photo-1Today I find myself sitting in a peaceful, glass room located on top of IIaia hotel, our home away from home while we continue to wait for the weather to break so we can fly to Antarctica.  Instead of calling in a voice blog, I decided to write this one since we have internet access for another day. (We are not bringing a computer to Antarctica but will leave voice blogs each day.)

Soft piano music and distant sounds of birds fill the air; the intense Chilean sun warms my body, relaxes my mind.  As I look out the window to the South, I see large whitecaps caused by the 30-35 mph winds that greeted us earlier during our morning jog.  Marty sits next to me on the salmon couch; he’s taking the extra time to learn advanced features of our new Canon camera.

I just got off the phone with my friend Leni back in North Bend; we were testing technology that she’ll use to send us questions while we are in Antarctica that are submitted on our website.   Earlier we spoke to our son Keenan.  As Marty was wrapping up our call he said, “Keenan, how are you doing with us being gone?  You know we really miss you.”  The heartfelt way Marty asked the question instantly brought tears to my eyes.  It’s been a week since we left home, the longest we have ever been away from Keenan (and we aren’t even in Antarctica yet).

With all of the last minute preparations complete, we have a little extra time to think and contemplate before we hit the ice.  Reflecting on the past 3 years, Marty and I chatted about how much time and money we’ve invested in this adventure.  Why an adventure and not a cabin in the mountains, a boat or  new luxury car?  It’s simple.  We believe this adventure will shape the next decade of our lives, like the way a birth puts your life on a certain trajectory.  And if we are lucky, we may just send waves of inspiration to the kids that are following along, including our son.

LewisThe first day that we arrived in Punta Arenas we met, Lewis Clarke, a 16-year old sturdy Brit who plans to ski with a guide to the South Pole.  If he makes it, he will be the youngest to ever complete the journey.   When I asked him where he got the idea, he told me that at the age of 13, his interest peaked when he heard a firsthand story of a local man going to the South Pole.  Now, a few days after turning 16, Lewis waits to take the same plane as us to Antarctica.  His mother emailed me the day we arrived to let me know I would likely meet her son, and that while I was missing Keenan back home (she was following our blog), she was missing her son while he was here.  Mothers connected across the oceans.

Also staying at our hotel is Vesa Luomala, a Finn who will attempt to ski solo to the South Pole.  We’ve enjoyed his humble demeanor, friendly smile, and his quiet confidence in his ability to take on the upcoming challenge.  Throughout our week in Punta Arenas we’ve met most of the teams preparing themselves to depart.  We gain a sense of camaraderie as we head out on our own.

Recent posts on Adventure Blog and ExplorersWeb  highlight some of the other teams waiting here in Punta Arenas, Chile.  We wish Lewis, Vesa and all the other teams the best on their various ventures in Antarctica.

Showing 7 comments
  • Jacqueline Fairbrass

    Great post. So glad you had time to sit and contemplate.

    I’m actually a little teary from reading this: the bonds over the miles, the 16 year old with amazing family support and how you shared setting up the next decade with your family. Living vicariously…you know this would not be a bucket list for me…but totally getting the inspirational vibe.

    Keep posting. xox

    • Chris Fagan

      Thanks Jacqueline!

  • Liz Michaels

    Hi! Enjoying reading it. Nikki is reading along as well. She is impressed and i think inspired – thanks for posting! – Liz & chicago crew

    • Chris Fagan

      Thanks Liz – hopefully we’ll be posting from Antarctica soon!

  • Tina (Storey) Novak


    • Chris Fagan

      Wow, great to hear that you’ll be following along from Illinois!

  • Becky Nunn

    Just got word that your flight will be today. I’m sitting at Marty’s computer as I write this, with tears flowing from my eyes. I’m looking over at the photos on the wall of the earlier explorers that have been your inspiration. Thinking of each of you visualizing this moment for the past 3 years in this very room. Your son has just put a cherry pie in the oven with Brett and is now playing wi with Emillia and Isabella. It is the best Thanksgiving to be in your house with your son, sleeping in your bed, eating from your plates. I am in awe of your commitment to yourselves and this adventure.

    A couple questions for you:
    1. With all of that gear (just watched all of the videos on the site) how will you and Marty keep everything separate. Do you each have certain colors to easily identify who’s is who’s?
    2. Will you see others out there on the ice? Once you start the expedition, is there any chance you will see the 16 year old boy who will attempting to be the youngest?
    3. Did Theo sponsor you? Should be!!
    4. Will you have any type of journal that you write in?

    Keenan is doing great. At dinner last night, I asked him “so Keenan, how has it really been for you?”. His response was “Well, so far so good. It has only been a week and a half so life seems pretty normal. I’m sure by week three this will get much harder.”. I reassured him that whenever he wanted the Nunn’s, we would come over and pick him up. He seemed to like that idea. I think he is really enjoying having us here. It is like a big sleepover.

    This morning when he woke up, I was in the family room. He came in and snuggled up in a bean bag. He then got a huge smile and jumped up stating “I have my daily notes to read!”. He is so loving that daily connection with you.

    Alright, time to dry my eyes and see what help Brett needs.

    Love you both!


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