Would I shave my dreads off to go to Antarctica?

This was the question that Gabriel the hostel manager asked me a couple of days ago. When he asked me I made the sound of a wounded walrus mixed with the sound of a president that is pondering sending his country to war, something along the lines of “ooohhhhhhhhummmmmmm”. Ouch what a question.

Because the reason behind myself having dreadlocks is because it has always been in my mind to travel Africa with dreadlocks after a recently returned student from Africa back at University told me “they would love your dreadies in Africa”(I also had dreadlocks in university). From that point I always said when I travel to Africa I would have dreadlocks – sounds stupid, but that’s the reason.

Little did I know I would have to be making this decision for real. As I was walking out the door to go for a walk in the mountains to clear my head of the frustrated Antarctic work battle,  the hostel receptionist excitedly tells me something about a phone call.  It was something along the lines of somebody asking for me and a captain of a cruise ship, and a captain in the hostel today and tells me to check my email. So I get quite excited. But it turns out, I meet the captain, but he is a captain that lives in Australia and has come here to be a passenger on the Antarctic cruise ship.

But, totally coincidentally I check my email, and there are 3 emails from Sich, the kiwi guy I had met a couple of weeks ago who is working on the cruise ships. Well, he’s been emailing me and trying to ring me saying the hospitality people are short staffed and are probably looking for a waiter at short notice and they arrive tonight! But it’s a “6 star” cruise ship, yep not 5 star, but 6 star. In his words, “appearance is everything; the dreadies would have to come off”! So once again I made the above noise, but a little excited, buuuuttttt, nothing is guaranteed, I would have to cut the dreads off for the interview, without having anything guarantee of a job. As I’m making my wounded walrus noise, the receptionist points to my shirt “I will do ANYTHING to work in Antarctica”

So my decision, well put it one way, I just went and bought a razor and shaving cream for my facial hair, the first time in my life I have ever bought a razor. Yep, decision is made, I would chop the dags off, just for an interview. It’s all I have to go on after 3 weeks of job hunting, I have done all I can do, and have nothing to show for it except more rejection emails, this is all I have to go on, but still, nervous times. If I do get an email back and say I have an interview, I will be a whole mix of emotions, happy, excited, nervous, gutted, all put in a blender and blended on high. Waiting now for a reply to my email I sent off, you can imagine my feelings! OH, a massive big sincere thanks to Sich if it all comes off.

As an afterthought. It’s quite ironic. Mandy did my dreads nearly 3 years ago, maybe 2 and half years. Anyway, the day that she finished them we went to have dinner with her co-work and husband. They are adventurers, they had sailed around the world for 4 years with their young family.

At dinner we talked about my goal and the friendly husband asks me “so Hap, how are you going to go to Antarctica?”. This is something you may not know, but I bumbled and said “well, I kinda wasn’t planning on going to Antarctica, I know its a continent but I didn’t really think I needed to”. The husband says “Well if you going to live and work on every continent you have to live and work in antarctica”

That day in Colorado was where the Antarctic seed was sown, my dreads that were just completed that day were there when I reluctantly realised, “shit, I have to work in Antarctica, how am I going to that………..can you work in Antarctica?”.  So if I get the interview the dreads will have to go. They would represent the lifetime of my Antarctic goal, from the start to the completion.