A summer report; Loneliness is about being alone, not feeling lonely
FINNMARK, NORTH NORWAY: Solitude can be perceived as a positive part of voluntary isolation – as a stimulating break from our normally busy everyday life. By departing from our routines, travel to an entirely different place, sometimes far away, but still surrounded by people, you can experience the possibility of being yourself – or getting to know yourself better. This summer report is about where I travel to clean my head and restore the balance. I travel far, far north of Norway, to a place chemically free of yoga classes and shops, without internet and signal on my mobile. Free from noise but with an endless silence and the midnight sun.
No internet and no signal on phone
Isolated. Here I land by a local coast liner, arriving Hamna in the fjord named Ryggefjord, located not far from North Cape. Search for Hamna and Ryggefjord on the map and you probably don´t find it. This isolated place is my choice. Here I grew up, now it´s deserted with only eight summer-houses still with electricity.
When Gabriel Garcia Márquez published “A hundred years in loneliness” in 1967, he probably did not assume that 50 years later, a city like the novel’s mythical Macondo would be a dying variant on the map. Today, Mount Everest has Wi-Fi and Amazon’s tribes met David Beckham while others in the jungle was visited by King Harald of Norway. We are always connected to others – on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – even when we are physically alone.
Alone or lonely
Hundred years of loneliness are extravagant – most of us would be happy if we can get to 100 minutes. Solitude is about being alone, not feeling lonely, but having the luxury of time and space free from external pressure. Free to just think. Such feeling can be achieved by walking on a path or just staring at the stars. You can decide on a single vacation or choose to join other people seeking the same freedom. Or you can find your place of silence and peace in an empty desert. The choice is yours.
Many possibilities. You can find paradise on a private island in Seychelles, without tv, phone and internet, just a handful of cabins between palm trees with coconuts and the ocean. In Botswana, isolation is experienced by dragging adventure in the wilderness alone, but here a bed in a cabin itself has become an expensive affair. Or go to Mongolia and join a nomadic tradition far from cities, or be spiritually inspired in Japan, live like a pilgrimage and start the day with morning prayers. Any choice is yours.
Forced offline. An extreme variant is North Korea for those who have to be forced to live without computer and sim cards. In the world’s most closed country, tourists are never online. Here you can travel by plane to unknown towns like Chongjin and Hamhung, and even climb to the top of the mountain Paektu. Higher than 2,744 meters above sea level you will not be in this country. Follow latest news before departure to North Korea.
Click for large photos
Avoid North Korea and Venice
Finnmark. I’m sure to keep away from North Korea and Venice’s channels, bridges and hordes of tourists. Away from La Rambla in Barcelona. I still choose Norway, not the touristy fjords in Western Norway or the toilet queues in Lofoten, but travel further north to the area named Finnmark. Here I have my secret resort with giant king crabs in the sea and plenty of fish in rivers and water. A place with total silence, bright summer nights and midnight sun at no additional cost.
My advice; There are many ways to find loneliness and make it a way that best suits you. You can start by searching inspiration in some of the stories published here in King Goya travel magazine. Always remember, the choice is yours. However, don´t let 100 years go on without trying.
Winter in the Arctic: No sun, almost no light. Just the dancing Northern Lights in the sky
Make it Happen!
Touch Down: I reached Hamna in Ryggefjord by flight to Alta and car to the fishing town of Havøysund. Then to Hamna by a local coast liner operating twice a week, Friday and Sunday, from May to October. Finnmark is two-hour flight from Oslo by Norwegian.no and SAS.no
Stay: Bring your tent or try to rent a summer house. No accommodation available
Eat: Bring food and don´t forget fishing equipment. Lots of fish in rivers, lakes and the sea. Catching king crabs is easy and fun.
Play: Sit on the seaside or a hill, sorting old thoughts, and watching the colours, the water and Midnight Sun. Midnight Sun appear in mid-May and means sun all night
Mini Guide: This place has no tourists, just some regulars visiting cottages a short walk away from the seaside. In August and September, we bid farewell to summer, for darker evenings and the Northern Lights.