Travel Junkie Diary of

Bader Allawati

Sunday, March 16, 2014
Bader AllawatiLike0

Bader Allawati, a communications executive at Enhance Oman, a communications manager at Freezing Omanis. The Freezing Omanis initiative was an environmental expedition to Antarctica, where he was picked by 2041 along with 20 others worldwide to represent Oman and since, decided to brand his expedition.

“Being from a desert country, the strange concept of ‘Freezing Omanis’ began where I trained inside a -30 degree industrial freezer to prepare myself for Antarctica…

In the freezer, I broke 2 world records…coldest tweet up, and the most amount of bloggers in a freezer (tweeting and blogging about environmental awareness issues)”

We are pleased to have him here on Travel Junkie Diary and here is a video we love watching!

Here is his Diary

Destination Antarctica

A friend of mine had told me about this expedition and I thought it was very unlikely that I would get picked to go, so I applied anyways, 2 days later I was informed that I was to be a part of the team of 20.

Stayed in  We slept out in the snow! No tents, just built snow banks to keep our sleeping bags from the snow while looking out to the stars.

Month  March

In your suitcase  

25 KG of warm cloths!

6 layers (thermals, quick dry layer, fleece, jacket, outer shell, scarf)

2 cameras

Ski poles, heat packs, extra gloves

A snowflake capture kit

A snowflake pin  (I have been nicknamed snowflake because iv brought back preserved snowflakes)


–        Wake up 5am, put on 6 layers of cloths and eat breakfast (mass amounts of protein), get on the zodiacs by 6:15

–        Get on to the continent (if we hadn’t camped out) trek, do a workshop / lessons on the ice after we had gotten to the point we needed to get to, trek back or to the next point

–        Get on the ship, have lunch, go to a lecture or two, get back into the zodiac and on the continent or on a zodiac cruise

–        Get back to the ship or camp site, have another lecture, work on our environmental campaigns and then if we have time socialize… 12 we may have time to sleep if we decide…of course with the milky way just there we wont sleep…..

–        Repeat for the next 10 days and watch sleep deprivation in its funniest forms

We went to different spots around the Antarctic peninsula and we met many influential people like the VP of Shell international, Robert Swan (first man in history to walk south and north poles)

Shopped at If there’s a hidden shop in the Antarctic I would want know about it!

Dined in Lots of steak on ship, and pre-packed food provided by the ship.

Tips I cant begin to explain it! The place is the most beautiful place on earth…Once you get use to the cold, you’ll enjoy it much better, get low aperture lenses for night time photography and wide angel lenses for landscape, be very careful as a small injury there can be a big deal so follow safety instructions and learn knots, ropes and first aid.

Above all, drop your camera every once in a while and stay quiet…..the most amazing experience you will ever have

Mode of Travel Emirates to Buenos Aires, LAN to Ushuaia, check both local carriers because one of them has a lower carry allowance which can mean you will spend a lot on excess baggage.

