The illusive continent

28 Jul

OK, to live and work in every continent of the world before I’m 30. So far it’s going to plan, the last 6 years and 4 months I have ticked off, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania and I’m currently in South America. I have just over 2 years left to get to Antarctica and Africa. Africa will be easy enough, easy in the sense that I can make my own way there, live in a mud hut and do volunteer work. But Antarctica, that’s another story.

The previous years I have heavily researched how to gain work on the ice. I have annoyed the Antarctic recruiting staff and have completed the annual applications for work at the Antarctic bases, America’s 800 person Mcmurdo Base, the Australian bases and New Zealand’s Scott base. Unfortunately work at Mcmurdo was unsuccessful as I do not have an American work visa (and why would they go through the hassle of getting a kiwi a work visa when there’s 300 million capable Americans that can do the same job), and the Australian bases don’t have unskilled positions, they only hire skilled labour, eg geologists, electricians etc.

That leaves New Zealand’s Scott Base. I have applied there the past 2 years for the positions of cleaner and field assistant, but the competition is fierce. Most people find it quite comical that there’s such fierce competition to clean toilets in -40˚! Last year 100 people applied for 1 position. The position is always filled by a person who is a full-time professional cleaner. Although my application last year and this year were unsuccessful I will continue to apply the coming years.

So with work at the Antarctic bases giving me no love, it was time to be proactive. Tourism to Antarctica has quadrupled in the past decade with last season seeing 45,213 tourists visiting the frozen continent. The majority of these tourist vessels leave from Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. 2 months ago in Thailand I found out my second Scott base application was unsuccessful. After Thailand, most people’s next destinations are Laos, India, Vietnam etc, but it was no coincidence I chose Argentina as mine. As well as Argentina’s friendly people, great red wine, delicious meat and beautiful landscapes, it was also home to Ushuaia, the southernmost city, my door to Antarctica.

So now it’s time for me to find the key that will open that door to Antarctica. I’m currently in the process of contacting people to try and secure work for the upcoming season. If anyone has contacts for the Antarctic boats, or if anyone has any ideas how I can gain employment to the illusive continent I would be very appreciative. At the very least just put some positive thoughts out there for me. As if I get no love from Ushuaia you hear in international news of a frozen naked kiwi guy that chained himself to the pier in a bid to gain attention from the Antarctic employers!

Cheers Hap

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2 Responses to “The illusive continent”

  1. Jo August 3, 2009 at 9:40 pm #

    Like it Hap – Thinking outside the box (well box being land locked work)…Only wish I knew a person who liked making business out of life on the ice – I would bully them into giving you a berth. I’ll keep my ears open and my fingers crossed for you.

    • Hap August 6, 2009 at 6:50 am #

      Cheers mate, just cross those fingers for me. NBL Hap

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