“The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers” – Erich Fromm

This post is to lift us all up, hold each other in our highest kindest thoughts and hearts and to inspire hope and connectivity as we enter the last days of this unpredictable roller-coaster year.

Who would have thought?!?

Who would have thought when we started “hearts in the ice” 3 years ago that we would be here on Vancouver Island BC and in Svalbard, Norway, with news about our entire world still completely unhinged by this virus? And now another variant? Whaaaat?  We feel the frustration, trepidation from those who are travelling, concerns for our elders and those in vulnerable situations, and the fear and anger that is rampant and often elevated by way too much media input.

We are all needing to recalibrate our compass – Yup some people still use one in lieu of a GPS 😉 -to figure out where to go, who to visit, what to do, how to show up and how to move as a collective. This is a rescue mission for humankind and our planet. Our collective values are at stake. Plain and simple.

Here is what we suggest

Let’s not forget to keep perspective with the bigger picture in mind. The air around us, our water, our sky, the earth all taking a bit of a breather without us. We are visitors here to this precious land – we own nothing.

When we move, let’s do that with deliberate intention. Let’s try to be better stewards and caretakers. This is about all of us. We are only as strong as the weakest link. Let’s be kind to one another and be reminded of how important that is right now.

Lessons learned

Our 19 month Arctic overwintering at Bamsebu has illuminated the depths of who we are; our strengths, vulnerabilities, fears, isolation, loneliness, purpose and all of the lessons learned through hardship. We have deep respect for this precious life we have been given and the beautiful land upon which we dwell. We don’t need a dictionary to define commitment, camaraderie, love, perseverance, care, adaptation and routine.

By now we all know about the need to unplug. We’ve learned how the internet, smartphones and media change our brains: we scan instead of read, we feel the World Wide Web shrinking our attention spans as everything feels like it must happen then and there, we battle fomo ‘fear-of-missing-out’, and we don’t sleep enough. 

Expedition behaviour

We shared something last year that we want to reintroduce: Expedition behaviour. A term used to describe the interpersonal relationships and interactions in an outdoor program adopted by NOLS (National Outdoor leadership School) founder Paul Petzoldt.

Imagine and understand that we are all on a Global expedition that requires specific behaviour and ways of being that are imperative to a healthy way forward and through this. 

Nine expedition behaviours

Expedition behaviour is a way of being that can help in challenging times during confinement, hardship and isolation as we all forge a way forward, together.

  • Serve the mission and goals of the group
    • Be as concerned for others as you are for yourself
    • Treat everyone with dignity and respect
    • Support leadership and growth in everyone
    • Respect the cultures you contact
    • Be kind and open-hearted
    • Do your share and stay organised
    • Model integrity by being honest and accountable
    • Admit and correct your mistakes

Rank and status are irrelevant on an expedition. Treating each other with respect and dignity means you leave your ego at the door before you walk in. As many have lost their jobs, reduced workloads, and identities that go along with that, it is all too easy to feel a lack of worth, that you do not count anymore. On the contrary. YOU matter more than ever.

All will be better together

None of us planned this global expedition we are now on, but we are on it. 

We are like early explorers and have the ability to find comfort in discomfort.

Adopt expedition behaviour, inhale fresh air, wonder and curiosity with a splash of love, care and respect for each other and all things. This is not about one of us winning, this is about surviving and thriving collectively. 

All will be better together.

Big hugs from Sunniva, Hilde & Ettra

“What lies behind you and what lies before you are tiny matters compared to what lies within you”– Ralph Waldo Emerson


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Northern lights above Bamsebu

Christmas time at Bamsebu

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