Living your dream

Underneath most e-mail, I’ve sent the past years there was a question: ‘What’s the value of dreams, if you don’t try to realise them?” Something I really believe in. It is good to have dreams, but it’s even better to try to achieve them. But when I looked at my own e-mails, I wondered, did I also live by this myself? I also have a dream, but do I try to realise it? Each time I get off the plane in Longyearbyen and step onboard one of Oceanwide’s expedition cruise ships it feels like I’ve come home. But each summer I also have to leave ‘home’ early because my teaching job is waiting for me in the Netherlands… And guiding in Antarctica is really not an option as I ‘only’ have two weeks Christmas holiday, too short to make the trip down south.

onboard MV Ortelius

Last year I told myself I had to make a decision. Either I would try to live my dream and try at least for a year to make a living as a guide, or I would have to give up dreaming and keep on combining teaching with a bit of guiding in summer. As I knew I would keep on regretting the second option, I decided to give it a try. This decision was made a lot easier as my school allowed me to take one year of unpaid leave, so I can really try it for one year.

So now it’s nearly time for me to start living my dream. Only a few weeks of teaching left and then I’m off to Spitsbergen. After hopefully a nice summer with some very special trips, I come home in autumn. And a few months later I hope to leave for a nice Antarctic season… I’m looking forward to what will be a very special year for me. Will it just be a year and will I go back to my also really nice school or that I keep living this dream for a while?

But for now, I’m all excited what next year will have in store for me. I hope to make many nice pictures and plan to keep you all updated with all things I see. That’s also the thing with dreams, you never know what will happen next…

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.


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