A Portland, Oregon man has become the first person to travel across Antarctica by himself without receiving any assistance.

Colin O’Brady completed the 1,500-kilometer trip on Wednesday. He crossed the continent in 54 days. Friends, family and other people followed his progress through messages and pictures he left on social media.

O’Brady spoke with his wife Jenna Besaw by telephone soon after he completed the journey.

“It was an emotional call,” she said. “He seemed overwhelmed by love and gratitude, and he really wanted to say ‘Thank you’ to all of us.”

The 33-year-old O’Brady documented the trip on the social networking service Instagram. He called his journey “The Impossible First”. He wrote Wednesday that he traveled the last 129 kilometers in one big, final push to the finish line. The distance took over one day to complete.

O’Brady wrote, “While the last 32 hours were some of the most challenging hours of my life, they have quite honestly been some of the best moments I have ever experienced.”

The day before, he wrote that he was “in the zone” and thought he could make it to the end without stopping.

Other people have traveled across Antarctica, but they all had some form of assistance. They either had better, more plentiful supplies or devices that helped move them forward.

Besaw told the Associated Press that her husband plans to stay on Antarctica until Rudd finishes his trip.

Exercise 1


Read the following vocabulary with your teacher.


challenging (adj.) /ˈtʃælənʤɪŋ/ - difficult in a way that is usually interesting or enjoyable

  • I find the job challenging and fun.


gratitude (n.) /ˈgrætəˌtuːd/ - a feeling of appreciation or thanks

  • Let me express my sincere gratitude for all your help.


networking  (n.) - the act of exchanging information or services among people or groups


Exercise 2 


Answer these questions about the article.


  1. What did Colin O´Brady do?
  2. Was it hard?
  3. Did anyone help him?
  4. How long was the trip?
  5. How did he call his journey?


Exercise 3

Fill in the blanks

Fill in the blanks with the correct word listed below.

challenging, gratitude, networking


  1. This road trip was very _____.
  2. He loves ______ he is online all of the time.
  3. Let me express my deepest ________.


Exercise 4


Have a discussion on following questions.


  1. Would you try something like this?
  2. Is this somehow important?
  3. Why do you think Colind did this?
  4. Is it dangerous in your opinion?


This lesson is based on a news article originally published by learningenglish.voanews.