For those that weren't aware, I worked with Svalbard Husky for 3 months and got an insight into life on Svalbard for the locals. I'd lived of course as a student and that was incredible, the ties to UNIS and all. But life as a local was something else. Yet at the same time there wasn't much different. We spent the majority of our time outside doing interesting and awesome things like hikes, as usual, BBQs, breakfast on the roof, evenings at Svalbar, you know the drill if you've been reading this blog. And of course there were the tours with Svalbard Husky. Some of which was tiring and stressful but most of which I enjoyed and sorely miss.
But I haven't been working for Svalbard Husky back here in the UK. It's true that there have been other things to steal some of my time but I guess the real reason I hadn't written a closing post much like that of my peers is, I didn't want to admit it's over. I don't want to admit that I was so incredibly happy there despite being given the opportunity I had been gunning for since I was in high school, a PhD. I didn't want to admit that I came this close to throwing it all in and staying there.
For those reading that I have spent the last 4 years around at Aber, you'll know that I wanted nothing more than to continue in academia and excel and perhaps one day continue to becoming a lecturer, and I'm 70% sure this is something that I still want but for a short while, I got to experience a life that I loved just as much. Maybe even more.
Perhaps it was the people on Svalbard that I met that made and make me miss it so much. And so there's validity in the claim that going back would not fulfill this void I feel. But I can't seem to shake that there is more to the place than just the people.
I've seen Svalbard change people, relieve stresses and add a simplicity to life that I've never seen before. Maybe it's just the Norwegians relaxed approach to everything, who knows. But damn was I infected by it.
I've since settled into the new place and begun the PhD. It's been challenging and I don't think it's just me that's struggled to settle back into the life pre-Svalbard but I'm here and I'd be a fool to not make the most of it. Plus there's Kit and ohhhhh man had I missed him.
So I write this, in the middle of the Surrey hills, as an attempt for closure and also as a warning. Svalbard is an incredible place and many of the people that live there will tell you about how it trapped them and made them never want to leave. Well I left and I can certainly agree that it very nearly did trap me too.
I miss you Svalbard.
I will be back.
... Time for a cuppah I think,