A Journey to Antarctica – IAE 2017

A Journey to Antarctica, sounds exciting, no! It sounds interesting, very interesting, let me express myself in different words meaning very similar 😉  – exciting, enthralling, unimaginative, reaching out to the impossible ; to me every second from the time I had got to know about the expedition that my friend went in March’17 was SUCH. 😁😁😁😇😇.

It took me couple of days to start this journey in words for you all. I had read blogs and watched videos from last several years of expeditions and wondered to touch the part of the world which is at the lowest point. This journey is about you and me, about the environment we live in, about the surrounding we live in, about our country, about this world and it’s about Antarctica and life which exists in the seventh continent of the world.

Each one of us has various kinds of dedications. Some wants to save environment, some wants to work towards education, some wants to build industries, and so on. Many of us dream, some of us act and few turn those dreams into reality.

This journey is not an ordinary tourist journey. This journey was originally initiated by polar explorer, environmental leader and public speaker Robert Swan, OBE, the first person in history to walk to both the North and South Poles. Swan has dedicated his life to the preservation of Antarctica by the promotion of recycling, renewable energy and sustainability to combat the effects of climate change.

There is an organization named 2041, which has been built to further build on Swan’s dedication by informing, engaging and inspiring the next generation of leaders to take responsibility, to be sustainable, and to know that now is the time for action in policy development, business generation and future technologies.

You must be wondering how I got to know about this…!!!

Well this year’s story that I am going to share with you is going to be through my friend Abhishek Gurung. He went as a traveler and explorer from India to be a part of IAE 2017. His journey is going to be virtually my journey in words to be communicated to the world.

Abhishek is a 32 years old young man, living in Gurgaon and is into Media sales and marketing as a professional. He belongs to a beautiful place in Himachal Pradesh called, Mcleodganj. A very wise person once told me, roots matter and I feel in this case it has mattered way too much in a very positive way.

When I asked Abhishek about whom does he think his ideal is, he said Robert Swan!  My next question was obvious ‘why?’ and he told me Robert’s saying that “The biggest threat to our planet is the belief that  someone else will SAVE IT.” This not only opened his eyes but also motivated him to be an agent of change.

 And Robert is the man who is working tremendously hard to save Antarctica which is at the lowest point of earth.

Well think about it, who can be this someone else who can save the planet? How many times do we ask this question to ourselves to do our bit? We keep cribbing about the traffic around us, the rising pollution level and oh yes, few days ago in some parts of North India – Earthquake stroke. When the real calamity comes we are nothing but helpless people, who have life at that moment to feel the tremor and pain. Some die, some get badly wounded and some are just lucky enough to survive. In whichever situation the effects around are same. Our lives change. And lets accept it, anything can happen any point in time with the rising global warming.

When we think of taking a break from our mundane regular life and hibernate from the regular chase of job goals and personal life goals, we take a break of vacation, we paint, we gather for drinks, we dance, we spend time recreating stuff for our selves to give life a new dimension and meaning. Each one of us has our own way for naming that recreation which gives us positive energy and happiness. On this break when we have time to think about ourselves and others and about our surrounding, it gets too late because the very next Monday or a Friday or a day to join work or regular schedule starts calling us. We pack ourselves for the very next challenge before we resolve the existing one. How many of us think of risking our job ? How many of us think of changing our schedule ? How many of us want to bring a change, a positive change  for ourselves and very next generation ? How many of us connect our experiences, observations, concerns, and connect all the dots and realize : Oh Yes this is what I wanted to do ? If you are one of such kind of person, you are really a unique one and really living life of your own dreams. One such person who connected the dots and realized to do his bit to work on the most challenging issue Climate change is ‘Abhishek’. He has taken the risk on every bit and is trying to create a positive impact to our lives by spreading knowledge and experience on that far away land, where he is going to have life time experience with adorable penguins and 1.3 km deep ice land walk, and the whales and the ice bergs, his ultimate aim is to bring all back to US and make us see the uninhabited, coldest, driest,  highly windy, the icy land of our Mother Earth. I believe that what he is going to do and what he is preparing to do right now is commendable, out of the box and noble enough to be supported. #Supportgurung2041.

Abhishek has an Army background. His father and forefathers have all served in Defense forces. Growing in the city of Mcleodganj, there were beautiful and challenging times that life gave him. Though Mcleodganj was about having roots in there, he did schooling from RIMC, Dehradoon. Life had a different take for him and his brother. While his elder brother moved to Australia and got settled there, Abhishek chose India to earn his living. Usage of Camera has always fascinated him and he continued to follow his passion, while he has been amateur photographer of wildlife, any natural beauty equally attracts him.

