users are pretty farflung, but we suspect that not many can boast of having been to Antarctica. We were struck by Andrea Rip‘s photos on, some of them taken while working at the McMurdo Station—like this shot of a hiker, whose breath had frozen into icy beads on his eyelashes. It was featured as a Postcard in the November/December 2011 issue. Here’s a little bit more about Andrea.

Hometown: Bellevue, Washington

Next trip: Dream: Madagascar. Reality: Peru or Israel.

How long were you in Antarctica, what were you working on? I was a civilian contractor for the US Antarctic Program. I served three contracts (two summers and one winter) over three years totaling 18 months as a shuttle driver, air passenger services representative, and an administrative assistant at McMurdo Station.

What compels you to travel? Traveling helps me continue to grow and learn. My mind is opened and worldview is challenged and expanded beyond what I could ever learned at home.

How do you choose your destinations? I try to go to places where North Americans don’t typically choose to go; places that I can educate and excite others about. I also enjoy places where my friends are living to see the insider’s view to another country.

What item could you not do without while traveling? A journal and a pen. I feel most alive and write best when I travel.

What’s your favorite memento from a trip? A small yellow paper tree from an artist at the Christmas Market in Zagreb, Croatia.

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What’s the best travel advice you’ve received on To be OK with putting the camera down. I call that “making memories for the mind.”