Many people have asked me what it is I find so appealing about the arctic.
This is a big one. You’re sitting at your computer waiting to go back to work (I’m on call tonight) and the sun starts coming up at 3am.
It’s a beautiful thing: the land still covered in pristine whiteness, in a place where distance has no real meaning. Everything is so far away it might as well be a ‘million jillion miles’ away. If I started walking in the direction my window faces, the next humans I would encounter would be Russians some thousands of miles away.
I can literally take a 20 minute walk anywhere and step on land that no one has ever stepped foot on before.
And it’s only going to get better. By the time summer comes 'round, we’ll be in 24h daylight. I love that. Everytime feels like 10am, so times of the day have no meaning.
Ahhh…I love the north.
Can you actually feel the heat from the sun, or is everything drowned out by the cold?
It sounds great.
How do you cope with the winter darkness? I have heard the stories of increased depresssion, mental illness and suicide in populations at extreme latitudes. Or do you like it?
Right now is when you can start to feel ‘spring’. During the day, we have some limited melting (even though the air temp is below 0) when the sun is out, then everything freezes again at night (which makes driving an adventure, let me tell you).
Winter can be hard to take. It’s long, it’s hard and it’s fuckin cold. Everybody is a little shorter tempered than usual. I’ve taken photos of sunsets at 1 o’clock pm.
But the 24h daylight makes it worth it, I think.
That sounds so cool. I hate cold, so I could never live there, but I’d live to experience the untouched wastes and the 24-hour daylight.
I hate cold too. I’m a skinny dude and am much more comfortable in a desert climate. Surprisingly, after about 6 months and 1 good parka, you’re used to it. As long as there is no wind, I can go out in -40C and not be cold for 10 min intervals.
I will second this ‘get used to it’ thing. I moved to Yellowknife on February 1 a million years ago, and the temperature before windchill was -47 celsius. After no time (a month or so) I was walking around in the weather like everyone else with a parka and running shoes.
I frequently wear shorts in the ‘winter’ here (Maryland). Everyone thinks I’m insane, until I explain to them where I lived for 8 years.
“You can keep your crowded cities and your industrial wastelands. I’ll have Nunavut.”