Antarctica: In the Eye of the Storm

At AdventureWomen, the destination is just the beginning. It’s the people you meet along the way, the women you travel with, the experiences you have that make an adventure special. At AdventureWomen we’ve always been different. We truly care about each and every one of our travelers. From the first time a traveler calls to when she returns from her first, fifth, tenth, or 45th trip, we care. We ask how your elderly mother is, if your sciatica is better, how was the move, and what’s new with the grandkids. We don’t get to meet many of you, but we feel like we know you. We consider you friends.

It’s rare that we get to share a crisis we navigated with all of you, and I wanted to explain to you what it means to have the AdventureWomen team on your side in these times of uncertainty.

It was a Friday morning when we learned Argentina was stopping flights to/from the US from Monday night at 11:59pm. Sixteen Adventure Women were on a ship sailing from Antarctica to Ushuaia, Argentina, due to dock on Monday, with flights home on Tuesday. Our team jumped into action. With limited Wi-Fi on the ship, and airlines completely overloaded with emergency requests, we knew our travelers would have trouble rebooking their flights to get out on time. With the help of our AdventureWomen Ambassador onboard, we chatted with each traveler individually to arrange the best option for the journey home. By the end of that Friday, we had new reservations and new tickets for each of our 16 women, and they all took off from Buenos Aires on Monday at 11:00pm. (Sadly, many of the other passengers on the ship had trouble securing flights, while our women were able to enjoy the cruise’s final weekend, knowing we’d taken care of them.)

Sounds easy, right? Not at all. It meant that one of us cancelled her vacation to be on the phone all day. It meant that the entire AdventureWomen team sprang into action confirming where each and every passenger needed to fly to, what their prior arrangements were, who was booking their new flights and cancelling the old ones, and who was returning calls to concerned family members. It meant missed appointments, missed lunches, ignored inboxes. But at the end of the day, we all felt proud. We felt like a team of rockstars. We felt like we were able to support our women in a way that we always knew we could, but don’t usually get the chance to show.

We’re living in uncertain times. None of us are good at uncertainty. We’re used to knowing everything and having most information at our fingertips. What I do know is that as soon as we are all able to move about freely again, I’ll be frequenting my local restaurants and tipping as well as I can. I want to be able to support people again – that is an amazing feeling that I have come to cherish. I hope our intrepid Adventure Women will also be ready to explore the world with us again. We rely on our amazing in-country teams all over the world and want to operate trips with them as soon as it is safe to do so. Tourism has many ripples; if you go on a trip to Nepal, not only are you supporting the careers, and families, of your guides, drivers, porters, and hotel staff, but you also are helping them to give back to their local communities.

I don’t know when any of us will feel comfortable traveling again. But I am certain that when you’re ready, the staff at AdventureWomen will be here – waiting to be with you every step of your journey. We miss helping you explore the world, and we can’t wait to get back to it.