We did it!! We did it!!
When we planted our feet on the continent of Antarctica a few days ago, we became the first marriage researchers to interview successfully married couples on all seven continents of the world. And we want you to know that we are very proud of that accomplishment!
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As our loyal readers know, we have been engaged in our “labor of love” for over 30 years. We began our journey with this simple idea in mind – “Do great marriages around the world share common and pervasive characteristics.“
And now, after 30+ years of research in all 50 states of the Union, in 47 countries, and on all seven continents on Earth, our answer to the previous question is, YES! They do, even in the most isolated continent on the planet, Antarctica!
Let us now digress to explain the challenges of Antarctica before we zero in on what we’ve learned about marriage on this expedition.
First, understand that Antarctica has the coldest, windiest, driest, and harshest climate on Earth. Living and working there, even for short periods of time, is not for the faint of heart. Very few people stay on the Continent for more than six months at a time. It is very rare for a person to “winter-over” and work for a full continuous year on The Ice.
In the Austral summer as many as four thousand people (mostly scientists and support staff) are there. Cruise ships bring about 30,000 people a year to the continent, but almost exclusively during the Antarctic summer season (November-February), and few get to actually set foot on the continent.
Considering that there can be six months of sunlight and six months of nighttime, depending on the season, living here for even a short period of time can have its psychological and biorhythm challenges. The isolation and distance of Antarctica from the rest of the world can have deleterious effects on the marriages and relationships of people who work there or in the continent’s environs.
There are many misconceptions about Antarctica. Here are the real facts that impact how people live in Antarctica.
There are no roads, bridges, Interstate-type highways, cars, gas stations, hotels or restaurants. There are NO cities or towns and NO permanent residents. Moreover, by treaty agreement, NO country in the world owns Antarctica! Antarctica is NOT a country; it is a Continent, and an isolated one at that. If you would like to see the real Antarctic and its penguins enjoy our video, Antarctica: The White Continent.
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Antarctica is unique amongst the world’s seven continents. Understanding this is an important first step towards gaining a perspective of the adventuresome spirit of the people who work and travel there.