Ten Things I Learned in Lapland

It’s been exactly a year since I boarded the plane and embarked on my arctic adventure of being one of Santa’s elves in Lapland. My friends and I have been reminiscing a lot recently and I thought I’d share ten of the things I learned whilst living in the Arctic Circle. Some are useful tips, some are interesting facts and some are just funny or random things you’d only find out if you’d been living in a tiny isolated village during winter in the Arctic Circle.

1. iPhones don’t do well in cold weather, the same goes for your fancy pants cameras with changeable lenses. In the cold, anything with a battery will lose power very quickly so if you’re on your way to meet Santa keep your phone in a pocket close to your body to keep it warm rather than checking your tinder matches.

2. The ice in Lapland isn’t actually slippy unless the temperature rises to above -5c and snow falls as sleet or icy rain. The powdery snow in Lapland is normally very dry so, when the roads are ploughed leaving behind a sheet of ice, you may expect it to be slippery but 90% of the time you can run across the road in ugg boots and shorts without fear of falling over.

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New York City

I can’t believe how indecisive the weather is here, as I’m sitting here writing this post about an insanely hot day last week it’s actually SNOWING outside. Granted that it’s the first (unusually early) snowfall of the year here and the temperature is still above freezing so it’s not going to be sticking around for long but still, I did not pack for such unpredictable weather! It’s not just that the weather has changed quickly, it’s that it’s so variable jumping from warm to cool all over the place like a frog that’s had too much coffee.

The second I stepped off the train in the city I found myself in a tourist attraction – Grand Central station – one of the few sights in the city that I had not previously visited (my parents aren’t the type to visit a train station just for the perfect photograph). I’m the sort of person who would have walked the length of Manhattan just to say I’d been in Grand Central but, thankfully, it was already part of my itinerary and I felt less of a tourist while taking my obligatory photo since I had actually arrived on a train. It was a scorching hot day in New York but although the mercury was hitting higher temperatures than I had experienced all summer back in England (28c/82f) it was not hot weather for the average New Yorker. You could clearly pick out the tourists as the ones wearing shorts (I was not grouped into this category since I had strictly packed for autumn in Connecticut and not a week in the Caribbean). I don’t usually like city sightseeing in warm weather, however, the heat was actually surprisingly bearable and even pleasant in the shade of the tall buildings combined with a pleasant breeze.

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