UVU professor completes life-long goal of visiting all seven continents

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Emily Hedrick is a graduate of, and now professor at UVU. Over the summer she made a long trip to Antarctica, completing her goal to travel to all seven continents. 

She first made the goal as a student when she traveled to Africa on a class trip, and now has finished her journey ten years later as a professor. She encourages anyone who asks her of her adventures to go out and explore the world themselves. 

Hedrick shared that she has always felt the call to adventure. “[Because I grew] up with National Geographic, I always had this wanderlust,” said Hedrick. 

While she was a student at UVU, Hedrick said that she heard of a school-sponsored trip to Namibia and knew she had to go. The trip was a service project to help digitally record the national archives there. 

“That trip really set me up for something big,” Hedrick said. 

She returned to Namibia the following year and shared with students that she was making plans to go back for a third time. 

Since that trip to Africa she has backpacked Spain, ridden the Trans Siberian railway, hiked the Volcano Trail through Central America and visited the Scottish Highlands, New Zealand, Australia, Tibet, Morocco.  As of this summer, Hedrick has visited Antarctica as well making it the seventh continent she has visited. 

Her last trip was the most extensive and took about two years of preparation. “My friend and I, we knew this would be our most expensive trip.” Hedrick said. She traveled to the bottom of Argentina from there she boarded a boat for a two-day journey across the Drake Passage to Antarctica. According to Hedrick, the preparations were well worth it. 

Hedrick said she recalls the breath taking moment that she looked out of a tiny porthole of the boat she was on and spotted the first iceberg. She said she felt a moment of complete awe. “It was surreal.” said Hedrick 

She also said that when it was quiet enough, she could hear the ice cracking and penguins calling. 

“It’s just wild and untamed land,” said Hedrick. “Usually, when you go to a national park, there are hints of people everywhere, but this was so remote and so pristine. It [was] like no place I’ve ever been [before].”

Hedrick said that part of the reason she loves traveling is because of the people she is able to meet and connect with. 

“The most memorable things are the people you meet along the way,” Hedrick said. “Traveling is such a good way to break down barriers.” 

Hedrick’s advice to anyone who wants to start traveling is to not get deterred by the cost. 

“Start by just going on road trips and exploring Utah and the surrounding states,” said Hedrick. “Don’t let cost be a hindrance for a weekend getaway.”

Photos courtesy of Emily Hedrick

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