“Imagine a trip to the North, ostensibly to see the northern lights… my friends and I envisioned just that. We got all the way to Churchill, Manitoba, and were there for seven days, but the lights did not cooperate! Knowing it is a natural phenomena, we knew this was a chance.

However, the Arctic cultures part of the trip was BEYOND my expectations. We started with learning about the culture and wildlife in Winnipeg, with a visit to the zoo and Manitoba Museum, which are connected to life in Churchillboth human and wild. A great start! Arriving at Churchill, I was amazed (being a desert girl) by the snow and cold, and by learning how people up there just live their lives like, ‘this is their normal.’

My highlights included:

  1. A beautiful snowshoe trek overlooking Hudson Bay, where the light was doing crazy good things with the snow.
  2. Talking to locals, finding out that 15 degrees Fahrenheit is considered ‘warm.’
  3. Curlingokay, I got to modify it some by using the brush to push the stone, but I can now say I have curled.
  4. Going to the market, seeing how the prices are way up for simple things like a can of peas for two dollars. Toilet paper, also two dollars.
  5. Totally awesome and knowledgeable and friendly guides. Our leader, Glen, was a bear geek as well as a northern lights geek (I think he was more disappointed than I that the lights didn’t show). Lindsay and Alex in Churchill were great, I asked them many questions about living up North. Murray in Winnipeg, also fun.

The lights were the reason for the trip, the people MADE the trip unforgettable.”

— Jeni O’Callaghan  |  Northern Lights and Arctic Cultures  |  2018

Nature travelers in Churchill, Canada

Yaks in Manitoba

Sunrise in Churchill, Canada

Snowshoe adventure in Canada

Snowy tundra of Churchill

All photos © Jeni O’Callaghan