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The Inari Sami and Their Reindeer

The Sami and their reindeer are inseparable. For thousands of years, the northernmost indigenous group of Europe have relied on these animals not just for their livelihoods, but for transport, food, and clothing as well. The fact that the Sami and their reindeer are so intertwined is obvious from their language; they have over 20…

Snowshoeing in Search of the Northern Lights

The night didn’t look promising. In fact, it looked about as unpromising as two nights before, when I’d called to reschedule my evening snowshoeing trip after arriving in Tromsø in blizzard conditions. Tromsø Villmarkssenter had been very understanding, agreeing that snowshoeing in gale force winds wouldn’t be a lot of fun, and I had been…

Snowmobiling into a Whiteout in the Lyngen Alps

A perfect morning dawned over Camp Tamok as I slowly wrestled out of my sleeping bag in the Sami lavvu I’d spent the night in. As we ate breakfast in a warm cabin, huskies from the nearby kennel barked at each other and got themselves excited for another day of sprinting through the Lyngen Alps.…

The Magic of Dogsledding in the Dark

“I wanna go fast! I wanna go fast!” I could almost hear the huskies chanting Ricky Bobby’s favourite line as they bounded across the pristine snow of the Lyngen Alps outside of Tromsø. They had rocketed off as soon as I’d let go of the brake, accelerating as fast as they could as snow appeared…

Snorkeling…in the Arctic…in WINTER?!

As I sat on the side of the RIB (rigid inflatable boat), looking up at the snow-coated mountains rising out of the sea all around me, I wondered what in the world I had been thinking. Surely I had experienced a moment of temporary madness when I had signed up to snorkel in the Lofoten…

Swimming with the Dusky Dolphins of Kaikoura

I stood in my flippers, looking out at the calm sea beyond. Dorsal fins cut through the surface in every direction, but instead of being scared, I couldn’t wait to get into the water. As our boat had motored out into the Pacific Ocean, we’d watched two pods of dusky dolphins come together in front…

5 Life Lessons Learned From Hiking

I’ve been thinking a lot about hiking recently, mainly because I’m intent on putting together the best possible entry for Air New Zealand and the DOC’s ‘Great Walker’ competition. The prize? Doing the nine Great Walks of New Zealand in nine weeks while blogging about it. To me, this is pretty much the Holy Grail…

The Queen Charlotte Track: Endeavour Inlet to Camp Bay

I woke up with a bang — literally. Groggy and feeling a bit stiff from the day before, I’d managed to turn off my alarm, which had been set to give me the perfect amount of time to get ready and get my pack out to the dock for the 9am bag pickup. When I…

Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Snow

I stood behind a heavy wooden door, peeking out at the frozen land beyond. Snow was falling steadily, adding to the piles that were already banked up against the outside of the small wooden building. I looked back at the bench where all of my clothes sat, happily folded up and basking in the warmth…

Fitzroy Island: An Underwater Paradise

Two years ago, my brother and I visited Fitzroy Island on our trip up to the Great Barrier Reef. We’d heard that it was a beautiful spot to go snorkeling and was much nicer than spending an entire day on a boat on the Outer Reef. It really was a beautiful spot, and a great…
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