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2019 Arctic Expedition: Reflections from Toby Theriault

Toby Theriault, August 20, 2019
Tofino, BC, Canada

Toby holding a fellow expedition student’s puppy in Resolute Bay. © Natta Summerky/SOI Foundation

Dear Students on Ice,

I have now returned to my home, friends and family, and I have finally recovered from the post-expedition blues. I am still connected with my Students on Ice family through social media. Even though I have unpacked my bags and my memories, reminisced on what I learned, experience and laughed at, there is a small part of me that is still in the Arctic. That part of me—mirror reflections of my memories, my life (on ice)—now lives around the world. There are moments no one else will remember, moments that flew home to Rhode Island, LA, San Francisco,  Chicago, Delaware, Hong Kong, Haida Gwaii, Geneva, Iceland, Greenland, even New York weeks ago.

I have new friends who live not that far from me, friends who live an unimaginable distance away from my home, friends across borders, friends across oceans. And all of us have one thing in common: we care; we care about others; we care about the environment; we care about the world and how it is run.  That is why we came aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

That is what students on Ice means to me. It means a strong, growing global network of people who care, people who will change the world. I couldn’t be more honoured to be an SOI alumni. This changed my life, and I hope that in the future it will change the life of someone who I tell about my experiences, someone who cares.

Thanks to SOI I can see the world through multiple lenses, I can see how what may be a sacrifice for some can be a struggle for others, how everyone needs to adapt to our ever-changing world differently. I can see hope for the future reflected in the eyes of everyone on the ship.

Students on Ice made me believe that a positive outcome for our struggling earth is possible, difficult but possible, and that is why Students on Ice is there. To inspire.

Toby exploring the Sirmilik National Park glacier. © Natta Summerky/SOI Foundation

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