It was probably because I watched too many “James Bond” movies when I was young, but I got struck by the wanderlust-bug and became determined to see the world. Wisely, my geography professor told me that travel takes a great deal of money and gives you very little knowledge in exchange . . . but you do gain far better perspective. He was right!
Most people associate travel with the continent of Europe, but that is only a small part of a big world. Outside of Europe, there are six other continents and many, many countries. I set upon the goal of visiting all seven continents and am glad I did.
The last continent to visit was Antarctica, which I visited earlier this year. In a word, it was majestic. Awe-inspiring, really — it makes the Big Sky country of Montana seem like a mere movie theater. Bigger than either Europe or Australia, it is far more open and spacious. On a canvas of brilliant blues and whites, it is spotted with an array of wildlife — many types of penguins and whales and giant orca dolphins and albatross birds. The weather was cold but clean! The dampening silence is barely pierced by the gentle hum of nature – of glaciers “calving” into the sea to become icebergs, of the countless penguins and seals hunting. More than anything else, you learn to recognize and even appreciate your own insignificance. Need to improve your humility? Go to Antarctica!
Sadly, the effects of global warning are already apparent. “Before & After” pics are easy to find. Huge black basalt mountains now peak out from under the snow. The rocky edges of land are exposed and hard to walk on. Get humble now – go to Antarctica sooner than later!
I saved the most beautiful continent for last . . . and I’m thankful!