Ode to Laurie Island
Every so often in life, you get to meet people that shift you in a way you don’t expect. This happened to me while I was on my trip to Antarctica. My cabin mate Laurie was extraordinary, so I thought I’d write about her since she was a significant part of my stories during my Antarctic Voyage. I’ll also explain the “Island” part of her name. I think I might always call her Laurie Island in the future.
In order to afford the trip to Antarctica, most solo travelers opt for the cabin-share option on the boat, otherwise it’s like buying a car. The trip begins in Ushuaia where you spend one night in a hotel in the city. If you opt for the sharing option, this is where you will meet your cabin mate for the trip. I arrived to Ushuaia a day before so I had the opportunity to explore the town a bit on my own. I was already in the room so I had settled in a bit. Our trip officially began on February 14th. I had toured the National Park in the morning so I was in the room relaxing when Laurie walked in. She walked in and right away we shook hands and introduced ourselves. She shared right away about her recent travels to the Arctic and we talked about our travels of the past year. She was quite energetic and vivacious. We decided to go out and walk around the town a bit. Since I had already explored, I took the lead and we walked around and I showed her the main drag. I learned she lives in San Francisco, is retired, and loves animals! We continued to talk about travels and our lives and shared details about what we were expecting for our trip. More importantly, we talked about what brought us to this point in our lives.
This began our communication which I appreciated. Open and all out there. Right away I could tell Laurie was caring and understanding, with a big heart. She was a combination of go with the flow, with a bit of prep sprinkled in. As we got to know each other during the trip, we had a lot of good laughs and some fun talks. Sometimes staying up late just talking away until we realize it’s 1am. I think the funnest part is when we would be triggered by a single word, and then one of us would break out in song, and the other would chime in. I don’t think I’ve met another person that knows as many songs from Musicals as Laurie. We had a lot of laughs singing to our hearts content. We agreed not to sing publicly because we know we would completely annoy those around us.
Now the name. On the way to Antarctica we stopped by the Orkney Islands. I don’t believe this was a planned stop, it was done on the fly and it was to break up three days at sea. One of the Islands was called Laurie Island. Laurie was beyond excited to have an Island named after her. We were going to stop at the Orcadas Station which had Argentinian military and scientists stationed there for 1 year.
So this is how Laurie became Laurie Island. I am happy to have met such a happy and positive person on the trip. It made it that much more meaningful.
Here are pictures of Laurie Island; until we meet again!
Per my previous post, I know I’m supposed to go into detail of my Antarctica trip, but I’m taking a bit to write about Buenos Aires while I’m still here.
I had a nice day, sleeping in and enjoying the air conditioning. It’s summer and about 90 degrees. I got ready for the day and took a taxi to the Palermo district of the city. I intended to go to a restaurant that ended up being permanently closed. The taxi driver said I should walk a block south to another restaurant called, La Cabrera. Turns out it’s in the top 50 best restaurants of Latin America! Score!! On the taxi ride, I couldn’t help but remember my late husband, Chris. It was almost exactly 6 years ago that we explored Buenos Aires on our honeymoon.
I noticed the restaurant had plates in its walls of guests’ experiences, so I decided to add my own.
After lunch I walked around for a bit and came across a bookstore. I went in and I bought a book on the discovery of the Antarctic Peninsula in Spanish for my dad. It was crazy hot so I decided to get a taxi and then made it back to the hotel.
I can’t believe this trip is coming to an end. In a few hours I’ll be headed back to reality and busy with every day life. I feel incredibly grateful for the amazing journey and people I met along the way. I can’t wait to see my new friends again!
I am back on land after spending almost three weeks on a boat stopping at several islands en route to my 7th continent: Antarctica. I’m in Ushuaia as of this post, landed this morning. I’ll post some pics, and will elaborate on each landing on future posts. It was an epic experience!
Have passport, will travel.