We don't often put the words sabbatical and Antarctica together, but we are incredibly glad that Airbnb has done so.
There are a number of places on the planet that people can travel to in order to do good. Some parts of Africa to help build wells or distribute medicine. South America to aid in conserving the Amazon rainforest. One part of the world we didn't think that just anyone could pay a visit to is Antarctica. However, a campaign currently being run by Airbnb is offering exactly that.
Well, not exactly that. Later this year, Airbnb and Ocean Conservancy is heading up a trip to the Antarctic. While anyone can apply to be a part of this all-expenses-paid trip, chances are you'll need to be someone pretty special to make the cut considering the number of applicants who will be offering their services.
This is no ordinary trip to the South Pole though, if there is such a thing. The month-long expedition might be enjoyable and a once in a lifetime experience, but it will be for business, not pleasure. The purpose of the trip will be to investigate the presence of microplastics in what is the most isolated continent on our planet. Considering the presence of microplastics even in the deepest parts of our oceans, it's logical to think the problem extends as far as the Antarctic too.
Despite successful applicants needing to keep November 18, 2019, through December 16, 2019, free, only one of those four weeks will actually be spent in Antarctica. The first two weeks will be spent in Chile training to deal with the harsh environment that you will have to endure during week three. After your week-long trip to the South Pole, you'll return to Chile to breakdown your findings and figure out how to present them in an impactful way.
Successful applicants obviously won't be going alone. Environmental scientist Kirstie Jones-Williams will be the expedition leader. Her PhD is based on "the impact of microplastics on polar marine zooplankton in Antarctica," hence this project. If this sounds like your dream come true, you can apply at Airbnb up until October 8, 2019. Previous relative experience is not necessarily needed, but if you happen to have some, it will definitely help.