‘It’s never too late to be who you might have been’
DALE Jacobsen hung on to a dream for more than 50 years and made it happen.
Ms Jacobsen, of Curramore, was only eight years old when she decided she wanted to go to Antartica one day.
At 65, she achieved her dream when she did a 32-day trip to the Antarctic, and she shared her experience this morning at the U3A state conference on the Sunshine Coast.
Ms Jacobsen told of seeing the huts of explorers Shackleton and Scott, penguins, seals, "majestic" icebergs of "exquisite colours", pack ice, and her first aurora.
The 100 conference visitors listened intently as she told of seeing the huts of explorers Shackleton and Scott, penguins, seals, "majestic" icebergs of "exquisite colours", pack ice, and her first aurora.
She described the Antarctic as a "pristine" world.
"No matter where you go or where you look, you know there are no coke cans or chip packets there. It's as if you're the first person who has landed," she said.
She said the trip had changed her and made her hungry to return.
"I found that the world is too big and too beautiful to lose yourself in day to day troubles and it's never to late to be who you might have been."
The two-day U3A conference program also includes speakers on topics such as organ donations, robotics, men's sheds and happiness.
The U3A, which is open to people over 55 and generally retired, has about 2000 members on the Sunshine Coast and offers 120 courses in subjects as diverse as yoga, tai chi, languages and history.
Sunshine Coast president Dawne Clark said the organisation not only encouraged lifelong learning but was also a way for people to connect.
"There's the companionship and friendship in the courses and then there's the idea of extending yourself to something you didn't know or in something you did know - a lot of people pick up languages that they've learned earlier in life."
The conference will continue tomorrow, Friday, June 3, with a meeting of U3A presidents, workshops in driver safety and personal security, and more guest speakers.