Avani Awasthee is the Youngest Indian to have been to Antarctica on the ‘International Antarctic Expedition’ twice, first at the age of 18 and then at 21 as a mentor. She was a student ambassador for TETRA TAK for the year 2012 after which she started an initiative called the ‘Recycle Army’ at the age of 14. She spoke at TEDx Manipal University, her talk was called “Why the Earth needs us more than ever”. In 2019, she was awarded the Karmaveer Chakra by the government of India in association with the United Nations. She is Miss Tourism Metropolitan India 2019 and has modeled for several fashion brands and magazines and featured in a MG Hector digital advertisement. She currently works with students / teachers and corporates from across the globe about climate change and how to curb it.
I particularly remember a chase / fight between two penguins. We were at the ‘Danco Islands’ and were ecstatic to see these little cute creatures run around helter skelter. There was this one pair that kept pecking at each other and finally started running around and one chased the other like Tom and Jerry. That made me laugh till the end of the day.
We learnt about the continent and its wildlife, and I learnt the importance of TEAM WORK and that one cannot do anything singlehandedly. We were 143 representatives from 30 nations. None of us knew one another and we were there with one motive - ‘SAVE THE ANTARCTIC’ from its rapid melting - and this brought all of us together. By the end of the expedition we were one big family and when I started to believe “Where we come from should not decide where you get”.
WHALES! I could look at them for hours. There were times when we could spot whales all day. They’d be in the same vicinity for the longest time and that was my favorite time, to spot those whales!
POLAR PLUNGE! I used to be afraid of the water and even contemplated skipping the plunge altogether. But I didn’t want to go back and a few years later regret not taking that chance. So I did it and that by far as to be the best decision of my life. I faced my fears head on!
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