We are HERE. We ARE here. WE are here.
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We are HERE. We ARE here. WE are here.
Day 2: Kangerlussuaq, Greenland.
Flying over Iceland and being arrested by the sun reflecting craters, frozen fjords, volcanic rock. We're not even there yet and the collective experience is bordering on disbelief.
Arriving in Kangerlussuaq to white-out conditions. It's so cold our snot freezes immediately. We're told to dress warmly for our wildlife walk in the tundra. It will soon become clear that there is a steep learning curve to our understanding of what dressing "warmly" means.
On the way to our hotel, we pass by an ice cream shop. It's open. Apparently it's never too cold for ice cream in Greenland.
Our guide, Jens-Pavia helps us spot caribou and rabbits and we search in jest for muskox and rocks that look like muskox, and follow arctic fox footprints as the sun comes out from over the ridge, painting everything we can see in gorgeous pastels of pink and violet. Surely, this is a dream.
We're collecting spherical icicles on our eyelashes and beards of frost on the peach fuzz on our chins and upper lips. Loose strands of hair break off from being frozen solid from the condensation of our breath. Christiane might already have frostbite.
The frozen riverbed croaks and adjusts underneath our feet as we sledge through the snow. Nature's inhale, and exhale. It sounds like a ship coming into the harbor, only there are no ships, nor a harbor, for hundreds of miles.
While we were out, Nini prepares us a pot full of caribou soup with broccoli. Probably the best stew we ever tasted, and we each have three bowls worth as she regales us with stories of Greenlandic heritage, its history, protecting traditional Inuit life, sustainable hunting and perhaps the most epic birth story of all time, as we grope her hand knitted muskox wool shawls, hats, and spools. She feeds us cake sweetened with locally foraged herbs, and Greenlandic angelica tea.
I try a mouthful of seal blubber and dried fish slathered in herbed butter instead of dessert. Seal blubber melts in your mouth, and tastes like...seal. Dried fish smells like...dried fish.
We are overcome by the pure warmth of this couple amidst the bitter cold of this wondrous place already.
Sleep comes easily as we have worn ourselves into exhaustion from awe.
What traveling to Greenland has done for my consciousness.
A year after Adventure Awake's inaugural trip to Georgia, Amanda Dixon reflects on how much she's transformed, and tells a beautiful story of her Adventure Awake experience.
A voyage to discover curiosity for the sake of curiosity, and not for the sake of finding answers; an exercise in learning to not rescue myself.
I am grateful for this experience where my desire could fight its way out, where it could have a voice and an action. I am grateful for being received and enjoyed in my desire. I am grateful for food so delicious that makes you break your internal rules, grow, and start believing that this world is a beautiful, loving place that wants to see me succeed.
I’m going on an adventure.
A big adventure, for me. A transformational adventure, I suspect.
Every once in a while, someone or something comes into your awareness that makes you remember something you forgot you wanted to do. And then you realize that all the reasons you had for not doing those things no longer applied, or they were just made up excuses to begin with. When I started following Summer’s world travels on Facebook about a year ago, something started awakening. Some memory, maybe even a part of my innate identity that I had pushed aside in the process of living a very good life.
I am thrilled to be a part of this inaugural Adventure Awake trip, to the Country of Georgia. After I signed up, Summer asked me if I’d like to share why I am taking this leap and why now? Well…
I realize, looking back on my life, that I was born into somewhat adventurous roots. My dad was a dreamer who actually did the things he dreamed of. As a boy of 17 he traveled across country all alone, to report for duty in the Navy, with the goal to escape his lean childhood in rural Mississippi for a chance to live his dreams.
He had dreams of learning to fly. He did. He had dreams of learning to Sail. He did. He wanted to be a deep sea diver. He become one. He wanted to build things; Houses, planes, boats. He built them all with his own hands in his own way. He wanted to live aboard a sailboat. So sure enough, half of my childhood was spent living aboard sailboats. Our family of four and our little dog too!
Growing up living aboard as a kid in a marina wasn’t a ‘normal’ life but it gave me a unique experience and perspective. There weren't too many kids around my age but age didn’t matter that much. All summer I wore nothing but a bathing suit, every single day, playing around the boat yard. Barefoot, hopping from shadows to shady spots, feet burning from the scorching asphalt lots. Also being raised a Navy brat, moving every few years, having to say goodbye and learn to make new friends over and over, while sometimes heartbreaking, taught me a lot about resilience and connection.
Living in a marina brought me in contact with an eclectic group of souls. The dreamers and the doers and everything in between. I can't help but believe that the many hours my 12 year old self spent philosophizing with 40 year old dreamers shaped me in some weird and wonderful way. I assumed that I would always have that gypsy spirit in my blood, that desire to keep moving. I had dreams of doing cool things and sailing solo around the world or exploring more of it, at least. I thought I’d never be able to stay in one place for long.
And then life happens. You meet someone in the first year of college and the next thing you know you are married at 20 and divorced at 28 and you've built a career and a dependable income and then you are married again by 35 you have 2 children and a wonderful local support system of family and friends and there is security and routine and everything is good and everyone is generally happy in their warm comfortable life. So comfortable. And time marches on.
And now the kids are almost grown. You realize You’re single, over 50. You still have a good career. You have that dependable income, and a little extra money to play with. And all that energy that used to be consumed with relationships and romance and raising children has been freed up. And you realize that with average life expectancies being what they are, you've now been alive more years than you will continue to be alive and there are things you still want to do and places you still want to go.
And you realize maybe you are actually free to start pursuing some of those dreams. (Maybe you always were). And you realize the time is now.
Now, I know this one trip does not offer a lifetime of travel, nor does it involve sailing around the world. But what it is is a baby step - no, a big step. It's a leap away from my daily routine. It's a look through a portal into what is still possible for me to experience in my life.
And that is a very good start.
In about a week from now, we head out on our first trip. It feels like only yesterday that Summer announced on facebook that we were going to be taking people with us on our next adventure together. We had briefly hashed the idea over while unpacking from a treacherous and eventful journey through the unbelievably foggy and perpetually wet Faroe Islands. She sort of yelled it out to me from her adopted post on my couch in the living room: "Antesa. It's time."