Gathered on November 2, 2021 in Charlotte (North Carolina), Grand Duke Travis and many dignitaries from the Antarctic micronation celebrated its twentieth anniversary. During this meeting with his fellow citizens, the Westarctican monarch spoke with a speech retracing his journey since the birth of the micronation.
Westarctica began as a community of individuals who shared a desire to permanently inhabit a vast area of Antarctica, known as Marie Byrd Land.
In 2001, this part of the Antarctic continent was claimed by Travis McHenry, the first and still current Grand Duke of a micronation claiming this huge territory. A claim that has still not been disputed by anyone, as His Royal Highness likes to point out.
« Initially, I set myself 5 years before I could set foot in Westarctica. I was thinking of going to an abandoned bird watching base where I thought I could develop a small hamlet there ».
For all these years, no citizen of the Grand Duchy has been able to travel to the national territory. It is a project that is still a costly expedition that only certain scientists can carry out, thanks to the funds of non-protesting countries. A shame for our Grand Duke who, however, was able to adapt his project to this reality: “ Initially, I set myself 5 years before I could set foot on Westarctica. I was thinking of going to an abandoned bird-watching base where I thought I would be able to develop a small hamlet there with shops etc... such a hostile climate cannot be envisaged without a regular supply of fuel and food. So I said to myself that we had to start by forming a kind of government in exile. »
This is how Grand Duke Travis of Westarctica was able to build physical proof of his micronation existence, for example by producing many coins and stamps that fans of micronations like to collect. However, the path has not been without difficulties and doubts. In fact the US Navy, in which McHenry is a lieutenant, disapproves of this claiming attitude. Travis then asks himself questions if this bright idea is ultimately not very interesting and he eases off for a while. Recalled by his followers in 2010, it was four years later in 2014 that the Grand Duke asked himself the fundamental question about the meaning of his micronation. He then deduces that the primary mission should be environmental.
Protecting that territory would then make it possible to better raise awareness about global warming. Since then, the Grand Duke has been pleased to count his ever-increasing number of fellow citizens ( 2 000 to date ), thanks to the creation of a community group on social networks. The micronation has registered as an NGO, which allows it to raise tax-deductible funds in the United States. She has also registered as an observer with the United Nations. The Grand Duchy of Westarctica thus intends to maintain a prominent place in the world of micronations. It is currently the organizer of the 2022 edition of Microcon, the largest Micronational congress on the American continent. It is planned to take place in Las Vegas, the city where the Grand Duke now resides.