distinctly distant

One of the more transient (in the fact that it vacillates between abhorrent and wonderful) aspects of a seasonal lifestyle is the movement and connection of friendships. Relationships are forged fast and furious in a world of shared context – we have no need to develop commonalities between us – the worlds we work in are one and the same, freeing us to quickly dig into the meat of our personalities. We’re left with solid friendships that, at the completion of a contract, no longer have a context to exist in. Instead, when we meet again a month, six months, a year, or more after our last connection, we are able to base our interaction on our friendship, and build the context, rather than the reversal of that.
It’s a unique endeavor, and leads to collected friendships that are solid and strong, if frequently infrequent. I have committed, frequent friends for the period of the contracts (such as my last thirteen months at the South Pole) but after that, it’s a new round of meet and greets. The consistency of a frequent friend over many years is something that I don’t know. The strength of such a friendship? That I know for certain, just not the day to day of it.
Anywho, that’s a ramble. For a good (not entirely kid-safe) interview about Antarctic life focused on the “tropical” realms of Palmer station, take a read here.

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