From Longyearbyen to Ushuaia

Things happen for a reason, they say. I’d like to believe that, even though sometimes ‘things’ don’t make sense. That’s life, I guess. It is full of surprises.

About five years ago I visited the town of Longyearbyen, on the island of Spitsbergen (Norway), at 78° north the northernmost town in the world. After, I dreamt about spending a year up in the Arctic, to experience life in a small town surrounded by fjords and polar bears, with three months of absolute darkness and three months of 24 hour daylight.

Overview of Longyearbyen and the surrounding landscape

Overview of Longyearbyen and the surrounding landscape

In winter time I imagined myself studying at the university, driving my snow scooter on the frozen fjords, enjoying the festivals they pull off in winter and long, dark days of reading and writing by candlelight. In summer, the great outdoors would be calling, climbing mountains and glaciers, being amazed by the midnight sun and navigating the waters to isolated islands and bird colonies.

Today Longyearbyen is still of my mind, but not yet on my calendar. Life happened to me while I was busy making other plans. I traveled to other places. Spent a good time in Holland. And most of all, I truly lost my heart to Patagonia.

So, life seems to have taken a turn for the contrary. Instead of living in the northernmost town of Longyearbyen, I now find myself based in Ushuaia, on the grand island of Tierra del Fuego (Argentina), being the southernmost city in the world at 54° south.

Longyearbyen and Ushuaia have something in common though: either one is located at the end of the world.

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