Sleeping inside an actual snow Igloo after catching a glimpse of the elusive Northern Lights are easily some of the highlights of my 2017!
On the flip side, if you’ve been following me on Instagram, you would know that 2017 is the devastating year as my only brother passed away.
To say this year has been internally turbulent for me and my family is an understatement. However in more ways than one, I must credit travel to be a form of healing therapy.
Social media may paint a picture perfect life but not everything is always what it seems.
Going through the Grieving Process – still currently going back & forth emotionally as you are reading this; it has humbled me so much.
Ironically, the passing of my brother Miko was also the catalyst to finally launching this website.
Perhaps a little too late as he’s responsible for helping me set up my website. So for him not to see how it has come to fruition – sadly by force – still breaks my heart at the thought.
Although behind the cloth of tears and regrets, there are also breakthroughs that slowly manifest themselves.
In my case, it is through my travels this year that my soul slowly came back to life.
One in particular that truly set a spark after feeling so heavy and hopeless is the trip my sister, daughter and I took to Northern Europe: Lapland, Finland.
Thanks to my amazing sister who planned it all, we got to check off a bucketlist wish: sleeping inside a snow Igloo and saw the Northern Lights!
Rekindling the little girls in all of us, Lapland is also where we got to visit the official home of Santa Claus and crossed the Arctic Circle!
If you haven’t seen my holiday episode from last week in where I also filmed in Bryant Park, New York, add this to your binge watch list this Christmas break!
Who would have thought that sub-zero temperatures and snow could bring so much warmth back in one’s life? Believe me, travel can do many wonders for your spirit.
Today’s episode is my last one for this year. I wanted it to be something so different from what you are used to here in the tropics. My goal is to take you somewhere far away in the hopes that this will inspire your upcoming adventures for 2018 – literally and as an evolving individual.
Let me take you back to Lapland but this time, to experience the Northern Lights with me and my personal favorite: sleeping inside a snow igloo!
The tour includes camping inside a small wooden teepee-shaped cabin to stay warm while waiting for the auroras to show themselves.
Northern Europe is a very vegetarian-friendly part of the world, thank goodness. While everyone got to grill sausages and chicken nuggets, I got to enjoy sweet/savory spinach pancakes with cheese! Soooooo good!! Can you tell?
I wish I could say I have the greatest shots of the Northern Lights from that cold, negative 7C evening in April. AS much as I have a budding passion for mobile photography, I’m not a professional photographer nor do I have a pro camera.
You know when you stare at the glaring sun or any light source, your vision loses focus? Hence, flash photography affects the way our eyes focus on the sky. In this case, the Northern Lights, so it is strictly not allowed. Inevitably, it truly posed a challenge.
I may not have many photos but videos – oh ya, got lots of those! I explain and show you so much more from that evening on today’s episode! How much of the Northern Lights danced in the sky that night? So watch!
After hiking up and down the hill, we headed back to camp to sleep inside a snow Igloo for the night.
Leave it to vanity for me to find a way to still look as remotely photo-ready as possible despite the cold and fatigue, haha!
But when it got even colder, no amount of blush could hide my nearly lethargic face, lol.
There are not enough words to describe HOW HEAVY our snow gear was. It’s no joke having to get into them and then hiking in them as well. That alone made it more tiring but in a way, helped keep us warm from mild sweating.
Perhaps in some cases when the winter fairytale is mentally over, aka, if you can no longer stomach the cold. The snow Igloo is right across a full-service cabin.
Watch the episode where I take you inside the Igloo, the cabin and so much more. What do you think? Did I stay all night or give up?!
I dedicate this post to my parents who let me, my sister and my daughter proceed with the month-long trip despite my brother’s passing being so recent last April.
If there’s ever a time they needed us the most to heal together as a family, it would’ve been then. And yet, my parents generously sacrificed just so us three girls could bond.
I guess that’s why this trip, we three agree was one of the best in our lives. The inner child in us found healing through travel. Bittersweet.
Thank you for taking this adventure with me through my lowest of lows and all its highs. Know that you all have been a part of my healing and happiness.
Thank you for taking a chance on this passion project of mine. I promise to take you away with me to more magical places in 2018.
Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel and if you’ve got any questions you’d like to ask, send them here.
Happy holidays and a wonderful new year to all of you and your loved ones!
Love & light,