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Travel Adventures - Liquid emerald in the sky

Sweden, known as one the Baltic countries, comes with tales of Viking conquests. The other thing that Sweden is known for is its landscape and more notably a great place to view the Northern Lights. However, viewing the Northern lights will come at a price – one must bear the frigid cold and stay awake in the middle of the night

What is the most exciting part of the trip?

I enjoyed watching the Northern Lights move through the sky. It looked like an artist painting a mater piece water colour in the sky, right before my very eyes.

What is your largest takeaway from this trip – life advice, values?

Come prepared. Only with preparation can you stay warm (with a good jacket and winter boots). Only with preparation can you stay awake to watch the Northern Lights. It is a long wait. You never know when it will happen and it may never happen the whole night. Hence when I bumped into a fellow countryman who has chased the Northern Lights at 7 different countries, he said, “Buy a cheap $5 stool from the supermarket. You can’t stand up all night and you don’t want your bum to get wet and cold from the ice’. Last but not least, capturing this moment can be very fleeting, so set up the camera early and have extra battery packs. Coming prepared means you don’t waste the night freezing and you don’t waste time.

Is there any “hidden gems” that you will recommend?

You can see the Northern Lights from almost anywhere as long as you get away light source so that your eyes can adjust to the darkness. Many tour operators will tell you to sign up on a tour to see the Northern Lights. But all it takes is to stay in the Lapland area and get away from light source which can typically be found at the backyard of any hostel or hotel in Laplands.  And don’t forget to go for a nice sauna to warm up after that.

What is the most interesting part of the trip?

I cannot emphasize on how beautiful the Northern Lights are. I realized that once the Northern Lights appear for the night, it does not really appear the rest of the night or it takes too long for the next appearance, so it is best to just snuggle in bed. Trying reindeer stew was also interesting. I felt sorry for Santa!

What are some gears you find most important for such trips?

Warm water to drink for the cold and winter is dry. Extra batteries as the cold drains battery power faster. You definitely need a watch as you cannot rely on your phone in such cold weather. Warm clothes, some snacks and a stool for waiting. A torch light so that you can find your way back in the dark.

Did you face any challenges? How did you overcome such challenges?

It is hard to navigate in the dark. Moreover, there are not many landmarks when you are trying to get away from the light source. Staying alert and remembering a routes is key. You can forget about using a GPS in the middle of Lapland or your phone if you think you can call SOS.

What did you want in a watch?

I needed a watch that did not operate on battery. Anything with a battery just do not last there. Hence, I wanted a watch built on an automatic movement.