The Frozen Continent

Our Monthly Explorer Series features local explorers who have achieved some pretty impressive adventure goals — impressive goals, yet goals that are within the reach of the everyday explorer. Folks like us. They’ll share what the experience itself was like, and perhaps more importantly, share the preparation and training it took to get them there. A few days before each presentation, we’ll give you a hint of what to expect in a blog post.

What: Antarctica, the Frozen Continent

Who: Alison Watta of Durham

When: Wednesday, March 21, 7 p.m., Great Outdoor Provision Co., 1800 Franklin St., Chapel Hill

Inspiration: After years of family vacations, cruise ships and resorts with friends, I realized that if I ever wanted to have the kind of vacation I prefer and see the more untamed portions of the planet, I’d have to travel solo.  On my first trip, I learned to sail, participating as the crew.  We sailed from Grenada to the Grenadines, Tobago Cays and back.

Impetus: It was that 2015 sailing trip that sold me on more adventurous vacations. I had an amazing time and was sold on solo adventure travel. For my next adventure, I decided on the Galapagos.  After weeks researching the trip, I went to book it and saw the ad for Antarctica the travel agency so subtly put on the front page.   I changed my mind immediately and booked Antarctica there and then.

Ignore the naysayers: “The excitement about the trip seemed limited to me.  Let’s just say I heard the , from friends and family, “but it’s so cold there” many, many times.  But I stuck with it and it was an incredible trip full of a lot of luck, good weather, exceptional shipmates and extraordinary events.

Postscript: I did eventually get to the Galapagos and it was great – but nothing compares to the beauty of Antarctica.

Learn more about this presentation and sign up here.