The Coldest Place to Spend Thanksgiving!

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from where i am currently sitting, i can see the words “dream big!” in three different spots in our home. by changing my mindset and doing things that often initially terrify me, i now realize that ‘dream big’ isn’t just a festive pairing of words on paper or how my husband signs every one of his emails. it is how we are choosing to live our life together and inspiring others to do the same! as i’ve mentioned before, our big dream this year is to be the youngest married couple to professionally speak on all 7 continents!

we have already spoken on 5 continents this year (!) and before the year is out we are on track to do this! we kicked it off with:
australia in may,
hong kong (asia) in june
england (europe) in july
morocco (africa) in august
colorado (north america) in september
then comes argentina (south america) and antarctica in november! we are doing these via live online events with The Map to Dreaming BIG (as well as in-person speaking events in most of the places too) and it truly has been quite the ride!

it hasn’t been smooth sailing and of course it’s a tad spendy so we have been working hard on cutting out excess expenses and saving where we can so we can make this dream a reality.

exciting news that we just paid for the last part of our trip to argentina and antarctica! we shall be going to the coldest place to spend thanksgiving – antarctica! oh AND we got our ridiculous coats that we will be schlepping with us! have i ever owned any article of clothing with faux-fur on it? no…but this feels like a valid reason to.

ryan and chelsea avery dream big

yeah, we totally had a drink to celebrate this part of our dream! why do i have so much more in my glass than him? because i’m way more nervous than he is (and fiiiiine, there’s a mixer in mine since scotch on the rocks taste like i’m drinking a live camp fire). while i’m very excited, i’m also very nervous. i talked about it in the video we did as part of our free training for The Map, but part of this goal is to overcome a lot of my anxiety, especially relating to travel. i’m proud to say it does get better with each trip but antarctica will be totally different.

here is how this part of our trip works:

in less than a month, we fly to buenos aires, argentina and see the sights for a few days (and do our event), then fly from there to the southernmost city in the world – ushuaia (yes i’ve read ‘where’d you go bernadette‘ and i can’t tell if it helped or hurt what i have to look forward to).

i know our few days in buenos aires will be great but honestly, i am insanely excited that we get to spend our night in ushuaia at the Los Cauquenes Hotel! i am banking on this becoming one of the most gorgeous places we have stayed.

Los Cauquenes Fachada

photo from Los Cauquenes

if you look at their events page, you will see ‘plan your event at the end of the world!’ deep breaths since it’s not actually the end of the world (and i sort of need to keep reminding myself that the world is round and not flat like the one we have on our wall). i am working with them to do a little surprise for my husband so ravery…get excited!

after 24 hours in that beauty of a place, we will adhere the prescription seasickness patches behind our ear and set sail on a small cruise ship boat that has 46 cabins. we will experience two days getting from ushuaia to the antarctic peninsula. this won’t be a normal cruise like we did in alaska because it is apparently the roughest water in the world. i keep reading “it’s like a two-day rollercoaster!” i freaking hate rollercoasters. i found out a few weeks ago that we have to share a toilet and shower with our neighboring cabin. please send good vibes that our neighbors don’t get seasick.

what makes this passage so crazy is that it is a biological barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer norther water and then explodes or something scientific.

here is the map of where we are going:

like i said, this will absolutely be a once in a lifetime opportunity (i mean spending thanksgiving in antarctica!!!) and i am working hard to be friends with my anxiety so i don’t completely numb out this experience. we will be spending the night on the boat but getting off in new places to explore, climb on glaciers and play with quietly observe penguins!

there is a lot to be done before we leave and we are both speaking at two conferences before we go so focused energy is a must!

here’s a little secret about the photo of us in our coats…it was like 80 degrees out (because global warming is real) so i was actually wearing a summery dress beneath my arctic coat. i found this to be quite humorous:

chelsea avery antarctica

there are more than 2 months left of 2015, which means you still have time to look back at your goal list and make things happen! let’s do this!

here’s what i need from you:

  1. good thoughts and positive vibes pretty please
  2. ideas for fun/creative things to bring to antarctica to take photos of/with (we are trying to find a penguin suit that would pack down easily because it would be hilarious)
  3. if you have any photography tips for capturing that type of scenery (24 hour light, glaciers, freezing temperatures, etc.) i’d love them!


  1. Ashley

    October 23, 2015 at 8:25 am

    AHHHHH THIS IS AMAZING! You two are the coolest (pun not intended) people ever! I feel like I know exactly what you’re doing just from reading Where’d you go bernadette… I’m glad you read that too 🙂 I cannot wait to hear all about your adventure! YOU GOT THIS! 🙂 🙂

  2. Elyse

    October 23, 2015 at 8:31 am

    So excited for you! You have worked hard and you so deserve all the success!

    P.S. I also have a friend who will be in the Antarctica at the same time(well on a ship….but I think he gets off of it?) to photograph the landscape and animals. He does it at least once a year.
    Elyse recently posted…Furiously Happy Book Signing

    • chelsea

      October 23, 2015 at 11:10 am

      thank you elyse! oh my goodness, that is toooo cool that your friend is going to be there during the same time! maybe we will see him!!!!!!! we are going with Antarpply on the Ushuaia…then maybe he can give me some tips 🙂 how amazing for that he does it every year (that also helped my anxiety decrease knowing he keeps going back) so thank you for that!

      we will also be getting off the boat and going to different places each day after we make it past drake’s passage!

