At the beginning of December I will start in Tromsø. My plan is very simple: I’ll paddle two to three weeks in Norway on my SUP board to the North Cape on the waterway . On the trail of the northern lights, I will be challenged by the darkness, the cold and unknown waters in order to be able to see things with new eyes again. 500 kilometers, enough time and top material – what more do you need?

 

Sparkling is good in the dark

If it weren’t for darkness, we wouldn’t know anything about the stars, is a saying in Norway . My expedition should not take place during the warm summer months. I need to fight the elements again. So why not take on the challenges and experience Norway in the darkest season?

The moments when my body slowly warms up after the first few strokes of the paddle are dances of joy for muscles and mind. The twilight that falls over the country for a few hours every day is a gift from the sun, which cheers me up every day. The tail wind that drives me along with the ebb tide is pure relaxation.

 

Wind and peaks of waves

After I was greeted by a snowstorm in Tromsø and the temperatures plummeted, I question this decision with every paddle stroke: Why am I doing this to myself? When the temperature is below zero, crawl out of the tent and then paddle through the darkness for up to ten hours. Lashing wind that piles up the water in waves and almost capsizes my SUP board. A fall would be the end of my expedition, because, as is well known, wet and cold become ice. But that’s exactly where the fascination of my trip lies.

 

Finally northern lights!

When the clouds lift after an exhausting week and I see the northern lights for the first time in my life, I am just happy.

For me, life means that I face uncertain situations, challenge myself and grow or fail as a result. Don’t fear the end of life, rather fear that it never begins. According to this Norwegian idiom, I am not afraid of the uncertainty of my plan.

I never take unnecessary risks. Already in the first week I decide against crossing fjords, always paddle near the shore and the last stage I do on foot because of the stormy winds. Often accompanied by the unearthly beautiful northern lights.

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Home …

Despite a dry suit, life jacket and emergency transmitter, I am looking for challenges in physical and mental combat and not in risky situations.

It is the inner voice that screams, first softly and then louder, for freedom and adventure. On the way to the North Cape, this voice gets quieter and quieter. Another voice is getting louder and louder. It is the call for company and homecoming!

I paddle not only towards my goal, but deeper and deeper into myself. A world which is my life and which I can create and shape myself. 

 

Emily Wong

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