All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.
Since i was a kid, i always wanted to see Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), i told myself when i get the money i will do it. It was a dream that i didn’t plan to go after it soon until i learned about Service Civil International (SCI) which is an international volunteering organisation that gives volunteers the opportunity to volunteer abroad. I was approved by the Seeds Iceland Photography and Aurora Hunting organisation since then a new adventure began.
It was a 3 weeks thing, i got the money to buy the flight ticket, cover visa fees, pocket money and the 350 euro for the camp fees (All of it was around 1800 euro). It was all of my savings, but i didn’t care not because i was careless on the contrary i told myself i would not live another life, its good to be careful and plan but sometimes you should let go in order to know your limits. Frankly, i needed to do that at that moment, after being heart broken several times, working and jogging and usual friends hangout nothing other than that, i needed to explore foreign cultures, go after one of my dreams and take the shot despite all the obstacles.
The journey began September the 6th, 2018 at Tunis Carthage International Airport (2:45 pm), the plane took off heading to Alger (my first stop) where i will stay there for 8 hours.
On the air side, in Alger, two officers approached me and started questioning me and checking all my papers. Did you go to Libya before, are you afraid… Dude, is anyone talking to his friends in messenger seems suspicious? This shit seems common in here. So i got on the plane, went to Spain, and waited for more than 45 minutes to cross the border control agents. Everyone in front of me are getting checked even double checked, when my turn came, it was an easy one. Checked the passport, i prepared my extra-documents in case they ask questions, but they didn’t need it. the procedure took 30 seconds at most.
I stayed there the whole night until sunrise, when i took the bus and went to the city. It was great! Anyway, back to the Airport and i tried to do all sort of things to occupy myself in the 14 hours layover time. Time for the trip to the dream land. The plane was a Boeing, it was nearly empty so i took the opportunity to take a little nap during the 5 hours flight.
I landed in Iceland that night, went to my Airbnb booked room to stay there for one night. In the morning, i left and i continued walking from 12 am until 5 pm during that time, i explored the city corners.
I went to Seeds office where i met the other volunteers that are coming from different countries (Czech, Spain, Italy, Slovenia, Romania, Portugal, China). Great people with great attitude, we were like a family during these 10 days, we were 14 person living in the same house, but it was always clean, organised and no problem ever occurred. We respected each other, helped each other and played games.
During my stay, i learned photography and the basics of capturing perfect pictures in manual mode, because hunting aurora requires a shorter shutter speed 8–30 seconds, a tripod and a lot of other conditions that must be satisfied (dark, away from light pollution, clear sky and a strong solar wind). It was until September 12th, when i had met my dream. Aurora Borealis, looking so good in the sky. The different colors and textures were astonishing and i loved it.
It doesn’t stop at Aurora, and thanks to a good friend i met there Sandra i had the chance to see the black sand beach, two beautiful waterfalls, the glacier and countless number of beautiful portraits that will blow your mind.
While i was there, everyday i will go to a place in the city and each time i took hundred of pictures that i had to filter later. I’ve encountered, amazing, weird and casual people. The country is peaceful, i haven’t seen a cop as much as i would see in my country. The border control wishes you a great stay rather than asks useless questions, this is because they have a sharp eye and can differentiate between good and bad people.
Finally, i wish i had stayed longer but “Part of the journey is the end”, i had to leave to get back home with what i learned. That trip made me realize that we keep looking for happiness while it is sometimes within our grasp, that we go after the people that hurts us and leave the good ones behind, that we forget who we are trying to be what others wants us to be. If it wasn’t because of that trip, i wouldn’t have had written this story nor created this website.
To be continued…