Back in 2016, I had decided that I was quite bored of living in a city, and working for an investment fund. I was becoming quite lazy – essentially losing my will to do anything positive or life-changing for myself.
I was so focused on short-term, less than fulfilling, distractions, such as social media, and socialising in general, that I believe I was depressed. This led to me worrying about where I was in my life – that there was a lot still missing; that I should be EXPERIENCING more – LIVING life, and LOVING it.
When I look back at my social media posts from that period, I cringe at how openly depressed I blatantly was… and yet I didn’t realise it at the time.
As I grew up in the Middle East, and didn’t start camping or appreciating the outdoors until my late teens and early thirties, I had a real desire to get out, to be with nature for a longer period of time than just a walk or jog.
It wasn’t enough for me to get in a car, on a bike, or a train, to head up north to the Mullerthal region of Luxembourg – a beautiful part of the country that boasts wooden walkways and bridges winding through rich green flora and a ragged, stone landscape tamed by winding, man-made roads. There were also people around – a lot of bikers, cyclists, hikers and their children – enjoying a ramble together.
I didn’t want to be a part of that, alone.
Moreover, I love challenges. I love wide open spaces. I love extremes. I love learning. I love nature. And I love adventures.
My mind meandered to Scandinavia – an ex was Swedish, one of my best mates is Danish, and another Norwegian. I have a lot of Scandinavian, Icelandic and Finnish friends. I also knew that I wasn’t exactly well-prepared to survive in any extreme environment, and that I would need some help. I thought of my outdoor training earlier in the year, also called “survival training” – to anyone who isn’t of Scandinavian decent anyways, lol.
In January 2016 I headed up to Östersund, Sweden, with a group of 17 people – 3 seasoned outdoor experts, and 14 of us with almost no knowledge of sleeping outdoors, let alone surviving. Not to forget the weather, which was a cold but dry -24°C!
It is possibly one of the most memorable weeks of my life to date… 16 strangers and I; 14 of us stayed in a wood cabin by a frozen lake, with no running water or electricity. Fortunately they did provide a gas canister, so we could cook on the barely functioning gas stove in the small kitchen for the whole group, instead of each trying to make our own food – which would have been an absolute nightmare considering the tight circumstances and extremes!
From husky sledding and snowmobiling, to snow cave digging and firemaking – we had to work as a team. It as pretty awesome – and I’m sure we all learned something about ourselves that week.
Here are some of the best moments I caught on camera – I hope you enjoy this adventure 🙂
#nofilter #noedit in any photos
If you have any questions at all, please post them in the comments and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
Contact Survival School UK and Intrepid Expeditions UK to find out how you might enjoy a lifetime experience like this.
Written and photographic content is © All rights are reserved. January 2017.