Friday, June 6, 2014

Pleasures, hazards, games...

05/05, camp 43
Distance today : 0
Total distance : 4013 km
Position : same as yesterday
Moving time : 0

GEB (Georges Bagouin, blog reader) was asking us a question, a very important one to us :

"Can we really enjoy such an expedition, where duties, hazards and risks are so important, building up stress and permanent need for being ready ?"

Pieces of answer...
Challenge is one of the most important component of any expedition. And obviously there is satisfaction to take it. But the goal of an expedition can be something else : discover new horizons, see new places, meet new people and cultures, unexpected uncounters and experiences... For example most of my journeys (Mika), some of them we can call them "mini expeditions", are motivated by the discovery on new and different landscapes. My main goal is to find satisfaction in those discoveries...

In the case of the circumnavigation we're undertaking, it's a bit different : challenge is our incentive. In this case, we find our satisfaction lays in the daily handling of the hazards and unknowns, and is hidden behind the scale of it.
Even though our experience and knowledge of the traveled grounds help a lot minimizing those risks and hazards they're still always here and we constantly have to deal with them. Risks and hazards are a source of stress, spread over the whole journey, but with us at every minute.

The issues of this expedition. They are very personal and definitely subjective. They generate some tension, which takes away some of the pleasure, for sure. To understand this without being tempted to judge too quickly, one needs to know in what mental state we are :

It's a project never ever achieved until this year (that makes it a journey to the unknown). Not only it's a proper circumnavigation, the goal is also to achieve one of the longest (if not the longest) unsupported ski journey. Finally we are unconsciously in a kind of a competition, as we are 3 teams trying this at the same time, even though we are all doing it in a bit of a different way.

The weeks went by, as well as the kilometers, our minds were more and more tuned up towards our goal (we've grown this goal for a few years now), probably not enjoying every second of our experience (but ask a seaman like Francois Gabart how much of tension and distraction he had during his Vendee Globe victory).

One thing is for sure : if the scale of this project makes us go into our "warrior" mode more than the "observation" one, we have fortunately kept on being amazed of these wonderful lights, of the chant of the winds on the ice and the sight of far away unknown mountain ranges... And that is what will remain for us, at the end of this "out of this world" journey.

This was written after a completely windless day, somewhere on the east hand side of the greenlandic inlandsis.

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