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The Crash after the High

People joke about “needing a vacation from their vacation.” Usually they are referring to being so exhausted from planes and activities. I felt like I needed a few days after my return - not to sleep - but to adjust back to real life. In Antarctica there are no cars. There’s no ringing telephones. You have the people with you, but this small traveling group doesn’t feel like “civilization.” I stood mere feet away from a waddling penguin gathering rocks to build his nest. How do I go back to my computer desk after that? It sounds dramatic, but anyone who has returned from Antarctica, knows that this is a heavy transition.
Leaving Antarctica.. Sad day!
Leaving Antarctica.. Sad day! (Rachel Shull)

I suggest following your expedition guides on social media. I follow accounts of icebergs and penguins on Instagram. That way, amid my mindless scrolling, I come across a shot of someone sharing their excitement over the same but changed landscapes, and I’m reminded of my own travels. This small injection of passion for life and excitement gets me through the monotony of “normal” life.  Look back at your own photos often. Photos never do it justice, but they are good reminders of the moments you had. 
Iceberg! (Rachel Shull)

When planning your trip, some might think it’d be good to plan a few days after Antarctica to explore other regions to help transition. Don’t do it. You’ll still be in a haze and the beauty of say, Patagonia will be overshadowed by lingering smells of penguins. Do your other sites first. Let these all build up to one epic finale. That is one thing I would change if I had complete control over my life (haha) - I would save Antarctica for last. I haven’t even been to Europe or Asia and fear these will fall short of my Southern Polar Memories… I guess I’ll just have to go there and find out!

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