Q. Why did you decide to send your application to join the Antarctica expedition in 2022?
A. In the beginning I was unsure whether to participate or not. Not only did I think there was not much I could bring to the table but I also convinced myself that my colleagues were probably better suited for the task of spreading awareness on climate change and the end of neutrality in the Antarctic continent. However, I ended up realizing (with the help of Robert Swan’s videos and speeches) that downplaying our own importance in this fight and pushing responsibility onto others is exactly what is keeping us from taking meaningful strides to resolve this crisis. If we want change, everyone has to do their part. And so, I decided to throw my hat in the ring.
Q. Why climate change is important to you?
A. Climate change should be important to us all. I find reversing the effects of climate change to be extremely important because no other goal really matters if we do not have a planet we can live in. What is the point of having the most amount of money, having the best job, the best family if the planet itself is constantly trying to get rid of us. The same way you start building a house by building its foundations and only then do you get the walls, flooring, etc, we have to make sure there is actually an actual tomorrow we can live in before we solely focus on our personal (and sometimes selfish) goals.
Q. How do you feel about being selected to join the expedition?
A. I feel ecstatic. I did not expect to win and I think it will only truly sink in once I set foot on Antarctica. Until then I will be thinking this is some kind of super elaborated prank.
Q. What’s your favourite thing about this opportunity?.
A. Being able to set foot on such a remote place while accompanied by like minded people.
Q. What do you expect to get from this experience?
A. I would like to listen and understand the several approaches all of the people involved will have to fight climate change. Different backgrounds will yield different answers and that will allow me to get a broader view on the problem and possible solutions to implement myself.
Q. What’s the thing you are looking forward to the most about the expedition?
A. Hiking across glaciers and climbing up the highest point possible to take in the entire beauty of the Antarctic continent. This plus swimming in the icy waters. I hate cold water but I will hate myself even more if I do not do it.
Q. How do you feel about coming back and help others to understand climate change and its consequences?
A. I think transferring all the knowledge and experiences gained during this journey and inspiring more people is THE challenge of this expedition. The trip there and back will be eye opening and an opportunity to learn from those who have been going at this for decades but its the “mission” back home that will determine the success of this endeavor. In my opinion, the crux to start reversing the effects of climate change is to get more people on board with the policies we need to implement. However, in this day and age, people seem to be harder and harder to reach and, once they set their views, they will bend over backwards to avoid admitting they are wrong. If we are able to reach at least some of them, we might have a chance to undo some of the damage sooner rather than later.
Q. What you would like to say to you trip’s companions (Harriet/Mark/ Diogo) before the departure?
A. I will try to accept any and every challenge that will come our way during the trip so if you are unsure about doing some of them just see how I fare and maybe that will encourage you to take them on as well or maybe it will do the exact opposite…