“This is “the final frontier”.  There is no more to it than that.  Truly, this is the edge of our existence.  It is the last great adventure and the end-all, be-all as far as we’re concerned.  Beyond the horizon of the “frontier”, there lays mysteries and wonders of great magnitude left waiting for your discovery.  Sound fun, exciting and altogether dangerous?  I think so!  Oh boy, “the final frontier” sounds just awesome.  But what is it and where is it, exactly?


From Tarangire National Park, Tanzania
From Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

     We’ve all heard this iconic phrase whether in books or in movies, which is repeatedly used to describe a mysterious place yet untouched by people.  A place where no discovery expedition has set foot would seem to be worthy of this term.  It would seem this location is extremely difficult to get to, and would also be a very expensive journey to do so.  Beware of the dangers, for you may never return!

            As exciting as the current definition may be, what happens if we push our thinking just a little?  What may we find, then, if we do some inquiry and discovery of our own into “the final frontier”?  Hm, my curiosity is getting the better of me.  We should get to the bottom of this straight away. 

images            For starters, “Space is the final frontier!” as told by the famous crew of the Enterprise from the popular show, “Star Trek”.  “Beam me up, Scottie!”  For many, the great void of space is the only infinity and beyond left.  Looking to the stars of the night sky, depending where you live, we are captivated by space’s enormity.  Considering that space is an infinite stretch of, well, space, then it is quite easy to imagine this would be the only untouched frontier.  Planets, nebula, even whole galaxies are left to be named “Alexclarkatopia”! 

            No, I can’t buy that.  Why do we have to go beyond our own planet to find a place of mystery?  What about those extreme places here on Earth?  Should they also be considered in the running as “the final frontier”?  Besides, much of these Earthly places lay unseen by human eyes, despite Google maps. 

            Our planet Earth has too many mind-boggling mysteries to count.  The complexity of our own world stretches as far as our imagination will take us.  Despite all this, many people think the only mysterious land left undiscovered lay in the snowy desert of Antarctica.  A recent article I read in Conde Nast Traveler  magazine stays, “Antarctica, the last adventure!”.  Or perhaps it would be Siberia?  No, wait; Siberia is inhabited by a few collections of nomadic reindeer herders.  How about Greenland?  Nope, we’ll give Greenland the same diagnosis as Siberia.  Too tame a place.  A few settlements of people inhabit Greenland as well.  Something about the penguins and the jagged mountain peaks of Antarctica have taken us by storm.  But how can we pick just one place?  Surely there are many other places that give us just as much wonder and mystic as we find in Antarctica.  What, then? 

Taj Mahal, Agra, India.
Taj Mahal, Agra, India.

 

            Wait a minute!  Could I get to “the final frontier” if I wished?  Well, no, it’s not that easy.  You need equipment to reach the “frontier”: sled dogs, a spaceship, food rations, submarines, a radio, glacier goggles, and don’t forget the crampons!  Not to mention months or years of your life.  Oh, and five million dollars wouldn’t hurt, either.  Well shoot!  Tough luck when it comes to reaching that elusive “frontier”, wherever it may be.  Where is this place, anyway?  I’m confused altogether. 

 

Sled dogs...really?
Sled dogs…really?

            But why are we led to believe that there is only one absolute “final frontier”, whether on earth or in space? Why would a concept of such mystery and unknowable vastness be limited to just a single place or a few places?  A little boring, isn’t it?  And why is this “frontier” left for only a few people to enjoy?  Well, I want a refund if that’s the case. 

           Join me next time to delve deeper in how we may look at this idea of “final frontier” a little differently.  Cheers!     

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