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  • I’m not sure why I love this first picture a lot. It’s one of those things you can’t explain. 
I’ve always looked at rear view mirrors as walking away from something (Not necessarily bad) towards something greater that might or might not work and it’s somewhat comforting. 
I’m someone who loves their own space and comfortable on my own, most of the time at least. 
I’ve had times where things didn’t always go my way instantly but I knew it eventually will fall into place, and, it always does. 
I might have fallen flat on my face sometimes, and have underestimated my own capabilities in some moments... but, I’m more confident of my choices than I was when I first started my journey and what made me even braver, was my willingness to live up to these moments because in the end, it was all worth it. 
#TravelwithTJD @travelwithtjd @hertz.uae
  • We all crave isolation from time to time to get disconnected from whatever it is that keeps us awake at night. 
To just go, and say nothing and think nothing. 
We hope in the end that whatever you love always loves you back. The sami believes that when you are in nature, you are never afraid of being alone. 
Returning from a ‘letting go’ place such as the wilderness in Finland affects me emotionally and sets me off balance a little, because my happiness was always about following my heart, and so, I try to find my way back from a place of reality that is even far better than my dreams. #TravelwithTJD @travelwithtjd
  • What an incredible emotional 10 days this has been! I’ve met the funniest, warmest and the most caring, thoughtful people on this @travelwithtjd and it’s so difficult say goodbye. We have created our own reality - pushed boundaries - fell in love with life - and set ourselves free from all judgments on ourselves. I’ll post more on stories and photos as soon as I land back home 💫
Thank you @hertz.uae for having such great service during our trip!
  • On this @travelwithtjd trip, I’m surrounded with people that makes me forget where my phone is, makes me laugh till my stomach hurts, help each other when you can’t feel your hands from the cold and makes my heart so full and filled with love, and we all know how much I love love ☺️. I’m back in Finland, creating our own realities with some of the most incredible people I have ever met. #travelwithtjd
  • From Tromso, to Dubai for a couple of days and now back to Finland for our next @travelwithtjd - I had few friends over at home yesterday for lunch @theitalianwayuae to say goodbye, leaving for almost 13 days but never thought leaving my little puppy was going to be this difficult!
  • On our last @travelwithtjd to Norway, we left @radissonblutromso to set sail in the Arctic in search of the Northern Lights and to experience sailing and sleeping out in the wilderness. 
4 nights and we were faced with an incredible storm, high winds, lots of rain and clouds but it didn’t stop some of us from dancing, fishing and sailing. That’s the real Arctic weather!
It was a mind blowing adventure and testing each one’s capabilities of being comfortable in uncomfortable situations. 
That’s what an adventure is really all about. Especially in the beautiful arctic. ❤️
  • I honestly didn’t know how to caption this story because there is a thousand words I want to say and a thousand reasons not to. 
This image speaks to me and I’ve imagined it and orchestrated in my head a thousand times and @dennisstever helped me capture it perfectly. 
It’s a liberating feeling to be able to stand at the edge with a cape with extreme wind and rain in your face and feel like a superhero. 
We are our own heroes. Not because we are about to change the world....But to change inside of us who struggle to make one small difference in their lives for themselves every day. 
I’m the type of girl who will have tears of joy or sadness running down my face and still insist that everything is fine. My glory isn’t just in the achievements, but in the sacrifices I have made to save myself. This is what this story image represents to me. 
#TravelwithTJD @travelwithtjd
My beautiful cape is from @costureroreal
  • We are spoon fed with quotes on social media on the fake realm of positivity and sometime too much of it. 
The truth is, why should we avoid difficult situations? Why should we not get heartbroken? 
To be surrounded by ONLY positive people and those who ONLY inspire you is unrealistic and a recipe for not growing or truly finding out who you are. 
Because you will come across people in your life that can suck out the energy out of you and you will only learn to block them and manage your reaction when you have had a share of experiences. 
It takes real courage to stop pretending you have it all together and accept the challenges and grow. 
If we can allow ourselves to face it; we will experience life to its fullest. 
Being human means facing suffering. There is no light without dark, no joy without sadness. 
If we don’t experience all feelings, we have no basis for comparison. So accept the good and the bad without any judgement, know it’s human to feel both. 
Take your time to feel everything, but once you are done, get up, grow, break your own boundaries and not what others expects of you, and motivate yourself by learning to face and appreciating the challenges that comes your way. Too much positivity could also be lethal and not real. It’s how you learn to deal with it. 
At least that’s what I have learned, and I have felt my personal growth during those years. ❤️
  • I’ll always search for those breathless moments where I will no longer be sure if I am dreaming or awake. 
We drove in total 8 hours that day from Tromso to Senja along the coastline. I kept asking @dennisstever to pull over every 2 minutes so I can shoot but luckily he didn’t, otherwise we would have never reached here at sunset. 
Scandinavia is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to and that’s why I keep coming back and leave with a full heart... until it’s time to come back again. 
Follow our @travelwithtjd Journey and be part of our polar journeys. ❤️
  • One of the most liberating feeling in the world is being able to come back here over and over again and feeling so comfortable and happy. I took this yesterday while flying over tromso and although it was just taken with a phone camera, I think it still looks magical. I woke up at 4am today, excited to start the day, getting ready for the team of @travelwithtjd to start arriving and we set sail tomorrow in the Arctic wilderness. #travelwithtjd
  • The heaviness of the moon this month... so I say this: It’s ok if you lose yourself, I’ll be right here to help you find your way back 💫
  • It’s only February and I’ve already started thinking about planning my summer trips! Are you a last minute kind of person or do you plan months in advance like me? 😊