After two long years of preparation and delays, successes and setbacks, I finally stood at the top of the world alongside the 10 team members of the Women's Euro-Arabian North Pole Expedition on the 21st April.
The sea ice of the Arctic Ocean was simultaneously intimidating and mesmerising. We saw such beautiful colours and incredible variety of ice formations and yet everywhere was the unnerving evidence that we were not on solid ground but a shifting, unpredictable raft of fragile ice. We saw open water steam into the freezing air and hang over the ice like a sinister mist, we saw vast boulders of ice balanced in heaps as if swept up by giant hands and once, on prodding the far side of a lead, I saw the seemingly solid ice move away from me frighteningly swiftly.
I am used to expeditions that last weeks, that are all about making slow and steady progress - but the Arctic Ocean was the exact opposite of everything I was used to. We had a very short time window to complete our journey and from the moment we were deposited on the ice we were against the clock. Everything had to happen so quickly and the challenge was to be ready for that. No time to fall into routines or to adapt.
I look forward to sharing the story and experiences of this expedition in the months to come - as always I learned a lot from those we travelled with, about mistakes made and things that I could have done better, as well as a reaffirmation that the human spirit is a wonderful thing to be admired. The team are each speaking about their personal journey in schools and at events, we are all writing up our memories and Holly has already begun the long process of editing expedition footage into a film.
With things changing so rapidly in the high Arctic I feel very fortunate to have been able to experience it and I very much hope this won't be the last time I stand on the ice at the top of the planet.