Crossroads Scandinavia: When an eternal dream comes true!
by Christian Bendel
We all have dreams and each of us holds onto the hope of fulfilling those dreams at some point within ones lifetime. My fascination with Scandinavia and its unbelievable width and untouched nature has always been there. It has been a dream to travel to Scandinavia, myself as the organizer and exploring for an unforeseen amount of time.
Lacking in preparation for what lay ahead, I was faced with a difficult decision: I could fulfill my dream of traveling to Scandinavia, but I would have to put a pause to everything else I knew, mobilize all I have and give up my perceived safety. It was not a decision I made lightly, but I knew I had to go for it!
The risks I took, I believe, payed off. With a small team of friends I traveled across Sweden for four weeks. We traveled eight thousand kilometres starting in the south we traveled along the east coast, through the middle of the country all the way up to the high north of Lapland, and returning south we traveled along the west coast. As it turns out, my dream came true and it was an unforgettable road trip:
We encountered many kind and very hospitable people, admired reindeer in the indescribably beautiful vastness, passed various landscapes each increasingly more fascinating and some even wrapped in white. We had expected different weather conditions, but the -16 ° C in the far north surprised us and left us ice cold when we arrived in Lapland after our long drive. We were greeted by meter-high snowdrifts that blocked the secluded road in a nature reserve that led to our small log cabin. What was anticipated to be a normal onward journey had become unthinkable, and I will never forget the words of our local guide Sonny when we looked at us and said: “Now, we got to make a plan!”.
Somehow we had to transport all of our belongings from the car and into the cabin. So what to do? Thankfully for us, the snowmobile was ready! We packed our belongings onto the snowmobile in no time at all, though it was still time enough for the first signs of ice crystals to form in ones beard. It felt like hours had passed once we finally found ourselves in our log cabin with the fire crackling and water boiling. There was no electricity for warmth or cooking. We were slowly warming our bodies and the tensions of the day were subsiding, we laughed out loud at what had seemed to be an almost hopeless situation. The laughter continued to erupt as we reflected on all the glorious moments gone by: getting stuck in the mud, wandering through nocturnal blizzards, the process in the eternal vastness and the glory of this journey.
These are the moments you will remember forever, you will talk about and will re-live in thoughts.
Through this four weeks of adventure I was able to fulfill my dream of Scandinavia, and I learnt a lot about myself in the process. I will continue to share my stories, and tell others to:
“Get out and fulfill your dreams!” Christian Bendel