INTERVIEW: ROBERT SWAN, ANTARCTIC EXPLORER

In February 2013 I joined a group of individuals selected to journey to Antarctica on an expedition with Robert Swan – living legend and the first man to walk to both poles.

robert swan

We joined Robert’s organisation – 2041 – which is working to protect Antarctica come the year 2041 when the treaty which currently bans drilling, ownership and sabotage of the continent and its wildlife is up for renewal. In short, 2041’s mission is to protect the world’s last great wilderness forever.

We should have the sense to leave one place on Earth alone forever

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Visiting this continent so rich with wildlife and wonderfully barren from human intervention left me with a huge sense of responsibility and passion for helping to protect the continent. Rob, as you’ll see from the below interview, is a fascinating man with a fantastic cause and it’s a pleasure to share this interview with you on the blog:

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START 2041?

My walk to the South Pole was most influential. During that expedition I realised I was standing on a continent nearly twice the size of Australia that holds 70% of Earth’s fresh water supply. I felt a powerful sense of responsibility to do something greater…

iceberg in Antarctica

WHICH WAS THE HARDEST, YOUR FIRST OR SECOND EXPEDITION TO THE POLES?

Indeed, both expeditions were challenging but the South Pole is mentally harder. It can really get to you. On the contrary, North Pole is physically harder.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE IN THE WORLD AND WHY?

Antarctica is my favourite place in the world, simply because it’s the most hopeful place on Earth and because no one owns it.

iceberg in Antarctica

WHO IS YOUR BIGGEST INSPIRATION?

Jacques-Yves Cousteau is my biggest inspiration along with Sylvia Earle. I have a huge respect for all they’ve done on an environmental level and how their legacies have continued on and will for years to come.

WHAT’S YOUR MOTTO FOR LIFE?

My motto for life is: begin it NOW.

Penguin in AntarcticaWHAT TOP THREE PIECES OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO TRAVELLERS NOWADAYS?

I think the following are absolutely essential for today’s travellers:

  • Disconnect to reconnect. You MUST appreciate what’s around you and not through a lens.
  • Travel light. This will ensure you’re comfortable and can be ‘on the go’ quickly!
  • Give back as you go. This is a given—not all of us in this world are privileged. Always share when and where you can.

2041 Antarctica

HOW CAN WE HELP PROTECT ANTARCTICA?

I think it all begins with awareness, and formulating a special connection. One can also visit our new website, www.2041.com and come to the Antarctic; thus, become a champion!

The next 2041 Antarctic expedition takes place early 2016. If you want to help protect Antarctica, apply now. No feeling can compare than taking a step on the world’s last great wilderness.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Kim April 27, 2015 / 2:22 pm

    No wonder you find this man so inspirational…

    • harriet April 28, 2015 / 6:07 am

      Hey Kim. Yep, fascinating man!

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