In his last few visits to his hometown, he observed the following-

  • –          Increase in the usage of Air conditioners every year, where even fan was not at all a requirement in early years of his life.
  • –          Decreasing snow fall year on year.
  • –          Drying of Natural Springs around villages resulting in irregularity in supply of water.
  • –          Diminishing variety of flowers that grow in season.
  • –          He says the anecdotes are endless
    The way I got to know about this expedition from him, he got to know from a friend who attended the expedition last year.

We all think of doing something unique in life for ourselves and for others. The difference between us and people like him is that He  did it in real. He was out there on the land of Antarctica to study the continent and share his study with us and be a teller of the effects that each bit that we do creates.


Abhishek’s Quest – Expedition to Antarctica

He was selected to participate in “Leadership on the Edge”- International Antarctic Expedition 2017 hosted by Robert Swan, OBE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCUeX7XdzW0) and 2041 (www.2041.com) March 5th to 15th, 2017 to Antarctica. 80 individuals are handpicked from around the world with the objective of engaging and inspiring the next generation of leaders. The main focus is to gain knowledge about today’s issues of climate change, renewable energy and how it affects our present and future, along with a better understanding of the continent’s fragile ecosystem; experiencing its unique wildlife and observing first-hand the impact of global warming effects on the landscape of Antarctica.

Why the expedition?

The atmosphere is being used as a sewer, the climate changing 10 times more drastically than predicted and the global warming rate reaching levels very, very close to the one that preceded the Permian mass extinction, the largest mass extinction in the history of the earth that wiped out 90% of all organisms on earth.

Significance – Why would One go?

When we, as the common people of the world, usually see something on the internet about a pressing problem or we listen to someone talk about it, or read articles about it, we probably spend a few minutes thinking about it and feeling bad about it – it strikes us, but it strikes us superficially. But when we live through a problem, or experience something larger than life, it actually becomes a part of us and truly instigates us. It changes the way we look at life and the world. The enormity of the issue strikes us in unimaginable ways and gives us that push to take real steps towards changing something. There are 7.5 billion people on this planet. It is impossible for one person, one organization or even multiple organizations to bring about global change unless they spread knowledge and inspiration through multiple agents of change – common people who have the potential. It is important to build such leaders out of common people from all walks of life so that they can take back to their communities whatever they’ve learned and hence drive environment conservation. In short, we need a revolution and agents of change. Historically, revolutions have stemmed from personal experiences. This expedition would be one such experience and you would be such an agent of change.

Abhishek’s Goal – before, during and after the expedition

His goal is to tell a coherent story from start to finish through pictures – a story about change that people can relate to. It will showcase the causal relationships between the choices we make in our normal everyday lives and the collective impact it has on the environment. We as people are such visual creatures. When you see a photo, suddenly it means something to you and you have a relationship with it. It’s a powerful political voice we have as photographers, and he wants to use it to raise awareness about climate change.
He is also experimenting with the video format at the same time. It will begin and end in Mcleodganj, as He takes the audience with him on a kaleidoscopic journey from the Himalayan Mountains, to the cities of urban India, to the Antarctic and back.
Finally, what he does with these visceral images is what will make the difference. Post the expedition, he is planning to exhibit his work to the world via to the following exhibitions:

• Various social media pages including 500px, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

• India Habitat Center, New Delhi

• The British Library, New Delhi

• The Blue Door Café, New Delhi

• The Photographic Angle (http://thephotographicangle.co.uk/)

Without this expedition he cannot complete his story. Through this expedition he wants to hone his leadership skills with a generation of leaders across the world through brainstorming on a common vision of combating the effects of climatic change

‘We are the last and the best hope of the Earth. He asks you to protect it. Or we and all living things we cherish today, will be history. The world is now watching. You will either be lauded by future generations or vilified by them.” – Leonardo DiCaprio

2041 Mission-

It is their mission to build personal leadership skills among people who choose to embrace the challenge of sustaining all forms of life – in their families, communities, organizations and the planet.

The vision for 2041 is to have committed leaders, emerging from every corner of society, and working together to create a sustainable world: Enlightened, Empowered, Engaged.

IAE- also called International Antarctic Expedition – IAE 2017 is all set to have the expedition to Antarctica this year in March from 5th to 15th.

The International Antarctic Expedition 2017 will be an exhilarating, unpredictable adventure and a life-changing experience for the international group of men and women joining Robert Swan and the 2041 team to the last great wilderness on Earth.

In this year’s expedition there was celebration of 14 years of successful exploration.

Abhishek is back and is excited enough to share everything that the eyes could see, the ears could hear and the mind could contain.  Few weeks more to go and his journey would be there on this page, a journey lived forever.

Keep doing good, read good, travel and be happy.

Keep travelling and exploring 😊😍 !

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  • Dr Manish Rastogi

    It’s really a very nice and inspiring topic explained the whole journey in such a majestic way

    April 4, 2017 - 6:01 pm Reply
    • admin

      Thank you for reading it. Further detailed story on this will be shared soon. The real experience in Antarctica!

      April 5, 2017 - 1:10 pm Reply

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