Planning an adventure around the world in 2014 is daunting, sure, but it's nothing compared to planning a trip to Antarctica in 1914.
Ernest Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition
On August 8, 1914, the ship Endurance left the port of Plymouth (in the United Kingdom) and set sail for Buenos Aires, Argentina to begin the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition.
Just four days prior, Britain had declared war on Germany, and Shackleton offered the service of Endurance to the British for the war effort. But the Admiralty sent him a one-word telegram in response. That word: Proceed.
In January 1915, with only a day's sailing left to reach the Antarctic continent, Endurance became trapped in pack ice and drifted away to the south. After many months surviving in the Antarctic, Shackleton and five members of his 28-man crew braved an 800-mile open ocean journey to get help in rescuing the 22 men he left behind. There were many setbacks, but eventually they succeeded. Amazingly enough, not a single man died during the 22-month ordeal.
It's a great story of adventure, survival, and fortitude. If you're interested in reading more about the expedition, I recommend the graphic novel Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey, written and drawn by my friend Nick Bertozzi.