From Gothenburg to Longyearbyen – Cecilia moved to Svalbard

By November 19, 2019Möten, Nyheter

Cecilia aka @Sejsejlija made the brave move to an remote island.

She´s a great photographer, an adventurous exlplorer with the love for traveling and nature.

I newly did a short interview with Cecila, talking about the life as an explorer on Svalbard, her love for photography and drone flying.

Ceclila Blomdahl

 

Svalbard – Cabin life – Drones – Pink Skies.

Brand Champion for f-stop gear
Brand ambassador for Rein Love Clothing
All images captured by Cecilia Blomdahl,
Copyright Cecilia Blomdahl

Where did you grow up?

– I’m from Gothenburg, Sweden, where I spent most of my childhood years. At the age of 11 our family moved to Ireland for a couple of years and I find that to be a big part of my growing up and I will always consider it one of my homes.

Where do you live now, and what made you move there?

– I live in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, an island close to the north pole. I have lived here for 4 years now. Before making the move I hadn’t heard that much about the island but when my boyfriend at the time got an opportunity to move up here, I joined.

Please tell us a little more about the Arctic Life?

– Arctic life on Svalbard really is very different to other places. We are only about 2200 people living in Longyearbyen so it is a very small town, both in population and size. Our seasons are all very extreme, in the winter we have our polar night with 24/7 darkness for 2.5 months, then we move into “pastel winter” with temperatures in the -30C. The pastel colours fade away and Svalbard turns into a crisp, cold, winter wonderland and the snowmobile season begins. This then turns into the midnight sun period where the sun is up 24/7 for a few months.

 

– Life here is very much about being outside, exploring this amazing island wether its on snowmobile, hiking or on skis. It’s a tight nit, small community, so you know many of the people that live in town. On any day, when the weather allows, we can for example go for a hike up the glacier just behind the village and spend the day exploring an ice cave. Quite crazy for everyday life 🙂 

What is your biggest passion?

– This one is a tough one, because I’m not sure I know yet. I think my life here on Svalbard is my biggest passion at the moment. It’s the perfect blend of all things I love; outdoor life, adventure, being creative with photography and my drone, hanging out with great friends and all our cute dogs, traveling a lot and just enjoying every day life.
 

Do you often see a lot of wild animals while living in the Arctics?

– Definitely! I see polar foxes everyday, all year round! In the summer I spend a lot of time fishing and going on different cabin trips by boat and out on the fjord you very often come across whales, seals, walruses, puffins and more. During my time on the island I have seen many Polar Bears, but we don’t see them as often as people would think we do. It’s illegal on Svalbard to seek out, or go looking for Polar Bears, so if you have the opportunity to see one it is by chance.

My best experience was when I was staying in a cabin, a 2hr snowmobile ride from Longyearbyen. We were sitting inside drinking coffee and reading books when suddenly, right outside our window there were two Polar Bears climbing on our snowmobiles! I opened the window and shouted NO, to scare them away and they got super spooked (these two were two very big teenage bears) and hurried away. The perfect Polar Bear encounter, by chance and put neither me nor the polar bears in danger.

Best/ worst part of living out in the wild ?

 

– This summer my boyfriend and I bought a cabin here on Svalbard, which is where we now live. It’s located about 15min by car outside Longyearbyen, in a cabin area called Vestpynten. The cabins out here have electricity but no running water, and we are about a 60m walk from the road to the cabin. It is a bit of a hassle having to carry water to the cabin everyday, and not having a shower at home – but to be able to wake up to the view of the glaciers across the fjord and the serenity of the area, it is very much worth it. The best and worst part about living on Svalbard is the remote location, it is a long commute to get to other destinations when we want to travel.
 
 

Describe a normal day in the life of Cecila?

 

– I have a very varied day to day life. I work at a few different places I will either be heading to the school Svalbard Folkehøgskole, the clothing store Frost, out on adventures to shoot content for the social media accounts I manage or sat at home in my cabin, drinking coffee and editing photos. You will also find me at the gym many times a week, or out hiking with the pups. This summer I also spent 1.5 weeks filming with a Chinese documentary crew panning for gold together with 3 friends and 2 Chinese celebrities, I feel very lucky to have work that brings me on great adventures and gives me the opportunity to meet new and interesting people.

Any good tips for getting comfy out in the cold nature? How do you dress while out shooting in the cold weather?

– Wool, wool and wool! Nothing will keep you warm and comfortable out in the cold like many layers of wool, it is the most essential part of winter wear. Make sure you get thermals that are made of 100% wool and layer them depending on the temperature. When I go snowmobiling I have up to 5 layers of wool underneath my outer layer, keeping me warm in temperatures plummeting below -30C. My next tip is to get shoes that are a bit too big. You need to be able to fit a pair of wool socks in your boots and still have room left for air. It’s the air that will heat up and keep your feet warm and happy!

What is the most beautiful place you´ve been to?

– Lofoten, Northern Norway! About a year ago I bought a car in Sweden to bring up to Svalbard, which means we had to drive it to Tromsø in Northern Norway to put it on a cargo ship. My boyfriend and I decided to take the long and winding road through Norway instead of the highway through Sweden and this was the best decision ever. It was October so the weather was crisp and there was light snow on the ground. On our way through Northern Norway, we drove all the way out to å in Lofoten, and that drive offered the most incredible views I have ever seen. 

If you could choose, where would you like to wake up tomorrow?

– Right at home in my cabin here on Svalbard, with fresh snow on the ground and magical northern lights in the sky. Which luckily, is where I will wake up tomorrow 🙂

What is your biggest inspiration?

– I think my biggest motivation to create content for social media is the hope of inspiring girls, and guys, to be who they want to be, not be afraid of living a different kind of life and to just spread girl power! People who inspire me are people like Cecilie Skog, a Norwegian adventurer and Andrew Muse, an American photographer and adventurer, very cool people!

What gear do you use?

Drone : DJI Mavic 2 Pro
Video & Action Cams: DJI Osmo Pocket & DJI Osmo Action
Camera kit: Sony A7iii 
Lenses: SONY FE50mm f/1,8 and Tamron 28-75mm f/2,8
Backpack: f-stop Tilopa & Dyota
Tripod: Manfrotto
Filters: Polarpro 
Snowmobile: Yamaha Sidewinder Turbo

All images captured by Cecilia Blomdahl.
Copyright Cecilia Blomdahl.

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