Every day in Antarctica, I was surprised by those small moments. When we exchanged feedback to team members in every AAR (After-Action-Review) , when we shared our personal stories and laughed to death, when we crowded in the tent playing poker games, when we heard the guide singing his original song “I shxt alone” in the new year’s talent show, when we jumped into the cold sea water after counted down to 2018, when we sat in our tent while the baby seals randomly gazing back at us, and when Allie our food person cooked those quesadilla (god I am hungry typing these).
But I was most surprised by the people I got to know there. At Wharton, while we were recruiting and going to classes and parties, we do not get to see people from different dimensions. It is fascinating to see someone so different from what you normally would expect from him. For example, I got to see how a small body can endure so much under extreme conditions. I was also surprised to find out a person who’s usually positive and strong can also become emotional and reveal his soft and vulnerable side.
I also learnt more about myself. Before the venture, I had never done camping or any outdoor activities. Throughout the venture, I was amazed by the fact that human body can be stretched to the extreme extent and I was way stronger than I thought to be. I also learnt that sometimes I cared about myself too much. I am nothing compared to the earth, nature, and everything the universe has created. Of course, I learnt a valuable lesson about teamwork & leadership. There is so much to reflect on every day, whether we were the leader or the follower. I reflected on the decisions I made every day and analyzed them to understand the causes and consequences. I observed other people’s leadership style and learned from them. It is a journey of self-discovery and self-exploring that I will never forget.