Join us / Suivez-nous

Polar Horizons’ Newsletter

Get the latest on our polar adventures. Don’t wait! Subscribe today.

Infolettre d’Horizons Polaires

Recevez les dernières nouvelles à propos de nos aventures polaires. Inscrivez-vous aujourd’hui!

Categories / Catégories

Archives

A new life in northern Sweden / Une nouvelle vie dans le nord de la Suède

Here’s a great two part article written by Alec Forss, an Englishman who decided to leave his office job and move above the Arctic circle in the small town of Jokkmokk in Lapland, Sweden.

Ci-joint, un article en deux parties (en anglais) écrit par Alec Forss, un britannique qui a décidé de laissé son travail et de s’installer au-delà du cercle polaire dans la petite ville de Jokkmokk, en Laponie (Suède). Dans la première partie, Alec décrit son séjour qui s’est déroulé dans les mois d’été. Puis, dans la seconde partie, il nous raconte la vie quotidienne durant les mois d’hiver et traite des réalités entourant la vie dans un petit village nordique.

My Stockholm friends thought me mad when I announced I was moving. “But you do know about the mosquitoes?” was by far the most common response I received, as if I would be eaten alive by fighter squadrons of them the moment I set foot there. Others told me that I would need to dress in camouflage and carry a large hunting knife on my belt at all times – otherwise no one would talk to me. “It’ll be just as strong an experience as going to India,” ventured another. Others feared I would be bored.

In Part One of the article, Alec talks about the summer he spent in Jokkmokk with his Montreal girlfriend. Reading his description reminds me of the few days I spent in Tromso (northern Norway) and the hikes we did starting at 10PM.

For the next seven weeks it failed to get completely dark. We quite often made dinner during those long summer evenings on an open fire under a small cliff nearby. We also trekked for days on end in the majestic national parks further west near the border with Norway. Buying Arctic char and fresh stone baked bread from the Sami in their summer villages without roads or electricity, we witnessed old traditions such as the marking of the reindeer calves in the mountains.

In Part Two , Alec tells about the daily life in Jokkmokk during the winter months and touches on the realities of living in a small town in the North.

Many people got by on sparks – kick-sledges – to run their daily errands, while skis and ice-fishing gear were stacked up against people’s houses alongside the ubiquitous snowmobile. There were also kilometres of cross-country ski tracks at the back of the town which I used almost daily. It was great to be swishing through the forests, and sometimes I would even find myself skiing behind a small herd of reindeer that would run in front of me. For a brief instant, I could imagine myself to be a reindeer herder of old.

Alec concludes :

The north just gets under your skin it seems.

I sure can’t argue!


1 comment to A new life in northern Sweden / Une nouvelle vie dans le nord de la Suède

  • Pitro

    Après lecture des 2 articles, qui sont très intéressants,
    je constate qu’il y a les amoureux de la nature et les gens qui recherchent le dépaysement. Mais pour des gens qui sont habitués de vivre dans de grands centres où le luxe et l’abondance font partie du quotidien, c’est difficile d’y rester autre qu’en tant que touriste car ils y voient que les beaux côtés.
    Mais pour les jeunes qui y sont nés, c’est la recherche du travail et des défis qui les poussent à quitter ces lieux.
    Heureusement que l’on dit que les voyages forment la jeunesse!

    J’ai retenu qu’il compare ce lieu ¨Jokkmokk¨ comme la beauté de L’Alaska de l’Europe. Un autre beau coin à découvrir!

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>