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You have to suffer on the way to make your love affair worth while

Written by Emelina Landergren

0cm of snow
Henningsvaer, Norway

The sun is about to set over the mountains on the horizon, a chilly breeze reaches my skin while the sky is painted orange.

This must by far be one of the most rural remote places I’ve been to.

I’m in the north of Norway where I’ve spent the last couple of weeks leaving the daily fuzz and buzz of the cities behind. Last winter, and a couple of winters before, was spent in the little French town called Chamonix where my distance to the city life started.

I decided to take it even further up north to live in a place that’s even more connected to nature. So here I am, on this rock in the north of Norway letting my mind drift off as it often does nowadays.

I find myself thinking, doubting and even judging the way I’m living my life. It’s a more common thought these days since I’ve been spending so much time in our common backyard whether it’s the windy mountains, the calm ocean or in the green forest that surrounds us with fresh oxygen.

“ So if something doesn't work. We should change it, right? ”

A breeze that makes the crown of the tree sway. Time seems to move a bit slower here, everything is a bit more still and my thoughts are not talking over the top of each other, they have more air in between as they let each other finish their sentences in respect for one another.

When I do spend time in bigger cities I can’t help myself from questioning how the hell we’ve come this far in our societies and yet so far away from nature. The simple life where everything isn’t built in concrete and where you can’t buy things you don’t need.

The step from the rock I’m standing on with a fishing rod in my hand to a busy street in Stockholm, Sweden, is huge. Never before have I experienced such a hard time coping with the high pace, large amounts of people at the same time and place and not to forget the consumption from which our society is built upon.


All I see are people with nice shells. Beautiful clothes, pretty hair and makeup, a new iPhone in their hands. But I can’t help myself from wondering if they’re truly happy living in this spinning world called society. And to what cost?

I find myself being put on the other side, the outside, where all the news, latest fashion trends and hits on the radio haven’t really reached me. With some kind of hawk eye view where you can see everything so clear, that the way we live also destroys us.

Only just managing to keep our heads over the surface in a system where buying a lot of clothes that we’ll never really use is accepted, shopping at the grocery store where huge amounts of food is going to get thrown away has become normal and just buying toothpaste gets tricky when there are at least 30 brands to pick from.

I guess that’s why I love spending time outside, up high climbing or skiing in the mountains or close to the ocean. It brings a calm, a natural state of mind to carry with you in all kinds of situations. Into the most crowded cities where that kind of calm is much harder to find at times.

I guess that all the time spent skiing in Chamonix around some of the world’s most beautifully scarce mountains and enormous moving glaciers has led me on the road to becoming more aware of the spinning world around me.

And I can’t even count all those times I’ve had that feeling of total joy, feeling of an absolute perfection in a moment, total happiness, wearing that silly childish smile on my face after only having made some turns in that fluffy white snow together with people I love. And maybe most importantly it has brought me these deeper thoughts and feelings that we just have to protect what we love.

What else should we do?

Well, we should go outside play more, but in order to get there we often use the car, take a plane to go skiing or the boat to cross the seas. Wearing a jacket with materials that are dangerous for both ourselves and the ecosystems. And that’s where my judgment towards myself begins.

P: Antoine Vuillemin

P: Karin Holmberg

P: Nick Draper

P: Antoine Vuillemin

“ You have to suffer on the way to make your love affair worthwhile ”

P: Alexander Kortzon

Are my “needs” of seeing the world, to travel and consuming sports gear in order to find good snow or paths to walk up mountains and good rock to climb more important than our planet? Am I egotistical as hell?

Something that just started with fun, a passion to ski, climb and travel to see the world has made me start thinking. Furthermore realising that it’s a fact that I’m very much contributing to the climate change and the alarming levels of the toxic PFC’s in nature, and boy does it echo in my mind.

So if something doesn’t work. We should change it, right?

That starts with some more openness and taking care of each other and ourselves by taking responsibility for our choices. There’s a quote from an adventurer’s book that I’ll never forget that goes:

“You have to suffer on the way to make your love affair worthwhile.”

Yes, why take the easiest already paved road when we know that we have to be smart and think for ourselves. And yeah, it freaking sucks to be the one questioning the way we live, it is really hard, inconvenient and from time to time a complete mood and energy buster.

But we can no longer hide behind thoughts as “My choices and the way I am living my life isn’t going to change anything in the big picture”, because I’m convinced of the opposite.
So shall we?

Want to keep on following Emelina on her next adventure? Go check out

Emelina Landergren: 24 years old from Sweden. Skier, hobby photographer, passionate foodie and a constant travel bug. Lived in Chamonix for several seasons in a row, and now wants to see more of what her own backyard has to offer. A huge heart for everything around her, and will always make sure we have some avocado sandwiches packed for every adventure.




Yeah :)


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