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This Pune explorer is on a mission to visit Antarctica before he turns 50 years old

Updated on: 13 December,2022 04:36 PM IST  |  Mumbai
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Most of us may want to take it slow as we turn 50 years old, but Yogesh Karikurve believes in taking up challenges, especially by travelling to the continent situated at the South Pole. Ahead of his journey, Mid-day Online speaks to him about his plan and activities

This Pune explorer is on a mission to visit Antarctica before he turns 50 years old

Yogesh Karikurve, who is currently in Ushuaia in Argentina, will be embarking on his Antarctica journey on a cruise on December 16. Photo Courtesy: Yogesh Karikurve

Pune-based Yogesh Karikurve is on a personal mission. It involves him travelling to Antarctica, the only continent that is left to visit in the world for him and he intends to finish before his 50th birthday in January 2023. Karikurve, who likes to call himself an explorer, has always been a traveller. While he was introduced to it by his parents, the bug has stayed with him throughout his life and one that has translated into travelling wherever he could and combining business with pleasure over the last two decades. “I used to travel a lot with my parents as well, my father loves travelling. So, in my childhood, I used to travel a lot with them. After that, I started travelling alone. In fact, I think by the time I was 12-13 years, I started travelling alone to south India and my native place.”

Planning for Antarctica
Almost 25 years after he made his first international trip to the US for his MBA, Karikurve is currently in Ushuaia in Argentina to embark on a 20-day cruise to Antarctica, one that he is undoubtedly excited about. He shares, “Since I'm going to Antarctica, I wanted to go to one more Latin American country because for Antarctica, I have to take a ship from Ushuaia, which is the southernmost point in Argentina and is actually around 3000 kilometres from Buenos Aires itself.” Being a seasoned traveller, the 49-year-old is going to visit Addis Ababa on his way back.

Karikurve said, “I have always been fascinated by penguins and whales so that is definitely on top of my agenda and that is the reason why I am choosing to travel in December.”

In fact, he has been planning this trip for a long time and even tried to visit the place three years ago. However, he didn’t find a ship to his liking and by the time he did, it was too late, so he ended up going to the Amazon instead.

Soaking in the adrenaline
So, this time around, he has put his research to good use and will be going in the summer. “The Emperor Penguin is only found in Antarctica and the fur seal is also another animal that is only found there,” adds the excited Punekar. However, watching these animals in their natural habitat is not the only activity he will be doing because he also plans to do some adrenaline pumping activities like kayaking in the ice-cold water and camping one night on the ice.

Since he is going to Antarctica, he wants to obviously make it memorable and so Karikurve has carefully selected a cruise that takes only 200 people compared to the others which take 400 and 500 people each, and that is simply because the region has a rule that only 100 people can step on land at any point in time, and lesser the number of people gives him more opportunity to spend time on land. Karikurve will be on a cruise for the first time in his life. “I will be doing the activity polar plunge – where I will be jumping into the ice-cold water,” says Karikurve, followed by a short lesson about Ernest Shackleton and his legacy in the region.

One may wonder, why is he taking up such an arduous journey, but for the Punekar, who recently went to Maldives and Mexico, it stems from a different place. Since a lot of experiences, he says, are targeted at people younger than 40 years, he decided to change the narrative by starting a venture called The Happyness Factory. It caters to people above 40 years, by conducting workshops and retreats that encourage them to take up a new hobby every six months and reboot a version 2.0 of themselves. “So instead of just telling people to do it, I practise it myself and am into drumming and dancing and also teach them.” Apart from the fact that his general knowledge about the world at large has improved after his travel, he tells us that they have also changed him as a person. Ask him what he expects to feel after this journey and he simply says “enriched”.

Also Read: Mindful Travel: 6 ways to make your holiday more fulfilling

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