Is third time really the charm?

Sian Pages – Travel Planner

An amazing event happened this month… a “Once in a Lifetime” experience that many of us could not believe.

The Aurora Borealis dazzled the UK with its splendour.

And I slept through it.

The worst part was, I knew about it very early in the day. I still have an app on my phone, from when I went to Lapland 2 years ago – an Aurora App that sends us alerts whenever the Aurora is nearby.

So the alerts started coming in, excitement was building and I decided it was my responsibility to make a public service announcement, alerting my neighbours to this magnificent event, in an effort to make sure no-one ‘missed out’.

I posted a joyful note on my neighbourhood Facebook group – telling all my local friends and neighbours that ‘this was the night’. It was actually going to happen.

Then it started to get dark and my circadian rhythm kicked in, telling me it was time for bed. “But no, I must stay awake and watch the Northern Lights”. Well, it was 11pm and I didn’t seriously believe they would be viewable. Not here. Not in Oxfordshire. Ha! Ridiculous!

So I went to bed. Laughing to myself and saying to my husband, “you know when we wake up, our phones will be full of photos of the Aurora don’t you?” Neither one of us actually believing that.

But guess what?

I woke up to approximately 20 comments, photos and thank yous from aforementioned neighbours, who had seen the most glorious spectacle, 20 minutes after I had fallen asleep. Honestly, the colours in these photos were astonishing. In one photo, you could almost see the back of my house.

Cue a day long strop. I was pretty annoyed with myself as this is a common theme for me.

My husband and I went to Iceland years before I was a travel consultant, partly to see the Northern Lights, but also because it’s an absolutely awesome place to go. The chances were good, we watched the skies expectantly, and saw… nothing.

Then approximately 10 years later, we ventured to Lapland, in mid December. Primarily to take our son to meet ‘The Big Guy’, but also because we REALLY WANTED TO SEE the Aurora Borealis. We did everything. Downloaded all the apps, watched the skies, waited patiently and still, they evaded us. Then clients of mine, who I had booked the exact same trip for, departed two days after I arrived home. I had told them what to expect… that the likelihood of seeing the lights wasn’t as high as I’d hoped, in an effort to manage expectations.

I knew their arrival time, and checked in to make sure they were all OK. This is when my phone started pinging… 15 photos of my client and her family, under a blanket of colourful Aurora.

Colour me annoyed… and happy for my client (obviously), but now I’m seriously frustrated.

So this year – being the BEST year with which to view the Aurora Borealis in over 11 years (because of the Solar Maximum, mixed with multiple geomagnetic storms) – I have booked a trip to Norway in October. We’ll be visiting Tromso, which has a great reputation for Northern Light activity and we’re also driving to Senja and staying in the Aurora Borealis Observatory.

I’m throwing everything at this trip – literally staying in a hotel that has the name in its title! This has to be the one right?

Will the third time really be the charm?

I’ll let you know in November.

Get in touch

If you’d like to discuss future travel plans you have in mind, get in contact with our in-house travel consultant, Sian Pages, on

Sian will be more than happy to spend time talking you through your options; remembering her service is delivered at no cost to clients and professional connections of Longhurst.

Happy Adventures!