When I left New York at the end of 2018 for a two-week reporting trip to Antarctica, I had no idea I would never go back to my old life.

But while I flew home pretty much on schedule, something in me had changed so much that I was unable to pick up where I had left off. I ended a relationship, made changes at work, and had conversations I’d always wanted to have with my family and others in my life. I’ve spent the 18 months since then trying to understand what about those two weeks in Antarctica wrought such an enduring transformation.

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