I hated Geography as a child but loved history. I can still tell the date/year of most historical events, I probably can tell the capitals of most countries, but not their borders, not even where the International date line is. But there are things I remember from my Geography student days. I can still see myself sitting in my STD X division B classroom and my geography teacher Molly Kochamma teaching us about the Earth’s magnetic poles and why magnetic south pole is actually a north seeking pole. I remember thinking, how wonderful it would be If I visited all these magical places. But Amma was a firm believer that, one should only dream achievable dreams . Then, I was living in a tiny rented house in Kottayam without a father and there was not much I was allowed to dream. But I read every single book published about Antarctica, ( Amundsen, the first person to fly over the North Pole ( 1926) and was the first person to reach the South Pole( 1911) and the legendary Mawson. ( those from Australia would know who he is. http://www.antarctica.gov.au/about-antarctica/history/people/douglas-mawson) were my heroes.)
Though I wasn’t allowed to dream much as a child, I learned over the years that you can dream really big. It is true that sometimes your dreams don’t happen, but I learned that it is better to live with a few disappointments in life than a life lived with no dreams.
Yesterday, I was part of the Qantas first inaugural flight from Brisbane to Antarctica ( 11737 km trip), I crossed the south Magnetic pole, saw my first icebergs ( I laughed thinking about my community medicine answer to iceberg phenomenon question and how I was called Ms Titanic for a very long time), current Antarctic base, Mawson’s hut and a great expanse of ice.
I will be 43 in March and I have crossed both the North and the South Magnetic poles, crossed the arctic circle, swam in all the 5 great oceans and lived more than a year in Asia, Europe, North America and Australia and visited Antarctica. I now only have South America and Africa to do in my list.
Not bad for a town mouse eh?