It’s official. I survived my first winter of pure darkness. Well, sort of. I may have cheated by escaping to Florida before officially starting my position at Pukka Travels back in January. Regardless, I learned to embrace the darkness knowing it was not forever. Waking up in the pitch black Arctic skies then patiently waiting for this 4 hour 'blue period’ before a blanket of darkness covered the sky was the norm. I know you are thinking that it sounds pretty miserable, but the town of Tromsø was in it together. Cozy coffeeshops with candles on each table fill the town, and headlamps are most definitely a thing. It is now nearly summer and there is the opposite light situation, it gets dark around midnight and light around 03:30 (the dream).
singing whales & dancing skies
Never have I been to such a pure and magical destination, and the fact I can call this place home is something very special to me. I can go out in the backyard and ski tour up a mountain with the ocean right behind me.
During the winter months humpback whales and Orcas sing beneath the sea in the areas surrounding Tromsø. The first time seeing these creatures in the wild was one of the most special moments I have ever witnessed.
Our tours would leave the harbor around 08:00 in the morning and start sailing through the magical fjords around Tromsø. The whales feed on the herring that seek ‘warmer’ waters during this time which is why they flock to this destination in the first place.
On certain days when the whales have had a large meal, they would gather around the boats and put on a show as if we were in Sea World (yet in the wild), not even joking. Bobbing in the water, headstands, and small splashes these whales are very smart and particularly playful. It is wonderful to see these creatures in their natural habitat without getting too close.
I have done quite a lot of fishing over the last few months (still have yet to catch a monster, but patience is a virtue…so they say). There are beyond enough fish to go around for everyone which makes it very fun when out with a small group. While many think fishing is ‘rugged,’ sailing on a catamaran in warm suits and a heated saloon makes the experience wonderful. I killed my first fish, and next I will learn how to fillet these delicious delicatessens of the sea.
I also saw the Northern Lights more than I can ever imagine and words can not even describe how powerful this experience is. Whether it was walking down the street and seeing the sky dance in front of my eyes, or from boat with Tromsø in the background. It is definitely something everyone should add to their bucket list if it is not on there already.
I have had the pleasure of having familiar faces from all over the world grace me with their presence which has meant the world to me considering how far North Tromsø is (let’s be honest they came to see the northern lights ;))
activities around tromsø
I have made the time to go cross country skiing, ski touring, downhill skiing, sailing, whale watching, northern light chasing, running, reindeer sledding, husky playing, fishing, bird watching all while working from tasting the coffee and testing the wifi in every single coffee shop and hotel lobby in town.
Being able to wake up and choose my office today has also been one of the most priceless experiences in the world. The creativity is always flowing and this city is an inspiring one with more than enough activities to go around
Now that mother nature turned the lights on the activities are endless, late night bbq’s and ski sessions are in the mix and couldn't be more excited to explore. I am running the midnight sun half marathon in June which has been rated one of the most beautiful marathons in Europe (reason why I am telling you this is because it is not too late to sign up).
I would be lying if I said it was easy. Start up life is tough, there are highs and lows, the seas are rough and then smooth as glass. The only roadblock is yourself yet the sky is the limit. A normal 9-5 is not the case and I would not want to have it any other way. Since November, I have been getting an average of 5 hours and 20 min. of sleep per night. I am now 7 weeks without coffee (I know, insane) and alcohol and have never felt better. I had to give up something in order to be able to do all of the activities I want to do while still being able to get all of my work done (though the to-do list is never ending). I am lucky enough to work with a team of like-minded people and love our morning breakfasts and team dinners.
I have gotten used to being able to work from anywhere and have adopted the ability to focus in pretty much any situation. Since moving to Norway I have worked everywhere from a pod hotel in japan, a chairlift in chamonix and a catamaran in the Arctic.
We are doing some pretty great things, and hope to have everyone come and visit this summer.
Day & Evening Fjord Sailing
Midnight sun sailing
72 Hour trip: Puffin Island
Sail to Paddleboard
Flights are cheap and are direct from Stockholm, London, Frankfurt, Oslo, Malaga & Crete (check SAS & Norwegian Air). On y va y’all. The Arctic is waiting. Also, our sail to ski trips are starting to book up for 2018. Get involved, you know you want to.
I will be updating my blog with my past trips which have included the ski week japan, a weekend in stockholm, a road trip from germany to sweden, an overnight trip to lyngen.
Overall, I made some big changes in my life over the last couple of months and while I had no idea if they would be the right decisions I have never been happier. I am pursuing my life goals of working with something that I am very passionate about while being able to be anywhere surrounded by amazing people. I have mentioned it many times on other blog posts, but I find it imperative to do something that makes you want to get out of bed early in the morning and go to sleep late at night. Just get out there and do it.