Jobs fill your pockets but adventures fill your soul.

In today’s travel industry, there are plenty of people trying to do both – that is, make money and feed their souls with adventure tours.  Many people are writing for companies or acting as social media influencers to help companies attract new customers  But I’m not so sure this was what Jamie Lyn Beatty had in mind when she made this statement.

I think Beatty wanted to stress how important it is to look beyond the material things in our world.  If we want to live well and feel truly inspired, adventures are worth more than the time we invest in our careers.  But how many of us can afford or have the time to fill our soul with adventures?

Well, maybe it’s easier than we think and there are all kinds of ways to fuel up.  Over the years, I’ve met an increasing number of single, widowed and divorced women who have found a way to fill their souls.  Some join online websites that advertise travel opportunities to foreign countries.  They can earn a little pay and free accommodation in exchange for house-sitting. The experience can be more authentic and often neighbors become new friends happy to show you around.

When I attended the New York Times Travel Show last year to learn a little more about some of these gigs, I found most job seekers were single, millennial’s anxious to do anything outside of a 9 to 5 type of job.  Who can blame them?

It’s tempting but I think the novelty would eventually wear off.  I’d also hate knowing I might not get paid if my honesty was handcuffed by a favorable review.  No thanks.

According to Trek Blog, more travelers are asking for once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences. This might explain why today’s article about an Arctic-related holiday might be tempting.

Knowing that my upcoming trip to Nunavut, Canada will be pretty austere – sleeping outside in tents, snowshoeing all day in the freezing cold and eating fresh-dried food morning and night – this alternative looks pretty darn good to me.

This unique Arctic experience involves traveling to Kakslauttanen, a place considered to be “one of the world’s best places for watching the northern lights.”  The Kakslauttanen Resort started small in 2010 but is now a luxury resort, unlike anything this past week’s explorers would ever have known.   National Geographic writer Eliza Scidmore traveled by steamboat to Alaska in the 1880s and 1890s, subject to the whims of the weather.

This Arctic wonderland promises some of the same spectacular scenes from mother nature only travelers can also fill their souls in the comfort of chalet and hotel-style accommodations.

I’m not saying this is the best way to go and that camping in the wilderness with only a canopy of stars isn’t the best way to go. I think there is an adventure waiting for all of out there so no matter how you experience it, the main point is that you should experience it.  In this case, the “it” is nature.

What follows is a short summary about Kakslauttanen, which has quickly moved into a “Top Ten” spot in my rather lengthy list of places to explore.  You may remember Denise Benson’s article last December 2018 about the majestic Aurora Borealis in My Mom and the Valkyries: Powerful Women of Light.  It described the folklore behind the Northern Lights (aka Aurora Borealis), something I desperately want to see for myself.  Magnetically charged particles kick up into the sky and dance with the solar winds, producing a magical glow of electric colors in the night sky.

The idea of watching this dance and staying in the Kakslauttanen region, where the Kakslautteanen Arctic Hotel is located, sounds pretty “soul-filling” to me.  It’s next to Finland’s largest national park, Urho Kekkonen.  The lands are still relatively wild and the polar lights are experienced eight months out of the year.  Visitors stay in log cabin chalets, glass ceiling igloos, and igloos made out of snow.

I can only imagine how it would feel to sleep outside under a glass roof with the starry night overhead.  Down sleeping bags, woolly comfort wear and any number of other cozy provisions are all provided by the resort so you never feel cold.  This sounds pretty great when I think of my pending Arctic adventure.

A friend who stayed at the Kakslauttanen Resort marveled at these added luxuries and the services – hotel shuttle service by sleds, wood burning fireplaces inside and outside the rooms, and steaming saunas that allow you to unwind in after a long day of dog-sledding or ice fishing.

There’s a huge variety of things to try in this Lapland region where the resort is located.  It’s the northernmost part of Scandinavia and spans four countries: Finland, Russia, Norway, and Sweden. It’s often called the Land of Fells (meaning a land of high and barren landscapes), where reindeer’s and Northern Lights abound.

The terrain is perfect for snowmobiling and snow tank safaris – that’s right, snow tanks!

These are huge tractor machines that carry you to scenic spots outside of the resort unless you prefer to ride horseback or in a horse-drawn carriage.  The list of leisure activities is vast no matter what season and the northern lights last from August to April.  During the summer season, trips to the peak of Mount Kanispȧȧ via mountain biking are spectacular because the sun stays up in the sky for 18 hours.

In case you’re wondering, my resort descriptions aren’t any kind of paid advertising. No, I’m just completely enthralled by this new discovery and hope to save enough time and money to visit sometime after I return from my upcoming Arctic trek.

Until that happens, I’ll reveal in the explorations of neighborhoods around me and learning more about myself.   Exotic or not, the world is filled with an unlimited number of foods, cultures and simple experiences that will surely enrich my soul.

I’m excited to go beyond the material trappings, of course with a little help for keeping warm, so I witness the natural wonders right in front of me.

Before you go, here is my friend’s travel itinerary in case you’re curious to know more:

    1. Flight from Toronto to Helsinki with a stop in Frankfurt (no direct flight to Helsinki) – we spent two nights there.
    2. Flight from Helsinki to Ivalo to reach our arctic resort.  Once you arrive, the resort takes care of the airport pickup and drop off.  Someone will meet you at the airport and drive you to the resort.  You just arrange it with the resort upon booking
    3. We stayed (one night) at the Kakslauttanen resort in Ivalo north of Finland here is the site:
    4. We chose to stay in the Kelo-Glass Igloo
    5. On their website, under the “Winter” link, you can view all the activities and book ahead. The dog sledding is called Huskies Safari.
Rose McInerney

Author Rose McInerney

Rose combines her love of all things artfully-designed to connect women to a shared community of learning and a richer, more fulfilled self. As a passionate storyteller, published writer, and international traveler, Rose believes women can build a better world through powerful storytelling.

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