Greetings from the Arctic circle!
Seriously, I really am there…and I am cold. Now I thought I knew cold before. I was wrong. I am NOT built for a week of sub zero temperatures. I am probably not built for a day of them. But I finally checked another item off my bucket list… The Northern Lights!
Like many people, the Northern lights have sat on my bucket list for decades waiting to be seen. I booked this trip when I returned from Scotland in Sept 2019 and booked my next adventure for February 2021. Then the pandemic hit. I wasn’t worried though. Surely it would be over before February 2021. I was wrong. When November rolled around and the pandemic was still going strong and California was still closed and travel was still very restricted I bumped my trip to the next year. February 2022 was it! Not a big deal. Then as the holiday surge hit and restrictions tightened up even more despite the vaccinations now being available I bumped it another year. So February 2023 it is…but I was not feeling good about it.
I didn’t get excited about my trip until after the holidays when it appeared that the trip was actually going to happen. Then it was a scramble. Where did I put my frozen tundra gear? Does it still fit? Will it be enough? How do I dress to travel from sunny California to Whitehorse, Canada to make the transition form 65 degrees to -13? ( It was actually -18 when I got there, not like 5 degrees makes that much of a difference. I didn’t even want to know what temps I was looking at with the wind chill factored in. I didn’t want to know.)
In the last few months before my trip my flights were changed 3 times leading me to add on an extra night in Whitehorse then a night in Vancouver at the beginning of my trip. I watched the weather closely and read up on the Northern lights. I learned all about space weather, solar flares, KP factors and other things I never had any reason to know. I learned all about dog sled racing and the Yukon Quest dog sled race that was happening while I was there. I started to have nightmares that I was going to get frostbite on my nose and it was going to fall off. I often wondered what I was thinking to myself.
When you are in search of achieving your dreams it is not a good idea to listen to others who have not been there, done that before. They have no idea. (Actually, that is good advice no matter what it is.) Do not listen to advice about travel from someone who has never left their hometown. I can’t even begin to tell you just how many people have tried to give me travel advice who have never traveled. Seriously? How are you an expert? I have since learned to just ignore them, their opinions and their advice. This trip brought on more that almost any other trip I have taken. For some reason whenever I travel solo EVERYONE seems to have an opinion about it. The trick is to ignore them and follow your dreams. In the end you will have accomplished and seen more than those who rarely stray away from the comfort of their couch.
Follow your dreams!