During the second Homeward Bound voyage we’re bringing you stories from the ship of more than 20 of the participants, plus members of the leadership team, in their words and pictures.

The Homeward Bound Antarctic voyage has come to an end and #TeamHB2018 are now on their way home. Armed with strategy maps and 100 day plans and friendships formed on the ice that will endure for the rest of their lives. Our next HB Correspondent Fern Wickson, Senior Scientist and Leader of the Society, Ecology and Ethics Department, GenØk – Centre for Biosafety in Norway, talks about the team’s next steps and their responsibilities to share their learnings and their supportive networks so they can achieve their goals, and also create positive change in their communities across our planet. 


Today we are homeward bound. I have left Antarctica and am once again drowning in the sea of humanity, struggling my way through airports, feeling mobbed by mobile phones and suffocated by shopping malls. The journey is officially over and yet, in so many ways it is only just beginning.

The homeward bound program and experience teaches the importance of living with intention in communities of care. This means asking ourselves what we truly value, what really gives our lives meaning and purpose, what we deeply care for and how we can intentionally grow our lives from these roots.

We are all engaged in an ongoing process of unfolding into our potential and now, the hard but rewarding work of living our learning begins.

Today this community we have cultivated through common cause, compassion and care is being released back into the world and we have an opportunity to spread our wings and gracefully soar on the raging winds like the albatross that guided our ship home.

However, many of us are daunted by the prospect of those open skies, of returning to our everyday lives. Returning to workplaces, family and friends that have not shared in this transformative experience. How can we maintain this energy, enthusiasm and sense of empowerment when the world closes in? Can we really live the life that we have dared to dream on this voyage? We have strategy maps and 100-day plans but will this be enough?

In our search for solutions for how stay the path, we have found our strength in one another. We have promised to collaborate, to support each other, to hold one another accountable, and to be there in times of turmoil. In the rolling seas of uncertainty, it is clear that we have turned to the bonds of community to hold us firm to our purpose. Feeling stronger together we brace for the storm.

Knowing that we are not alone in the struggle gives us hope. But knowing that we are a united force of fiercely motivated, creative, brilliant women fighting for positive change gives us the drive and fortitude to actually get the job done.

So go forth and shine HB 2018. For the planet. For the future. For the majesty and splendor that is life on earth. Be all that you can be, and know that you will always be held in the loving embrace of this community.

Dr Fern Wickson is an Australian citizen currently working as Senior Scientist and Leader of the Society, Ecology and Ethics Department (SEED) at GenØk Centre for Biosafety in Tromsø, Norway. Trained in biology and political science, with an interdisciplinary PhD across the natural and social sciences, she is committed to advancing sustainable agriculture, responsible innovation and resilient socio-ecological futures. Her research explores the interface between environmental science, philosophy and politics, with a particular specialization in the governance of new and emerging technologies. Fern is also a yoga teacher who enjoys hiking, kayaking, snowboarding and trying to grow her own food.