When I first started traveling solo at what-I-thought-was-the-old-age of 26, I thought there was no way in hell I’d ever make it to my top bucketlist destination; Antarctica. It was just too expensive for formerly-broke-me, and as hard as I tried to pitch it as a collaboration (AKA for free in exchange for social media and blog posts), I was initially given a unanimous “you don’t fit our target demographic” or “we’re not interested in social media or blogs”.

Fast forward ten years later, and I’m about to head to Antarctica for the third time, and not even just for fun. For the second time it will be for business as well. Right now, I’m proud to say I’m one of the highest booking influencers for Antarctica trips, and that there are several others booking high amounts of their predominantly millenial “followers” as well.

The irony of course, is undeniably hilarious to me, and I can’t help but to wish to say “I told you so” to all of the companies that told me that millennials, especially the solo traveling ones, would never book enough trips to be thought of as their target market.

So what does all this have to do with a girl wearing a gown in Antarctica, and why am I writing a mini novel about it?

First and foremost, there is way more drama that goes on behind the scenes in the travel industry than what you see online. Not to mention, in every day life, especially for solo female travelers. Many of us have to constantly deal with judgement, stereotypes, rumors, lies, manipulation, and people who are out there to get us just for living our lives.

In the ten years I’ve been traveling and blogging/influencing, I’ve noticed the number one thing people like to judge me on, is what I look like and what I’m wearing. So every year I continue to step it up a notch. It started out with people whispering about me for wearing leggings and a long sleeved shirt while hiking in Iceland (as opposed to…khakis and a Northface jacket?). So the next time I went hiking, I brought a dress to put on over my clothes for a photo. I started doing it every time I hiked, and eventually in all locations I went to deemed as “adventurous”. Which was most of them.

The same sort of transition happened online as well. I went from refusing to show my face in any photos, or wear anything other than neutral colors (because I wanted to prove I could gain a following from my travels and not just my looks), to showing my face more and wearing whatever Extra outfits I wanted to while still going to all the bucketlist destinations. (Sidenote: this was also for branding purposes since more and more people started using my photos to grow IG accounts, and also more people started doing the exact same pose).

Anyway, when I finally got an Antarctica expedition company to accept my proposal for a collaboration (which I’ll get to soon), the first thing that came to my mind was, “I’m going to be the first solo female traveler to post photos in a long gown in Antarctica”. Why did I want to do it? Because I knew no one at the time probably thought a single, young, not-rich, woman, who wears dresses instead of “real” hiking clothes, would be going to Antarctica. Well, that and I just thought the photos would look nicer than the jackets they give everyone to wear. After all, going to Antarctica was a bigger deal to me than any red carpet event I’d ever been to, and if I wore a gown to those, I was definitely going to dress up in a gown for my 7th continent.

So I wore my gowns, several times, and as I expected, it was the first time anyone had ever seen something like it. In fact, the crew started referring to me as “the girl who wore dresses in Antarctica”, which is where I got the idea for the name of this post. It was also the first time many people saw a female travel influencer (the term was still relatively new), and also a group of solo millennials on an Antarctica expedition. To give you an idea of what the demographic was on the ship I was on; there was only about 10 people out of 200 under the age of 40, and my group and I were 6 of them.

But again, fast-forward 5 years later, and my recent group of 64 solo travelers helped make the majority of the demographic onboard my recent expedition predominantly female millenials. And guess what a lot of us wore? Gowns. Why? Because we want to wear whatever we want, and we are damn proud to be on that trip.

As you can probably imagine, we got a lot of stares, whispers, and even some negative comments onboard. That was to be expected. At least for me anyway.

After my first Antarctica expedition, and hearing about other millennial’s group trips to Antarctica, I knew there was bound to be drama. It’s pretty much inevitable when you’re stuck on a ship for ten or more days with the same people. Especially since it’s almost guaranteed that for every 20 positive people, there is 1 negative person who always gossips or stirs the pot (I get this stat because I’ve been hosting group trips for 7 years now, and there’s usually always one person who does this). Luckily there were only a few on the last ship, but it’s crazy how much drama just a few people can cause for so many others!

But not all drama is bad drama! On both of my expeditions to Antarctica, there has been life-long friendships formed, and a love story (or multiple), including me! Twice! …well kind of. The second time I may or may not have secretly hidden that my very recent ex was on the trip, and that we agreed not to speak until the very last day, which resulted in us basically being inseparable from then until we finally had to depart to our different holiday destinations. I’ll get into that as well.

There’s also so many incredible moments that happened that no one captured on camera. Things I’d love to share and remember, besides maybe the ones where I was sick for a full day on the Drake Passage.

An Antarctica expedition can very well be it’s own reality show, and I probably could have made it into one, had I not been busy 24/7 and had more time to film.

So if you’d like a good read, unlike any other Antarctica book or docu out there, drop your email and IG below, as the chapters will require a password to view them, in case I decide to publish this as an actual book.

Expect to hear all about:

  • How I finally got my first Antarctica collaboration
  • What my first expedition was like with only 10 millennials
  • How I fell in love on it and what it’s like trying to have a relationship on a ship with no service
  • Why I refused to do another group trip for several years
  • How I got convinced to do another one
  • How I got over 100 people to initially sign up
  • How we had to “jump ship” last minute because of covid
  • All of the Extra outfits and events we had
  • How I hid having my ex in our group for 16 days
  • Allllll the (anonymous)love stories
  • How epic the expedition crew is
  • My day to day struggles and successes hosting 64 people in Antarctica
  • The pool parties.
  • All of the magical moments on the landings and zodiac cruises
  • And A LOT more!