Wednesday, 29 August 2012


I'm not really very good at writing about myself. And I'm a bit technologically useless. This could be interesting.

Hullo :) I have been nagged by various people to keep them updated on my year away, to send e-mails and letters, and to skype. So I thought I'd follow the classic cliché and start a blog, with the (probably) naïve notion that I will update it regularly and everybody will be happy (you will have a regular dose of Clare, and I will have a record of my travels). Also, this way when I talk to people it means that there's a less intimidating amount of information to get across, so if they've been following my posts I can move on to talking about whatever's most interesting to whomever I'm talking to. This makes sense. Let's see what happens anyway.

For those of you who don't know, I am heading off in little less than a week to Copenhagen and spending 3 months in Scandinavia, before coming back around December for a few weeks, and then heading off to South America for about 6 months. I am hilariously unprepared considering I'm leaving quite soon, although I did go shopping today and buy 10 pairs of socks. This is a good start I think.

I'm spending most of September travelling round the major cities of Scandinavia, trying a bit of couchsurfing- heading on from Copenhagen to Malmö, and then to Oslo, Begen, Stockholm, Helsinki before heading up Finland to visit Santa in his village in Rovaniemi and ending up in Inari- 4 hours north of the Arctic circle. I'm planning on taking only hand luggage with me (to save money and try and cut back on how much I take)- so look forward to a ridiculous photo of me boarding my plane dressed in as many clothes as possible inc. full ski salopettes and jacket, with gloves and scarf tucked in the pockets.....  As a further a side note, I just thought I'd causally point out that flights to Copenhagen/ Stockholm/ Oslo can be got for about £20 through ryanair and easyjet..... so if you fancy a few days away in the next month, let me know..... :)

What am I going to be doing in Inari, northern Finland for 2 months? Well I'm helping out on a horse farm, that also runs horse riding expeditions to see the northern lights- check them out on their website So, in return for helping out with the horses and the general running of the shop and guesthouse, I get meals and accommodation, and above all an insight into Sámi culture and ways of life. At least, that's the idea. Some photos provided by my host...


(More than) slightly terrified to be rocking up, by myself, to a random horse farm in the middle of the Arctic wilderness, but many of my fears were abated after skyping my host, a woman called Satu. She sounded absolutely hilarious:

Her: Ooooh, I can see your picture! And hear you!
Me: *laugh* We could put in on video?!
Her: Oooh, no, better not, I've just come out of the shower and am half naked....

She then proceeded to tell me the arduous tasks that I would have, such as taking the horses out for rides everyday and learning how to drive them on a sleigh. I might also have to come along on some of northern lights expeditions as well apparently. Damn. :P

So, despite some fears, I am above all extremely excited! Please keep in touch, send me letters, visit me, and above all, don't forget me :) And definitely nag me when I forget to update this!