Mankind has long been captivated with the notion of firsts. Our history books are riddled with tales of adventure, perseverance and discovery. Accompanying them are a long line of firsts: the first climber to reach the summit of Mount Everest, the first man to step on the moon, the first outsider to marvel in the ruins of Machu Picchu. The desire to claim things and places for ourselves is rooted deep within humanity, and it’s a root that’s tripped us all at one point or another.
When we arrived in Longyearbyen, Molly and I experienced a rare first in the Adventure Life world: the first from our office to Svalbard. Getting the opportunity to explore the far corners of the earth is naturally one of the best parts about my job, but it’s true that the unexplored parts of the world seem to grow fewer and fewer as my colleagues collectively branch out to see more of it. Filled with pride as I stepped off the last stair, I turned around on the tarmac to snap a photograph of our plane on the runway: my eyes the first in a long line of colleagues to scan this particular horizon and breathe in its crisp air. Without having climbed the world’s tallest mountain, venturing out into celestial landscapes or discovering a lost and ancient world, I became the first, out of everyone I know, to claim this Arctic Archipelago for my own. I can say with full confidence that I will not be the last.