This is Why You Should NEVER EVER See the Aurora Borealis “Prepared”

Sunday, February 25, 2018 1 Comments

This is Why You Should NEVER EVER See the Aurora Borealis “Prepared”
Ever since I daydreamed the “original” idea (well apparently it’s a thing in non-3rd world countries lol) of proposing to a goddess under the Northern Lights as our backdrop, I knew I had to do make a visit first! Nonetheless, the plan and dream to go see it is something that my unromantic and realistic side wrestled within me. As a young idealistic guy living in Manila, I SIMPLY HAD NO WAY to do it…. then of course, the big bang theory happened and fast forward to a dynasty after, I was a few hours away from seeing the Northern Lights and I was sending jitters to every inch of my body – not because of the cold okay, probably because of the cold?, but because I didn’t prepare myself on how to react once I see the gorgeous goddess, Ms. Aurora Borealis!

Chances of Seeing the Northern Lights in Tromso is far from slim, it is as fat as fact! Of course, there are forecasts and recommended best time of the year, which is from December to March; but overall, your chances of spotting the Northern Lights will always be there. Tromso is famed as a viewing point for colorful Southern Lights that light up the nighttime sky. So packed with lots of adrenaline, we decided to pick the best option for the Northern Lights tour. They have bus options, private car options, boat ride options, and all that, so it’s really a matter of preference on how you want to have an encounter with the polar lights. With my gargantuan layered winter jacket and a sack full of recharged camera batteries, I was all set. As we passed through safari routes and mapped our way into the cold mountain abyss, we found the best spot to see the auroras. I FINALLY HAD A WAY.

Every Aurora experience is different to each person, primarily because Auroras don’t do their same charming dance moves and flashy effervescence at all times. They can be as short as a second, or as long as forever. In my case, good 15 or so minutes of intermittent vivacity. And when you finally meet her, 15 minutes seem like 2 minutes. Time did not stand still and my unprepared camera setting and weak body shivers could not fathom what was happening right before me. It was a lucid dream that is hilariously epic. Setting up the tripod, camera settings while unwrapping my Asian (dead) fingers, my eyes and emotions were multi-tasking to the fullest. One eyeball looking at the gorgeousness that is before me, the other eyeball was running havoc due to my inability to take good photos. Lol. Lesson learned: be mindful, come REALLY prepared.

Admittedly, looking back at the memories… and at these sidesplitting snapshots of the lights, I am glad that my first meet up turned out the way it did. Not only did it turn out to be the best time of the year for me for so many personal reasons, the appreciation and lesson learned on how to meet and Aurora Borealis were really maximized to the fullest. Red, Green, Blue, Ultraviolet, Infrared, Yellow, and Pink – all the visual forms and colors, such as goosebump-inducing spectacle.

I’ve learned essential things that you really need to know: 1st: be mindful of the experience, no amount of preparation will make you appreciate the naked grace of the occurrence of terrestrial auroras – really relish the experience FIRST and burn everything in your memory, including the spontaneous surprises of the encounter. 2nd: Prepare your special cameras - no need for camera phones or expensive DSLRs, it’s all about your eyes! (But the cameras will capture the colors better, so know how to adjust your cameras, preferably the ones where you can manually adjust the settings – not mobile phone cameras). 3rd: Enjoy your company – family, friends, lovers, tour mates – the bond and memories will be imprinted in infinite lifetimes, so make the most out it! Dance, make some aww sounds, act like crazy Asians, and turn this once-in-a-lifetime experience into something that Ms. Aurora Borealis will remember you by.

So yes, this long and winding post (much like our road trip just to see Aurora) is about the evident learnings and mistakes-turned-tips (-and-photos). And this is why you should never ever see the Northern Lights “prepared”. Just be mindful and come REALLY prepared to enjoy the unforeseen, unpredictable, random, and spontaneous surprises that one can gain from this fleeting Northern Lights experience in Tromso, Norway.

[NORWAY TRAVEL] Read the rest of Explore Norway Travel Blog Series:


Bowdy is an amateur adventurer, a coffee sleepyhead, and a start-up rooter, with a penchant for classic-looking photos. At last count, he has visited some 60 countries, and is now living in Singapore. He's always in search of fascinating routines to exploit, within the edges of after-office hours and (un)limited holidays.

For collaboration ideas, email bowdywanders@gmail.com.

1 comment:

  1. Great blog. In pictures it looks wonderful. It was a good place. Thanks for sharing your Northern lights trip experience.