Kristel Kouly of HowIJourney is a world traveller and blogger, who recently traveled to Antarctica. She documented her fascinating journey through Instagram, which provided great insights on her amazing trip.

I was truly inspired by her journey, as it is my last Continent left to explore, and is on my bucket list.
I wanted to learn more about her, and her journey, and was grateful when she agreed to answer a few questions.
This is a brief introduction. I will provide her blog information below, where you can learn more about her amazing travels and trip to Antarctica!

HowIJourney in Antarctica!

Lovee: Hello Kristel! Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I’ve been following your traveling journey on Instagram, and I love your zest for life and living. Reminds me of the Costa Rican slogan: PURA Vida! 🤗

Kristel: Thank you. I love that slogan and feel extremely lucky to have been able to travel as much as i’ve been able to. It really is something that I love doing and get excited about! Knowing I have an upcoming trip is a feeling I cannot describe. The only thing more exciting is carnival!

Lovee: Haha! Yes, I share your sentiments, and I’ve seen some of your carnival pictures! It’s infectious! First off, what country are you originally from, and at what age did you catch the traveling bug?

Kristel: I was born on the beautiful island of St. Lucia. My parents were avid explorers, and really introduced my sister and I to the travel world at a very young age. My 1st country visited was Barbados at just three months old 🙂

Lovee: Nice! I saw on your Insta that you’ve visited more than fifty countries! WOW! What inspires your quest for traveling and seeing the world? And how has it changed your life?

Kristel: I have been really fortunate to not only catch the travel bug from my parents at a young age, but I have a husband that really loves to travel also. More than half of the countries I’ve visited have been with him! For now he’s beating me at number of countries visited at sixty plus, and he’s done all seven continents! I’m still at six, with Australia being my very last to go. What I really love about traveling the world is learning how other people live, indulging in food (I love to eat!) and enjoying the stunning beauty this world has to offer. There are so many breathtaking views, adorable animals (like penguins!) monuments and historical buildings to see, I never get enough of it all.

HowIJourney and Husband in Antarctica!

Lovee: I share your enthusiasm. It’s wonderful that your husband share in your passion, and you get to travel the world together. What a blessing! I know you’ve been to many far flung places, but why Antarctica?

Kristel:My day job is actually working for an Expedition cruise line that specializes in taking people to “off the beaten path” places in the world, Antarctica being just 1 of the many amazing destinations. An opportunity came up for us to get on the ship (usually very rare) and we jumped on it! Visiting the white continent wasn’t something on my list until I started working at Silversea and it really was a once in a lifetime bucket list trip! Some people in my office have been over 100 times and still love it.

Lovee: What a wonderful opportunity! I can imagine a lot of planning and preparation goes into such a big trip. Can you give us a brief insight about the preparation and route in getting there?

Kristel: Planning a trip under normal circumstances can be really challenging and now with the global pandemic, it has only made things 3x as complicated. Many countries have very strict entry requirements and Chile was probably the most difficult I’ve experienced to date. With all their rules, regulations and online forms to fill out, many people have been sent back home upon arrival for not having the right paperwork. Traveling these days takes a whole lot of patience and attention to details.

A few things to keep in mind when travel planning in 2022:
Check the tourism board’s website for the country you are visiting, they will typically have all the up to date entry requirements
Also check if you need a visa to visit. With a US passport you don’t need a visa to go to most countries BUT it is sometimes required in advance or you can get one on arrival
Vaccines are required for many countries + some even require you to be vaccinated to eat in restaurants and to visit tourist attractions. Note what brand of vaccines countries accept.
Ensure you understand the type of COVID test needed to visit. Some countries require specific ones like RT-PCR, others are okay with antigen testing. They will usually have time requirements to take your test. For example, 72 hours prior to boarding which needs to be calculated correctly or you can be denied boarding.
Many countries ask you to apply for entry before you fly, ensure you receive this approval letter before going to the airport or you may be denied boarding
Travel insurance is a MUST. Ensure your policy covers COVID 19 & varients, has medical coverage and most importantly trip interruption

Lovee: That’s some wonderful advise/reminders. What was your first reaction when you first laid your eyes on the frozen peninsula?

HowIJourney in Antarctica!

Kristel: The landscape is so rare, breathtaking and stunning. The cute penguins at every turn also helped me fall in love with the place! The only thing that could have made it better would have been seeing a whale up close. I only saw a fin in the distance 🙁

Lovee: I can only imagine. Your pictures were breathtaking. You transported me there also. I loved your pictures with the penguins! So beautiful! I saw the African Penguins in Cape Town, South Africa, but I imagine seeing them in the snow is like a movie. What were some other highlights from your trip?

Penguins in Antarctica!

Kristel: Our captain did an ice landing with the ship, which is really rare and takes a lot of technical skill. An ice landing is when you literally park the ship in the ice! Sometimes you can get off the ship right onto the ice or take a short zodiac ride to the land. The ship set up a champagne bar for us, we literally had champagne on ice! Just an unforgettable experience.

One thing I didn’t realize was that penguins swim very far! We saw them in the middle of the ocean jumping through the waves like dolphins, it was spectacular.

Lovee: WOW! As with everything else, all highs comes with some lows. What were some of those, and how did you handle it?

Kristel: Traveling during the pandemic comes with the risk of testing positive abroad. I am vaccinated and not worried about getting very sick, ending up in a hospital but I do worry about testing positive and having to quarantine abroad for 10 – 14 days. Our first day on the ship 2 people in our travel group tested positive and had to quarantine for the duration of the trip. We were not only really sad that our friends wouldn’t be joining us for the adventure but concerned about contracting the virus ourselves. When we had completed our 10 day trip, we had tested 9 times, with each result being nerve racking. Unfortunately that is just part of traveling these days that I don’t see changing any time soon. Travel insurance with trip interruption is a MUST and can help cover quarantine expenses.

Lovee: Great advise! I’ve been very fortunate through my travels also, to not get sick or test positive for covid, but it is definitely a great risk, and a lot more stressful traveling during this pandemic. All precautions must be taken.
Ok, so I’ve also heard a lot about the Drake Passage, which I’m dreading. Is it as bad as they say?

Kristel: We actually skipped the Drakes Passage and flew directly into King George Island, Antarctica to catch the ship. One night 1 of our voyage we did encounter the mini Drake which was really awful and had all of us sick. I even got really sick and I NEVER get sea sick. It was pretty bad.


Lovee: Oh my! And this was a mini Drake? (Covers face) Lord help me, because I literally take my dramamine pills for every and any journey, so i can only imagine what awaits! Haha!
For anyone, like me, who would like to pursue this trek, what are some other tips you would provide?

Kristel: This trip is a bucket list and not cheap. I would recommend scouting a few Expedition cruise companies and pay over time for the cruise. Many companies allow you to pay off a bit every month. A few to checkout are Quark, National Geographic (aka Linblad Expeditions), Hurtigruten and Aurora Expeditions.

Lovee: Great tip. Thank you for the info, and thank you for taking the time to share a little more about your journey with me and my readers. I know readers will have more questions, and will want to see more pictures, therefore, I will share your blog and Instagram information below. Continue trekking…and continue to share with us all. We love watching!

Kristel: You’re welcome and thank you. I have posted a few videos on my Tik Tok page, follow me @HowIJourney or on Instagram @HowIJourney ..I will also have more information on Antartica on my travel blog at

Lovee: Thank you! PURA VIDA! 🙏🏽🤗