As we flew in over the rugged, snow-capped Ushuaia mountains this whole experience, and everything we’ve been working toward, seemed to get a whole lot more real. It looked as if we were about to land on the glistening water as we touched down in the southernmost city in the world. I overheard a couple behind me gasping at the view. One said to the other ‘you’ve just got to respect it, haven’t you.’
Since our arrival, the exploring has well and truly begun. Subash’s and my intrepid sides came out as we trekked the streets of Ushuaia, zipping into mountain stores to collect last-minute gear and singlehandedly discovered perhaps THE BEST ice cream store on earth.
In other exciting news, Bain has begun delivering content! Sam and Neysa jumped up on stage today to talk to the team about Change following a moving speech from Gareth Wood – a member of Robert Swan’s ‘In The Footsteps of Scott’ expedition and leader of this year’s 2041 International Antarctica Expedition.
After the morning session we had a break for tea and the Bain team started to meet some of the other expedition members.
I chatted with Candy from Hong Kong. She explained how she wants to work in the media to help implement greener practices in Hong Kong and China. When I asked her what drives her, what interests her in ‘green’, she explained that it holds a personal relevance for her; Candy’s father had lung cancer. He was not a smoker, but the doctors explained that this type of cancer is hugely prevalent in Hong Kong and China, largely driven by the high levels of pollution found in cities. Candy’s father passed away just a few weeks before this expedition, and now she feels more strongly than ever the need to combat environmental issues.
I also spoke with Liang-Yi from Taiwan, founder of the Taiwan Youth Climate Coalition: the first climate change NGO in Taiwan. Liang-Yi believes his country is vulnerable, and that if they don’t do more to start addressing the issue of climate change soon they will experience real problems when it is perhaps too late. His ‘Youth Climate Coalition’ is one of many initiatives he’s putting into place to try and encourage action.
Candy and Liang-Yi only scratch the surface of the 77 individuals here, representing over 28 countries, from different professions and walks of life. Each person has brought with them a willingness to learn and a passion to help drive change for the better. It is quite humbling to be surrounded by such inspiring people.
In the next couple of weeks I’m going to share more of their incredible stories with you as we get to know more of the team. It’s hugely exciting to be able to work with the individuals on this trip to help them implement their individual action plans. The Bain team is excited, invigorated, and ready to start helping create an impact!