Treehouse - penguins -2023 Antartica (1)

Coddiwomple: To travel in a purposeful manner towards a vague destination.

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A holiday musing from Stacey Chin.

Like many, the holidays have always been a special time in our family. Growing up, December was my favorite month and always represented a time of good cheer, joy, and family. As an adult, I’ve found that holiday joy can be overrun by the mundane chores of the season; organizing holiday feasts, finding presents for everyone, putting up the decorations, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I still love this time of year but sometimes I find myself forgetting to relax and enjoy it! This year, however, my husband, my parents and I decided to slow down and skip some of the holiday madness, remember what’s important to us, and treat ourselves to the trip of a lifetime: Antarctica.

Antarctica is a continent shrouded in mystery. For me, the thought of it also ignites my curiosity, whimsy, and sense of adventure. While you can fly, most tourists from South America opt to sail to Antarctica. This often requires a boat trip across Drake’s Passage, a body of water with the notorious reputation of being the world’s roughest seas. While we were crossing the Passage, our Expedition Leader informed us that any trip to Antarctica is a “coddiwomple”, as ultimately, nature dictates where we can go and what we can do. In other words, even the best-laid plans were subject to change. Luckily, for us, nature was accommodating, and we were able to go places and see areas that even our tour guides hadn’t been able to access before. We saw penguins galore and pods of whales. I learned to differentiate between tabular icebergs, glacier bergs, and sea ice. We “polar plunged” into the frigid waters and were lucky enough to get a clear evening where we saw the sunset, the moon, and the sunrise all at the same time. Through it all, the best part was getting to share this once-in-a-lifetime trip with those I love best. Pictures fail to capture the majesty of the place, but we created memories that will last forever. In the future, I hope we can continue to coddiwomple our way to more adventures!

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