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July 1, 2005 at 2:08 am #850
Possibly jumping the gun, but I do have a tendency toward the long view/thinking things to death… Anyway, what kind of plans do you make for the end of your season? I’m afraid my ability to fully enjoy my experience would be hampered by my pre-occupation with the end… Do people just go back to the states and hope for the best (job wise, housing wise, etc etc) Ok, a dumb questions this might be, but if you’re someone who thinks similarly to me you may know it all too well….
Thanks again, Bing 🙄July 1, 2005 at 5:58 am #8215
Very good question…you can’t just stay at the ice until retirement! What’s everyone do between trips south? Take time off? Odd jobs?July 1, 2005 at 12:52 pm #8216
It’s actually one of the most important questions, one most people don’t think of. Well done.
You have to figure it out for yourself… Speaking only for myself, I originally thought I would just pop back into a stable, full-time job after my first contract. HA! I laugh now. The Ice totally screwed me up.
These days I look 2-3 years ahead, making casual plans about what I’d like to do, on the Ice, traveling, and at home, and then see how it all shakes out. It took a long time, but I have surrendered to the insecurity of it all. Somehow it will all work out.
8)July 1, 2005 at 1:13 pm #8217
Some of the things I’ve done after previous contracts…
– Immediately started training for the next contract, with only a month off. Not recommended.
– Traded in my return-home ticket and scuba-dove my way around the world. That was epic.
– Took a software engineering contract for a mailing list company. Borrrrinnnng.
– Got a job as a commercial diver. Ultimately a disasterous decision, but interesting for a while.
– Rode ferry boats up and down the Inside Passage in Alaska, camping and hiking. Highly recommended.
– Worked for a year as a global climate modeling programmer.
– Went on a self-guided wildlife photography expedition in the Falkland Islands. Awesome.
– Hung out in South America, doing a bit of trekking in Patagonia, Chile, and Easter Island. Muy bueno!
– Spent 6 weeks in Fiji, island hopping and diving my brains out.
– Backpacked around New Zealand. World class.
– Flew kites, drank microbrew, and remodeled my house for a summer. I think I want to do that again.
I have an Ice friend who is currently Kayaking down the Missouri (sp?) river. The whole thing. Last year he finished the PCT, and two years ago the AT. Whoa. That give you some ideas? I keep threatening to go back to school or start a business, but the idea hasn’t quite achieved critical mass yet.July 1, 2005 at 6:26 pm #8218
WOW!!! 😯July 1, 2005 at 8:24 pm #8219
Each person is different but personally the first thing I want to do is get home. I’ll spend a couple weeks in New Zealand and then head back to the states. After I feel a bit less overwelmed I usually take a trip out to visit an old friend. After my first winter I went to Mexico for a week and then visited some friends on the east coast. The next year I headed to Alaska, which I recommend. Than last time I took a year off and moved to California. Suprisingly working here helpped me out. They want to interview you just to ask about the place. Also the job I ended up with hired me because I had experience with DOS. (Our inventory system is a Dos based program, called MAPCON.)
Of course it all depends on whether you plan on coming back. If you want to come down just to experience the place, maybe you can get a leave of absence from your job. The place I worked for before starting here encouraged me to go and told me that I was welcomed back if I decided that “The Ice” wasn’t for me. Believe me, if you come down, a lot of people will want to live vicariously through you.July 2, 2005 at 3:49 am #8220
Wow, Glenn. So you worked on the ice and then travled with your savings and then worked on the ice again? Maybe that sounds prying, but I am trying to make the bigger picture. Well, I would like to travel. But maybe you saw in another post, I always the the insurance concerns. And Feb is an akward time to be free since so many things start from the fall, like grad school… Hmm Antarctica is right when I should be knee deep in the application process… (well, should be doesn’t mean want to be, but whatever.)July 2, 2005 at 4:10 pm #8221
Yeah, I used to spend about half of what I earned traveling after the Ice. The trips could be big because I worked long contracts. Lately I’ve been less interested in traveling, at least in the low-budget backpacker sense, and more interested in saving and building a home — but I don’t reget the traveling for an instant.
A lot of people just travel between contracts and never go home. It’s an alluring idea…
It’s all a trade-off, of course. House or travel? Job security or freedom? I’ve become used to having 3-6 months off each year, and I never want to give that up. It seems like many Ice people who come down year after year eventually end up doing the same thing: they identify some beautiful place where they want to live — e.g., Alaska or Montana or Maine — and build a house there. 💡July 5, 2005 at 2:50 am #8222
My wife and I almost always spend a month or so in New Zealand, then make a stop somewhere else on the way home. Last year we took off a year and spent a month in NZ another month in the cook islands, a couple of months in california with relatives. flew to baltimore to visit parents and pick up a motorhome, then drove around the US from the end of Feb to June, went to Baja for a week during the 4th of july, 10 days in Puerto Vallarta and then back to the ice in August.
Previous years- Austrailia Fiji etcAugust 23, 2005 at 5:24 pm #8223
I always spend at least 2-3 weeks in NZ…just to warm up (chill out) and get used to green again, and then back to the US.
I always put aside money for one in the family to come and meet me after I’ve been on the ICE for 5-7 months…sort of a bribe I guess, but it really helps when my wife of many years or my son flies down and meets me for a few weeks of travel in NZ.
Life after the ICE is different…..your perspective is soooooo changed! Yea, I admit that I’m in love with the Ice and that I have developed a second family there. My “real” family accepts this and have adapted to my “ICE” lifestyle. It takes a lot of love to make it happen!
When I get back to the states I have a few months to get caught up on all the “honey do” lists…then back into the cycle of PQing and prepping for my return th Mac Town.August 23, 2005 at 11:40 pm #8224
I like that idea… Fly someone down to travel with you after the Ice! The only problem is that most people are stuck working in their jobs except for 2 weeks a year and can’t break away. Yeeech.
@AGE Dave wrote:
Life after the ICE is different…..your perspective is soooooo changed!
Agreed. It gives you a completely different perspective on things. The rest of the world seems so… crazy.August 24, 2005 at 4:16 am #8225julieMember
Glenn, you said in an earlier post that life on the Ice really screwed you up.
In what way did it screw you up?
Cheers, Julie (a first time poster! 🙂 )August 24, 2005 at 8:21 am #8226
It screws you up because all your life you think of work as the daily grind with 2 weeks vacation a year. Now at the end of your contract working in one of the most spectacular places in the world, you get dropped off in New Zealand, with a free ticket home whenever you want. You have money in your pocket and you don’t have to be back at work for 12 to 24 weeks. I’m not sure I could ever go back to normal life.
MikeAugust 24, 2005 at 12:40 pm #8227
Hi Julie, welcome.
Mike’s right — this idea that you have to work all year and only have a little time off, it’s wrong-headed. I’ve tried going back to a “normal” job several times and just hated it. More than that, it makes you question all the dogma you’ve been taught about working and living. Why shouldn’t you have a job you enjoy? Why should you feel guilty for taking six months or even a whole year off? Why work your butt off for 50 years before retiring, only to be too old to travel and enjoy life?
People let themselves get trapped in jobs they hate because of some comforting notion of job security (which means less these days than it ever did). It was really scary😯 the first time I broke free of that, but afterwards it was liberating. Now I can’t return to those social norms of what working is suppose to be.August 24, 2005 at 5:18 pm #8228
It’s been said that there are 3 stages of Antarctic Development.
first you come to antartica for the adventure.
Second the money is good and when the adventure gets old you still come back for the cash.
Third. You get so used to the lifestyle that you cant return to normal life.
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