Karina Weinschenk is the owner and guide at SCAN Adventure who specialises in Northern Lights holidays and polar travel experiences. Karina moved to Tromso in 1998 to become a travel guide and founded SCAN Adventure in 2005. Find out more about life in the Arctic through Karina on our exclusive interview.
What do you do for work?
A CEO with huge passion for being outside in nature and working as a NL guide instead of sitting in my office doing paper work
What do you like to do for fun?
Travelling is my passion too and to ride a bicycle, hiking
Where do you live?
The Capital of the Northern Lights in Norway and the nicest town ever – in Tromsø on 69 degrees Northern Latitude
Were you born here, if not, how long have you lived here?
I am born in Germany, even more complicated in East-Germany, and then in 1998 we moved up to Tromsø. That was my wish since I was a child.
What do you love about the Arctic?
I really love the changing lights and I love to be out in nature. Here I can go to nature whenever I want to do it. I just leave my flat and 10 minutes later I am in the woods. When I still worked as a teacher my school was on the other side of the island of Tromsø. In winter I used my skies everyday, crossing the island and coming back to my flat after work.
What do the Northern lights mean to you?
The Northern Lights are my babies. I just love them and many people say that I am like a whisperer, in that case a Northern Lights whisperer. They are always different and every time exciting even though it is sometimes cold outside at night. It is my passion!
Did your family tell you stories about the Northern Lights when you were a child?
Yes, my mother did tell my stories about the Northern Lights. She actually couldn`t believe it when I started up to become a Northern Lights guide. When she was a child it was actually not allowed to go out of the house alone because of the Northern Lights. She also told me that I have to take with me a white towel on a Northern Lights Safari. When using the it the Northern Lights will become more active and in the good old days the NL also could take the children away from their parents. In addition, it was not allowed to whisper either when there were NL visible.
What is the most challenging thing about living in the Arctic?
In winter, we don`t have so much day light because of the Polar night season and people are a bit more sleepy than in summer. Since I am working so much in winter I cannot say that it influences me actually but to get a bit more sun in winter would be great. Tromsø has a coast climate and sometimes it is very wet here. In addition, you have icy roads but with good tires it is not a big problem. Actually, I like to drive on our roads in winter.
What top three things would you recommend a visitor to the Arctic to experience?
Northern Lights, when we have whales here a whale watching, dogs- or reindeer sledge
What is your favourite season?
My favourite month is March. The sun is back and when the sun is shining it is already very warm. You can stay outside for a long time since it is bright. You can even go skiing in the afternoon since we have a lot of snow left. We start at the same time in winter but in March people can see more of our beautiful area, the can see the fjords, reindeer and the Northern Lights are still there.
What’s your favourite local food or dish?
Salmon and “finnebiff”, a Sami dish with reindeer