Interview with our guest: First time in Antarctica
43 Blue Doors' Travel Writer Bonnie was our guest onboard Ocean Atlantic to the Antarctic continent.
Bonnie and Trin are a couple of avid travelers who started retirement early to be able to travel the world, one continent at a time. They document their journeys and lessons-learned on their website, 43bluedoors, including the challenges and financial aspects involved, as well as some great photos. Recently, Bonnie Truax decided to fulfill her dream of visiting Antarctica, and joined us as a guest onboard Ocean Atlantic. In this Article, she tells us about her decision to start this nomadic lifestyle, tips for fellow travelers, and what she enjoyed the most about her first visit to the Antarctic region.
The Website: 43bluedoors is a blog about freedom, travel and financial stories. It introduces the concept of finding one’s blue doors of opportunity.
Where did this concept come from, and what does it mean?
A: My husband and I retired when we were 43 because we longed to travel and see the world. Many have asked us how we retired at the age of 43. My husband always answered, “We drove a beige car with a blue door.” In other words, we lived very frugally. We loved our lifestyle but stayed out of debt and saved most of what we earned. This gave us the freedom to retire early.
The blue door concept became a symbol of freedom. I always think of blue skies and doors of opportunity that gave us our freedom but it’s not all by chance. None of us can control the things that sometimes happen to us all but we can control our choices and how we respond to the world. Those choices are often a key to freedom.
The goal in our blog is to provide little snippets of views into other places and cultures that can expand our way of thinking that give us a bit more freedom.
Nomadic Lifestyle: Bonnie and Trinity lead a ‘nomadic’ life and write about their adventures online.
How long have you led this lifestyle for?
A: My husband and I have been nomadic since 2016. In October of 2016, we booked a one-way ticket to Costa Rica to start our new lifestyle of slow travel exploring one continent at a time.
What are the pros and cons of such a lifestyle?
The biggest benefit of this lifestyle of slow travel is freedom. We can decide when we arrive at each location, how long we want to stay or readily change our plans based on whatever we find out along the way. It also gives us the freedom to discover other passions like writing and learning blogging technology and marketing. The drawback to slow travel is that we don’t see our friends and family as often as we'd like.
What were the main reasons why you started this journey? What would you change or take back from having started this lifestyle?
A: Both my husband and I had great careers and loved our jobs for many years. However, when the environment of our company turned extremely hostile, we knew it was time to move on. That was when we truly realized the power of our simple lifestyle and the savings it allowed us to build up. We sold our home and everything in it to free us up to travel non-stop. We don’t have any plans to go back to a traditional job.
We have not regretted our decision even once. If anything, we wish we had done it sooner. We love our new lifestyle and I am enjoying my new passion for writing. The next few years will most likely take us to the Philippines, New Zealand, and Australia. One continent at a time, it will take us years to see the world and we love that.
Connections & Technology: Our world is now very connected due to the internet and social media technologies.
How have your website and blog benefitted your experiences?
A: The exercise of writing the blog forces me to notice more and to do more research. When visiting new places, I often ask myself how I can describe it to give my readers a glimpse into other places. Because of this, I notice more, little things that make the experiences that much better. I also want there to be something to learn in each post and want to ensure I have my facts correct. This forces me to do a lot of research before and as I’m writing the blog. I learn more as a result of writing the blog.
What are some of the best connections established through the internet?
A: The internet is how I found Albatros Expeditions. A random guy on a Facebook page about South American travel pointed me in the right direction. It led to an epic end to my exploration of South America.
Travel to Antarctica
Was this your first visit to the seventh continent?
A: This was my first visit to Antarctica, but it is continent number five for me. We have a lot more travel planned.
What were your favorite moments of your voyage onboard Ocean Atlantic?
A: My favorite moments were stepping on Antarctica for the first time, along with moments seeing thousands of Penguins, and the sea ice was simply amazing.
What I enjoyed most about the Albatros Expeditions team were their expertise and backgrounds. We were surrounded by a team who knew what they were doing, with years of experience and who put the passengers first.
A few of my favorite moments on the ship were simply listening to the stories of the Expedition team. Some of them were stationed in Antarctica for long lengths of time, many experienced expeditions at both poles, and have conducted overland expeditions that were much more intense than what we would experience on the ship. The team really was a huge part of what made the expedition so amazing.
What would you recommend for people planning their trip to the Antarctic region?
A: Go, just go. Antarctica is simply amazing. For most people, this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip. I would encourage others to also add the Falklands and South Georgia to the trip if you can swing it. If you are going once get it all in and do it right.
Look for a ship with less than 200 people. The most remote and most beautiful places limit the number of people on land. There is no feeling quite like walking on South Georgia and Antarctica, feeling the warmth of the sun, the cold dry wind and penguins coming up to check out what is happening.
To read the articles Bonnie wrote about her Antarctic experience, click here:
Special thanks to Bonnie Truax for this interview and photos.