Why Bother? The Arctic Has Already Been Explored

Why bother when the north pole has already been explored? That was the question one of my friends recently threw my way.

At first, I had to admit he did have a point. Man has already reached the highest and lowest places on Earth. The human race has explored the very darkest depths of the jungles, trekked across vast, inhospitable swathes of desert. Walked, skied and cycled to the heart of the coldest places on the planet.

Many of these achievements were made in the late 1800's and early 1900's; extraordinary expeditions without the benefit of modern technology. Think about it: trade in your GPS for a sextant; shrug off you Jack Wolfskin cold weather gear and don some beaver pelts; sail a wooden hulled ship to the Arctic and risk death before you even get to the ice. That's pretty much how it worked back in the 'bad old days'.

I'm merely following in the footsteps of truly great, and incredibly hardy, men who have gone before me.

I don't compare myself to them. Well, okay, I do, but only in a self-deprecating manner. Given my first trip with cover 220km, it's nowhere near the full 600km covered by those early explorers. In 2017/2018 I will go back and complete the full tour.

For a few moments I felt an unusual sensation; uncertainty about the reasons why. I mulled over the question, smiled and said, 'What else are you going to do  with your life? Spend forty years working in an office, retire and wait for the last day?'

Yes, the answer was pretty harsh. Those were my thoughts. I'm not chasing those iron men of yesterday. I'm not seeking to become a demi-god like Ranulph Fiennes. I'm not even interested in the fame that comes with celebrity status in any chosen field of work.

No, for me the answer is simple (and I've covered some aspects when I wrote about the urges that drive us: this is about a new way of life.

This is about what I want out of life and the difference I can make to the lives of others.

Will I scale the lofty heights of those who have gone before me? Yes, but I don't see myself as being the equal of those hardened explorers who have blazed trails so long ago. Instead the intention is to prove that, even though the trip to North Pole is a pretty arduous journey it can be done by ordinary people like you and me.

That's why I bother: to show the world that, even though this journey has already been completed by many, there's still room to fit a little adventure into our lives. Maybe I'll even inspire a few of you to get out there and see the true beauty of the world and embark on a direction in life.