Living Jackson

Benefits of cycling

Dengan Basikal Aku Menjelajah S1E7 – Cycling Through The Arctic Tundra


since I was young I had a dream to travel and explore the world to me… living without seeing the beauty of god’s creation is a wasted life and when I reached adulthood I fulfilled my childhood dream I managed to gather my strength to leave everything to leave my comfortable routine life and live my life as a traveller alone having no one with me I lived on the road finding life experiences and see the world from the eyes of a traveller this time I’m crossing into the Arctic to see for myself the natural phenomenon there I wasn’t only impressed to see the natural phenomenon there but I felt closer to the creator of this existence with a bicycle I travel after spending weeks in the forest in northern Sweden I finally crossed the Arctic Circle in Swedish Lapland in northern Sweden the journey which was difficult in the beginning has turned easy due to the friendliness of the locals here who treated me like their own family I almost cried when I got to witness the beauty of Aurora Borealis which were dancing in the Arctic sky almost every night I continued my journey towards the north heading towards northern Norway and explored the Arctic Tundra 30 March 2013 I kept going further north I went deeper into the Arctic the villages here are less populated the roads here are quieter when I was heading towards the Arctic tundra I felt like I was in a dream while being awake when I was cycling through the Arctic because the view was so different compared to other places that I explored before and after the sun left the Arctic almost every night I saw the Arctic sky filled with the green light Aurora Borealis I continued cycling to Kiruna the last town for me in Sweden to get enough food supply before crossing into Norway when I was approaching Norway I started to climb the terrain here started to change into tundras and mountains from forests even though the sun was shining strong but the temperature dropped to -25 celcius and when I reached a forest area to pitch my tent not far from Kiruna I had a bad experience which I cannot forget I fell inside a frozen river and was fighting for my life there were nobody in the forest during that time far from the road so it was useless to scream for help I was walking in the middle of the frozen river and I didn’t realised that I dropped by gloves I realised it only when I walked away for a few meters so I turned back and walked on the same spot I already stepped I started to hear a crack sound and in a split second the ice broke and I fell inside the river until my shoulder the water was too cold only in seconds my whole body was cramped I could only move my hands when I tried to get to the river bank I went through a thick ice and put my hands to push my body upwards but while pushing my body up halfway the ice broke and I fell again inside the water I didn’t give up and tried to stay calm and stayed focus just to get out from that situation I will die if I’m panic when going through this situation so I ignored my emotion but just stay focus to move forward so I just stayed focus to reach a small tree branch near me after I managed to hold the tree branch I held a bigger tree branch before it broke and reached another bigger branch to pull myself up my legs were painful due to cramp but I forced myself to walk and took my knife cut the tree branches took some cardboards from my bag to start a fire and assembled all the tree branches to make a fire and dry all my clothes I was so lucky because it wasn’t too cold that night since it was cloudy the temperature was only about -12 celcius I couldn’t imagine what will happen if the temperature dropped to -25 celcius or even -30 celcius that night I cycled towards Kiruna the next day which is 50 km away from the frozen river there were less trees here and the landscapes changed from forests into tundra in the Arctic I felt relieved when I was given a place for free in a hostel here when the owner heard my bad experience on the frozen river I rested for 3 days in Kiruna and took the chance to explore this little town which has the population of less than 20 000 people this town is a popular destination among tourists to see Aurora Borealis phenomenon I was lucky because once again I got to see very clearly Aurora Borealis dancing on the Kiruna sky while I was staying here another interesting experience was when I was filming the Aurora Borealis phenomenon sometimes I waited for a few minutes and sometimes for a few hours to film the Aurora Borealis and because I was just sitting without moving much my body became too cold even after wearing thick clothes and I started to have running nose after a few minutes and a few minutes later the water inside my nose started to freeze becoming ice so my nostrils were blocked with ice so I had to breath through my mouth the air was cold and dry so after a few minutes breathing through my mouth my throat was painful and sometimes my ear was painful due to the cold but I don’t dare to even touch my ear because afraid of it will break like a biscuit so that is one of the experience I went through that it was difficult to do even the simplest thing in life which is breathing after 3 days of rest in Kiruna watching the beautiful Aurora Borealis for every night when I was there I continued my journey I was heading to Abisko at the border of Sweden and Norway I cycled for 100 km through the tundra and mountains in the northern Scandinavian peninsula the view is very different compared to just a few days ago when I was cycling through Swedish forest I was in Abisko just for a while to get some food supply before I continued my journey to cross into Norway again I feel lonely here because throughout the journey I didn’t see anyone here because the road was closed due to thick snow when I was in Abisko the locals warned me they told me not go to first because the road was closed temporarily due to the bad condition it was thick snow and the weather was bad they predicted that snowstorm or blizzard might hit the area in a day or two but I was stubborn during that time I thought only cars and trucks couldn’t pass the area which was filled with thick snow but won’t be a problem for a bicycle so I proceeded towards the border into Norway so I was the only one going through the road throughout the journey during that time it was very difficult going through the road during that time I cycled only for a few kilometers and the remaining I had to push my bicycle because the snow was too thick and the wind was too strong I then decided to pitch my tent and rested because I was too tired and continued my journey only the next day I finally managed to cross into Norway on the next day but I had another experience when I crossed into Norway when I crossed into Norway from Sweden there was one custom building there right after I crossed the border the wind started to blow strong and I proceeded for another 2 km ahead it was dangerous since the wind was too strong and I was going through the Arctic tundra but I was confidence and kept going suddenly the wind blew too strong and produced a scary sound and in a split second the snow were flying all over and I couldn’t see anything everything was white only then I realised that I was in danger and I couldn’t breath because the wind was blowing too strong so I was in panic because I couldn’t breath and when I started to panic my body needed more oxygen so I was out of breath during that moment it feels like I’m drowning in the sea so I cycled back aimlessly 2 km felt so far away to reach the custom building at the border when I reached the custom building I threw my bicycle and straight ran inside the building and luckily it was unlocked when I went inside the Norwegian custom officers were shocked to see me cycling alone under that kind of weather I have to wait for a few hours for the snowstorm to calm down when night approached one of the custom officer sent me to Narvik with his car a town in Norway which is located only 50 km away from the border I spent a night in a hostel in Narvik before heading back into the border to pick up my bicycle when I went back on the road with my bicycle the weather turned to be good I started cycling again from the Swedish-Norwegian border crossing around 30 km through the Arctic tundra until I reached the seaside in western Norway and the view in Norway is very different compared to its neighbour in Sweden I was surrounding by high cliffs high mountains and Norwegian Sea and this is the last time I had the chance to see Aurora Borealis this time it was dancing under the Norwegian sky that was the last time I managed to see the amazing phenomenon in this journey winter was reaching towards the end and I was slowly heading south I continued my journey travelling in Lofoten Island one of the most beautiful place in northern Norway and continued my nomadic life I got used to living on the road living my life as a traveller and I felt so lucky because one of my dream has been realised which was to see the mysterious Aurora Borealis in the Arctic sky even though there were many challenges I have to go through while living the nomadic life but my heart is filled with joy and happiness and I never stopped being grateful to the great creator while living on the road

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