Have you ever wanted to go somewhere just to show you can? In A Place Further Than the Universe, that’s what drives Kimari to join Shirase in her plan to go to Antarctica. At the start, Antarctica wasn’t Kimari’s goal specifically. What initially drove her was the desire to go somewhere, to do something. It’s not that she was unsatisfied with her life; she just needed a chance to stretch her limits and do something wild while she still could. The exact goal didn’t matter at first, but now Antarctica is simultaneously the most important and least important part of her journey.
While it started with just Kimari and Shirase, the plan quickly grew to include Hinata and Yuzuki. While Shirase has personal reasons for going and Yuzuki has a promotional event there, Kimari and Hinata don’t have any tangible reason for going. They’re both ordinary teenagers living ordinary lives. What initially sets them on this path is a simple desire to do something special while they still can. As teenagers just a couple of years away from college, this is one of the last chances they’ll have to do something wild and adventurous before they face the realities of adult life. Kimari’s initial goal was to just take a random trip, but Antarctica became her goal as soon as she found out about Shirase’s dream.
Even though the girls have yet to even leave for Antarctica, simply being on that path and knowing that they’re going somewhere amazing makes a huge difference. Just knowing that they’re doing something crazy like going to Antarctica fills them with passion and energy. It’s the joy of spending a day making big plans with your friends, knowing that they might not happen, but still reveling in the possibilities. Working on getting to Antarctica gives the girls something special outside of their mundane lives. Even though they haven’t gone anywhere yet, the fun they have along the way makes the entire enterprise worth it.
At the same time, Antarctica itself is a symbol of Kimari’s dream. Going to Antarctica is so wild, so outlandish, that the mere fact that she’s going energizes Kimari. Her initial plan to take a random trip pales in comparison to going somewhere so few people have ever been, and doing so while she’s still in high school no less. Finally reaching her goal is more than just doing something to Kimari; it’s accomplishing something that everyone else said can’t be done. It’s a challenge, sure, but that’s what makes it so worthwhile. Her trip as it stands holds infinite potential. It could end in failure, but it could also end with Kimari doing something she can be proud of for the rest of her life.
Sure, people mock Kimari and Shirase for doing something so crazy, but that’s not their problem. Those are just words, words from people who aren’t chasing adventure. Shirase and Kimari rightfully ignore their taunts because actions speak louder than words. Going to Antarctica is their adventure, and taunts like that only give them more motivation to prove everyone wrong and go. Beyond that, none of it matters. It’s not just them, either. The adults going on the expedition have the same reaction. Who cares about little things like practicality or funding when you’re going to Antarctica of all places? If there’s a problem, they’ll figure out a way to make it work and keep going on their adventure.
Even though going to Antarctica is Kimari’s goal, the journey itself is just as important. It’s a difficult task, but that’s what makes it worthwhile. Going to Antarctica is a big deal precisely because so few people have actually done it. The steps taken, the fun times spent with friends, and the lessons learned are all part of why Kimari’s journey isn’t just going somewhere. It’s going to Antarctica!