  3. Audrey

    October 23, 2015 at 8:55 am

    I’m so excited for you! If you can’t find a penguin outfit I will happily fill the void in your suitcase and come with y’all! I can’t believe you’re cruising (sailing?) to Antarctica! Good vibes all the way, girl!

    (*Justice (yes the little girls store) sells a penguin onesie in the pajamas section with a hood and everything. I doubt it would fit Ryan, but a size 16, 18, or 20 would definitely fit you!)
    Audrey recently posted…Halloween Party Prep

    • chelsea

      October 23, 2015 at 11:11 am

      thanks for your good vibes and volunteering to fill the void HA! i can barely believe it either 🙂

      thanks for the suggestion on the penguin outfit form Justice! totally going to investigate!

  4. Mar

    October 23, 2015 at 8:57 am

    I am so jealous, and can’t wait to read all about this trip! I would love to visit Antarctic one day, and a cruise like this is just the way to do it. Have fun!!

    • chelsea

      October 23, 2015 at 11:12 am

      oh you can bet there will be some serious blog posts about it, mar! i’m excited too! the cruise will be fun because we will stay on the ship but then get off and explore in different places!

  5. Amy

    October 23, 2015 at 11:44 am

    I love Buenos Aires and Argentina! Very nice people and a big city that actually feels very small. Take in that sun before going to the South Pole!

    • chelsea

      October 26, 2015 at 9:18 am

      oh yay i’m so glad to hear that! if you have any recommendations of places we must eat or visit in buenos aires, i’m all ears amy!

      • Amy

        October 28, 2015 at 1:59 pm

        Sites include exploring the Palermo neighborhood, Recoleta cemetery (go on a tour so you don’t get lost!), La Boca artist district, Plaza de Mayo, Teatro Colon, and the widest street in the world Avenida 9 de Julio. These are some standard places, and my favorites were exploring Palermo and the Recoleta cemetery.

        Food wise, eat all the meat and drink all the wine! The beef and malbec are amazing. Try to find a restaurant that offers an asado – you will be welcomed to enjoy an endless salad bar and then waiters will bring you multiple meat selections and you can have anything you want. Breakfast time, go for mini sweet croissants they call “mezaluna” Have fun!
        Amy recently posted…Social Media, Fatness, and Why I Didn’t Post a Before/After Photo

        • chelsea

          October 29, 2015 at 1:53 pm

          oh my goodness amy you are amazing!!!! thank you so much for these recommendations! we need to get to planning and i so appreciate your ideas! thank you! we are obsessed with malbec right now (though sad we won’t make it to mendoza this trip) i am SO excited about meat and wine oh and of course ‘mezaluna’!

  6. Dawn

    October 23, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    OK…so, the passage that’s the roughest is called the “Drake Shake”. Just go with it and let your body go limp—fewer injuries. And don’t get fingers or hands caught in slamming doors when the ship tilts.

    I had a friend go on an antarctic expedition in 2009. He LOVED it and described the experience as unreal. He has pictures of him posing with PENGUINS. Rad.

    • chelsea

      October 26, 2015 at 9:19 am

      haha yes, limp body for two days – got it dawn 🙂 and we shall be extra careful of those fingers in the door jam (luckily everything is bolted down). thank you for sharing that you had a friend go and absolutely loved it, that helps me feel more excitement rather than fear!

  7. Amberly

    October 24, 2015 at 8:07 am

    How awesome! I can’t wait to read all about your adventure!
    Amberly recently posted…The Perks of Being Married to a Green Grocer

    • chelsea

      October 26, 2015 at 9:19 am

      it is going to be quite the adventure, that’s for sure amberly!

  8. Vivien

    October 24, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    So happy for you and Ryan! Pretty please take lots of pictures and share 🙂
    Vivien recently posted…Why I Almost Vowed to Never Enter a Tall Tales Contest

    • chelsea

      October 26, 2015 at 9:20 am

      thanks vivien 🙂 there shall be no shortage for photos i can guarantee that 🙂

  9. Brittany

    October 25, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Oh how fun! Enjoy and I can’t wait to see the post all about it!
    Brittany recently posted…Early Fall Office Essentials

    • chelsea

      October 26, 2015 at 9:20 am

      thanks brittany and yes, i imagine there may be a few 🙂

  10. Meghan

    October 25, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    This trip sounds absolutely incredible! This might sound silly, but I had not clue that people could just go to Antarctica as tourists! I thought it was a place for researchers and science labs, haha! I’m looking forward to hearing more about it!

    • chelsea

      October 26, 2015 at 9:22 am

      not silly at all, meghan i didn’t really realize it either until we looked into it! they only let a certain number of people go as tourists each year (because most everyone is scientists, like you said) and you have to go with an approved company. it will be quite interesting!

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