Explorer Mikael Strandberg

Living with discomforts

“Are you still at it?” , shrieked the middle aged woman and continued: “I remember your Siberian Expedition a long time ago.”
It was an odd meeting. I was hauling my tire uphill through a cleared area, a picturesque field in the forest of Snogeholm, and she was sitting on a blanket with her extended family drinking coffee, eating cinnamon rolls and enjoying the peace and quiet. Then Mr Weirdo, as the girls call me, turned up with his tire in the heat. At first they looked flabbergasted, then this lady recognized me. They wanted to know my plans.
“Greenland in August. At least that is the plan, but nowadays you never know.”
They seemed content with the answer. And I continued on. Most people I come across hauling give me encouraging smiles, cheers or even clap their hands. Others try to make fun of me. Like, where is the rest of your car? A few really want to know why. One elderly gentleman I met a few weeks ago, asked me:
“What is the purpose? I mean, most people in their 50`s look forward to retirement and just enjoy life.”
This is the purpose for me. This is enjoying life for me. This is my answer.
One reason I want to cross the Greenland icecap is for me to avoid getting too comfortable. Living with 2 other people in a tent for more than a month isn´t seeking comfort. The hard work neither. I realized when I was out on the mountain in April, that I have become way too comfortable. I felt uncomfortable being by myself, being silent, sweating, freezing and everything that is involved with doing Arctic travels by ski. And I realized being too comfortable is no good.
Longevity research today proves that health, “happiness” and longer life means exercising, working no matter what age at least 6 hours a day, take the stairs instead of the elevator and basically living a life not so comfortable. This is easy to see among friends who have passed 70 and who doesn’t exercise regularly and have a clear purpose in life. They age quickly.
So, I will continue hauling.

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