Every January, my wife and I go on an annual, unusual hunting trip. We seek to see the beautiful aurora borealis northern lights.
A few weeks ago, I was unexpectedly invited to Oslo, Norway, as part of a business trip to meet with a new Norwegian client. It seemed destiny was hellbent on sending me to the Northern latitudes in winter, but I had already been to Norway before to chase auroras.
But, on all my other trips, I had experienced 20 or so hours of darkness but never the ultimate full 24 hours of polar night. I researched my options and learned that the home of the northernmost permanent settlement on Earth, the town of Longyearbyen, is administered by Norway and accessible via a (relatively) easily journey from Oslo. It was two flights away.
This was likely the closest I would ever come to visiting the North Pole, itself.
And that’s how I found myself on a 3.5-day dog sledding trip in total darkness at the northernmost point of civilisation on earth.