Making a Dream Reality: Return to Antarctica

Pleneau Bay, Antarctica

Antarctica is often described as a once in a lifetime travel experience. But I’m about to become one of the lucky travellers who are ignoring this with a return visit.

The cost, distance and effort to reach Antarctica often see it referred to as a once in a lifetime experience. Those fortunate enough to make it to this other-worldly destination describe it as a travel highlight, a photographer’s playground or even a life-changing experience. Many of them leave the ship reluctantly and immediately begin dreaming of a return visit. For some it remains a fantasy, for the lucky ones it becomes a reality.

I’m one of the lucky ones.

Orne Harbour, Antarctica

When I stepped off Quark’s Ocean Diamond early last year, I knew I’d be back. I didn’t know when, I didn’t know how, but I had unfinished business with Antarctica – and I felt it had unfinished business with me.

Although the memories of my adventures through the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctica provided a shield against the threat of reality, the months following my return felt anti-climactic. And I wasn’t alone. Other travellers I’d stayed in touch with were also finding it hard to let go of the magical experience. Antarctica is like a drug that enters your system and never really leaves.

Zodiac Cruising - Neko Harbour, Antarctica

Was Antarctica a life-changing experience for me?

Not exactly – I’d already had that moment a few years earlier when an extended career break and round-the-world trip introduced me to the possibility of a more rewarding and balanced lifestyle.

But it was a lifestyle affirmation.

It reminded me how energising it was to explore the world beyond the comforts of my own home. It connected me with travellers from all walks of life, new friends united by a common interest. It confirmed that the lifestyle change I had recently made, to re-balance the scales between my career and the travel and photography that made me feel most alive, was a rewarding once.

Pleneau Bay, Antarctica

It created an exhilarating sense of freedom, an appreciation of how beautiful the world can be and an energising desire to embrace the moment, instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Never before had I felt so connected – to both the world and within myself. It was a feeling I wanted to bottle, to remind me how fulfilling it is to live life instead of just existing.

But I can’t bottle it. So I’m doing the next best thing – returning to experience it all over again!



Kellie Netherwood-5932How am I planning and packing for Antarctica the second time round? What will I do differently and what will be the same? Stay tuned for upcoming posts.




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Kellie is a traveller and photographer who is most at home when exploring the world beyond it. Through the intersection of her travel, writing and photography passions, she shares her experiences to inspire others to create there own. The desire to live life instead of existing through it has introduced Kellie to inspirational locations throughout seven continents and from this a passion for landscape and wildlife photography has evolved. She feels a particular connection to the polar regions and Africa. You can see more of her photography at


  1. Staying tuned Kellie. Fingers crossed some more posts come through before I leave in 33 days time.


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