Canadians Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the writers behind popular blog The Planet D. They’re full-time travellers who gave up the rat race in 2008 to follow their dream. And if you look at the map on their website, you’ll see they’ve visited pretty much everywhere on the globe. So when Dave told me that Antarctica was his favourite place on the planet, you know that it must be special.
“It’s kind of an odd one because it’s so out of the way and off the beaten track,” explained Dave. “But I just love it for its nature and beauty. You feel like you’re on the edge of the world. Combine it with the wildlife and you’ve got everything you could want in a destination.”
Dave said just getting across to Antarctic was an adventure. “We were on an expedition ship and we spent almost two weeks down there. We had to cross the Drake Passage, which was an experience in itself. It’s the roughest seas in the world. It put a lot of people down!”
Dave and Debra were on a two-week tour, but they said it didn’t become boring. “There are so many things to do down there,” he told me. Debra agreed. ”There are zodiac tours, you can go hiking across glaciers or interact with penguins. It’s really busy from morning until night,” she told me.
Debra said the wildlife is amazing, and you can get very close. “The wildlife doesn’t know to fear humans, so they’re really curious. You’ll have whales breach beside you and penguins approaching you. It’s pretty incredible.” Dave said he particularly enjoyed kayaking in Antarctica. “There’s really nothing like dipping your paddle in the water and paddling through ice next to leopard seals. They’re the kind of moments that you see on National Geographic.”
And the wildlife provided more special moments for the couple, including an encounter with whales. “My favourite moment was watching a mother humpback whale and her calf breech for 45 minutes,” said Dave. “The crew had never seen it happen for that long. It was like they were putting on a show for us and they didn’t want it to stop.”
But even though Dave and Debra were visiting one of the most remote and inhospitable places on earth, they said the experience was actually pretty comfortable. “It was more of a luxury trip than a real, hard expedition. We had a nice bar where we could sit at night and a five-course meal at dinner to talk about our day. That was a real nice way to see Antarctica!”
You can read more about Debra and Dave’s experiences in Antarctica and their travels all over the world at ThePlanetD.com.