Saying that after all the excitement of Antarctica had died down it was hard to re-adjust to living our lives normally again, does sound a little drama queenish I know, but it doesn’t change the fact that some of us did have a little trouble coming down from all the hype of it. I was one of them.
In our campaign to raise as much awareness to our cause as possible, we had attracted a lot of media attention along with it. It all came hand in hand with making all of us acutely aware of how privileged we were as individuals to be part of such a group. It took me a long time to come down from it all, primarily because I went from being a desperately bored housewife just managing to keep her head above water in every sense of the word, to being on the front page of newspapers and magazines. I would lie in bed at night replaying events in my head over and over again until eventually I was not able to sleep at all. There were not just moments of triumph on the trip, but there were also moments when familiarity started to breed contempt amongst us. We were all thrown into a very unique situation and within very close quarters of each other for long periods of time. Unnecessary small minded bickering resulted, much of which I bared the brunt of and which almost ruined the whole expedition for me. I was determined to rise above it though, which I did during the trip. I was determined I was not going to shed a tear over certain situations as the individual/s involved were just not worth it. However for months after it all, I kept on wishing that I had said this or that at certain points. I knew at the same time that it was a fruitless exercise and that I was just wasting valuable energy that I could be focusing elsewhere, but that is always easier said than done as we all know.
Making it harder to let go and continue with my life as normal were the ensuing interviews and get together’s to commemorate our efforts and what the whole expedition stood for. It was fun, and I so enjoyed seeing members of the group afterwards and catching up with them, and I am still very close friends with many of them, but all I wanted to do was put it behind me and get on with my life. It just seemed to be dragging on unnecessarily.
What I can say with great clarity is that I walked away from the expedition a stronger and wiser person for it.
What saved my sanity at the end of the day was the fact that the Antarctica expedition ran into a 4 week family holiday in South Africa. It was a 360 degree turn for me weather wise. I went from -10 to +30 degrees in the shade but I loved every minute of it. We went on safari’s, visited many wine farms, caught up with family and friends and just packed as much into those 4 weeks as we could. I mostly enjoyed just being with my hubby and daughters again. It was great to be home.
I am really glad that we had such a wonderful, relaxing holiday because what 2013 was going to throw at us would be unexpected to say the least and very, very shocking.