My name is Fabio and I’m from Naples. I have finished my Pre-course of the Learn To Travel and Travel to Learn program. In this post I will tell you what I managed to do in these 6 months of work in Norway.
I have almost traveled all Europe and North America and my dream was to be able to visit Norway as much as possible during my time in Pre-course. My goal during this period was to experience Norway, to see their lifestyle, how they work here and to explore this country as much as possible. My wish list was: Svalbard, Tromsø and Lofoten!
I managed to see the first two thanks to teamwork with my team, organizing work and free time. I know that Lofoten will go sooner or later 🙂
This photo is taken just before entering the polar night beyond the Arctic circle, before arriving at the Svalbard islands.
How do I travel?
People often ask me, how do you do it? How do you travel so much? Are you rich?
My answer is always the same! It is a matter of priority, a matter of love. When you are in love, you will always find time for a person, always money and always the desire to do something together with him/her. . . I love to travel, now do you understand?
Christopher McCandless once said “To live only to live, at that moment in that place. Without maps, without clock without anything. Snowy mountains, rivers, starry skies. Only me and the wild nature” Here in this place, I felt exactly like this, so alive and happy with the spectacle of wild nature, the arctic nature!
The activities that can be done on the Svalbard islands are many. I was outside the safe area with the guide and the sledge with the dogs, surrounded by frozen mountains during the polar night and the light of the full moon so strong that it seemed to be as one of the spotlights on the football fields, despite the -25 degrees and the strong wind, my heart was warm and full of joy.
More about Svalbard Islands
The Svalbard Islands are located in the Arctic Ocean, halfway between Norway and the North Pole. In addition to a few thousand polar bears, the islands are inhabited by about 3,000 people, of whom over 2,000 are in Longyearbyen, the largest settlement and administrative centre of the islands. The town is called a safe zone by polar bears and there are two warning signs that warn you not to move beyond them.
There are very strict rules in these islands for the protection of this animal species. The rifle is only a precaution that only serves to frighten the bear and only in case of extreme need can it be used to shoot the bear. When this happens it has to be proven in court, as a normal attempted murder trial. Outside the safe zone, you can go either with a guide with permission for the rifle or alone if you have the patent for the possession of a firearm. All this severity is due to the fact that in the past the polar bear had come almost to the risk of extinction by hunting this animal, together with the whales.
Today there is so much fear of the polar bear as a common thought. Do you know how many humans have been killed by polar bears? Maybe not even a dozen in hundreds of years.
Do you know how many polar bears people have killed? Just think that from the year 1600 until the beginning of the 20th century we almost came to the risk of extinction. Only in 1973 did Canada, the United States, Denmark, Norway and the former Soviet Union sign the international agreement “for the conservation of polar bears and their habitat” aimed primarily at regulating and limiting their hunting in 2005.
A place so far from chaos and pollution but yet so close
Even today their lives are endangered by humans, this time it is climate change. This discourse can be applied to every living thing, to every cultivation, to every plant, to every child that we bring into the world. The Svalbard islands make you think a lot, a place so far from chaos and pollution but yet so close!
There would be a lot to talk about this topic and what I saw with my own eyes in these museums, data, talking with locals and living with them. I’m happy to do it closely and I don’t want to go too far.
Sømmaroy – the best experience
One of the experiences that I will carry more and more in my heart will be the island of Sømmaroy!
That night I deliberately decided not to book any hostel or apartment. I decided to sleep in the most extreme nature on a small beach. Getting there was not easy as there was a snowstorm but in the end, I managed it. I slept with a sleeping bag in a wooden house, a summer refuge used to observe the stars and the northern lights. Despite -6 degrees, I was happy as a child.
As John Steinbeck said “People don’t travel but travel makes people”
These trips have changed me. I must say that I am something different from the others… it’s something you must live on the spot.
The people of this island seem to live without time. Some of them would really like to live without the sound of the clock. An advertising company has just done a report on this topic. A place, where in summer you can see people mowing the grass even at two in the night and in winter you can see people who use the lights also during the day, because of the polar night.
Thank you, Norway for this wonderful opportunity to be able to see unique places and learn lots of new things.
My house will continue to travel on two legs and my dreams will have no borders.