumas!
In between my violent death scenarios, I also have visions of me triumphantly sticking a flag into the side of a snowy mountain, joyously hugging an adorable king penguin, and underwater singing with a humpback whale. Because, balance right?
All along I knew I was going to get here, someday, somehow. And now I am and it feels surreal.
If my plane crashes or the boat sinks after this post goes up, I’m going to be so fucking pissed I swear to God.
Author - Meghan Advent
Meg is one of the co-creators of Travelher and lives and breathes travel. She recently left her full time office role to put more energy into her own projects and is currently traveling.