Written & posted on 11/19/18
Late in the morning, I had briefly settled in to do some writing. The library on the National Geographic Explorer is a glorious window to the world, inspiring and entirely distracting, the landscape was perpetually inviting and ever-changing.
I was overwhelmed by the colors of the Arctic. I've never been more aware of blue, of the variances of blue. Being under the Arctic blue sky was stunning, a sight that we would not experience for the rest of our expedition in the same way. It was as if the Arctic, on our first morning out at sea, was greeting us in all her bright, sun-drenched glory.
We spent the morning in Krossfjorden where we marveled at the Lilliehookbreen Glacier, the mountainous landscape, floating ice, a couple of seals and a tusk-less walrus.
Here's a 45 degree view of this magnificent place. The way the light changed the views in such a relatively confined space was.....awesome.
Now let's get to a seal and a walrus - even from far away
And, a few videos from my morning
As a Grosvenor Teacher Fellow, I traveled to Svalbard in May 2018! Thanks to Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic for supporting teachers and encouraging us to be explorers.
Some of the text shared here was written in my journal or through social media posts while I was on expedition.
But much of the writing shared here was written in the months following my return home.
I had this idea that I would embark on my journey and, in real time, reflect and write and create blog posts and videos and online albums and photo books and postcards. I had fantasies of sitting in the ship's library with my pen and notebook, collecting and composing what I'd seen and experienced and manifesting deep, profound thoughts.
Yeah. That didn't happen.
My experience was so intense, so surreal, that I had difficulty finding adequate words to describe it all. Silly, inconsequential, and unsatisfying words were all I had - great, amazing, unbelievable, incredible. At the end of each day I would try. After dinner, somewhere between 10pm and midnight, I'd make my way up to the library to write. But I would get distracted. The large, glorious, gorgeous windows were too inviting and each moment was unique. The clouds were shifting, the water was moving, the ship was in motion, the ice upon the water was drifting. Each and every moment was unique.
My eyes were up and wide open. I was outside on the deck feeling the cold air and the lightly falling snow on my face. Or I was sitting on the bridge, snuggled in warmth, with a pair of binoculars looking looking looking. Oh, I tried to shift my thinking to writing something more than a bulleted list, but I just couldn't pull it off.
To put it simply, I couldn't focus.
I coined my condition Wonder-Induced ADD.
It is a beautiful affliction to have.
This blog is dedicated to my aunt, Tina Chavez, who is always my biggest fan and supporter. When I told her about my expedition to the Arctic, she asked, "So, when do you go on the Polar Bear Express?"
She also told me to run fast from the polar bears, but naming this blog "Run, Jen, Run!" isn't as charming as calling it "The Polar Bear Express."