Many people dream of traveling to exotic locations around the globe. But making it to all seven continents—before your 26th birthday? Fugetaboutit. But that’s exactly what one Saratoga County native is set to accomplish next year. Originally from Charlton, NY about 30 minutes southwest of Saratoga Springs, 25-year-old Meagan Roecker is a genuine globetrotter, who’s already visited six out of the seven continents—and she just purchased a ticket to go to Antarctica, completing the rare continental feat.
“I like to travel as much as I can and see as much as I can,” says Roecker, who calls Boston home these days. “I find you learn a lot more traveling than by reading a book or sitting in a classroom.” Thanks to a college internship in Australia, Roecker was able to check a difficult-to-reach continent off of her list early, and it helped give her the travel bug. “When I did Australia and New Zealand in 2015, I got this idea that I wanted to do all the continents one day,” says Roecker. “It really intrigued me meeting a bunch of people from all areas of the world.” So Roecker began saving her money and soon enough she was ticking locations off her bucket list: from hiking through Argentina’s scenic Patagonia region with her father to visiting Johannesburg in South Africa with another travel buddy and last summer, making it to Japan.
Roecker had originally planned on visiting all seven continents before her 25th birthday, but because the window to visit Antarctica is so narrow—from November to February each season—the trip had to be postponed a year. “They’re trying to restrict the number of tourists that go there since it’s the only preserved land left in our world,” says Roecker, who seems unfazed by the change in her plans. Roecker’s 11-day cruise will depart on November 8, 2020 from the southern tip of Argentina and take two days to reach Antarctica. Once on the continent, the Capital Region native will be able to hike, mountaineer, kayak, see penguins, whale watch and potentially, camp. Roecker will also be bringing a friend she made during her journeys. “She originally asked me if I had any interest in doing Antarctica,” says Roecker. “And I was like, ‘Yes, absolutely!’ No one else on the planet is going to ask me to do Antarctica ever.'”
Even after all of those excursions, Roecker says that she’s still fond of her old home. “Since I started traveling, I’ve developed a special appreciation for the Capital Region,” she says. “Where I grew up, it’s really remote. I like the quiet [of Charlton] and being close to the mountains. There’s something nice about being in nature.”