Meet the Flashpacker: Erin’s adventure to Norway

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Erin Jeglinski lives in New Jersey and works as an executive assistant at the New York City branch of an international bank. She’s joined Flash Pack on both our adventure to Norway, and our winter Finland trip

I’d never been to any Scandinavian countries before so there was a real curiosity there. The possibility of seeing the Northern Lights was a huge draw for Finland, while in Norway, the glacier trek really appealed to me. I loved the fact that both trips were in remote locations, off the usual tourist path.

Meeting new people

Flash Pack Norway

It had been a long time since I travelled solo so the group trip was a good way to get my feet wet. The idea of travelling with like-minded people was also super-appealing. And, I didn’t have to spend time planning a thing, so that was a HUGE plus!

I’d only ever travelled with friends or family or on my own before this. Honestly, these two trips were probably in my top five travel experiences, mostly because of my travel mates.

Read more: 5 great reasons to travel with strangers

Sometimes I get a little shy around new people so I was forced to break out of that shell if I wanted to talk to anyone. But really the people made the adventure; the group dynamic on both trips was amazing.

It was so cool how we all gelled right from the get-go. Sure, certain people tended to gravitate towards each other but everyone got along and there was no drama.

Norway travel

For both trips, we barely encountered anyone except our group and guides. Although it’s fun to meet the locals, I really enjoyed the remote locations.

I feel like we learned about the cities of both counties and the regions we travelled in and the activities all seemed quintessential of their place.

There are so many standout moments but if I had to pick one, it would be snowmobiling in Finland and the glacier hike in Norway.

Erin Jeglinski

I’m really afraid of heights and we had to cross a rope bridge to get to the glacier in Norway. It was an unexpected challenge but I didn’t want to let my fear get in the way of climbing the glacier.

Read more: The unexpected secret to making new friends

With a few tears, and words of encouragement from my travel mates (and some hugs at the end) I literally crossed that bridge. It was really scary in the moment, but I’m so glad I powered through. Climbing that glacier was totally worth it.

If you’re thinking about travelling with Flash Pack, I would say do it. The experiences were really great and the group element was the best part of both adventures. I now have 26 new friends from all over the world.

A group adventure

I think travelling with people of a similar age/lifestyle was the reason it worked so well. Both groups are all still in touch. My Finland crew is organising a reunion, and I’ve already met up with someone who visited NYC since our trip.

My fellow Americans from the Norway trip are trying to organise a US reunion next year as well. And we are all checking in on Facebook, Instagram and the WhatsApp chat as to where our next travels are.

Read more: 10 ways to develop your life skills with adventure travel

Even though both trips were packed with activities I feel like I returned to the “real world” refreshed. I love learning about other people and cultures so it was really great to see other viewpoints.

You see so many bad things on the news these days and it was very refreshing to travel with genuine, good people. It leaves you with a little bit of hope for the world.

Best hotel:

Torvis Hotel Norway

My favourite hotel in Norway was the Torvis Hotel. The hotel itself was quirky, food delicious and the view of the fjord was fabulous.

Local moment:

Our guide to the goat farm, Matilda, was awesome. She really took time to answer questions about the local culture and region.

In the mood for a solo trip of mind-blowing adventure? Want a new way of travel in your 30s and 40s? Jump into the Great Unknown with our Norway escape or hit off your bucket list in winter-time Finland

Photos: Erin Jeglinski, Flash Pack

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