Trekking alone across Antarctica taught me something about isolation

One of the world’s greatest living explorers, Tim Jarvis, is used to pushing himself to the extreme. So he’s worth listening to when he talks about dealing with isolation.

Why This Matters: This won’t only get you through COVID-19 – this advice will help you face anything.

My experience of isolation has taken many forms over the years. It comes in working for myself, and the isolation of challenging environmental norms. There’s the loneliness of leadership where you internalise questioning and self-doubt, and, of course, undertaking expeditions to some of the world’s most remote regions.

In 2007 I embarked on an expedition that would push me to my absolute physical and mental limit. Retracing Sir Douglas Mawson’s 500km solo trek across Antarctica, I was alone on the ice for a month. To compound things I was surviving on a starvation diet and using 100 year old clothing and equipment to recreate the conditions that Mawson had faced…

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